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Gallery: Building a bigger brewery

400-barrel fermenter being delivered.

Pouring concrete prior to setting brewing vessels in place.

Brewing tank prior to delivery in Hudson, Wisconsin.

Tanks being delivered via the S.S. Badger in Ludington, Michigan.

New brew kettle being lowered into place.

Lauter tun being delivered.

Brewhouse pre-walls

An aerial kite view of the construction. Photo courtesy of Jim Ratliff.

Geothermal field under construction.

The exterior of our new employee care area.

Exterior of new brewhouse.

Exterior construction

More than 400-skilled tradeworkers worked on this construction project.

Crew working on installing the new elevator.

The grain conveyor above the large silos being set into place.

The exterior of our new 200-barrel brewhouse.

Looking up in the tower of the new brewhouse.

An early look at the interior of our new 200-barrel brewhouse.

An early look at the interior of our new 200-barrel brewhouse.

An extra touch for our new brew kettle.

50,000 pounds of grain can be unloaded in about 30 minutes.

When tours are offered, visitors will be able to look out over the 50-barrel system on this platform.

Brewhouse interior

Comstock Production Facility expansion 2012

UP.jpgConstruction

• Broke ground in April 2011, completed May 2012

• Nearly all components were made in the U.S.A.

• The lumber used for the brewhouse entry doors, banisters and railings was locally grown, sawed, kilned and finished

By the numbers

More than 400: Skilled trade workers employed on project

More than 90,000: Hours spent by skilled trade workers working on this project

More than 1 mile: Combined length of one-inch diameter reinforcement bars (20,000 lb.) used in foundation

36,000: Estimated number of bolts needed to install 16 grain bins

21 feet: Diameter of our new lauter tun, which is also the largest brewing vessel

500,000: Potential total annual capacity (barrels)

More than 57,000 & 19,000 feet: Length of electrical control wire and compressed air lines (respectively) required to power the 400+ valves that were installed

More than 2 miles: Length of process piping connect the brewing vessels

Piping.jpgMajor Components

Expanded grain-handling system

16 main silos (with a capacity of 50,000 lbs. each)

10 specialty silos (with a capacity of 4,000 lbs. each)

• The grains system will unload 50,000 lb. of grain in approximately 30 minutes

• 2,000 lbs. of grain can be milled (or ground) in approximately 4 minutes; on the older 50 barrel system, it would take 1 hour to mill the same volume of grain

200-barrel brewing system

• Manufactured by GEA Huppmann

• Vessels were built in Hudson, Wisconsin. Many were transported across Lake Michigan to Ludington on the S.S. Badger.

• Each brewing cycle yields the equivalent of more than 66,000 twelve oz. bottles or 400 standard-size kegs.

• Unique kettle that contains an internal heating system lowering the thermal impact to the wort which improves quality; custom designed in-house by Bell’s employees

New fermentation vessels

• Fourteen new 400-barrel tanks

• Manufactured by Paul Mueller Co. in Springfield, Missouri

• Designed for dry-hopped beers like Two Hearted Ale

Energy Storage System

• The 200-bbl brewing system uses a sophisticated system of heat exchangers & energy storage to capture heat at multiple points in the process and uses that reclaimed energy to pre-heat water & wort prior to boiling, effectively reducing our overall energy needs & waste. For more on other Bell's sustainabiity efforts, go here.

·         Many were transported across Lake Michigan to Ludington on the S.S. Badger.

Looking back

The photo gallery below shows just how far we've come.

One of our early grain mills

Our first expansion: the 1-barrel brewing system

Early fermenters circa 1990; this space is now used for our wood-aging projects

Part of the 30-barrel brew house, several of these vessels are actually still in use in our current brewing system.

Lowering the last of the new 400-barrel fermenters in 2008

A view of our fermentation area during installation of 400-barrel fermenters

A 200-barrel fermenter being maneuvered into the Comstock location

Installation of the 50-barrel brew house at the Comstock location in 2002

The grain silos and milling area at the original brewery

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