Pipes Go Down and the Roof Goes Up
The last month has been a busy one at the creamery. While the guys completed closing in exterior walls and began installing roofing materials massive trenching was underway all around the creamery and dairy.
Below ground level lines were run for electrical cables from the PG&E power boxes at the edge of the property over to the site of the mechanical pad. Pipes for whey and process water were laid from the creamery across the length of the farm to the water treatment tanks that will allow us to recycle our water. The whey will be pumped to a storage tank adjacent to the pigs (which for obvious reasons we don’t want living anywhere within the vicinity of the creamery). A gas line was put in from the creamery to our propane tank which is adjacent to the milking parlor. As with the dairy, we will use propane on-demand water heaters to supply hot water to both the sinks and for the jacket of the pasteurizer.
After all the piping was complete and trenches refilled and smoothed over a concrete slab was formed and poured a few dozen feet away from the creamery. This pad will house the power box and chiller units for the creamery and ultimately the sales space expansion that will be the next phase of construction. Since we want to have as much of the perimeter of the creamery free of obstacles as possible (to facilitate tours) the mechanical equipment is going to be located on the far side of the sales portion of the building. Until that portion of the building is constructed, the mechanical pad will stand alone. As we will also be continuing with the next phase of construction after the creamery is up and running we also need to route cables and pipes from the mechanical pad around the site of the sales area (so they aren’t disturbed) rather than a direct line.
Inside the creamery plumbing lines are being installed. The piping is being done inside the walls to reduce the risk of condensation occurring in the cold space of the interior of the creamery rooms. Condensation presents a risk for the growth of unwanted molds, yeast and pathogenic bacteria.
Above the creamery the last of the plywood was laid down. A layer of fireproofing material went down over that and the sheets of corrugated metal finishing the roof are being installed. We had our first (light) rain of the season today and it was a huge relief to know that with the roof in place the coming rainy season won’t put a halt to construction.
Off site from the creamery progress is being made as well. Deposits have been put down for the bulk of our cheese making equipment. As many of the pieces are having custom modifications done and are coming from overseas it is important to order early to allow for the slow process of shipping. On the 9th we placed an order with C. Van’t Riet, a creamery equipment supplier based in Holland, for our vat pasteurizer, a press, a curd draining table, cheesecloth bags, and a chevre draining cart. On the 19th we confirmed our order for cheese molds, cheese racks, and vats with Canadian company Fromagex which specializes in imports from France. The bulk of the remaining creamery equipment and tools will be acquired from local restaurant supply companies.