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increasing carbonation efficiency through technology/equipment?

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  • increasing carbonation efficiency through technology/equipment?

    I am looking to add some automation and/or increase our carbonation efficiency as it relates to labor and accuracy and would like to see if anybody has any feedback on any of the current systems that are targeted at breweries producing 5k-15kbbl annually.

    We carbonate our beer in 30 barrel batches via a combination of an inline stone during transfer to bright (pick up about 1/3rd of our volume here) and finishing with the carb stone in the bright. Currently we're hitting target volumes in about 8-9 hours with no meaningful gain in headspace pressure and no venting. This means that often times at the end of our day we are still a couple tenths away from our target volume and either our second shift brewer has to monitor the last bit or we have to touch up in the morning prior to startup on the packaging line. Ideally I want our brewer focusing on his batch and I want to be able to startup packaging first thing in the AM.

    I'd like to either reduce the total time to get to volume and/or add automation to monitor the carbonation process and shut off without overshooting. Looked at the Meheen tank manager, the inline carb unit from ProBrew, an inline unit from Kent, not really sure what direction is worth pursuing if any of them. Anyone have an opinion?

  • #2
    Spund your beers. We can easily generate 3/4 of our carb levels naturally.
    Justin Moore
    Head Brewer of Good Times
    Red Lodge Ales Brewing Co.
    Red Lodge, MT 59068

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    • #3
      Originally posted by jcrjustin View Post
      Spund your beers. We can easily generate 3/4 of our carb levels naturally.

      That would definitely work, however 80%+ of our production is dry hopped heavily and multiple times after fermentation is complete and yeast is cropped. I dont want to clean beer off the ceiling, so we would need a method of getting the dry hops in without too much fuss.

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      • #4
        What is your inline stone setup like? What temp is the beer passing thru? How fast is it passing thru? How long is the hose post inline stone? How big of a regulator are you using to feed your inline stone?

        We have an inline Wittman Pinpiont and can generally achieve 95% of our target carbonation.
        Joel Halbleib
        Partner / Zymurgist
        Hive and Barrel Meadery
        6302 Old La Grange Rd
        Crestwood, KY
        www.hiveandbarrel.com

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BrewinLou View Post
          What is your inline stone setup like? What temp is the beer passing thru? How fast is it passing thru? How long is the hose post inline stone? How big of a regulator are you using to feed your inline stone?

          We have an inline Wittman Pinpiont and can generally achieve 95% of our target carbonation.
          Our inline stone is just a little 4" stone from GW Kent in a T fitting right off the discharge of our transfer pump, 30ft 1.5" line post hose flowing at about 20bbl per hour, standard micromatic secondary regulator feeding the stone. We run the stone pretty vigorously during transfer, as hard as we can without getting breakout at the inlet to the bright tank. Beer is generally between 30F and 36F during transfer. Sounds like you're pretty happy with the Wittman unit?

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          • #6
            With an in-line carbonator you should be able to achieve virtually any addition rate. BUT, you have to have a decent design and understand the dose rate. If you PM me your email, I will send you a manual carbonation design and a carbonation calculator - all units will be metric, but I am sure you can cope with that.

            Don't expect a reply until middle of next week though as I am away for a few days.
            dick

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