View Full Version : Yay! I get to move my winemaking to the basement!

Chevette Girl
05-31-2010, 09:04 PM
My illustrious condo corporation finally granted me permission to install a laundry tub in my basement so I can get all my winemaking out of the kitchen (much to my husband's glee). This is the tub I want http://www.canadiantire.ca/browse/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=84552444328 0360&bmUID=1275353857275 (I like the cabinet, it'll keep dust off my equipment)... and when I renovate the kitchen, I may move my kitchen tap with the spray nozzle down there too.

The tub will be right beside the hot water tank with a wall cabinet over top for anything that doesn't fit under the sink, and I'll keep my carboys in shelving on the other side from the water tank, and I am planning to make removable counterspace for racking, etc. and I have a low round table that would be perfect for bottling since the floor is a bit sloped (to the nearby floor drain)... I'm also planning to put a fabric curtain around the whole thing for further dust prevention and more light prevention than the current tablecloth spread over the shelf in the window that I'm currently using.

Anyone else who's ever managed to create a designated wine/meadmaking area, I'd be much appreciative if you would share the trials and tribulations, and any pointers on things I should do and things I should avoid...

06-03-2010, 12:27 AM
You need your associations permission to put stuff in your basement??

Chevette Girl
06-03-2010, 01:02 PM
If it ties permanently into the plumbing and can affect resale, then yes, it's considered an "improvement" and approval is required. If it were just a giant basin attached to a garden hose on my hot water tank and draining to the floor drain <shudder> no.

This is what happens when you own a condominium townhome because you couldn't afford a real house, you only own things on your side of the drywall and the condo corporation owns what's behind the drywall, like my collapsed dryer vent. I pay them money every month and they take care of things like lawn cutting, snow removal, the water bill, chimney cleaning, and anything like windows, garage doors and roofing that have to do with the exterior of the building...

I tried before to keep my fermentations in the basement when I started but the problem was it's two flights of stairs between my kitchen and my basement (another stupid condo design thing) and I can't carry a 5-gal carboy that far! Now I should be able to do everything involving carboys in the basement and only primary fermentation stuff in the kitchen. And a 5-gal bucket with a handle is a LOT easier to get down the stairs than a glass carboy with no handles.

06-03-2010, 10:08 PM
Wow, that kinda sucks. I live in a condo, and we must have a much more totaly relaxed association.

Yeah, the older I get the harder it gets to carry a full 5 gallon carboy in a milk crate up just one flight of stairs, much less a full 6 gallon one.

Chevette Girl
06-20-2010, 08:24 PM
Finally picked up the tub today and started unpacking it to make sure all the bits were there before I call the plumber... and now I have to clean out that corner... what am I gonna do with all these empty wine bottles that were hiding under the table full of clutter...

Why, clean and fill them, of course... so I have room to make MORE wine!! Bwahaahaa!!

I think every condo has a different set of bylaws and if it's a newer one they probably are set up differently from mine, which was established over 20 years ago when the places were built... when I moved in here 6 years ago there were some items in the meeting minutes where they wanted to change outdated things in our bylaws and it took at least three years to get enough support to push the change through... it's been real fun, we had to have a special meeting where we impeached half the board members because they were so unable to get along that lawyers were involved...

So, before I begin setup, again, has anyone else managed a designated wine area? I'd be interested in hearing what you did and how well it worked, what you'd have changed if you knew then what you know now, that kind of thing...

06-20-2010, 09:32 PM
I'm still brewing in the hall closet after six years but here's what I think would make things easier. First is storage space for carboys, primaries, buckets of honey and full or empty cases of bottles. I've cases of empties out in the garage, some down in the shop, carboys under tables in the garage, you got the picture, a little bit stashed everywhere. When you plan shelving to house the carboys and primaries give enough room over them so they are easy to get to. Ideally I would start with the primaries on the second shelf with the carboys under them for easy siphoning. Have all your carboys in milk crates for easy moving. Set the work area up as a triangle just like a kitchen if possible but it sounds like you will have a wall not a corner space. Plan for growth, you will need lots of space once you get brewing. Good luck and have fun with it

Chevette Girl
06-21-2010, 12:46 AM
Heh, it is kind of going to be a corner space but I have to dance around the water heater and one wall has wine racking on it already...

