San Antonio Brewers Association Lone Star Brewery

Discussion in 'Structures' started by SAFN SAAP, Feb 5, 2012.


    SAFN SAAP Member

    Hey Y'all,

    Wow, I just finished designing my brewery. First attempt and I think it is very good. The brewery is divided up into four (4) sections. Section A is the grain receiving area. Section B and C are loading stations from the warehouse. Section D is a split between the end of the loading docs and the boiler room/garage/repair area.

    Each sections length is equal to two (2) actual feet. That turns out to be a scale 176 feet. Here's a run down of the sections:

    Section A:

    This area located right behind the roundhouse has an enclosed section that will receive boxcars that are carrying grain and hops. It is one story tall. On the roof there will be piping and ventilation equipment going into the area which is the 2nd floor, below the 3rd floor. You can see the opening I have selected.

    There is one solid wall section that will separate this area from the main warehouse and production facility. You will see where the loading dock begins. The gray area above is an overhang which will be made of wood framing and corrigated steel. It runs the full gambit of the dock to protect the workers.

    Section B:

    Section B is the continuation of the loading dock. The lower floor are the shipping/receiving offices and the general storage area for outgoing prepared beer. The two loading doors have ventilators above the protecting overhang to increase air flow in the plant. Clerical and production offices are above.

    Section C:

    Same as Section B

    Section D:

    Section D is a split between the end of the warehouse loading dock and the boiler room/garage/repair area. On top of the boiler room area roof there will be a smokestack, ventilation equipment, piping, and small storage bins.

    This brewery is exactly 98 inches long or 8 feet, 2 inches. The 2 inches won't kill the plan. If I eliminate a section, it will leave the brewery 1 1/16 short.

    Presently, the brewery stands in at 10 1/16 inches or 73 5/16 scale feet. DPM has some sections that I like where I was thinking of putting equidistant from the center of the brewery to create a tower like affect. It kind of breaks up the monotony of the long even keel ceiling. I designed it and that is what you see in the fifth attachment.

    I really like this design. I think it serves a great purpose, and gives the feel of a big brewery. With such a big dock, I can put barrels, barrel racks, boxes, crates, chairs, dollies, hand carts, wagons, and lots of workers. Should be interesting.

    I have a new track plan that allows this brewery to be made. The components will be using DPM Modular Walls and then adding craftsman parts.

    You'll see more of this within the up coming month as I begin to build my bench work.

    This was a teaser. I will open a build thread for the entire line and you'll get to watch a play by play just like Jim did with the Zalma Branch.



    Attached Files:

  2. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Your HO-scale brewery harkens back to a time when even small cities would have a brewery, which would produce beers and ales for local consumption.

    While in the process of designing your brewery, it would be good to remember the processes required to make beer. The brewery of your era might be divided into these basic functions:

    1. Incoming materials
      1. Barley
      2. Hops
      3. Yeast
      4. Containers
        1. Wooden Barrels
        2. Bottles
      5. Water – Producing malt and beer requires large quantities of water
      6. Power
    2. Malt House
      1. Mill
    3. Brew House
    4. Fermentation House
      1. Refrigeration for Lagers
    5. Bottling and Casking House
    6. Shipping – Rail and wagon/truck
      1. Casked Beer
      2. Bottled Beer
      3. Dried Beer Mash

    Brewing beer is a simple, but yet a complex process that uses many recipes, and the description below has been generalized.

    Unless the brewery purchases malt, the barely will have to be malted in the “the Malt House”. The barley is soaked in water and allowed to germinate at which point the process is halted with hot, dry air. The malted barely, may be roasted which will add color and flavor to the beer. Before being sent to the brew house the barely is ground to grist

    The ground, malted barely is placed in large (usually copper) kettles, where water and hops are added, and it is boiled to produce wort. After being steeped according the beer recipe, the wort is separated from the beer mash. This is called lautering.

    The beer marsh is dried, and sold as an excellent feed for live stock

    The wort is piped to tanks/barrels in the fermentation house. At this point the yeast is added, and the beer is allowed to ferment. If lagers are produced, the fermentation occurs under cool temperature, and refrigeration or ice would be required at your brewery.

    After the fermentation process is complete, the beer may be filtered, and then it is placed into containers, i.e., bottles or wooden barrels

    Depending upon its situation a brewery may have its own powerhouse, which would require the delivery of coal via gon or hopper car.

    Already noted is the fact the beer making requires copious quantities of water, so a brewery of your time period would have its own well(s) with pump house and water towers.

    A sizeable brewery may have its own cooperage to produce barrels so in-coming materials would include staves and metal for barrel rings.

    Anyway there are many options available to produce an industry, which could generate traffic for your railroad.

    “Beer, I’ll never stop loving you”
    -H. Simpson-
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2012

    SAFN SAAP Member

    Thanks Karl for the great information. I used to switch out the Budweiser Plant in Willamsburg, VA so a lot of what you are saying is right on.

    When I drew the brewery, lots of piping, vents, etc., couldn't be shown, but they will be there. A Lot of this building has to be imagined as I have no way to model the depth. Basically this brewery is a background building. You thread is very intense. I have to read it more and more. I know it will be of great help!

    Thanks Karl.

  4. WindsorSpring

    WindsorSpring Member

    Karl's exposition has the brewery pretty well stated for the railroad modeller. There are a couple additional things to consider.

    You will doubtless want an old-time brewery. Most of these had a vertical layout for the major processes to allow gravity feed between steps, so multi-story buildings would be the rule. The brewing area and fermentation areas were separated because one process was hot and the other cold. Brewkettles very likely occupied a building with windows and skylights for ventilation. Conversely, cellars (fermentation and lager buildings) would have few, if any windows and thick walls for insulation.

