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Thread: Low Fill Levels on Meheen

  1. #16
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Arrington, VA
    Posts
    24

    Spacing

    Quote Originally Posted by SethHurley View Post
    Thanks again for all of your help.

    Yes, we do have a black control knob that regulates the speed of flow, but it regulates flow over all 6 fill heads at the same time, not each one specifically. Unfortunately.

    So fill head #1 is the problem, always gushing over.

    If we lower the speed to accommodate for #1, it adversely effects the remaining fill heads, and they do not get nearly enough beer.

    Thanks. Still open to any and all ideas that you might have.

    Seth
    Seth,

    I agree that I would start with height adjustment with your fill rods. When we bottled heavily with the Maheen; we checked the height daily. A little trick that I developed that worked for us was manually dropping the fill rods and taking a dime to measure the distance between your hard silicon table tray and fill rod. For us, having just enough space for the dime to slide under meant that our heights were good. Also, have you played/replaced your snifter valves.

    Joe Beck

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Freeport, ME
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by dowlingbeck View Post
    Seth,

    I agree that I would start with height adjustment with your fill rods. When we bottled heavily with the Maheen; we checked the height daily. A little trick that I developed that worked for us was manually dropping the fill rods and taking a dime to measure the distance between your hard silicon table tray and fill rod. For us, having just enough space for the dime to slide under meant that our heights were good. Also, have you played/replaced your snifter valves.

    Joe Beck
    Hi Joe,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I am definitely going to try adjusting the height of fill head #1. That is on my agenda for this Thursday. I hope it makes a difference.

    Cool trick with the dime! I can already tell that wouldn't be enough height for our bottles, our bottles have a pretty deeply concaved bottom, but it does make me think of having a shim or some static object we could use to regularly measure fill heads 2-5, and then if we find a sweet spot for #1 we can adjust for that as well.

    And yes, we do play with and inspect and replace the snifter valves. Alas, to no avail.

    Thanks again for your great ideas!

    Seth Hurley
    Seth Hurley
    Packaging Manager
    Maine Beer Company
    seth@mainebeercompany.com
    860-227-4292

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    229
    Quote Originally Posted by SethHurley View Post
    Hi Joe,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I am definitely going to try adjusting the height of fill head #1. That is on my agenda for this Thursday. I hope it makes a difference.

    Cool trick with the dime! I can already tell that wouldn't be enough height for our bottles, our bottles have a pretty deeply concaved bottom, but it does make me think of having a shim or some static object we could use to regularly measure fill heads 2-5, and then if we find a sweet spot for #1 we can adjust for that as well.

    And yes, we do play with and inspect and replace the snifter valves. Alas, to no avail.

    Thanks again for your great ideas!

    Seth Hurley
    Hey Seth,

    The fill tube measurement was the part of my previous reply that I left out. We used the same bottles as you guys are and what I did was simply break the bottom off of one. That way I could see exactly and measure with some kind of reference. In my case I used some gauge blocks left over from my machine shop days. The thing to remember, if you find a height that works well, is that as you tighten the compression nut at the top, the tube will be pushed down a bit. Start a little higher. From time to time I would check to ensure that were remaining the same and as I'm sure you know sometimes you have a mishap and the tube gets pushed right up. It's great to have a quick setup to get that tube right back to where it should be! Hopefully that new brewery is coming with a fancy bottling line! Good Luck

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    9

    Low Fill Levels on Meheen

    Quote Originally Posted by SethHurley View Post
    Hi everyone,

    We run a 6 fill-head Meheen, Merlin L series, and are having fill height trouble with only one fill head, specifically fill head #1.

    This has been a consistent problem for the past 8 months, and we have seemingly tried every troubleshooting suggestion that has come our way. Fill heads 2-5 give us consistently solid fill levels, cap nicely on foam, and seem to work perfectly. Fill head #1 foams over much more aggressively, and gives us low fill levels throughout the run.

    We run the Meheen hard, 3 days a week, and bottle over 5,000bbls a year on it, which is more than it was designed for, so it gets used beyond its parameters.

    We are at the end of our rope, and considering buying a new fill block, at a price of $873.

    Any ideas? Anyone have similar issues with their 6 fill-head Meheen?

    Thanks for any and all suggestions.

    Seth Hurley
    Packaging Manager
    Maine Beer Company
    Hi Seth,

    Is it an issue of a low fill or excessive foaming that results in the bottle fill level falling out of spec?

    Mark

    Second Line Brewing

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Freeport, ME
    Posts
    14
    It is an issue of excessive foaming that makes fill head #1 fall out of spec.

    Seth
    Seth Hurley
    Packaging Manager
    Maine Beer Company
    seth@mainebeercompany.com
    860-227-4292

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    826
    It will help to do two things: one, get the beer colder. 38 F was always the bare minimum for us when we ran a 6-head Meheen. Second, increase your bright tank pressure to 20 psi if your tank can handle it. Higher bright tank pressure will give you more consistent fills and keep CO2 from breaking out.
    Linus Hall
    Yazoo Brewing
    Nashville, TN
    [url]www.yazoobrew.com[/url]

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Strongsville, Ohio
    Posts
    269
    Not sure if anyone has already suggested this, but I will throw it out there as something that caused similar problems for us.

    take off your fill head manifold and look inside it(through the 1" smooth hose barb) and see if there is anything in it. We had this happen twice:

    Once we had a small piece of gasket material that had found its way into the fill head and was causing fill issues intermittingly
    on fill tubes 1 and 2.

    The 2nd time it was a brissle from a brush that got caught in fill tube #1 barb.

    Perhaps the same thing has occurred on yours.


    Just a thought....

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Freeport, ME
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by lhall View Post
    It will help to do two things: one, get the beer colder. 38 F was always the bare minimum for us when we ran a 6-head Meheen. Second, increase your bright tank pressure to 20 psi if your tank can handle it. Higher bright tank pressure will give you more consistent fills and keep CO2 from breaking out.

    Thanks for the ideas. I wish we could decrease our beer temperature, but we have to bottle at 45 degrees to accommodate for the bottle conditioning that our beer goes through after packaging. And our BT pressure is at 15psi, which is all it can handle.

    We are actually having someone from Meheen come to the brewery for 2 days in August, and hopefully he can get to the bottom of the issue.

    Thanks again.

    Seth
    Seth Hurley
    Packaging Manager
    Maine Beer Company
    seth@mainebeercompany.com
    860-227-4292

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Freeport, ME
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by Sauce View Post
    Not sure if anyone has already suggested this, but I will throw it out there as something that caused similar problems for us.

    take off your fill head manifold and look inside it(through the 1" smooth hose barb) and see if there is anything in it. We had this happen twice:

    Once we had a small piece of gasket material that had found its way into the fill head and was causing fill issues intermittingly
    on fill tubes 1 and 2.

    The 2nd time it was a brissle from a brush that got caught in fill tube #1 barb.

    Perhaps the same thing has occurred on yours.


    Just a thought....
    Thank you for the ideas. We definitely were concerned about a blockage of sorts, and checked the manifold periodically. After finding nothing, we went ahead and bought an entirely new manifold/fill block specifically designed for our Meheen for $800. That made no improvements either. Now we have hired someone from Meheen to come to the brewery for 2 days in August to see if he can get to the bottom of the issue.

    Thanks for your help.

    Seth
    Seth Hurley
    Packaging Manager
    Maine Beer Company
    seth@mainebeercompany.com
    860-227-4292

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    9

    Low Fill on Lane 1

    Seth,

    If you haven't yet, you may want to build a Y using a push connect fitting with 5/32 OD tubing, connect it to your bottle and tank pressure sensor and then finally a pressure source (we generally just connect to the CO2 bottle sparger we built) to make sure that both sensors are reading the same at the same time! It's paramount that both sensors read the same pressure at the same time. Most of these sensors have a finite lifetime, can get gummed up (which if you haven't cleaned yours lately I would definitely do so) or drift out of calibration. If you are running the Noshok sensors then you will want to migrate to the Wika's....much better sensor in our experience.

    Also, check all the function of all your valves. You can do this with a automotive vacuum/pressure gauge from Autozone. We use this to check that each of the eductors is pulling same vacuum (at least -20mmHg, ours are closer to -27mmHg). You can also hook up to the pulse and CO2 valves to make sure that they too are producing the same pressure. Some times you will have a sticky valve that opens or closes slowly creating issues.

    You may want to check your fill valve to confirm that the action is smooth and uniform across all of the fill tubes. If the fill valve is cattywampus then you may get some fill issues.

    Lastly, how fast are you running? You may want to try slowing down and adjusting your cap on foam with the fill height, and as a last resort, the pulse option. If you're running faster then conditions (can be beer dependent and/or ambient condition dependent) allow you may get more reproducibility by slowing down (we typically get around a 1 - 1.5% low fill rate). But since your problem occurred suddenly I'm assuming that you are running at your typical production rate.

    All the best and please do share when you get a solution.

    Mark

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    406
    I agree with others that you are far too warm to package but that has been discussed. Is your machine level? if not foam will travel to the highest point #1. Odd solution but we have had issues on the canning line unless its very level
    Mike Eme
    Brewmaster
    Cheboygan Brewery
    Cheboygan Michigan

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    54
    Temperature really depends on the carbonation level. With a lower carb level and bottle conditioning the equlibrium pressure is lower even at a higher temp. With just over 2 volumens of co2 you should be able to package at a higher temp than with 2.5-2.7 volumes.
    Marius Graff,
    Head Brewer, Graff Brygghus
    Tromsø, Norway

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    871
    Have you tried swapping one of the other fill hoses over to the problem fill tube and see if the problem follows the hose or the fill tube? I have seen a hose develop a pin hole via the pinch valve on top over time. I would also pull all valve covers off clean them and lube with one drop of air tool oil and make sure they all move smoothly. That is very warm for the Meheen. I do not understand your reluctance to get the beer colder. If your chiller can not do it, fine. You are not going to hurt the yeast chilling it further. If you have the ability I would try it once at 35 and see if you still see the issue. Cheers.
    Joel Halbleib
    COO / Zymurgist
    Goodwood Brewing Co
    636 East Main St
    Louisville, KY
    goodwood.beer

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