Building a brew shed at the end of the garden – part 1 getting the building up

So at the end of March the missus and me bought a house and on the 27th April we packed the house in London into removal vans and headed West into the sun! We had two removals vans one for the house and one for the brewery – I really have managed to amass some home brew kit it seems!


One minor snag, the house we had bought had nowhere suitable for me to brew, so the simple answer to me was to build a brew shed and by shed I mean a 6.5m x 5.7m monster of a brew shed. One catch, the missus is an architect so it has to look good from the house, all I will say here is Larch is not cheap!

The house we had moved out of had the better part of a triple garage and I had managed to fill that so I needed to get organised to fit it all into the new shed, I was also adamant that I wanted a clean area where I can propagate yeast and do some basic lab work away from the dust and dirt of the brewery area, and also to keep the missus happy and not have yeast starters going in the kitchen!

The obvious answer to me was to divided the shed are into three, the main brewing area, a store room (which is bigger than my first bedroom as a kid) and a yeast lab/clean area.

Here is a CAD drawing with a general layout and arrangement of equipment – it’s amazing what can be built under Permitted Development!

shed plan

In blue is the brew kit, red is the fermenter and barrel area, and white is storage and yeast lab.

When we moved in the house did have a shed at the bottom of the garden which was the width of the garden and about 3.4m from front to back but it was in a shocking state and even came with a cement/asbestos sheet roof. As the shed formed the boundary on the back and the sides it was decided to keep those walls but the rest had to go! What follows is a series of photos and comments as the demolition progresses.

This is the origional shed with the windows and door removed – its lovely!


And a bigger hole!


So with the demolition done the first thing to do was prep the ground for the new concrete slab and to install the threshold drain across the front of the building.

Its even, well almost straight and level ish!


Then came the fun of the concrete pour, and how do you get 3.5 cubic metrers of cement into the back garden of a house with no real rear access? You pump it through the front door, up the hallway, through the dining room, kitchen, out the back door and down the garden! And it worked a treat here is a few pics of that operation in action, i have a video but this will have to come in part 2, i cant download it where i am at the moment!

This the pump truck and concrete wagon


And through the front garden goes the pipe!


And the start of the pour, had help from me best mate Steve,  Ken (Father) and Uncle Steve, all avid drinkers of the brewerys produce!


Not quite so clean nearer the end of the pour!


And a couple of hours later you end up with this. The concrete was specked for light industrial use but was also reinforced with plastic fibres, god help anyone that wants to remove this concrete base in the future!


And the following day the concrete has gone off very nicely!


2 days later we laid one course of blocks for the new timber frame addition to sit on.


Then it was time to start the timber framing


Followed by more framing and the roof joists, which are 195mm x 67mm JJI Joists which gave up to a 4m span at 600mm spacing. The biggest span in the shed being 3.6m.


Then it onto the roof build up, I went for whats known as a warm roof, on top of the joist went 18mm OSB. Tea breal time and stress tested the joist too!



Followed by a self-adhesive vapour barrier.


Then 25mm of insulation stuck down to the vapour barrier.


Then on top of that a 1.5mm EPDM rubber roof. Luckily the weather played and this all went down without any rain falling, thats untill it was just about down, but not totally finished! At this point I went to the pub!


The roof was on and now we had tomake it water tight, the outside was covered in a membrane and battened over to keep it secure. More battens will be added for the cladding


The new timber framed sections then got filled with 50mm of foam insulation and then a vapour barrier.


Then all the internal and external stud walls were lined with OSB – finally taking shape


It was at this point, about 4 weeks since the start of the shed build, and 5 weeks since moving in I had to go back to work for a few weeks, so the build is now on hold for 4 weeks then it will be full speed ahead again as I want to get brewing in July and drinking fresh homebrew again by early August!

On the to do list now is:

  • Paint the floor and wall
  • Line area closest to brewing vessels with white plastic
  • Make doors
  • Clad the new addition in Larch
  • Dig a soakaway
  • Sort out drainage for the sinks – need to get it to the house drains!
  • Electrics – 60amp supply is needed!
  • Get water supply to the shed
  • Move in brewing equipment and get set up
  • Lay patio as summer is coming only a small one 2m x 6m – accordong to the missus this is very important

Not to mention working on the house and the front garden, needless to say I’m going to be even busier over the coming months!

Part 2 of this blog post should be published towards the end of July or August time – fingers crossed!