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Thread: CO2 use for carbonating 10bbl to 2 volumes

  1. #61
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    Jan 2014
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    We are using 2BBL brites and the downside is space in the tanks. I can't afford to have something sitting in the brites that long. They are too expensive to buy more than you absolutely need.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinCannon View Post
    We are using 2BBL brites and the downside is space in the tanks. I can't afford to have something sitting in the brites that long. They are too expensive to buy more than you absolutely need.
    How long would it take to carb such a tank thru head space alone?

  3. #63
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    Maybe someone else has experience doing that with a larger tank. I have only done it with homebrew tanks and it always took longer than I wanted with inconsistent results.

  4. #64
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    Thank you, gitchegumee! Plus some questions

    Gitchegumee,

    Your contribution to this thread has had such a huge impact on us, so "Thank You!".

    We recently purchased a 7 BBL brite with a 3/4 HP draught line chiller from Foxx. We built our setup around "your method" described in this thread and we feel confident that we are close to getting it right, but maybe not 100% there yet.

    We are working on carbonating our second batch of beer. We are using 7 BBL plastic fermenters, so we cannot spund the beer. We crash the beer in cold rooms to about 40F and we let the beer crash down in the brite tank overnight to about 35F. We are looking for about 2.5 vols in this IPA, so we know our saturation pressure would be 10 psi at this temp for this beer. We set the head pressure to 9 psi and turned off the CO2 supply to the top of the brite. We have the McMast Carr flow meter that you recommended. We set the CO2 regulator from the main tank to the rotameter to about 10 psi above the head pressure and dialed the rotameter down to 2.5, or halfway on the scale. This was at 1pm. At 10:15pm, we were at 33F, 15psi in the headspace, < 1 on the rotameter and 1.7vols, as measured with the TapRite carbonation tester.

    During the early phases of carbonating, we noticed carbonation caused a de-stratification in the beer and caused the temperature to rise from 35 to 38 early on. Under carb stone pressure, we were then able to lower the temp down to 32 for the remainder of carbonation.

    At 11:00 pm, we have the head pressure at 16.5 psi, the pressure to the stone at 24psi and the flow meter back to the middle of the gauge.

    We seem to have a continuous creeping in the headspace pressure that ends up in the 15+ psi range. The rotameter tends to dip over time. Is the increase in head pressure due to the rise in temperature after we started carbonating? There must be some detail that we are missing in the process because the physics and fluid dynamics make so much sense using your approach.

    Cheers,
    Erik

    Kelsen Brewing
    Derry, NH

  5. #65
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    Must be a reason....

    Greetings and thank you Erik. Plastic fermenters and lack of spunding pressure are problems. Not unsurmountable, but still this is much easier done on stainless brewery equipment. And you will get a better product. Since you have very little natural carbonation, you have lots more CO2 to infuse. This will take more time. So the physics still works, but remember that those ideal conditions discussed are only valid at equilibrium. You should have your target temperature before you carbonate. And a slight temperature rise as the beer rolls during slow and gentle carbonation is normal. You already know that it is due to homogenization of a temperature stratified tank. Also normal is a slight creep upwards of the head space pressure after you have saturated the beer with CO2. The increased pressure of the head space will create less differential pressure in the carbonation setup and hence, less flow. What is not normal about your practice is that the measured carbonation is not as high as you would expect. Could be several reasons for this: 1) Your Tap-right carbonation tester is not calibrated correctly. 2) This instrument isn't being used correctly (these devices tend to use lots of beer before you get a representative sample and you need to pre-chill them properly and you need to shake them like hell. Follow directions exactly). 3) Your tank temperature or pressure are not accurate. 4) Your carbonation stone isn't working correctly--as in just spewing large bubbles straight through the beer. 5) Your tank geometry is not ideal for carbonation. There are probably more reasons, but those come to mind quickly. Where in the tank is the stone? What kind of stone? Have you witnessed the stone pour a fog of CO2 into a bucket of water before you tried carbonating with it? Where is the sample valve? Where is the temperature probe? Have you tried tasting a beer sample to otherwise judge carbonation level? After all, isn't your taste what led you to decide on the rather arbitrary number of 2.5 volumes? Your practice sounds pretty normal. Something doesn't add up.
    Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--

  6. #66
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    Sep 2013
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    Carbondale
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    Carb method

    I think Phill's method works best if you capture a good amount of Co2 from the fermenter. I tried his way with my 1st batch and it didn't get much carbonation due to not capturing Co2 from fermentation. I didn't cap my fermenter because I was afraid of the pressure being harmful to the yeast. So I think they way to do it if you cant (or don't want to) spund your FV would be to set head pressure low 2psi~ switch your Co2 to your stone and slowly flow Co2. As the head pressure rises keep adjusting the Co2 flow rate. Hopefully by the time the head pressure is at saturation level the beer is carbonated to the right level. You should test the vol in your beer a few times if you reach the Co2 needed in the beer then just raise the head pressure to the saturation level and maintain it there.

  7. #67
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    Mar 2011
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    78

    great thread

    this thread is changed the way I look at carbonation of my beer thanks for all the info guys
    cheers matt

  8. #68
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    For those who use this method and cap your FV prior to end of fermentation, when are you harvesting yeast, dry hopping, etc?

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by gitchegumee View Post
    Cheers Woolsocks! Rotameters are a type of flow rate indicator. They do not regulate pressure, although some have a valve to coarsely regulate flow. I rarely use the flow control valve. They are inexpensive and fairly reliable. We don't need super accuracy, just something to show us that we're carbonating at about the rate that we're expecting. The scale on a rotameter is actually a bit irrelevant--most are calibrated for a certain pressure, temperature, and gas type--most likely not what your conditions are. With 10hl tanks of average build, I've had good luck with a cheap unit from McMaster: 5079K64. This unit at about half scale will add one volume of carbonation to my cold beer in a matter of a few hours. Without venting, or otherwise wasting CO2. Install it on the outlet of a good CO2 regulator to be able to adjust carbonation pressure. This pressure will depend on your rotameter, hose and stone resistance as well as head pressure in the tank. So it's also a soft number, but easy to dial in. Using this "isobaric" carbonation technique, you set the carbonation stone flow rate to half scale (with the regulator) with the pressure in the BBT at your final saturation temperature. Any flow into the tank beats this pressure + head pressure + hose & rotameter & stone resistance. The CO2 flow will gradually slow as saturation is reached and the pressure at the CO2 regulator comes to equal the tank pressure. Easy. And yes, you should spund to end up with as much natural carbonation as possible. I target 1 bar final pressure in a 2 bar fermenter--which is about 1.1-1.2P from FG. Most folks only have 1 bar fermenter and it is more tricky. You would be better served with a spunding device on 1 bar fermenters. Spunding point also depends on head space and temperature. So, go out and try it. You'll like it! Cheers!
    Hi Glitchegumee,
    I know this post is pretty old - but I need some clarification. I think I have the whole process down except setting my carbonation stone flow rate to "half-scale." What does half-scale mean? Sorry for the stupid question! My plan Is to set my head pressure/temp to set desired volumes of C02, and then slowly bubble-in C02 through the stone. Only thing I'm missing is what to set my flow rate through the stone? I just need to know what you mean by half-scale.

    Cheers,
    Tim

  10. #70
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    Mar 2010
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    Sidney, MT
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    I believe Phillip means setting your flow meter to approximately the half way point on the dial.
    Tim Schnars II
    Brewmaster/Chief Zymurgist
    Meadowlark Brewing
    117 S. Central Ave.
    Sidney, MT 59270

  11. #71
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    This is the setup I have based on Phillip's explanation.
    Tim Schnars II
    Brewmaster/Chief Zymurgist
    Meadowlark Brewing
    117 S. Central Ave.
    Sidney, MT 59270

  12. #72
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    Oct 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcmccoy View Post
    I think Phill's method works best if you capture a good amount of Co2 from the fermenter. I tried his way with my 1st batch and it didn't get much carbonation due to not capturing Co2 from fermentation. I didn't cap my fermenter because I was afraid of the pressure being harmful to the yeast. So I think they way to do it if you cant (or don't want to) spund your FV would be to set head pressure low 2psi~ switch your Co2 to your stone and slowly flow Co2. As the head pressure rises keep adjusting the Co2 flow rate. Hopefully by the time the head pressure is at saturation level the beer is carbonated to the right level. You should test the vol in your beer a few times if you reach the Co2 needed in the beer then just raise the head pressure to the saturation level and maintain it there.
    my question too... will Philip's carb method work with non-spunded beer? I have FVs that are only rated to 4PSI...

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by redzim View Post
    my question too... will Philip's carb method work with non-spunded beer? I have FVs that are only rated to 4PSI...
    No method will work for a tank rated at 4psi unless you only want a very light carbonation. Proper beer BBT tanks will be rated for at least 15psi. Anything less is cutting corners. Study the solubility chart for CO2 in beer to see what pressure you require for the temperature and desired carbonation level.

    On the other hand, if you do have a capable BBT, then you should strive to keep whatever carbonation you can inside the young, green beer at the end of fermentation in the fermenter. Spunding is the best way to achieve this without challenging your safety relief valve, which I do not advise. Whatever the degree of carbonation, I recommend that you carbonate to completion the same way. By covering your semi-carbonated beer with CO2 pressure at the pressure required for your temperature and your desired degree of carbonation. Then slowly inject CO2. It will go into solution and NOT add to head pressure if you do it right. This means that you monitor both the flow rate and the stone pressure. I'm sure you will get consistent carbonation if you study, practice and observe diligently. This part of brewing is more science than art. Best wishes!
    Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--

  14. #74
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    Oct 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by gitchegumee View Post
    No method will work for a tank rated at 4psi unless you only want a very light carbonation. Proper beer BBT tanks will be rated for at least 15psi. Anything less is cutting corners. Study the solubility chart for CO2 in beer to see what pressure you require for the temperature and desired carbonation level.
    It's my fermenters that are rated at 4psi; I have BBTs that are rated to 15psi with a 15psi PRV...

    Quote Originally Posted by gitchegumee View Post
    ... Whatever the degree of carbonation, I recommend that you carbonate to completion the same way.
    That was what I wanted to know... thanks. When I finally get around to doing this in the next 2 months or so, I'm sure I will have more questions...

    Red

  15. #75
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    I swear this is the best thread on ProBrewer. Thanks all who have shared their insight.
    I have 3.5BBL fermenters but am only brewing 3BBL batches. After I reach FG I close the blowoff valve to capture CO2 and then dump yeast 24 hours later. After this I crash to 34F. I'll admit I was using the bleed off method and hated it. On this last batch I set the head pressure to 13psi and I set my carb stone (don't have a rotameter) pressure to 15psi. It has been on for 24 hours but still seems under-carbed.
    When I pull a sample it is all foam, so I think some of the carb is dissipating.

    Does my setup and system look correct?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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