Saturday, January 25, 2014

New Brewery Equipment

There are a couple new pieces of equipment in the brewery worth mentioning here. As you know, I run our brewing water through a reverse osmosis filter because of the high level of hardness and collect the r.o. water in one water tank and run the brine water into another.

Water 'tree'
1/2 hp. pump

I was using a small magnetic pump for moving this water around and this small pump was just too slow and weak. So, I purchased a 1/2 hp. drive pump and a system of plumbing and valves to direct it where I want. The first valve located at the bottom of the 'tree' leads to a hose for discharging excess brine water down the drain which is located in the very back of the brewery. The second valve I use for directing filtered water to the mash tun and hot liquor tank primarily. I also run some into carboys for drinking water. The valve at the top I have for use with my pressure sprayer that is used to clean out my fermentors and other cleaning chores using the brine water. With this new pump I'm guessing I've got about 40lbs. of water pressure. This is really nice compared to the incoming water which is gravity fed from the rooftop tank and has a pressure of somewhere around 15lbs.

Transfering Dunkelweizen
A plastic conical fermentor

The second set of new equipment are the 60 gallon plastic conical fermentors and sanitary stainless steel fittings. With the needed head space for krausen, I'll be able to comfortably ferment 44 gallons of wort in these guys. Now, I can also easily salvage yeast from the bottom port and rack the beer to my corney kegs without the need to siphon. Sweet. This should reduce my fear of contamination. I've installed the racking port at the one gallon level so I will have more loss than usual but if I can get at least 42 gallons of wort in initially I should be able to fill 8 corney's with beer after each ferment. That's my goal. I've brewed a small batch (20 gals.) of Dunkelweizen to take one of the conicals on a test run. I should be ready to salvage yeast in the next couple of days and then rack the beer in a few more days after that. I'm looking to see how well the ferment went attenuatively speaking, that I didn't have any spoiling mishaps and then how well it cleans using my new sprayer. I'm going to use the old smaller pump to circulate caustic cleaner (oxyclean) followed by another pressure spray rinse and then circulate acid sanitizer with the small pump again. It all seems pretty straight forward but you never know if this will be an effective procedure and that I can trust it to give me a clean, germ free environment for the next batch of wort. I'm hoping that I don't need to take a scrub brush to the thing. The brewery is growing slowly but I'll soon need to move to a bigger space. In the mean time, with this new equipment I should be able to max-out on production with 160 gallons of bottled beer per month. Wish me luck. Cheers!

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