Those who have ever been at the brewery when all the equipment arrives will know – there is a real ‘mood’ in the air. It’s anticipation, excitement and impatience mixed with a nervous energy. Everyone wants it to go well.
It’s a big job – well, in fact it’s two big jobs. Unloading all the brewery equipment, then getting everything to its rightful place.
We know this day often brings some anxiety for our customers. Not only is it the culmination of months – sometimes years! – of hard work. But most importantly. if it’s not done properly things can go bad, fast.
Here at Bespoke Brewing Solutions our mantra is – take your time. It’s not about speed, it’s about getting it right.
Of course, we are not able to be present at all our customers’ install days, especially now with COVID restrictions, but that’s ok because we have put together a step by step checklist, to help make sure everyone is prepared on the day.
So we thought we’d share it with our friends at Asia Brewers Network – so that everybody can experience the Bespoke difference!
One of the highlights on our journey through the process of building a brewery is seeing the look of awe on our clients face when their equipment arrives.
It’s pretty much: ‘wow, this just got real.’
There’s a lot of logistics involved on unloading day, especially if you’ve taken on the challenge to do it all yourself.
One option is to hire a rigging team, who can come in and literally do the heavy lifting. They can unload everything and the bonus is they know what they are doing!
But it’s important you’re fully across what needs to happen, once the equipment is off the truck.
Whether you hire a team or not, this checklist is a great way to ensure you have everything you need to unpack, relocate and install equipment:
- 2 x forklift trucks with fork extensions
- 2 x pallet jacks
- 2 x D-shackles
- 2 x lifting straps rated at at least 3000kg or more
- 10 x 2-foot wood blocks for blocking up the tanks if needed
- 1 or 2 x electric drills with HEX and screw set
- 1 x crowbar
- 1 x hammer
- 2 x foam pieces
(Note: For standing the tanks you can use a crane truck or switch out one of the fork trucks with a telescopic fork truck.)
So you’ve got all the items on your checklist as well as your design and layout documents. Make sure you have all the right tools ready to go and easily accessible.
Here is where the ‘slow and steady’ advice comes in. We know you just want to get it done and you’ve most likely hired the equipment by the hour, but this is not the time to cut corners.
Think each action through and make sure everyone knows their role. Teamwork and communication is absolutely critical. We’re not being overdramatic here, failure to communicate could lead to an injury.
Unloading brewery equipment from the truck
One of the biggest hurdles to get over is unloading the huge pieces of brewery equipment from the truck (which is usually around 1.7 meters up) onto the ground.
You’ve got several options here. One is to use two forklift trucks to slowly pull the equipment out – and lower down. This can be tricky – but if each driver knows the game plan and exactly what they have to do it can work.
As the first person is pulling the item out, the other will need to support the back half of it, so that it doesn’t slip.
Another option is to use a side loader. This nifty device will lift the entire container off the truck and lower it onto the ground. This way you can pull equipment out and mitigate the risk of dropping it.
Once the tanks have been straightened up into their proper position, you can use a standard pallet jack to move them around.
Installing according to your brewery layout
Once your equipment is off the truck assess the size of everything and work out the best way to move it around. Fork trucks are excellent, but you may need fork extensions for the wider tanks.
Then you need to put your strategic thinking hat on. You want to move the equipment into place in a specific order, according to your brewhouse design and which pieces of equipment will be at the furthest end of the brewery.
In a perfect world, your utilities have been installed beforehand – but this isn’t always the case – and that’s fine. The crucial point is that everything matches the layout. (There is a reason we have a high level of detail in our drawings.)
The cellar is less fiddly, but the brewhouse is obviously all piped together. There are a lot of connections between these vessels so they need to be placed correctly.
Pro Tip: The equipment is shipped in steel frames and tied down with lifting straps. These steel frames are large and won’t be of much use to you once you’ve installed everything. They will also take up unnecessary space! If you have a scrap metal contact, you can have someone collect these frames straight away, to avoid clutter.
The Bespoke Solution
The overall message of this article is when it comes to unloading slow and steady wins the race.
You’ve paid good money for this equipment, you don’t want to damage it – and of course, you don’t want anyone getting hurt.
We understand there is also a need to get the task done in an efficient manner, to avoid unnecessary costs. So, as with anything in brewing work to find that balance, between efficiency and quality.
If you’d like more advice about how to ensure a smooth unloading/installation of your brewery equipment, please get in touch with the Bespoke team. You can reach us at: https://www.bespokebrewingsolutions.com/contact-us
We would be happy to help!
If you found this useful, check out our other brewery blogs: