With the brewery up and running all ahead full, we’re continually working to improve efficiency before expanding capacity.
One of the biggest time vampires (process that takes a lot of time) in the brewery was the sparging process. We had to monitor water level in the lauter tun, flow rate and water level in the lauter grant, and flow rate out of the lautering grant. We also to monitor fill volumes on the HLT and holding tank. This prevented us from focusing on more important brewing operations.
To fix this problem, we installed float sensors on four tanks – lauter tun, lauter grant, HLT and our holding tank.
There are two float sensors in the lauter tun – a high level and a low level. At the start of the sparging process, we set both to the desired height. When the sparge level in the lauter tun goes below the low point float sensor, the HLT pump is automatically activated to start filling the lauter tun. When the high point flow sensor is triggered, the pump is shut off. This ensures a consistent and accurate level in the tank.
The lauter grant float sensors work the same way as the lauter tun, except they aren’t adjustable. When the lauter grant fills up to the top sensor, the wort pump is activated, pumping the wort to the collection tank. The pump automatically shuts off when the low sensor is triggered.
HLT & Holding Tank
Both of these tanks have one float sensor. We set it to the desired fill volume and then start filling the tank. When the float sensor is triggered – the tanks stop filling. On the HLT this is important because we have to make sparge water adjustments based on water volume. On the holding tank, this is important because we don’t want to lauter off too much wort.
Floats in Action
While we still have to monitor the tank levels to double check the sensors, they have greatly freed up time during the brew day for us to focus on other brewing operations – and even allows us to take some short breaks.