    In addition, wort preparation (brewing) takes about 12 hours from grinding the grain to wort cooling and settling while fermentation takes 4 or 5 days. Lagering can take up to several weeks. Consequently, your brewhouse (tall building with windows) should take up much less space in your model than the stockhouse(s) or cellars. The packaging building will have roughly the same relative footprint as the brewhall. Shipping will be to the brewhall (raw materials in). There will little or no external traffic going to the cellar buildings. Materials will come in (bottles, cans, etc.) and out (finished product) of the packaging building.

    A separate power house and separate mechanical refrigeration plant (ammonia compressors and cooling towers) may or may not be part of the complex. As you mentioned, you may decide to have the majority of the facility as a background rather than try to model separate buildings.

    When you install the Brewmaster's Sampling Room, let me know. I'll be there.


    SAFN SAAP Member

    Hahahahaha! That's funny right there. Yeah, the majority of the brewery is going to have to be an imagination in the backdrop. What you will see is the grain drop off, loading of finished beer, and other loading/unloading gear. On the south side you will have the boiler room (one of many) and garage/repair shop. I've tried to capture the flavor of the sheer size of the Lone Star Brewery here in San Antonio. I will be getting ventilators, roof units, pipes, duct work, etc., to have on the building tastefully, but functionally, so that it looks like the old time clean look. At 8' long this is one huge brewery, and it is still not in comparison to the real size of the Lone Star Brewery.
  6. WindsorSpring

    WindsorSpring Member

    Your posting brings back a happy memory of a 1991 visit that included hospitality by Lone Star. The memories that stick are the huge number of deer antlers in the public reception room. Many of these were turned into furniture, if I recall. I am not sure how much rail shipping the company used in 1991. Its volume was surely down from earlier times so trucks doubtlessly handled a large fraction. Rail surely carried a much higher share going back into the '30's and 19-teens prior to prohibition.

    The 1920's as a modelling era are problematical for anyone contemplating a brewery; you have to go earlier or after 1933 for it to be functioning. Of course, one can apply Rule 1 and pretend "The Crime of 1918" never happened!

  7. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

    TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020) Passed Away July 15, 2020 Supporter

    "Lone Star B-e-e-e-r and Bob Wills m-u-u-s-e-e-k..." :)))

    Tom G.

    SAFN SAAP Member

    Hahahahahaha! No worries here. Prohibition didn't happen yet! Thanks for the memories.

    SAFN SAAP Member

    Some possible changes coming to the design of the brewery now that I secured a picture showing the entire plan with railiroad cars in front of it. Mind you it is a post card, but it works!

    SAFN SAAP Member

    This morning, through MRH, I found a vendor, VectorCut (, who I immediately contacted to see if he could help me make the letters for the sign for the brewery. Low and behold, he had the exact
    font that the Lone Star Beer Company used. So my sign is being made proportionally for the brewery. Awesome! Check out his web site. He does great work!

    SAFN SAAP Member


    Dave at Vectorcut was able to match the font. He has cut my letters and they are on the way to me. The letters will make a custom billboard sign with lights on top of the brewery. I will use the combination of several Bar Mills Billboards for the setting.

    The sign will read:



    Take a look at the pics. Dave did excellent work. The letters are 5/8" scale which equals out to 4' 6" in real life. Prototypical for a 73' 6" tall building.

    More updates to follow...

    Thanks for looking.


    Lone Star Brewery Sign.jpg DSC03518.JPG DSC03519.JPG
  12. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    This ought to look real sharp. Can't wait to see this project develop.
  13. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    I'm thinking Manny can loop Bob Wills & his Texas His Playboys' "Bubbles in my Beer" on the layout, with a small speaker in the brewery.

    I'm personally partial to "Li'l Liza Jane" and "Stay a Little Longer."

    Best Regards,
  14. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

    TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020) Passed Away July 15, 2020 Supporter

    What about "I-I-I-m drifting into d-e-e-p water?" Nothing particularly to do with trains...:)


    SAFN SAAP Member

    Hahahahaha. Y'all are funny! Music comin' from the brewery. Now that's classic, and I'll have to think about that. You know, quite often sound is something that isn't modeled. Yet, I hear some folks say that after awhile, sound locomotives become sooooooooo annoying. Must be them "powered boxcar" folks, cuz you can never get sick of hearing steam... LOL...
  16. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

    TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020) Passed Away July 15, 2020 Supporter

    I have one of those MRC RR sound units and a CD/cassette player in my train room and play train sounds (On CD's and cassettes) while I run trains and model. I also play music too when I'm "railroading." Those on board sound units with their little bitty speakers are really silly sounding. If you want REAL RR sounds, you need speakers in something like a big Fender guitar amp!


    SAFN SAAP Member

    I'm taking the plunge into DCC for the first time, and I'm really up in the air about sound locomotives. Every recording I hear on Youtube has been so tinny. It doesn't sound right. It sounds like the speaker volume is all the way up and its distorted. I'd hate to buy into the sound thing just to have it be disappointing.
  18. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Manny, one thing you have to consider is that most of the postings on Youtube were made with cell phone or pocket digital cameras that are not known for high quality sound capturing capability.

    1) Most people do not adjust the output volume on their sound decoders so the speaker is not over-driven
    2) Most people do not properly enclose the speaker, which negatively affects frequency response. I think that if you heard the sound from a properly installed Tsunami Steam decoder, you would be satisfied. I encourage Tom Holley to weigh in regarding his Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0 that I did for him.

    One thing for certain, once you have the opportunity to operate with Tsunami sound and their special features, I am certain that you will be as smitten as I am.

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