Good stuff - ambitious doing a double brew so soon!
My first reaction is that you really need to seal up the "wall" above the drain, it's a classic place for mice/rats to get in. It's the sort of thing that Environmental Health are really hot on - and with good reason. I once had a mouse in the garage where I store my grain, they took up residence amongst the abundance of food and just crapped everywhere. I mean everywhere. Fortunately they only found one of my small bags of speciality grain so the total I had to bin wasn't much, but I still don't recommend it.
Probably no bad thing if you have a bait station or two near your grain store, if you don't already, although obviously you need to keep them away from any floors that get washed down.
One thing that people might be interested in is what happens at the pub end, non-Brits will be particularly interested in the cask side of things but you could probably get two videos out of it, one for cask and one for keg. We've already seen a glimpse of some cask widges at the King's Lock, I don't know if you have another customer with "conventional" tilts to compare?
Not seen one with traditional stillage yet. So much benefit with verticals I suspect most pubs have maybe moved on. Or it could be just round here. Good idea for a video though, thanks! The holes - its like bailing out the titanic with a thimble that one. All the way around the building where the steel siding meets the slab there are holes with daylight showing through. It needs a proper solution preferably by the landlord. I've not closed around the drain until the concrete is set but I have the same style corrugated steel to cut and rivet on. And the drain will have a cap etc. It's the sides of the building that are a problem. And internally just plasterboard between me and the unit next door, and whatever's in there could wander into my side through the gaps at the sides. Was going to foam it all but I think a few barrows of cement might be preferable. They'll just munch the foam I bet. Definitely work to do.
I imagine it's the sort of thing where any new publicans will go for widges, but the guys who've been in the same pub for 30 years will see no reason not to do it the same way that they've always done it. Also depends how much space they've got. I've been in pub cellars that were 2-3 times the floor area of my entire house, with ceilings high enough for someone to ride in on a horse - and I've also been to cellars that were anything but that!
Might be worth waiting until you come across a traditional stillage though.
Sounds like bait stations are the way to go for now... They'll find it hard to argue with cement, although maybe glue-gun some metal strip/mesh as another option? Or maybe even some kind of resin?
I've heard that but if you have ever seen a mouse skeleton their skull is bigger than that, and there is now way they can get round that. But they are almost impossible to keep out (farmers son, trust me!). It will be easier to keep your grain in a rodent proof container of some kind than it will be to rodent proof your entire building. If they can't get at your food supply, then they have no reason to take up residence. Smallholder suppliers have various small / medium galvanized grain / feed bins that might suit if commercial grain bins are too large. Or you could get something fabbed up?
Our brewery cat 'Scraggy' is a bit of a local star. A
Tiree wildcat that adopted us. Got no rodent problem, but got no birds either,,, He prefers a dry cow pat to a litter tray. Loves to disappear in the grain loft if he can then swipes you if you try to come up to get him. I've got the scars,,,,
As usual Brian slow on the uptake!
ill sub this evening when I’m settle down and watch your vids.
I must put my two main channels on here (one just homebrewing & the bigger one all sorts )
Good luck on the adventure.
Like Druncan a cat may adopt you..they sort of appear and will decide if they like you. They either move in if you let them or become a regular visitor on their route around their patch. If one moves in you won't get bothered much by other cats (unless it's a girl in season!)as they're territorial.