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Thread: Growler Issues

  1. #16
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Livermore, CA
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    564
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffhorn83 View Post
    So, I talked to our gas guys a little bit ago, and I have more information but also more questions; specifically for Timm and Bemid.
    Our gas blend is 60/40 N2/CO2. Our regulators on the draft system are set at 25psi,and the cooler temp runs between 38-42 degrees F.

    So, if I work the math in reverse from those numbers, it'll tell me how high to carbonate our in-house beers right?

    25psi/ (60/40) = 16.667
    16.667 @ 40 degrees = is almost 2.9v/v

    That seems incredibly high. Can that be right?

    I've never carbed any beer that high.
    Not sure where your math is coming from, a 60/40 blend @25 psi is 15lbs N2 10lbs CO2, You need to crank your pressure to 33psi to get partial pressures of 20lbs N2 and 13lbs CO2 for 2.5 vol@40F.

  2. #17
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    Oct 2014
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    Leavenworth, KS, USA
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    27
    My gas guy just called me back to apologize for telling me the wrong thing. Our blend is 40/60 N2/CO2. Not 60/40 N2/CO2.

    I gotta start all over now

  3. #18
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    Oct 2014
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    Leavenworth, KS, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by BemidjiBrewing View Post
    My math or understanding of the conversation may be off...but if you are running 25psi with 60% N2 and 40% CO2 then your CO2 concentration is essentially at 10psi...40% of 25psi.

    10psi @ 38°F = 2.3 Vol/CO2
    @ 40°F = 2.2 Vol/CO2
    @ 42°F = 2.1 Vol/CO2

    These carbonation rates are on the low side, but probably wouldn't be perceived at "flat."

    It seems that any scenario that calculates out to his system overcarbonating his beers (hence having to lower the pressure) wouldn't apply being the beer is objectively flat.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong on this!

    Jeff, are you able to confirm the carbonation in the brite or unitank to ensure that the beer is entering the keg at a known carb level?

    Cheers,
    Tom
    Tom -
    I just realized I didn't exactly answer your question. I can verify the CO2v/v in the brite tank with the Zahm, but I either don't know how to/ don't have a way to verify that the CO2v/v in the keg is the same. How does one go about doing such a thing?

    Is it as simple as filling the Zahm from the keg directly, or from the tap? I feel like the gas pushing the beer would throw off the reading. Please advise.

  4. #19
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    Jun 2012
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    BEMIDJI, MN
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    Jeff,

    No sweat - I think you did answer it actually! As long as you can verify it in the tank with your Zahm and your keg filling procedure is sound (based on your experience I don't doubt this) the beer should have minimal losses going into the keg. You can rig up the zahm to take a sample out of the keg but I don't know that it is of concern. It seems that it may be the gas blend issue. However, with your updated 60% CO2 data it doesn't seem too out of wack. Being your tests with other brewery's beers resulted in flat beer as well, I would still focus on your draft system.

    I know you mentioned head retention issues as well - are you able to verify that the beer actually tastes/feels flat or does it only appear flat due to its lack of head? I'm curious if there is any oil/grease/head destroying compound being introduced somewhere in your draft system. Also, with a long draw system like that can you verify that your glycol levels haven't fluctuated in your trunk line system?

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Nashville
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    832
    I think the majority of your problem is the gas mixture - at that mix your probably would want to set your pressures at 30 psi to maintain good carbonation, but your line resistance is probably not enough for that pressure. If it is pouring okay now, try increasing the regulator pressures to 30 psi and see how that works for a brand new keg you tapped, that should be properly carbonated.

    If you are knocking out a lot of foam when you are filling, you are losing carbonation there.

    Also, I have found that the cheap white metal caps for growlers are junk. They don't seal well the first time, and won't work if you reuse them. You can get the black polyseal ones from Grandstand that have a resealable liner, that holds the pressure much better and can be reused.
    Linus Hall
    Yazoo Brewing
    Nashville, TN
    [url]www.yazoobrew.com[/url]

  6. #21
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    Oct 2014
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    Leavenworth, KS, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by BemidjiBrewing View Post
    Jeff,

    No sweat - I think you did answer it actually! As long as you can verify it in the tank with your Zahm and your keg filling procedure is sound (based on your experience I don't doubt this) the beer should have minimal losses going into the keg. You can rig up the zahm to take a sample out of the keg but I don't know that it is of concern. It seems that it may be the gas blend issue. However, with your updated 60% CO2 data it doesn't seem too out of wack. Being your tests with other brewery's beers resulted in flat beer as well, I would still focus on your draft system.

    I know you mentioned head retention issues as well - are you able to verify that the beer actually tastes/feels flat or does it only appear flat due to its lack of head? I'm curious if there is any oil/grease/head destroying compound being introduced somewhere in your draft system. Also, with a long draw system like that can you verify that your glycol levels haven't fluctuated in your trunk line system?
    The beer only looks flat when it's freshly poured, the mouthfeel is still that of carbonated beer. But, that too fades in relatively short order.

    My gas rep is gonna come out next week to do a variety of tests on their system, the glycol lines, the co2 in solution in the lines/ kegs, and other such things. Following that visit, if nothing comes out as odd/off, I'm gonna break down every single faucet and thoroughly clean them myself. Our beer reps are supposed to do that every time they clean a line, but I have no way to verify that this is actually occurring. I'm hoping that by weeks' end next week this issue will be completely resolved and behind me.

    I really do appreciate all of the help on this one.

  7. #22
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    Oct 2014
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    Leavenworth, KS, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhall View Post
    I think the majority of your problem is the gas mixture - at that mix your probably would want to set your pressures at 30 psi to maintain good carbonation, but your line resistance is probably not enough for that pressure. If it is pouring okay now, try increasing the regulator pressures to 30 psi and see how that works for a brand new keg you tapped, that should be properly carbonated.

    If you are knocking out a lot of foam when you are filling, you are losing carbonation there.

    Also, I have found that the cheap white metal caps for growlers are junk. They don't seal well the first time, and won't work if you reuse them. You can get the black polyseal ones from Grandstand that have a resealable liner, that holds the pressure much better and can be reused.
    Good tip on the growler caps! I'll be sure to order some of those. I've used them in the past, and I agree that they are far superior. I would have liked to have gotten those to begin with, but unfortunately I inherited this brewery from a guy who didn't really pay attention to detail.

    I mean...any details. This place has been a constant struggle. Every day I find something else wrong.

  8. #23
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    Aug 2010
    Location
    Enterprise, Oregon
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    I'm curious as to why you are using mixed gas for your push. How long are your lines? If they're under 10 feet or so, I'd just go with a straight CO2 push. Since you're buying the N2 in tanks, you aren't saving any money with the mix, and you won't risk badly over-carbing your beer with a short push.

    For any long runs that would require too much pressure, I use pneumatic-powered beer pumps. Easy to set up and easy to balance--just adjust the air pressure to the pumps to change the fill rate. You do still need about 12' of 3/16" choker line at the faucets to balance the CO2 pressure, but they give the best pours I've seen.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  9. #24
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    Oct 2014
    Location
    Leavenworth, KS, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by TGTimm View Post
    I'm curious as to why you are using mixed gas for your push. How long are your lines? If they're under 10 feet or so, I'd just go with a straight CO2 push. Since you're buying the N2 in tanks, you aren't saving any money with the mix, and you won't risk badly over-carbing your beer with a short push.

    For any long runs that would require too much pressure, I use pneumatic-powered beer pumps. Easy to set up and easy to balance--just adjust the air pressure to the pumps to change the fill rate. You do still need about 12' of 3/16" choker line at the faucets to balance the CO2 pressure, but they give the best pours I've seen.
    Our system is long draw, our lines are about 100 feet long.
    As to why it was set up the way it was...I have no idea. That was before my time here

  10. #25
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    Jun 2012
    Location
    BEMIDJI, MN
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    109
    I know Timm has long advocated for the use of beer pumps and they may be a great option for your long run system!

    I'm still a bit boggled as to how the beer pours extremely fast and has no head retention when the CO2 in the blend is at 60% (15psi CO2 when the mixed system is set to 25psi). There seems to be something else here at play besides just the unbalanced system. Mostly, I'm just really curious now!

  11. #26
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    Aug 2010
    Location
    Enterprise, Oregon
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    Bemidji--His N2 is at 60%. Lots of push, not enough CO2.

    For lines of 100', you really need beer pumps! I have two systems of 45' each driven from one set of beer pumps, and another system of 18', also w/pumps. The second one was a re-build of an existing gas-pushed system that never poured well, but it has the best pours in town now.

    You'll amortize the cost of the pumps rapidly through savings in gas and wasted beer, have better pours, and keep your carbonation right where it should be.

    For the latest system I built, there was no compressed air available. I used a 2 gal. contractor's grade low-noise compressor mounted right in the cooler. It keeps up just fine.

    BTW--Your 100' lines are glycol-cooled, right?
    Last edited by TGTimm; 12-27-2017 at 10:11 AM.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  12. #27
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    Jun 2012
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    BEMIDJI, MN
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    I believe he discovered a mistake in the original gas mixture posted and it is actually at 60%. Regardless, pumps sound like the way to go here!

    Cheers,
    Tom

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Leavenworth, KS, USA
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    Took me a while to get back on here, to fill all of you in on the solution to the problem. It was an incorrect mix of our gas blend. Our gas guy came out and did a beer check on the draft lines here and found that our actual mix was running at 56/44. I have since re-calibrated the blender to be set at 72/28 and it has helped enormously. He also provided me with a link to a blend calculator that determines what your "perfect blend" is/ should be set at. It's a pretty great little tool. Takes out the need for all of that fun math that we all hate to do so much. If any of you want to check your system settings, here's the link to the calculator:

    http://goo.gl/RvaipH

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