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Carbonation stone placement

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  • Carbonation stone placement

    So; I have a 5 bbl conical fermenter filled with 3 bbls pale ale. The tanks have a pulloff tc (without internal arm, just a hole into the fermenter basically) 14" up on the cone and a elbow on the bottom of the cone. I have a shallow cintered stone - basically a tc with a stone directly connected to it.

    Which of the ports do I connect my carbonation stone to? If I go on the bottom elbow it would seem that even if I dump a couple of times there might be goo left? And if I go on the pulloff the bubbles would probably just slide against the wall..?

    Really thankful for any helpful comments!

  • #2
    It sounds like the TC port 14" up is meant for a racking arm. I guess you could use it for a carb stone if it's already installed prior to filling the FV.

    Your best option would be to install a racking arm and get a 5 BBL brite tank to carbonate in. This would allow you to clear your beer and dump as much yeast and trub in the FV then transfer and/or filter to the BBT to carbonate.


    • #3
      Thanks for your reply!

      Sorry - by pulloff I meant racking arm. At the end of this outlet I have a butterfly valve and the carbonation stone I have on a tc is clear of the butterfly valve so what I was suggesting was to just mount the carbstone on the racking outlet, open the butterfly valve and let the bubbles trickle through. Since the other alternative is to apply head pressure I guess it cant hurt trying, right?

      The brewery is extremey small and extremely young. I have two 5 bbl jacketed fermenters rated for 30 PSI so the plan was not to use any bright tank but let the FVs be unitanks. Obviously when (if?) growth and demand comes I need to look into more vessels and consider BT:s etc - but for now (and especially with beer in the fermenter) the question is if the above suggestion is viable.


      • #4
        The physics of a carbonation stone enclosed in a piece of tubing attached to a port on a tank don't make for very effective carbonation. The micro bubbles that the stone produces will coalesce into larger bubbles in the tube before they enter the tank, slowing carbonation and increasing foaming of the beer and loss of aroma and foam stability.

        If there's already beer in the tank, you're probably just going to have to tough it out on this batch. I would recommended you have someone come and add another TC port to the tank if you can, then find a carb stone that will fit the port and extend into the tank, so those micro fine bubbles go directly into solution in beer. Or get a bbt. There's lots of other benefits to having one.


        • #5
          Yup - usually shortcuts is not that short in the end I guess.

          It seems less than easy to weld the inside connection due to the relative small size of the tank. Another thought - what if I used one of the ports from above and a spear with a stone on the end? This would even be usable for this batch..


          • #6
            The spear and stone idea should work just fine. Get the stone as deep in the FV as possible while keeping it above the trub/yeast level so it doesn't rouse the junk back into your nicely cleared beer. Greater depth means more pressure hence better carb performance.

            That said,most of our cylindro-conical FVs have the stone TC port in the door. They are a little bigger than yours, at 35-110 bbls, so the stones are still plenty deep in the FVs. Welding the port to the door is much easier than having to deal with two layers of SS with foam insulation between, especially if your door is single-wall (seems like most are).
            Timm Turrentine

            Terminal Gravity Brewing,
            Enterprise. Oregon.


            • #7
              Awesome replies, thank you. Another good point with the door is that it is detachable which means it can be brough to the welding shop which usually helps lowering the cost.

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