Man Cave / Brew Room

by Bobby Don Johnson
(Meaux, LA)

Brew Room Control Center

Brew Room Control Center

This is the front of my brew room / man cave. Pictured is a spare computer, kegerator, and stereo.

Back of Brew Room

Back Left Corner of Brew Room

Long Shot Front of Brew Room

Back of the brew room with stainless rack holding various equipment. The wine rack I made from discarded cedar wardrobe to hold all the wine I moved from the wine closet (wife's linen closet).

A look to the back left with drawers full of specialty malts and showing kegs in corner (unfinished and ready to build my RIMS system).

A look towards the front showing the fermentation fridge, computer, stereo, and lab table on front left.

Back of Brew Room

Back Left Corner of Brew Room

Long Shot Front of Brew Room

Long shot to the back of the brew room showing fermentation fridge and various shelves and racks full of winemaking and brewing equipment.

A look to the back left with drawers full of specialty malts, and miscellaneous parts.

A look at my lab table with hot plate on bottom, stir plate, hydrometer jars, etc.

Instead of building a RIMS system like all the others in my homebrew club, I worked all last summer on my brew room / man cave. I had brewing and winemaking stuff scattered all over the house, and in an effort to preserve my marriage and my wife's sanity, I went to work on this project. I don't have any before pics, so you have to imagine a 21' x 6' x 8' raw shed on the end of my garage. I decided to go the cheapest route I could find but still get the job done. At first I was going to make a cold room. I didn't really understand what the term "cold room" meant at the time.

I started with R30 plastic coated insulation in between all studs and ceiling joists. I then went with Reflectix 25' x 16" rolls, which I stapled to the back of all 4' x 8' sheets of fiber-board sheeting. This added an extra R5 insulation value and helped reflect radiant heat back outdoors. I probably should have put the reflectix against the outside walls instead of on the inside of the plywood sheeting, but it seems to be working fine.

I then added the cheapest laminate flooring I could find. After the floor was complete (I added a layer of reflectix below the laminate to insulate the concrete slab and stop it from becoming a heat sink), I put an 8000 BTU air conditioner in the wall. This is where I didn't understand the meaning of "cold room". It would have taken a huge air conditioner, like 21,000 BTUs and a CoolBot controller to keep that much space at 40°F or less. So, I settled for a place to put all my stuff and to come and work on the computer formulating recipes. I can ferment in the fridge and keep kegs in the kegerator, but at this time, I just don't have enough room to brew inside (plus no way to vent the moisture).

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