Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Jacketed Fermentors not chilling

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    9

    Jacketed Fermentors not chilling

    We've got an issue with our fermentation tanks.
    In short they're not cooling down.
    The tanks are a 7 bbl, two 15 bbl and one 'stacked' three 7 bbt, all are jacketed stainless steel blackstone venture tanks.
    Could there be a air bubble in the jacketed fermentors that is causing low pressure?
    I feel like its our brewing software. The thermoprobs are either way off (30 f), or its converting Celsius to fahrenheit in the software. The soleniod valves sound like they're opening so the software is sending signal, glycol is running in/out (with some force), the chiller was inspected and is working fine. The company who made the software has not gotten back to me. What do y'all think. What should I do next? How would you troubleshoot software? How should the system be charged on startup?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    372
    Not cooling at all, or not getting below a certain point? All of the tanks or just some? Chiller is set to 28*F (-2*C) and running the correct percentage of glycol (usually 35% or so)?

    Air bubbles can cause issue, however they usually work themselves out of the system unless you have a high point dead leg. If you were smart enough to install a bleeder valve on the header, you can bleed it and check for air. You can possibly check the flow rate of glycol through the jackets too. You can try to bypass the solenoid and leave it on to determine if it is a signal issue or a physical chiller issue.

    Sounds like it could be your probes or software. Easy way to check your probes is to pour a sample and measure with a known calibrated thermometer. They should be really close. Your probe should touch the end of the thermowell with a spring loaded fitting, or thermal mastic to prevent variations in temp readings. Some software may need a calibration adjustment. You should be able to check if the variation in temp is due to a conversion factor by measuring the temp at two different points and calculating the variation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by UnFermentable View Post
    Not cooling at all, or not getting below a certain point?
    What I believe to be the problem is that they chilling system has to long of a distance to go and even though everything is insulated the tanks arn't not cooling down due to ambient temp.

    I've been trying to see if they're chilling some or not at all. I think I have to agree that i'm not getting to a desired temperature point but am at least in a fermentable range, just not enough to cold crash.


    We have a smaller chiller unit that i'll set up and use in the mean time to cold crash.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    9
    Solved (most likely)
    So everything checked out and couldn't figure out what was wrong.
    I've had a feeling there was pressure somewhere in the glycol return caused a slower return.
    Over and over, again I would listen for any sound.
    Finally at my last tank, five days into the issue I heard sloshing sound.
    Found that the last tank supply was open and the return was closed.
    As soon as I opened the return, the tank sounded like it filled.
    I opened everything for an hour. Closed them and within minutes the first tank that I was testing, the lines were chilling. I also decided to empty the water that was in it, i felt it was causing it to slow the chilling.
    It's been a few hours, its still not completely chilled but at least the lines and a little bit of the tank is getting cold.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Chesterfield, UK
    Posts
    1,721
    You make it sound as though you always have to go through the tanks to get recirculation - surely you have a loop with a pressure relief valve between the supply and return, with the tanks bridging across the two only when required?
    dick

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by dick murton View Post
    You make it sound as though you always have to go through the tanks to get recirculation - surely you have a loop with a pressure relief valve between the supply and return, with the tanks bridging across the two only when required?
    I'm unclear with the idea of not going through the tanks for recirculation.

    I've closed the loop in the whole system, not the only 'return' is coming from the tanks to the chiller, not looping through the whole system.

    I could'nt find any pressure relief??

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    9
    So were chilling but not dropping to a cold crashable range.
    Im going to better insulate.
    But am thinking ill require an additional chiller for my bright tanks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Chesterfield, UK
    Posts
    1,721
    If you set you chiller circuit up along the lines shown by Prochiller on their website, then providing you have enough chiller capacity and the distribution pump is adequate, with your chiller setpoint as it is (28F) you shouldn't have any problems.

    See https://prochiller.com/wp-content/up...ms-MARKETS.pdf

    This has worked for me setting up a couple of breweries. I know a small setup probably doesn't benefit greatly from the return system set as it is, but both breweries I am talking about have allowed for fairly substantial expansion, so it was worth setting up as per this diagram to start with.
    dick

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    west coast
    Posts
    249
    if you still need a bit of help let me know, i can swing by and take a look. im just over in the mission.

    but sounds like you got it all going again.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Buena Vista, Colorado
    Posts
    15
    Have you checked to make sure you don't have air trapped in your jacket? If there is a large pocket of air trapped in the jacket then glycol can't effectively transfer heat away. Same thing happens in a steam jacket where if the air cannot be flushed out you will have dead spots where it won't heat. Easy way to check is once the fermenter is clean, run the glycol and see where it builds up condensate on the inside relative to where the jacket is.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •