View Full Version : Emergency Power Plan

11-09-2014, 11:27 AM
Here's a good question I have not seen any posts for... What is the emergency plan in the brewery for when the power goes out? Specifically, for the chiller and cooler... Do you guys have an automatic generator?

11-09-2014, 12:09 PM
Run the numbers. We live on an island with somewhat...iffy...power. But we are near the main line. For the cost of a generator capable of running our glycol chiller, that we might use once a year, we could completely lose two whole batches. (And we've lost power once in two years, and that was from scheduled maintenance and it was no big deal.) If you've got a beer actively in ferment you could lose it, and a powerdown mid-brewday sucks. But anything cold will likely stay cold for quite a while, water has a crazy specific heat capacity.

What you should do though is do a prepared test run. Like, shut off your glycol chiller and see if say, it drains backwards and overflows your reservoir. (If your lines are higher than your chiller.) That'd be good to know. Or what happens when your point of sale system loses power. Do any settings on say, thermostats or other electronics, default to factory if they lose power? Good things to know when it's not currently a crisis.

11-10-2014, 09:15 AM
We, too are located in a remote area with somewhat sketchy power. We experience a couple of outages a year, usually lasting less than 8 hours.

Like Russel, we have concluded that the costs of installing an automatic generator are not worth it to us. We have installed UPSs (Uninterruptible Power Supplies) on all our critical computer equipment, including the 'net routers, company server, and POSs. Our control systems all use non-volitile memory, so they keep their last settings after an outage.

Our latest outage was a week ago, lasting ~6 hours. We had over 400 bbl at or near high kruetzin (sp?), but the temperatures never got into the danger zone. The glycol chillers did work their asses off for most of a day afterwards. Our biggest losses were from lack of kitchen sales, as we cannot use the stoves and grills without the ventilation system. Beer sales did fine, drinking by romantic candlelight.

11-10-2014, 09:46 AM
Haha yeah. After Hurricane...Katrina? Wilma? hit us in Miami a few years back, the restaurant was down a day or two with the power outage but the beer kept flowing. Cash only, of course. :)