Bohemian Heat Exchanger
Just wondering if any Bohemian users have ever had to take apart their heat exchanger? Mine is a Fischer heat exchanger, which I think was fairly universal on the Bohemian Systems. I have heard that the gaskets are glued in there and the company that makes them is no longer in business. It is not a problem of a leaky heat exchanger, but rather a huge clog of some sorts. I have cleaned it, backflushed it, let chemicals sit in it overnight and have tried every other thing possible that I can think of. It seems the only option I have is breaking it down. What I don't want is to break it down and have to shut down production while I am waiting on replacement parts. Any insight would be great. Thanks.
Front St. Brewery.
Last edited by karzar5; 03-28-2008 at 04:03 PM.
Monoblock Heat Ex issues
Are you sure it isn't a sticky valve? Make sure they are all firing all the way..If not, as for the heat exanger...I worked on one for years and years (Monoblock II)
...i don't remember them being glued into place, I know I took it apart, ...try backing the bolts back and poping the plates apart gently, they should pop apart..if they don't the gasget must be glued. I remember the gasget would stay on one side.
I hope this helps...life working on a monoblock is tricky.
I had Bohemian System, Built in 1996, I purchased the system used, and the heat exchanger came dis-assembled. The box with the heat exchanger had new gaskets and a tag with them: AGC Engineering: Phone# 800;825-8820, 703-330-1660,
I had to glue the gaskets into place, when re-building.
See attached photo of our system.
Bohemian Monobloc Heat Exchanger
We had the same problem at Capitol City Union Station when I worked there in 1997. I gently loosened the bolts and spread apart the plates. The gaskets were glued (as on many models ) and there really was very little soil found between the plates. I tighted the bolts down like you would a car tire alternating bolt to bolt until tight. We did a forward and reverse cleaning and acid run on the Heat Exchanger but found that the flow rate was being stalled by a stuck pneumatic butterfly valve which we replaced with a manual one.
If you need new gaskets check with Fischer or the Heat Exchanger manufacturer for new gaskets. If the manufacturer is out of business there are companies that specialize in gasket fabrications specific to Heat Exchangers (I did some research a few years ago while working at another brewery that had that problem). Bohemian(RIP) used many parts from different manufacturers and I was told by their installer that most parts can be sourced from Grainger as well.
I cannot recall all the specifics but that is the best of my recollection. I do not miss that horrendous Bohemian system at all.
Ah Bohemian, replete w/all of the most inconvenient of conveniences.
I ran the first one (MB) built for about 6 freekin' years. The only time that the h/e really ever HAD to be taken apart was after using heather loose in the kettle, which was kinda dumb anyway. Any other time the h/e was disassembled it turned up clean. If I recall the plates were only glued on one side. The lousy pneumatic, prone to failure and no longer manufactured valves are a more likely candidate as expressed previously.
On a side bar; the only time I ever had to completely disassemble a h/e for the purposes of cleaning/dislodging was after improperly dissolving LME in the kettle, which subsequently hardened and became impossible to clean with any ammount of heat or chemical.
We also have a 1996 Monobloc "1.5" which we have been running since 2000. It has the same Fischer heatex. I have opened up the heatex several times for removing hop clogs/maintenance. I've not had a problem taking it apart yet. Yes the gaskets are glued on one side, but many heatex manufacturers do that anyway. I have never had to replace any gaskets or plates and thats after more than 1,000 batches produced. Definitely check the pneumatics as others have suggested it may be a bad valve.
A couple of pointers when taking apart your heatex:
Before you start, measure the distance from the outside of both endplates at all 4 corners and write it down (very useful later during reassemby to get the right compression).
To prevent getting your plates out of order - draw a diagonal line across the front of the plates (corner to corner) with a marker. Alternatively, number each plate on the same side during removal.
As Bill suggested, loosen and tighten your bolts a little at a time.
Plan a whole afternoon to do deal with it. Its a pain, but it is also a good thing as you fill find out how good your cleaning regimen is. Hope that helps!
Thanks for all the replies. It is definately not a stuck valve. I backflushed it yesterday with caustic and packed it over night. Today I am doing the same thing with acid. We'll see how it works out, but it looks like I may be pulling it apart later in the week. How are things at Vintage 50 Bill? I tried to make it to the Blue and Gray Show, but got hung up with an opening of another restaurant. Supplying 4 restaurants including my own with beer on a 10 bbl Bohemian is not as much fun as it seems. Thanks again for all the tips.
Front St. Brewery