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Thread: Methods to control boilover

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Nova Friburgo, RJ, Brazil
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    Methods to control boilover

    Hi there, I operate a brewery in Brazil and we are experiencing some issues with boilover, our kettle has a total volume of 16 bbl and we boil 14 in order to end with a volume of ~12 barrels.

    We can not, under any circunstance, evaporate more than 3,5% per hour due to boil over. As soon as we increase the steam trying to achieve that rate boilover becomes an issue.

    We have already tried to boil with the whirpool on, trying to move the fluid away from the heating source, but that only increased a little and is not very effective in trying to get our evaporation rate up to 7-8% as intended.

    We are considering using fermcap, as an anti-foam, but we also do contract brewing and some brands are not very happy with that idea claiming it might affect the quality of the final beer. Also, looking at some kettle designs - specifically with the internal heater, I started to wonder if circulating through the CIP balls would help avoiding the boil over.

    Would be very interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter.

    Cheers
    Bruno

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
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    117
    Hey Bruno-

    I'm on a mid-90's vintage Specific Mechanical low pressure steam system running at the same volumes as you. My evaporation rate seems to be about 3.5%/hr. maximum.

    I've had some luck minimizing boil overs by switching my bittering hop addition to first wort hops. Usually about a pound of Magnum added about 10 bbl. into kettle fill.
    Clarke Pelz
    Cynosure Brewing

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Moab, Utah
    Posts
    471

    System Specifics

    It sounds like you are saying you have an internal calandria. If this is the case I would ask what is your steam pressure on the main and do you haev separate steam infeeds for the external jacket vs. the calandria. It sounds like you are over rated for the volume you are running, so I would look at ways to moderate the steam to the calandria if more is possible in that area.
    If you are running on more than a 15 PSI system that may make it more difficult to control.
    Warren Turner
    Industrial Engineering Technician
    HVACR-Electrical Systems Specialist
    Moab Brewery
    " No Cell Phone Zone."

  4. #4
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    Nov 2015
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    Nova Friburgo, RJ, Brazil
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpelz View Post
    Hey Bruno-

    I'm on a mid-90's vintage Specific Mechanical low pressure steam system running at the same volumes as you. My evaporation rate seems to be about 3.5%/hr. maximum.

    I've had some luck minimizing boil overs by switching my bittering hop addition to first wort hops. Usually about a pound of Magnum added about 10 bbl. into kettle fill.
    Hey there, thanks for the reply, we have brewed every possible option I guess, and the results are the same... FWH, late hops, bitterting hops only after 15 minutes and no improvement.

    Is the 3,5%/hr ok for you? We haven't experienced any quality issues on the brew other than not reaching desired OG sometimes...

    Cheers

  5. #5
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    Nov 2015
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    Nova Friburgo, RJ, Brazil
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    4
    Quote Originally Posted by Starcat View Post
    It sounds like you are saying you have an internal calandria. If this is the case I would ask what is your steam pressure on the main and do you haev separate steam infeeds for the external jacket vs. the calandria. It sounds like you are over rated for the volume you are running, so I would look at ways to moderate the steam to the calandria if more is possible in that area.
    If you are running on more than a 15 PSI system that may make it more difficult to control.
    Hi there, thanks for the reply! We don't have a calandria, all the heating comes from the steam jackets on the side of the kettle. They run at 4-5 bar (quite a few more PSI than 15 :P)

    We hired a consultant and he claims that the lack of more heating surface/areas might be the source of our issue. Maybe installing a calandria might help...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama, USA
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    211
    Quote Originally Posted by Blonguinho View Post
    Hi there, thanks for the reply! We don't have a calandria, all the heating comes from the steam jackets on the side of the kettle. They run at 4-5 bar (quite a few more PSI than 15 :P)

    We hired a consultant and he claims that the lack of more heating surface/areas might be the source of our issue. Maybe installing a calandria might help...
    Fermcap will help. It will affect contract brews, by improving flavor, stability, and consistency.

    First Wort Hopping will help. Take a small portion of your bittering addition and add them in once you have the bottom of the kettle flooded. Or, use a low alpha aroma hop for FWH as appropriate.

    Lower boiler pressure! 4-5 is way too high. You could be scalding your wort as well. Either turn the operating down at the boiler controls on the boiler, or add an adjustable regulator and pressure gauge inline to the kettle before the kettle steam control valves. Once you can establish a good steam pressure to get quickly up to boil and just at the point of boil over, then throttle with manual control valve to maintain a vigorous boil. You do have control valves?
    Todd G Hicks
    BeerDenizen Brewing Services
    Serda Brewing Company
    OPEN - Finally!!!

