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View Full Version : counter pressure line "umbilical" for beer transfer.



squiggy
04-26-2011, 04:44 PM
At our brewery. we have an old clapped out copper pipe that runs from the front of the brewery to the back. At each end of this pipe is a 1" vinyl tube with tri-clamp fittings. We call this our counter pressure line. I think some breweries call this an "umbilical". When we transfer beer we will pressurize the bright beer tank. Then hook the counter pressure line in-between the fermentor and the bright beer tank so that they stay at the same pressure. Today at our QA meeting I brought up my desire to do away with this copper pipe and replace it with stainless steel. Our plant manager wanted me to find out what other breweries were doing. He says the smaller breweries he has worked at used umbilical's but the bigger ones did not. Now I know we could add pressure in the front wile bleeding it off in the back, but it just seems like the counter pressure line is a nice easy way to do things. How are other folks doing it?

gitchegumee
04-26-2011, 07:51 PM
I've heard this referred to as a balance line. It should be clean, however normally won't ever get dirty. Copper would be acceptable. You can always heat sterilize it. What advantage does stainless offer?

matt
04-26-2011, 09:45 PM
We do not have a fixed pipe, but just vinyl tubing for connection between tanks. Works fine, but keep it clean!

HinduKush
04-27-2011, 03:55 AM
We use brewers hose. All BBT's and FV's in the same room. Used copper on a 130' in an ex-brewery. Copper is great.

squiggy
04-27-2011, 12:35 PM
the advantage to SS is you can clean it with caustic and sanitize it with what ever....

HinduKush
04-27-2011, 01:10 PM
the advantage to SS is you can clean it with caustic and sanitize it with what ever....
I regularly cleaned my old copper line with Birko Bru-R-Ez and sanitized with Birkodyne @ 25 ppm followed by a hot rinse. I would leave "charged" with co2 at the end of the filter run.

BrewinLou
04-28-2011, 07:58 AM
I agree with HK on this one, I have a piece of copper pipe come into contact and recirculate Bru R Ez and Birkodyne through regularly for cleaning casks. Not ideal, but there is no problems with either and copper.

waterkc
05-18-2011, 10:57 AM
So what is the logic for have a counter pressure? We have been moving between vessels with out this and not had any trouble todate? Is there something I am missing and have I just been lucky?

Sauce
05-18-2011, 01:58 PM
So what is the logic for have a counter pressure? We have been moving between vessels with out this and not had any trouble todate? Is there something I am missing and have I just been lucky?

Allows you to filter beer that is partially carbonated. Also I'm sure it minimizes O2 pickup as your fermenter is emptied.. .depending on how well your receiving tank was purged.

JackK

chaser
05-18-2011, 04:17 PM
I'm big fan of the balancing line/umbilical/whatever you want to call it. I've always just used a vinyl tubing for it. I really don't think there's any need for stainless hard piping unless you got lots of cash to burn (it would be nice). As far as I know most big breweries do use one, though I went through a 6 month battle at the last (very big) brewery I worked for trying to get them to use one and the plant manager absolutely refused to budge on it. In answer to what it does for you is it allows you to vent your tanks in a closed loop. In other words you dont have to allow your fermenter to suck in dirty air (I don't trust the blanket of CO2 to keep the beer clean and not pick up O2) while your transferring or waste money on C02 pressurizing the fermenter while transferring. I have no hard evidence for comparison between using one or not, but with using an umbilical and cleaning my bright tanks under pressure I get obscenely low DO readings off the bright tank. It doesn't allow you to filter carbonated beer, only your filter will allow you to do that (and most don't like it).

liammckenna
05-18-2011, 06:04 PM
So what is the logic for have a counter pressure? We have been moving between vessels with out this and not had any trouble todate? Is there something I am missing and have I just been lucky?

Avoidance of foam--->better head retention.
Avoidance of foam--->maintenance of natural carbonation--->finer bead (less coarse bubbles than artificial carbonation)--->better foam quality.
Less overall gas cost.

Something like that.

Pax.

Liam

panadero
08-29-2011, 08:38 AM
I'm going to bump this one to ask about the beer line itself.
I have a fifty foot run from brewery to cellar serving tanks. Everyone says to use stainless steel piping for the beer line. How long would brewers hose last in its place? I am presuming the cleaning regimen would degrade the rubber, but not sure how fast. Then there is ptfe pipe. Supposedly in use in breweries and dairies. Any info on this?
I am trying to get quotes, but haven't had good luck there yet.
I think I need the stainless beer line with possibly a vinyl co2 umbilical/bridge.
What would you use in your brewery?

Thanks,
David

BrewinLou
08-29-2011, 09:07 AM
Brewers hose should last years. Hard pipe if you have the money, if not brewery hose will work fine.

gitchegumee
08-29-2011, 06:19 PM
I agree. With care, the brewer's hose should last minimum of 5 years. Might be cheaper to install stainless if you can find some tubing laying around and weld it yourself. I'd prefer the stainless option if I could get it. Brewer's hose sometimes tends to mold if left in one place forever. And if you could get TWO stainless lines, one for beer & one for gas that would be the best option. You could CIP through one line, the tank, and back through the other line--If you have a stationary CIP system. Good luck!