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Thread: Why does my kegged beer has huge amounts of yeast still in suspension

  1. #31
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    10GPM flow in a tank jacket for that size tank is incredibly fast. Do the math on the therm of the tank, we run 20bbl tanks with no issues at roughly 1.5gpm. According to the calculations, this provides adequate cooling to run the tank at it set point during full ferment, as well as crash the tank at a rate of 10 degrees in 12 hours, which is the correct rate. Running at 10GPM means you're wasting your money on a way oversized pump. That said, if you had much larger tanks, say 100bbl tanks, 10gpm would probably be about right when all jackets are running. At 10 GPM, with glycol at 28F with even just a 2F rise in temperaure, that is nearly 10,000 BTUH, quite a substantial overkill for even the smallest tank.

    As for a 24F glycol temperature, you're definitely going to freeze things with this. Check your inlet temperature to make sure it is higher than 26 or 27F, if it is down at 25F, you run the risk of freezing beer to the coils directly, then you loose a ton of cooling efficiency.

    Quote Originally Posted by UnFermentable View Post
    You might want to check the rate of flow on your glycol loop. If you are moving too slow or too fast, this can cause issues. Most tanks should have around 10 GPM flow through jackets. Check your bypass valve at the end of your loop.

    Also your tanks should be plumbed first in, last out in order to not heat up the glycol to tanks down the line.

    In my experience, 23 Brix and 28*F should be perfectly fine.

    Can't say about the beer if your system was fine for many brews before this, it's unlikely related to the temp. But you should absolutely be able to get your beer down to 35*F minimum. That will help significantly either way.

  2. #32
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    SS Brewtech Conicals and Glycol System

    Quote Originally Posted by ipabrewer View Post

    The glycol chiller is older, so it might be the culprit. I have not tried the SS Brewtech conicals using their own glycol systems (yet).

    We use the 1bbl SS Brewtech BME Conicals along with their glycol system and don't have any issues with cooling or crashing. We are running three 1bbl conicals off their 1/3hp system using 33% glycol to 66% distilled water set at 35F. Each ferm runs off its own FTSs controller but you have to chill or crash one at a time to get to the desired temp in a reasonable amount of time(usually go from 69F to 37F in about an hour in HOT SC). We have the lines insulated with regular pipe insulation from Lowes and it seems to work well. When we cold crash, we drop the glycol to from 35F to 28F and have no issues in the Ferm. You can't beat the price, size and performance of their glycol systems if you're doing small batches.
    Angry Fish Brewing Co
    Lake Murray SC
    We Drink All We Can and Sell the Rest

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by jebzter View Post
    10GPM flow in a tank jacket for that size tank is incredibly fast. Do the math on the therm of the tank, we run 20bbl tanks with no issues at roughly 1.5gpm. According to the calculations, this provides adequate cooling to run the tank at it set point during full ferment, as well as crash the tank at a rate of 10 degrees in 12 hours, which is the correct rate. Running at 10GPM means you're wasting your money on a way oversized pump. That said, if you had much larger tanks, say 100bbl tanks, 10gpm would probably be about right when all jackets are running. At 10 GPM, with glycol at 28F with even just a 2F rise in temperaure, that is nearly 10,000 BTUH, quite a substantial overkill for even the smallest tank.

    As for a 24F glycol temperature, you're definitely going to freeze things with this. Check your inlet temperature to make sure it is higher than 26 or 27F, if it is down at 25F, you run the risk of freezing beer to the coils directly, then you loose a ton of cooling efficiency.
    Yea, I missed the size of the tank - Used to working with 15-120BBLS with three zones. Four different manufactures have suggested 5-15 gpm. I think I was thrown off by another post I was reading.

    I do much prefer to oversize my chiller pump and move the glycol faster though. While you are correct on the calculations, I don't look for great transfer efficiency from my glycol - that tends to heat up my reservoir faster, which in turn makes my condenser run more often (big deal in Texas summer). Moving the glycol faster tends to keep my condenser from running as often, and allows me to crash as many tanks as needed at one time - I don't like to play around with shuffling my schedule based on crashing. This is only my practical experience and has no correlating data.

    I would agree that a 10*F drop over 12hrs is ideal for lagers, but I typically go much faster for my ales. Having worked for WL and doing many hundreds of stains/counts I have seen no significant impact on the yeast health at harvest (with the many strains I have used anyhow). But I concede that I do not store my yeast for longer than three days. If I were to store longer, a slow crash would be beneficial to up glycogen reserves. In my experience a quicker crash increases flocculation, at the cost of glycogen reserves.

    All beers are a compromise between yeast health and beer quality. They want different things.

    On the yeast issue, borrow a microscope (and hemocytometer) with at least 600x magnification and look at it. You can usually see if the yeast looks different (mutants, ect), or if the liquid contains proteins (turbidity causing). If your not sure, take a fresh clean pitch, or sample from a clear beer, and look at that for comparison. Wild yeasts are particularly known for causing turbidity. You can also buy some plates and incubate for wild yeast.
    Last edited by UnFermentable; 08-16-2017 at 01:11 AM.

  4. #34
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    Sooo, I do not need to worry about the flow rate? Or if I do, how do I check that? Remember we're 1 BBL, nano size.

    I think I will insulate the piping and see if that improves things.
    Wages Brewing Company
    West Plains, Missouri
    The Middle of Nowhere Never Tasted So Good!

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnFermentable View Post
    On the yeast issue, borrow a microscope (and hemocytometer) with at least 600x magnification and look at it. You can usually see if the yeast looks different (mutants, ect), or if the liquid contains proteins (turbidity causing). If your not sure, take a fresh clean pitch, or sample from a clear beer, and look at that for comparison. Wild yeasts are particularly known for causing turbidity. You can also buy some plates and incubate for wild yeast.
    The microscope will soon be something else we'll be purchasing, just not quite there yet. A few more taproom openings should get us there....
    Wages Brewing Company
    West Plains, Missouri
    The Middle of Nowhere Never Tasted So Good!

  6. #36
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    microscope

    Don't worry about the flow rate on your smaller sized system

    Get a microscope. Borrow one temporarily if needed. Go walk into any lab and tell them you make beer, they will want to see what you do! Most labs will have a hemocytometer and most people want to know a brewer. They also tend to like lab stuff.

    Or borrow a biology student from a local university, they usually work for beer!

    Use your assets!!

    I bought a cheapo leftover (craigslist) from someone finishing their online biology class for my house. $25. Not fancy and not near what I have in the brewery, but it works better than most would have you believe. The hemocytometer is a bit more, but even a cheap not good Chinese one is fine for these purposes.

    After a few more weekends buy a Neubauer Improved Briteline hemocytomer from Fisher or the like. Practice cell counts and viability. After a year, go buy a better microscope.

    Just remember that a few more openings with bad beer will cost you a lot more than the microscope!

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnFermentable View Post
    Don't worry about the flow rate on your smaller sized system

    Get a microscope. Borrow one temporarily if needed. Go walk into any lab and tell them you make beer, they will want to see what you do! Most labs will have a hemocytometer and most people want to know a brewer. They also tend to like lab stuff.

    Or borrow a biology student from a local university, they usually work for beer!

    Use your assets!!

    I bought a cheapo leftover (craigslist) from someone finishing their online biology class for my house. $25. Not fancy and not near what I have in the brewery, but it works better than most would have you believe. The hemocytometer is a bit more, but even a cheap not good Chinese one is fine for these purposes.

    After a few more weekends buy a Neubauer Improved Briteline hemocytomer from Fisher or the like. Practice cell counts and viability. After a year, go buy a better microscope.

    Just remember that a few more openings with bad beer will cost you a lot more than the microscope!
    Actually, yes! Use my assets. My dad is a microbiologist! What requirements do the microscope and hemocytomer need to be? Tell me that, and I might be able to get him to acquire them for me.
    Wages Brewing Company
    West Plains, Missouri
    The Middle of Nowhere Never Tasted So Good!

  8. #38
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    Now you're thinkin

    The Microscope can be relatively simple, but if you ask me these are the best features to look for...

    A powered light - not absolutely necessary, but will help a lot. A mirror can work if you have windows or good lighting.
    A mechanical table for the slide - this allows you to make very fine movements to the slide without loosing your field of view.
    A binocular optic - Two eyes is better than one! - Naw, it just helps with headaches if you do a lot of scoping.
    A USB output - Probably costs more, but looking at a screen and being able to take pictures is awesome....then you can post them too!

    Needed....

    At MINIMUM a 400x magnification, I recommend 600x to 1000x. 1000x (oil immersion lens) is needed for bacteria identification.
    Hemocytometer - Neubauer Improved Brightline is preferred, for your ease of counting and proper volume, but a cheap Chinese Ebay one will get you started.
    Cover Slips - Basic cover slips for a microscope, super cheap.
    Graduated test tubes - for serial dilutions, I like cheap plastic ones I can throw away.
    Box of Cheap eye droppers - for your dilutions.
    Methylene Blue - Get from WL, or another lab source, used to stain for viability testing.

    You can opt for a gram stain kit, which will help if you decide to look at bugs (bacteria).

    I couldn't tell you about all the types of microscopes nowadays, but there a lot of specifics beyond what I wrote. I personally opt for older ones with better optics (Zeiss, Bausch & Lomb, ect)

  9. #39
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    Thank you! I'm copying and pasting this to my dad. I know if we get the microscope/etc, my brewer will be a happy lady! She's been begging for nearly a year. :\
    Wages Brewing Company
    West Plains, Missouri
    The Middle of Nowhere Never Tasted So Good!

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by ipabrewer View Post
    Thank you! I'm copying and pasting this to my dad. I know if we get the microscope/etc, my brewer will be a happy lady! She's been begging for nearly a year. :\
    Keep your brewers happy!!!!.....But she owes me a beer if I make it out that way!

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnFermentable View Post
    Keep your brewers happy!!!!.....But she owes me a beer if I make it out that way!
    Done deal!
    Wages Brewing Company
    West Plains, Missouri
    The Middle of Nowhere Never Tasted So Good!

  12. #42
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    May 2012
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    Is it possible that the kegs you have sampled were kegged on a different day, towards the end of the brite or uni-tank? If so, then your brewer may have kegged beer with yeast slurry. If not already an SOP, a sight glass on the output of the tank is very helpful for consistent product.

    Cheers!

    Rylan Ortiz
    Seven Stills Brewery & Distillery
    San Francisco, CA

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by FernsideBrewery View Post
    Is it possible that the kegs you have sampled were kegged on a different day, towards the end of the brite or uni-tank? If so, then your brewer may have kegged beer with yeast slurry. If not already an SOP, a sight glass on the output of the tank is very helpful for consistent product.
    Yeah we probably did that. But I would have thought after pouring a full 2 gallons of beer from an unmoved cold keg, it would have gone somewhat clear, but it never did. And it was true of both 1/2 BBL kegs filled on the same day in secession from the same fermenter. Again, if it were the slurry, you would guess that at least one of those kegs would have poured clear at some point.

    Because of that, it seems more than just getting some slurry in the kegs. Also, if I didn't state, the FG should have been 1.012 as it is pretty consistently so, but it was 1.015, and it is still there today.

    UPDATE:
    We just pulled the spears and added gelatin. In a couple of days or so, we're going siphon the beer out from the top down... old school homebrew style. At this point, this beer won't go to the taproom, but we gotta learn as much as we can from this experience.
    Wages Brewing Company
    West Plains, Missouri
    The Middle of Nowhere Never Tasted So Good!

  14. #44
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    UPDATE 9/6/2017: We completed adding gelatin to the kegs and testing. The beer went clear for sure, but it still tastes "yeasty" or off somehow. Remember the FG finished a few points higher than it should have. I guess we have to assume there was some odd infection (a cleaning step got missed?), and just tighten up more on our cleaning regime.

    Incidentally, we learned a lot about our glycol system and pulled our first keg spears AND used gelatin for the first time, so got a lot of learning out of this lost batch.

    Thanks everyone for the help!
    Wages Brewing Company
    West Plains, Missouri
    The Middle of Nowhere Never Tasted So Good!

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