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 BLOG >> Recent

Garage Mini-Winery: Part 2 [Design
Posted on October 6, 2016 @ 06:19:00 AM by Paul Meagher

I reached another milestone in my garage mini-winery project (see part 1). It is now framed in and ready to be covered in. My son and I got a couple of hours in last night framing the long wall and installing a used door I got for the project. Still tweaking the door.

One unique problem you may encounter in taking over the space in your garage for some serious hobby is that you may already have alot of stuff in your garage that you have to deal with while you are building your space. The stuff in my garage has created alot of clutter in our workspace and involves extra work taking stuff out to work on the project, then putting it back in the garage at night when you are done. Project can turn into decluttering and relocation subprojects.

This project has reminded me of the Permaculture principle of highest use wherein we are supposed to ask what the highest use is of some design element so that our design is especially geared to that use. Another Permaculture principle is the principle of multiple uses wherein we are supposed to ask what are all the uses that some design element can have so that our design also takes into account as many of the most important uses as possible.

In the case of a garage we can ask what is the highest use that a garage can have? To store cars? To store accumulated family belongings? To fix and repair automotive and house hold items? To build stuff? A place to hang out and some beer or wine? A mini-winery?

I would say the highest use for my garage right now is to perform the role of being a mini-winery for my grapes this fall. Almost as high a use is to store stuff. Fixing, repairing, and building is another use. The use profile of the garage has changed because I introduced a new highest use to the structure and demoted other uses. The space has a new plan.

The next blog on this project should be when it is all enclosed at which point I can start testing its thermal efficiency at colder temps. I picked up an Inkbird thermostat as a device to potentially regulate the ambient temperature of the winery. The device cost approx. $50 and is used by alot of home beer and wine makers. This video provides an excellent educational review of the device and how to practically set it for controlling temperature.

I have a similar Inkbird controller for relative humidity (expressed as a percentage) but I'll be addressing temperature control first while monitoring the relative humidity of the mini-winery space.

An important design constraint for the wall sheathing is that I be able to remove each piece of plywood easily if I have to get back into the wall. I had to set the depth gauge on my circular saw to remove parts of the installed plywood ceiling because the partition walls would have overlapped it. Wore ski googles to keep the dust out of my eyes and drilled holes at the end of the cut to finish it. Not the best way to get your ceiling panels cut to size but it worked.

I will be putting in two maintenance hatches in case I need to bring power from adjacent plugins or run water lines. Here is one of the hatches located at the bottom to the right. It is close to another electrical outlet on the other side of the wall in case I want more plugins.

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