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Thread: Zahm Nagel Discussion

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Zahm Nagel Discussion

    Hey, just wondering what everyone else does with their Zahm after use. I rinse it well, and then fill with sanitizer, drain, and store dry. Is this an adequate method, and does anyone have a superior one? Thanks in advance!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Columbus, OH
    Hey Sam,

    i'd say your giving it more attention than most of us. Nice work. Don't forget to take it apart and clean it once a month or so. If you remove the little screws in the bottom it'll pop right off.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada!
    I used to have a 3 gallon corny keg full of iodophor set up with a black pop fitting to attach to the Z&N. We didn't have standard zwickels, so there was simply a 1/4 id hose we hooked up to the grundy to sample.

    When I'd do the shake test, I'd rinse afterwards with cold water, then move on to the next tank. When finished, I'd blast it out with the idodophor solution, and hang it up for next time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Boy, I've got one gathering dust here that I really should learn how to use someday. Anyone have a nice teach-yourself resource I can read and put into practice?

    Been just using a temp/pressure table up until now...


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    I'd be inserested to see some tips as well. My brewery just ordered one thursday.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Glenwood Springs, CO


    This is a two fold answer:
    1: I used to just rinse mine out with water. I would then dry it real well using CO2 to burst dry the chamber. After several weeks I would pull it apart and take out the pressure gauge(brass fittings) and soak it in NaoH(Caustic). All Z&M models are different so be careful about that. I suppose an acid cleaning would be good too on occasion. You could rinse it with an acid based sanitizer to elminate the stone buildup. I think it is the stone that can really be bad.

    2: Zahm Nagel CO2 devices vary with there date of manufacture. Usually the Zahm has an inlet, it has an outlet, it has a pressure gauge and it has a temp gauge or thermometer. It will have closeoff valves to both the inlet and the outlet. At the base there is a spot to increase or decrease the space available in the chamber. This has a twist and lock in place column. The zahm will have a aspirator bulb as well, usually which threads into the outlet of the Zahm.

    In order of operation:

    -push the twist and lock into the device ( up into the body of the Zahm)
    -lock it in place
    -close the inlet valve off
    -attach the aspirator bulb to the outlet with the outlet valve open.
    -begin pushing air into the chamber ( you will see the pressure gauge go up. you are essentially building counter pressure in the device)
    -close the outlet valve off
    -dissconnect the aspirator valve from the outlet
    -attach inlet of the device to the tank which you are getting a reading from
    -open the tank zwikel and allow beer to flow into the device by allowing air out of the outlet valve. This should be done slowly at first to get proper flow to the device. Speed up the flow enough to allow beer to flow through and cool down the device.
    - watch the sight of the device. You want your flow to be gentle and not turbulent.
    -once you have run beer through so that you have a representative sample inline, close the outlet.
    -now allow the beer to pack into the chamber for a second
    -Close the inlet to the device
    -shut off your zwikel from the tank
    -dissconnect the device from the tank
    -now open the chamber at the bottom by unlocking it. It should snap out with the pressure you have built in the chamber.
    -shake the device hard and rapidly and break the CO2 out of solution.
    -without much delay read your temp gauge first.
    -read your pressure gauge second
    -have a chart available to get the accurate CO2 volumes.
    -record the vol of CO2
    -keep doing this as neccessary.

    When your finished for the duration of the checks:
    - rinse it out with water, or sanitizer
    -dry it well with CO2 pressure running through it
    -dry the outside with a cloth
    - Keep it in the fridge if possible
    -Clean it with caustic after a month or so, remember to take the brass
    fitings off and the thermometer.

    Or you can purchase a Haffmans, they are way sweeter devices, digital and all!!

    cheers with a nice lacey head!


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Tulalip, WA, USA


    Have you got a website for Haffman's? Or at least a toll free number?

    Aldergrove Brewery
    Tulalip, WA USA

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Glenwood Springs, CO


    Haffmans is owned by Sudmona. They are located in Illinois. The web address is of



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Fort Wayne, IN 46819

    Instructions for Zahm series 1000 volume meter

    You can find the operating instructions for the Zahm & Nagel sample bottle most breweries have at <>.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Greater Seattle Area
    I agree with most of the comments regarding the Zahm, but I have few suggestions:

    1. Purging with CO2 will dry out the gaskets more quickly.
    2. After rinsing with water, store it in a refrigerated environment; less initial foaming during a reading and less chance for bacteria or mold to build up.
    3. Make sure to lubricate the Zahm which will give more consistent results.

    Just my 2cents.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Boise, ID

    Care of the Zahm SS-60

    I have a manual for all the Zahm instruments, revised in 2002. I have always gone by it, with fine results:

    After the test, blow out the beer with the aspirator bulb.
    Rinse the inside with water, do not use hot water as it will damage the thermometer.
    Apply a small amount of "O" ring lubricant to the piston, and work up and down to lube the internal piston "O" ring.
    Rinse out the aspirator bulb to prevent the check valve from sticking.
    Store the meter at room temperature to prevent damage to the thermometer.

    Straight from their manual-They are on the web at also.....


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    How will storing the Zamm-Nagel at cold-room temperature hurt the thermometer? Isn't that the temperature that the beer will be at anyway? If you store it at room temperature you will have errors in your readings as you wait for it to come to equilibrium temperature.
    Linus Hall
    Yazoo Brewing
    Nashville, TN

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Louisville, KY

    I wondered the same..

    I've seen brewers store the ZN filled with sanitizer in the cold room where it is used.
    Cheers & I'm out!
    David R. Pierce
    NABC & Bank Street Brewhouse
    POB 343
    New Albany, IN 47151

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Boise, ID

    More Zahm

    "To Operate:
    NOTE: Before operating, cool the Volume meter to the approximate temperature of the beer being tested."

    Again, straight out of the manual. Why own an expensive piece of equipment like this and not have a manual? As far as the thermometers go, I don't work for Zahm & Nagel. Ask them when you call to order a manual. At $60 a pop for a new thermometer, why risk it? We just put ours in the cooler about an hour before we are going to use it.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Columbus, OH
    The manual is just a shade less than useful....our company has stored the Zahm in the cooler for 10 years at 5 locations with no problem. You still have to maintain them (clean, new gauge etc.) Therm won't be damaged by cold, will be by heat (only goes up to like 30C) and by dropping.

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