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Thread: Does anyone have experioence using a Pinpoint Carbonator?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Fort Bragg, CA
    Posts
    19

    Does anyone have experioence using a Pinpoint Carbonator?

    I just started using a Witteman pinpoint carbonator and I have a couple of questions about the use of it.

    1) Should the pressure in the BBT go up during carbonation? (the BBT and fermenter are connected in a continuous loop so the atmosphere in the BBT is transferred to the fermenter as the beer leaves the fermenter).
    2) To achieve 2.85 vol CO2 at 37F what pressure setting should I be using on the carbonator? The pressure on the system before adding any CO2 is already at 20 psi so how much more do I need to add?
    3) What pressure should be feeding the carbonator?
    4) I have the gas flow cranked pretty high - to 40 psi. Is this excessive?

    I'm having problems getting these questions answered from the Witteman's "Field Rep" who obviously has never set his hands on this unit. Any practical advice I can get would be beneficial.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by Patrick Broderick; 11-15-2012 at 08:11 AM.
    Patrick Broderick
    Brewmaster
    North Coast Brewing Co.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    922
    The Witteman folks are not that helpful after you purchase their product. But their product is pretty damn good.
    1. Yes pressure will rise, we have never achieved 100% absorption. The colder the beer the better the absorption will be. I start with a low tank pressure (8-9 psi) to leave a little (head room) for the excess pressure. By the end of the run the tank will be between 12-15 psi depending on if we are doing a 30 into a 60 or a 60 into a 60.
    2. What the heck are you carbing to 2.85? Achieving your desired level of carb with the Witteman is a bit like riding a wild horse. The more variables you take out of the equation the more you can pinpoint what needs to be done. Variables as I see them; speed of beer passing through, temp of beer, scfm of your co2 regulator and hose, and length of the hose before you hit the tank. I start off at 32 degree, you will lose temp in the transfer, if you can get your temp lower do so.
    3. The better question is what scfm is your regulator rated for. We have to use a much larger regulator than what you would commonly find. Also depends on the other variables. I like to check how it looks in the sight glass going into the bbt, big bubbles going by mean you are getting piss poor absorption. A small steam of fine bubbles is preferable. The beginning of a run with no beer in the tank you must start off on the lighter side of your psi, as the tank fills the absorption gets better with the weight of the beer on top and the lines cooling down. Also having a longer hose on the output side than Witteman recommends helps. I think they recommend a foot per barrel per hour.
    4. I start off at 40-50 psi as the run progresses I can turn it up to 60 depending on how much the beer is warming up in the lines and filter before hitting the Witteman. I run beer at around 40-50 bbls per hour.

    You and your zahm are about to become good friends.
    Last edited by BrewinLou; 11-15-2012 at 12:10 PM.
    Joel Halbleib
    COO / Zymurgist
    Goodwood Brewing Co
    636 East Main St
    Louisville, KY
    goodwood.beer

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Fort Bragg, CA
    Posts
    19
    Thanks Joel, for the info. I have been able to get our target carbonation, it just doesn't seem to be as smooth as I thought it would be. It sounds like what I am experiencing is pretty normal from your description of your experiences with it. It's nice to know I am not alone.
    Patrick Broderick
    Brewmaster
    North Coast Brewing Co.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Vestal, NY
    Posts
    92
    Quote Originally Posted by BrewinLou View Post
    You and your zahm are about to become good friends.
    Can a Zahm meter be used somewhere inline during the transfer? Or do you mean to keep taking carb readings at the tank as it fills and adjust the CO2 pressure (or beer flow rate) accordingly?

    In our 7 BBL brewpub I serve from my tanks and the carb level is CRITICAL for good service. Also, $10k for an e.g. Witteman is out and I'm thinking of trying a DYI rig with about 20 feet of hose between the gas input and the target vessel. I am trying to get up the courage to try. Sick of losing volatiles by carbing in the tank with the valve cracked...

    Lots of good info on pb about pinpoint devices but they are spendy...

    John
    John Bleichert
    Water Street Brewing Co.
    Binghamton, NY

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    922
    Hey there Nuat, no you take reading off the sample port on the BBT/Serving tank. I usually wait until the beer is at least a foot above the sample port. Should give you plenty of time to make adjustments. It is all about that balance betwixt beer speed, beer temp, and Co2 flow rate. I think you could very easily make a DIY rig. Just place a sight glass right after your stone and one on the receiving tank. Cheers
    Joel Halbleib
    COO / Zymurgist
    Goodwood Brewing Co
    636 East Main St
    Louisville, KY
    goodwood.beer

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