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Thread: I need some serious help with a knockout issue

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Homewood, ALABAMA
    Posts
    21

    I need some serious help with a knockout issue

    Hey Guys,

    Hope all is well.
    So my issue is, once whirlpool is done I am having a 1 1/2hr to 2hr knock out on basically every brew.
    my equipment is:
    20bbl brewhouse .
    steam jacketed .
    60 plate chiller with area exchange 10 M2.
    1 1/2in piping ( its hard piped ) and hosing .
    a centrifugal pump 220v/60Hz for kettle, and floor pump is the same .
    currently using a fermenter as CLT @ 36*F with a drop to 40*F once it reaches Heat X
    40bbl fermenter

    I contacted the company ABS and spoke with their partnering breweries Brewmaster that's using basically the same exact equipment .
    We discussed some options .

    So I did some test.
    the control:
    200gal water
    211*F
    CLT
    36*F

    Test 1: "our way" we've been doing K.O.
    gravity feed clt to chiller
    get flow then bump clt pump to 45-50Hz
    gravity feed wort to block and bleed at fermenter
    bump kettle pump to 47.8hz
    flush sani till clear wort
    transfer
    I would need to restrict valves on out port of chiller to achieve 68*F
    time :23:44

    Test 2: "their suggested way " was told their ko is 35-45minutes
    gravity feed wort to chiller
    clt 25Hz
    kettle 35hz
    I had to do some adjusting and wound up with:
    clt 28Hz
    kettle 36Hz
    temp 68
    time : 28:34
    no restriction on the valves everything full bore

    I tried a few more test taking out the inline strainer and using their Hz speeds time was 25 minutes

    To solve our hop bittering issue as the wort is sitting for so long I just run the hot wort through chiller
    to bring the temp down to under 175*F in the kettle then K.O.
    doing this method with these test my time was 27 minutes for 200 gallons

    So I took the chiller apart to check the plates and the plates are clean I don't see anything causing a restriction through the plates

    I am at this point I am at a loss and need some help

    Could the plates have been factory tightened to much from the very start as this is the first time ive opened the chiller ?

    As well my draw and push from tank to tank around 20 feet

    thank you guys for any help .....
    Work is the curse of the drinking class

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Northern CA
    Posts
    372
    Just to make sure, before I suggest anything stupid - you're having 1.5 hr knock outs to chill, but the water test with boiling water is taking less than 30 min?
    Manuel

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    451
    You have a strainer before you hx, this should trap anything that would plug up the hx. But it sounds like your strainer may in fact be getting plugged up. This could be due to inadequate trub separation from the whirlpool, poor placement of the wort out port, or just too much hops. Do you have another port further up the sidewall of the kettle? Our wort inlet is two-ish inches above the bottom of the kettle and it has a bypass to allow us to draw from it to the kettle pump. We will use this on some excessively hoppy beers to get good wort without pulling too much trub.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Homewood, ALABAMA
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by mmussen View Post
    Just to make sure, before I suggest anything stupid - you're having 1.5 hr knock outs to chill, but the water test with boiling water is taking less than 30 min?
    No Sir,
    the test was 200 gallons water
    the normal batch size is 20bbl roughly 630 gallons
    Work is the curse of the drinking class

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Homewood, ALABAMA
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by jebzter View Post
    You have a strainer before you hx, this should trap anything that would plug up the hx. But it sounds like your strainer may in fact be getting plugged up. This could be due to inadequate trub separation from the whirlpool, poor placement of the wort out port, or just too much hops. Do you have another port further up the sidewall of the kettle? Our wort inlet is two-ish inches above the bottom of the kettle and it has a bypass to allow us to draw from it to the kettle pump. We will use this on some excessively hoppy beers to get good wort without pulling too much trub.
    I would have said the same thing only I did the test with and with out the inline strainer . As well once done with knockout we clean the strainer 9/10 doesn't look bad at all and the trub is in a tight cone .

    my out port is behind a hop dam. though it is on the bottom . I haven't any other option ports to use ..
    Work is the curse of the drinking class

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Northern CA
    Posts
    372
    I knew I was missing something simple. Just out of curiosity - have you by chance checked what the water temp is coming out of the HX?

    To be honest I would double check that you have everything on the HX hooked up correctly. I doubt the factory tightened up the plates too much, but you should have specs on the unit itself. To me it almost sounds like the HX is missing or has an incorrectly installed bypass to make the chiller 2 or 3 pass (The idea being that the wort and water pass each other a couple times in the HX before the exit, that way you get more efficient heat transfer). In my experience you need at least 2 passes to get effective transfers. And to make sure, you've re tightened the plates to spec? The plates have to be quite close together to get good heat transfer.
    The only other thing that's jumping to mind offhand is that the pumps don't have the power for better flow rates - I doubt that's the case, just figured its worth a mention.

    It sounds like you're either not getting needed flow to knock out fast enough, or not getting good enough heat transfer across the plates.
    Manuel

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Homewood, ALABAMA
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by mmussen View Post
    I knew I was missing something simple. Just out of curiosity - have you by chance checked what the water temp is coming out of the HX?

    To be honest I would double check that you have everything on the HX hooked up correctly. I doubt the factory tightened up the plates too much, but you should have specs on the unit itself. To me it almost sounds like the HX is missing or has an incorrectly installed bypass to make the chiller 2 or 3 pass (The idea being that the wort and water pass each other a couple times in the HX before the exit, that way you get more efficient heat transfer). In my experience you need at least 2 passes to get effective transfers. And to make sure, you've re tightened the plates to spec? The plates have to be quite close together to get good heat transfer.
    The only other thing that's jumping to mind offhand is that the pumps don't have the power for better flow rates - I doubt that's the case, just figured its worth a mention.

    It sounds like you're either not getting needed flow to knock out fast enough, or not getting good enough heat transfer across the plates.


    Yes I did the temp of the clt water coming out is 190*F
    Yeah abs gave me zero paper work on any of my equipment
    all my parts are here and connected correctly .
    I can get the temps I want no matter if the hz are all the way up or if theyre on the low end .
    my flow rate is the problem
    as of now my flow rate is roughly 8.43 gallons per minute.
    my change in temp is 143*F
    Work is the curse of the drinking class

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    54
    If the HX it self is working properly you might just neef a bigger pump. That is if you're running the pump you have at full speed and still taking this long.
    Marius Graff,
    Head Brewer, Graff Brygghus
    Tromsø, Norway

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    451
    What size in hp are your pumps? Also, what is the inlet pipe diameter, how many bends are there before the pump? I wonder if the pump is cavitating with the wort but not with water. I find it hard to believe that water wouldn't cavitate under the same scenario, but wort is more viscous, so perhaps the pump is seeing more negative pressure than with water.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Dallas, Bangalore and soon Goa
    Posts
    110
    If you have access to hot side wort piping and an external pump, then run a CIP in reverse through the Heat X. (extreme CIP is Acid, no rinse, caustic, full rinse) Bang the valve a few times to loosen up the junk. I bet its plugged with that last double IPA or the orange peel/coriander/ect that was used back when.

    If no hot side access, use the kettle as a brink and run the CIP solution as a knockout back to the kettle. Bang the valve a few times.

    I bet a reverse flow of hot liquor might be enough to unclog it. I bet its clogged. Had it happen multiple times when someone used the wrong output off the kettle.

    Those Heat X are pretty tough, usually they can handle quite a bit of pressure (check plate). Push back until it breaks free.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Dallas, Bangalore and soon Goa
    Posts
    110
    I will also happen to be driving through town next week - Wednesday I'll be in Homewood for a few mins if you're still having trouble, I'd be happy to help diagnose.

    BTW - 8.5 GPM is about the rate of my march pump on the pilot system.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Washington Crossing, PA, USA
    Posts
    4
    I'd check that the motor is rotating the right direction for your pump head. If it's running in reverse, you'll still get some flow, but nowhere near what you should be getting. Sounds stupid but I've seen it happen more than once.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    26

    Good Call

    I had just this situation with a CIP pump....

    I'd check that the motor is rotating the right direction for your pump head. If it's running in reverse, you'll still get some flow, but nowhere near...

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Burnaby BC Canada
    Posts
    284

    What pumps do you have?

    What is the model, HP and RPM of your pumps?
    Your CPE Systems Team!
    CPE Systems Inc.
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Homewood, ALABAMA
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by UnFermentable View Post
    If you have access to hot side wort piping and an external pump, then run a CIP in reverse through the Heat X. (extreme CIP is Acid, no rinse, caustic, full rinse) Bang the valve a few times to loosen up the junk. I bet its plugged with that last double IPA or the orange peel/coriander/ect that was used back when.

    If no hot side access, use the kettle as a brink and run the CIP solution as a knockout back to the kettle. Bang the valve a few times.

    I bet a reverse flow of hot liquor might be enough to unclog it. I bet its clogged. Had it happen multiple times when someone used the wrong output off the kettle.

    Those Heat X are pretty tough, usually they can handle quite a bit of pressure (check plate). Push back until it breaks free.
    I took the HX completely apart . the plates are spotless and when I cip we do front and back pushes .
    Work is the curse of the drinking class

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