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Water treatment equipment at temporarily closed craft breweries

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  • Water treatment equipment at temporarily closed craft breweries

    Many of the breweries we work with treat incoming municipal water before use. Perhaps the most common pieces of equipment are
    • Backwashing carbon tanks
    • Water softeners
    • RO systems
    With many craft breweries temporarily ceasing operation - are there issues with simply walking away from this equipment for an extended time? The answer is: Yes. The issues vary by which equipment we're discussing, and how the equipment is set up.

    Backwashing carbon tanks: Modern valves allow significant flexibility and options in their programming. Most of these tanks are controlled by a time clock valve, rather than a metered valve. Meaning, they backwash at a specific time of day, every x numbers of days; rather than every y number of gallons. Make sure you leave the water supply to the valve "on" and don't open the bypass valves. Allow the idle carbon tank to backwash periodically - usually once every 7 days.

    Water softeners: Most modern water softeners are controlled by metered valves - meaning they automatically go into the regeneration process after a preset number of gallons are softened. What if no softened water is being used? Typically the valves also have a "day override" setting. If you have this feature enabled (you typically should!) the softener will regenerate every x number of days even if no softened water is being used. Check your programming and assure you have the day override feature enabled. Setting the override to regenerate every 7 days is a good idea.

    RO systems: RO membrane manufacturers recommend that once wetted, the membranes should be used at least once every week. Down times longer than 7 days and you should consider removing the membranes from the system and storing them in a preservative solution. Prefilters, if any, should be removed from their housing and allowed to air dry, or be discarded. Another easy option is to simply run the RO system for 10 or 20 minutes every 5 days or so.

    Russ
    Probrewer.com Advertising Supporter

    Buckeye Hydro
    Water Treatment Systems & Supplies
    www.BuckeyeHydro.com
    Info@buckeyehydro.com
    513-312-2343

  • #2
    Could you explain the rationale behind backwashing carbon beds? Although I understand the last two issues well, I have no idea what I would expect to gain by backwashing carbon beds. I usually install a large 20 and 5 micron filters before a carbon bed, so don't think I need to worry so much about particulate. Is this just to reset the bed structure?
    Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes - the purpose is to rid the carbon bed of any particulates, clean the pores of the granules of any debris, and to resort the bed. Resorting the bed places different carbon at the top of the bed where it will be exposed to the highest concentrations of contaminants (typically chlorine or chloramine in brewery applications).

      Russ
      Probrewer.com Advertising Supporter

      Buckeye Hydro
      Water Treatment Systems & Supplies
      www.BuckeyeHydro.com
      Info@buckeyehydro.com
      513-312-2343

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by BuckeyeHydro View Post
        Yes - the purpose is to rid the carbon bed of any particulates, clean the pores of the granules of any debris, and to resort the bed. Resorting the bed places different carbon at the top of the bed where it will be exposed to the highest concentrations of contaminants (typically chlorine or chloramine in brewery applications).

        Russ
        And that is the reason that a properly designed and maintained pre-filter is necessary. The need for backwashing is a sign of poorly-designed carbon system that allows sediment to make it to the carbon and its also a sign that the carbon filter has an excessive hydraulic loading rate. The typical tall and skinny carbon vessels that many water treatment company's provide, have excessive hydraulic loading. A shorter, squatter carbon vessel is necessary to provide maintenance-free service.
        WaterEng
        Engineering Consultant

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