I've got shelving along both walls already with a gap big enough for the tank and the tub, I'm planning to take two of the shelves currently against the back wall beside the tub and set them sticking out back to back as it were, for easy access to carboys from two and a half sides. Currently most of my carboys are on one big shelf in the kitchen window (yeah, I know, there's a tablecloth strung over it as a sunshade), so I figure all of them will fit on two shelves back-to-back... the 5-gal on the bottom, the 3-gal on the middle and the 1-gal on the top, the primary fermenter can go wherever it fits. I don't think I'd be able to keep primary fermenters on the top shelf for convenient racking unless I had a stepladder, but I will think about it, thanks.

The shelving along the side wall is already mostly wine storage, I've got a bunch of those racks that are made with galvanized metal grid and wood spacers, plus a large rack for 375 ml bottles that I made myself out of plywood. I need to get more bottles cleaned, right now there are about 5 boxes' worth scattered around the house in various inconvenient places.

My mom gave me a little wall cabinet which doesn't quite fit on the wall between the water and sewage pipes (grr) but I want to use it for all the little jars of stuff, like nutrients and acid blend and cleansers and things so I will find somewhere to use it, and currently in the kitchen I use a pot lid holder (you know the kind you're supposed to mount on the inside of the cupboard door?) mounted on the wall beside my shelf and I hang all my racking tubes and hoses and bottle filler and everything from that, it will probably end up somewhere downstairs too, I like the idea of hanging wet things to dry out rather than closing them up somewhere.

I have a little corner-shelf thing (which might be good for honey storage) that I was going to use as a support for a removable chunk of countertop beside the tub and in front of the tank (has to be removable because of the wine shelving behind it), and I have a low but very sturdy shin-level table that should fit well between the freezer along the wall and the corner unit, it will be perfect for putting all my bottles on when I need to fill, it's sturdy enough that I can sit on the edge and not worry about it tipping.... I've also got some fatigue-prevention matting to put down on the concrete floor... although I'll have to see how slippery it gets when I spill on it because I WILL spill on it... I'm also going to start looking for how to mount some curtains to keep dust off my stuff.

Really, the biggest problems I'm going to have are where to put all the crap that came out of that corner and how to reorganize the rest of the basement so we can still run Dungeons and Dragons down there with 7 players... We're giving away a few pieces of furniture that got relegated to basement use because we have better stuff now but they're still serviceable pieces, but I'm suspecting that I will finally have to break and clean out the garage to at least make room for the tool chest, as currently there is a Chevette-shaped hole in the garage clutter with enough room to open the car doors on one side only, and that's it...

Brain hurts... too many puzzle pieces and not enough room to spread them out in :)

Chevette Girl
07-01-2010, 01:43 AM
<blinka><blinka> So the plumber wants $350 to install a laundry tub where there are existing lines. Holy crap.

At least if anything goes wrong it's their problem... but still...

So it's scheduled for Friday and I'm still thinking of how to organize the mess... if I can find my camera and figure out how to post photos, I'll post some of the area...

07-02-2010, 08:13 AM

The cost for the items necessary to accomplish this shouldn't be more than $50!

You need to get/find yourself a good handiman/handiwoman (don't want to be considered a sexist!, at least not right away!) to help.

As a handiman myself, I have saved inummerous amounts of $$ doing things myself. Of course, time (and maturity) have given me a sense of when to hire someone for specific tasks (large tiling jobs -- bad for my knees!), but this sort of job is not that difficult.

In any case, you do get a "guarantee" factor by paying for it, so make sure it is done well and exactly the way you want it and good luck! Some of us don't have basements!! :(


Chevette Girl
07-02-2010, 08:59 AM
Well, they needed to install a vent which was around $50 alone at their price... and Home Despot wants an obscene amount for a couple of valves...

Yeah, if it'd been a remove/reinstall we'd have done it ourselves, no question, I don't like paying anyone to do anything I can do myself... but because we didn't know where the thing that resembled a drain went, I thought it best to have a preofessional deal with it... turns out it wasn't a dumb idea because something somewhere refused to drain and they had to use tools and procedures we wouldn't have access to anyway...

Tannin Boy
07-02-2010, 05:57 PM
Progress pictures please?

Hmmmm? This could be an interesting post all on it's own.
We can all compare our brewing departments?

Chevette Girl
07-03-2010, 12:32 AM
Photos as soon as I a) figure out how to get them off my new camera (involves software I've been too lazy to install) and b) figure out how to post them here (again too lazy to go look it up)