Don’t drop the ball on this! There are a lot of details and a lot that has to go right. Most importantly, don’t overlook the cost on this. When you look to purchase a boiler, expect a good chunk of change. I believe our boiler cost about $13,500 which is only part of the cost. Installation of the boiler can be almost double the cost of the boiler. A few best practices that may or may not help you:
- Get the right size boiler for your operations: Anything too small or too big will give you headaches, additional cost, take up too much room, not have enough/too much power, etc. This takes some planning, projecting and ultimately guessing at the end of the day. We ended up getting a bigger space, so we figured we needed a bit bigger of a boiler to handle future production (we hope!).
- Put it close to where you need the water: At first I didn’t understand why Iain wanted to put our boiler so close to the brewhouse, as it was in an awkward spot. Having seen all the pipes and connections a boiler has, and the incredibly thick gauge of pipe connected to it, put the boiler as close to the brewhouse as you can. The further away you put it, the dollars and cents will quickly add up.
- Pre-Inspections are important: We had a company come in and do a pre inspection to make sure we were putting it the correct distances away from other objects, it was positioned right, and we would be able to get our eventual inspection passed. This was money well spent as they gave us some good advice that helped us down the road. On their advice, we ended up rotating the boiler 180 degrees and thank god we had them tell us this, as otherwise, we would have failed our inspection and re-connect all the pipping at a huge time and financial cost
- Inspection required before you fire it up: Before you can’t start using your boiler, and that means start cleaning and sanitizing your equipment, until you pass your inspection. Period. So make sure your boiler is ordered, delivered and installed well ahead of time. If not, you will be leaving no margin of error
So that is my little advice on a boiler. Our mechanical contractor Nathan Pulice was incredible throughout this process, but especially for us during the boiler install. I would highly recommend for anyone who needs any mechanical, plumbing, HVAC, etc to contact him … especially if you are starting a brewery in Vancouver as he has superior knowledge about everything. Nathan can be called reached at (778) 227 8219 or visit his website here http://www.meridianplumbing.ca.
Tomorrow I will talk about finishing of the front of house. There is a lot of navigation required for this, and a few best practices to share.