  7. #7
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    Nov 2002
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    Mobile, Alabama, USA
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    I guess what I am saying is that you can control the steam by both pressure, and volume at the kettle jacket(s).
    Todd G Hicks
    BeerDenizen Brewing Services
    Serda Brewing Company
    OPEN - Finally!!!

  8. #8
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    Nov 2015
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    Nova Friburgo, RJ, Brazil
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Hicks View Post
    Fermcap will help. It will affect contract brews, by improving flavor, stability, and consistency.

    First Wort Hopping will help. Take a small portion of your bittering addition and add them in once you have the bottom of the kettle flooded. Or, use a low alpha aroma hop for FWH as appropriate.

    Lower boiler pressure! 4-5 is way too high. You could be scalding your wort as well. Either turn the operating down at the boiler controls on the boiler, or add an adjustable regulator and pressure gauge inline to the kettle before the kettle steam control valves. Once you can establish a good steam pressure to get quickly up to boil and just at the point of boil over, then throttle with manual control valve to maintain a vigorous boil. You do have control valves?
    Hey Todd, thanks for the reply. We do have a valve to control the ammount of steam going into the jackets, but we don't have a pressure regulator, I guess that's a good way to go. I'll definitely look into that.

    Cheers
    Bruno Longuinho
    Cervejaria Pontal
    www.cervejariapontal.com.br
    facebook.com/cervejariapontal

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
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    117
    Hi Bruno-

    Is the 3,5%/hr ok for you? We haven't experienced any quality issues on the brew other than not reaching desired OG sometimes...
    Good question...it's what we've got. I'd certainly like to see more, even 4.0% would be nice. We currently do 120 min. boils and I've not detected DMS, even in our Pils. No more sophisticated testing than organoleptic though. The boil seems vigorous...certainly rolling...and we generally hit our OGs.
    Clarke Pelz
    Cynosure Brewing

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Madison, WI, usa
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    4
    In an old brewery I used to work at the kettle always wanted to boil over. I mounted an air blower right by the manway. A tight stream of air right on the surface of the wort totally prevented the boil over. We had great boils after that. Good luck.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
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    I would agree with using the Fermcap, however I would disagree about any flavor improvement or stability improvements. It can help with consistency if you are having volume loss from boilovers (such as this case).

    Personally I don’t like to use it and have been able to avoid it with proper restriction on the steam valves. It would be ideal to get a better evaporation rate around 6% per hour. One other way to correct this is to install a stack fan on the kettle vent to pull off vapors. Similar to what the last post says, but probably a bit more consistent. We see 6% over an hour and 9-10% over 90 mins very consistently with the stack fan.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    United States
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeast! View Post
    In an old brewery I used to work at the kettle always wanted to boil over. I mounted an air blower right by the manway. A tight stream of air right on the surface of the wort totally prevented the boil over. We had great boils after that. Good luck.
    What kind of an air blower? Right now we have a direct fire kettle with a midco non modulating burner. It's on full blast or off. I can program it to turn off and back on at a certain temp but the cycle time is 30 seconds which allows the boil to die. I've only done three brews on it but had a boil over. I am looking for a solution. I do have silicone antifoam but haven't used it yet.

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

  13. #13
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    Jun 2003
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    Anchorage, AK
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    Hey UnFermentable-

    Was your stack fan an after-market addition or part of your kit? Where does it sit in the stack, in-line or at the terminus? I supect these might be common, but I'm not familiar with them.
    Clarke Pelz
    Cynosure Brewing

  14. #14
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    May 2012
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    Livermore, CA
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    574
    Quote Originally Posted by timshore View Post
    What kind of an air blower? Right now we have a direct fire kettle with a midco non modulating burner. It's on full blast or off. I can program it to turn off and back on at a certain temp but the cycle time is 30 seconds which allows the boil to die. I've only done three brews on it but had a boil over. I am looking for a solution. I do have silicone antifoam but haven't used it yet.

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
    He was not speaking about the burner for a direct fired kettle. He was mentioning having a blower that pushes air into the kettle to disperse the foam. You're pretty much stuck at one firing rate with your burner. Midco makes some very nice high turndown burners that modulate, we use two of them, one on the kettle, one on the HLT. Fantastic boils and great efficiency.

  15. #15
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    Jul 2014
    Location
    United States
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    Yeah I think we're going to swap it out for their modulating version.

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

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