Something to Think About: Where are Your Outlets and Hookups?

We’ve previously written blogs on facility requirements and receiving your still but there’s a crucial step in between these two parts of the process. Once you’ve found a facility that has the power, space, and utilities that you need to run your equipment you’ll likely need to remodel or renovate some parts of the facility to really get it ready for your equipment and maybe a tasting room. The utility hookups can be pretty easy to overlook when you’re trying to deal with everything that comes with starting a brick and mortar business but they can be the difference between a smoothly running facility and a setup that works “well enough”.  

The first thing you’ll want to think about once you’ve selected your space is where you’d like to put your still and tanks. It’s much less of a hassle and likely less expensive to add in a hose barb or an electrical connection while your space is relatively empty than it is to retrofit a space you’ve been producing for months. Installation costs may not be much different (depending on how much needs to be moved or ripped out) but the lost production time and disruption to your operation add up quickly. Hopefully, the following things to think about will help you optimize your space and get it ready to install your equipment. It is by no means an exhaustive list of everything you could possibly need so reach out or comment below with any specific concerns you have. 

One of the first things to think about is where the still fits in your space. If you followed the advice in previous blogs you know that your equipment will fit into your facility but where it fits is also important. If you don’t have uniform ceiling height and the only place your facility is tall enough to accommodate your new vodka column is right in front of the main loading area it will likely cause you some headaches. While that’s a pretty obvious example you may have noticed in your walk-through, did you see where your utility hookups are? 

Cables and hoses are a part of most manufacturing operations but they can be awfully inconvenient if they’re not managed properly. You may or may not have a facility where head pressure or voltage drops over long runs are a huge concern but they’re worth thinking about and have a way of sneaking up on you. Everyone should be thinking about their process flow and making sure that your hoses and cables aren’t creating an unnecessary tripping hazard or blocking key lanes of traffic.

Water management is also pretty easy to overlook as well. If the floor drain is on the other side of the facility from your fermenters it can make cleaning a hassle that interferes with other parts of your operation. Stopping the rest of your production to have a cleaning day may not be the worst idea but not having the flexibility to run your other equipment while you clean out parts of your process can create unnecessary bottlenecks that can be pretty painful when you’re busy trying to keep up with the growing demand for your amazing products. It can be easy to deal with minor inconveniences when you’re getting started but those inconveniences cost you time and money, especially when you get busy. 

The Basics of Outlets and Hookups are Fundamental to Your Distilling Systems

Hopefully, this comes across as common sense to most of you and is a good reminder to be mindful of your process flow as you get into your space. Hindsight is 20/20 but with a little planning and reminding yourself that just because you *can* make something work doesn’t mean you *should* make it work you’ll avoid some mistakes and future you will thank you for it!