Posts Tagged ‘Fermentor’

Previous Fermentor Posts

Tank Mounting and Welding

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

In case of earthquake, and to prevent general tank falling and moving, we had to bolt our tanks to the ground.

After we made triple sure our tanks were in the right locations, we marked each mounting pad and removed the tanks.

forklift brewing tanks for mounting

The first tanks we mounted were the fermentors. We had Patrick, a friend of a friend, come in and drill the holes for the two tanks using a roto hammer. Never had we seen concrete drilled with such ease.

patrick using roto hammer

We then anchored the mounting plates to the ground and lowered the fermentors back onto the plates.

brewery mounting plate with anchor

That night Captain Chris had sweet dreams about the awesomeness of the roto hammer. He bought one the next day and went to work mounting the rest of the brewery.

chris using roto hammer

Turns out it wasn’t as easy as Patrick made it look. We managed to smoke two drill bits and drive to the hardware store 3 or 4 times while mounting the tanks, but in the end we were successful.

Next up was to weld the tanks to the now secured mounting plates. Local homebrewer and craft beer fan Brian Oliver, is an underwater welder for the Navy. We were going to flood the brewery so he could weld the tanks for us, but we were unable to do so thanks to a well placed floor drain.

Instead, he asked around the Point Mugu Naval Base, the task was passed through command, and Tait Sorlie Sw1 volunteered to help – he’s a Navy welding instructor and inspector for the Seabees, they’re trained to fight and build. They also have an awesome logo:

seabees insignia

He was able to easily weld all of our tanks securely to the mounting pads.

tait welding

SeaBees Sorlie beer growler

And now our brewery won’t fall over during earthquakes.

Brewery Glycol System

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

Our glycol chiller arrived at the brewery – it is a large and important piece of our brewery. The glycol chiller pumps cold propylene glycol through the cooling jackets on our 6 bbl fermenters. This controls the beer temperature throughout fermentation to ensure you, the reader, get a tasty beer.

The next step is to hook the chiller to our fermenters through a series of complicated piping. Needless to say, Chris was very excited that he had to draw some cool 3d piping models. It’s like Legos for adults he always says.

We ran the designs by the folks over at Pro Refrigeration who were extremely helpful. They also have an online glycol plumbing guide if you’re interested.

The last step in our design phase is to figure out what piping materials to use. There are several choices, each with some pros and cons:

  1. Copper: Really expensive and poor insulation. Shiny and pretty.
  2. PVC: Very cheap but not rated for low glycol temps temps… although tons of breweries use it with no problem
  3. ABS: Similar to PVC but a little more expensive. It’s rated for very low temps and is more durable than PVC.
  4. Cool Fit Plus ABS: Basically the most awesome (and most expensive) piping option. This is a three layer pipe with ABS, pipe insulation & then more ABS pipe. If Cool Fit Plus ABS piping was a car, it would be a Rolls Royce.

We’re leaning toward getting the ABS. Regardless of what piping we get, we’ll insulate it.

Here’s how our brewery glycol system is designed to work:
Glycol is pumped from the chiller down the long line along the wall through the pressure control valve (shown next to the gauges) and back to the chiller to complete the loop. When a temperature controller calls for fermenter cooling, a solenoid valve on the fermenter opens, allowing chilled glycol to enter the bottom tank jacket and make its way to the top jacket, then back to the return line. The system is set up in a way that the first fermenter on the supply line is the last to be connected to the return line.

Operation Tanker Truck: Fermentor Delivery

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Mission: To bring fermentors to the brewery

Step 1: Drive Brewery Truck (BT) 1 and BT 2 to San Diego
Step 2: Pick up fermentors from Premier Stainless and load into BTs – thereby becoming tanker trucks
Step 3: Visit Hess Brewing & Mother Earth Brewing
Step 4: Carefully drive back to Moorpark with fermentors
Step 5: Unload fermentors sans forklift and hope no one gets squished
Step 6: Unwrap and love fermentors
Step 7: Celebrate at local bar