Forming FCB


Freezer-Cooler-Brine Basalt Going Up

We will soon be pouring the final concrete floor layer in the Administration section which includes the inspector’s office, bathroom with laundry, hall and the smokehouse which will serve as our initial meat cutting room. When we pour that I hope to also pour the walls and arched ceilings of the Freezer, Cooler and Brine rooms (FCB).
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By doing the FCB wall and ceiling pour with the floor pour the concrete in the FCB will be cured when we go to do the next pour after that so we can do the floors in there. Synchronizing things like this saves money ($700) on pump trucks.

The photo doesn’t do the space justice. That room is nearly 20′ tall. The FCB is a narrow 8′ wide by 24′ long canyon in the reefer. Count pink foam sheets (8’x4′) and you start to realize just how tall the room is. This is the reefer interior, the thermally isolated, heavily insulated, high mass refrigerated interior of the butcher shop. The FCB, along with the other work rooms, will be the bottom 12′ of the reefer. The top area is the coolth attic for storing winter so we can use it later in the warm months.

On the south wall, to the right, you can see basalt mesh which is suspended in sheets between the sub-floors and the coolth attic. These will reinforce the wall. We must use something like basalt, as well as fiber, in the brine room concrete because of the highly corrosive salts used for curing bacon, hams and other goodies which would quickly corrode plain steel. The only metal in here will be stainless steel such as the sockets for hanging rail, some stainless steel pencil rod and then the stainless steel overhead rail. All doors will be stainless steel as well to prevent corrosion.

Outdoors: 27°F/24°F 5″ Light Snow All Day
Tiny Cottage: 66°F/62°F

Daily Spark: “Students of history know that no government in the history of mankind has ever created any wealth. People who work create wealth.” -Ezra Taft Benson, Secretary of Agriculture

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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4 Responses to Forming FCB

  1. Melissa says:

    If you hadn’t p ointed out the height of the ceiling I really would not have noticed. THough I”m sure the red level is 6 feet, and the metal light cover is the standard 8 “. I’m sure you are glad to work inside during these long winter days when ever you can. Peice by peice it is coming together!!!

    Will you have an open house?? Or keep it low key?

    • “Opening” will be a long, drawn out process rather than a jumping over the threshold. We’ll start with meat cutting, also known as raw processing. Then quickly after that we’ll add making sausage. Later we’ll start doing smoking or maybe slaughter will be next. Smoking has more value added benefit and costs more per pound and is only about another $25K more. Slaughter saves Holly the day long drive but costs about $120K more – there is a lot more work to do to get to the point of slaughter. It’s a process and we do it in baby steps.

      It might seem odd to start with cutting before slaughter but there are several reasons. Cutting costs us the largest amount for hired processing so by taking that on the savings can then be put towards finishing off more of the building to bootstrap us to the next phase. Slaughter costs the most and actually yields the least financial reward so doing slaughter first would be the hardest to start with and would not produce as much savings to boost us to the next level.

      All in good time. As you say, piece by piece it is coming together.

  2. Kristin says:

    We will be putting in a meat/cutting shop on our property. We have been raising pigs for 15 years. It started out with buying a few weaner pigs to get to butcher weight. Now it has turned out to having 2 sows and 2 boars and raising both weaner pigs and butcher hogs. It seems only natural to go the next step. Butcher shop. Just curious on what you have on your walls? Thank you for your time. Love you blogs.

    • Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRB) also known as bead wall which is the white bumpy 4’x8′ or 4’x10′ sheets is the industry standard. However I have serious qualms about that material because I worry about the build up of bacteria behind the bead wall and all the cracks. Our walls are concrete and we will be parging them smooth. Then I will use a seamless coating of either epoxy, urethane cement or poly urea. I recently got samples of the poly urea and they look very good. In the end we’ll have a seamless lining covering the ceilings, walls and floors to make for easy sanitation, maintenance and cleanliness which will also protect the building from the acids and salts in the processing. The poly urea is the most expensive and requires special equipment to apply. What we may do is apply epoxy or urethane cement now and then when that invariably wears out we will replace it with something even better. The technology will continue to advance.

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