Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Tasting Area - Part 2

Baby on Board.
Luckily we had the brute strength of two lovely ladies and a baby to get this bar off of the truck. It was pretty darn heavy--probably 350 pounds +/- before the 360 pounds of concrete was even added! 
Melamine Forms.
Skillfully and calculatedly designed melamine forms to shape and transport the concrete countertop to San Diego from Redlands, CA. 
Fresh Concrete.

Five Man Job


The bar is finished, and I have to say, it looks pretty good. Not bad for our first attempt anyhow. I just have to add a few more coats of Buddy Rhodes to the concrete and it will be ship shape. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Bar - Part 1

Safety is our middle name.
I headed to my hometown of Redlands this weekend to build a bar (I mean "Tasting Area" for our followers at the ABC.) Luckily one of my oldest and best of friends happens to a be a skilled craftsman. Without him and the help of many of my other friends I don't think we would have a bar as tough as this one. 

The bar is almost finished. We are going to be pouring a concrete counter top for it this weekend, letting it sit for seven days and then bringing it down to San Diego. I cannot wait to test this bad boy out!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Build Out: Brewery Structure

Mike, Greg, Mike and Mike.
Well, we made it to San Jose, up to San Fran, out to Walnut Creek and back again all in one piece (well, the brew structure is in two pieces, but that was intentional.) The trip was a lot of fun and a lot of work. Friday we took off at about 6:30 am from San Diego towards San Jose/Redwood City; from there to San Francisco where if you go a few miles east you will hit Sierra Graphic's headquarters.
Born in '23
My favorite piece of equipment ever.
Mike's brother Greg owns Sierra Graphics Services, a printing machinery repair and sales business that has all the machining equipment we needed to build our brew structure. There was one piece of equipment I particularly liked: The 1923 Racine Shear-Cut - it's been around for 87 years and is still going strong. It has this crazy Dr. Seuss/Rube Goldberg mechanical sawing motion that I wish I could show you. You have to see it to believe it.
Cutting through 2x2" Stainless Steel.
Setting the Work.
To get Racine to engage you have to throw your shoulder into the silver handle protruding to the right of the arm while simultaneously using your knee to push in the big T-shaped switch AND locking the black knob into the correct position AND locking the wench down. It's a complicated process but it is actually pretty fun.
Big Greg, Mike the Welder and BigJoe
We started building the structure on Friday night after dinner- we cut up the first stick of 304 stainless steel (we used 2x2 with .180 wall thickness) and got the welding station prepared (it involved a large precision machined metal plate, improvised electrical outlets and a BigJoe mechanical lift.)
Here Comes The Sun.
304 Stainless Steel melts at 2,552 degrees Fahrenheit. The weld arc is about the same strength brightness as the sun. Note the crazy masks.
A Very Skilled Mike.
Hot Suede and GemFire.
We had to customize our tippy dump mechanism design when we realized we had ordered about 2 feet less steel than we needed. Some quick thinking and a revised mechanism later we had this:
New Tippy-Dump.
Originally it was going to be a nice triangle because that provides more strength, but then we remembered that these welds can hold up to 70,000 pounds per inch, so I don't think our 1,000+/- lbs will be breaking them anytime soon.
Greg Setting Up the Mill.
Mike's Dad, Grinding the Bit.
304 s/s Stainless Spirals.
Clean Up.
We started most days at 8AM and didn't finish up until 10PM. Who knew building a brewery would be so labor intensive? 30 hours of work later we ended up with this:
Mike, Greg, Daft Punk, and Mike.
I cannot wait to get the kettles built so we can fire this guy up. What should we call it?
Home Again.

p.s. You can see more photos on our Facebook page.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Brewing Structure.

We are going to be building our brewing structure up in the Bay Area with Mike's brother this weekend. The kettles are being built down here in San Diego by a local stainless steel fabricator. Everything was designed by Mike, so hopefully it works!

I'm looking forward to checking out a couple of the breweries: Magnolia, Pacific Coast, 21st Amendment, Anchor, Speakeasy, Beach Chalet. And hopefully some Beer Bars: La Trappe, Toronado SF, Alembic. What are you favorite breweries and/or beer bars in Bay Area?

I'll be posting pictures from our trip and the building process once we get back.