Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: ABE Watchdog pressure monitor/control--praise!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Enterprise, Oregon
    Posts
    1,812

    ABE Watchdog pressure monitor/control--praise!

    We purchased the ABE Watchdog with our Lincan 35 canning line.

    This is an impressive and simple device. It monitors the output pressure of the beer in the line to the canner/bottler, and adds just enough pressure to the headspace to keep the pressure at the setpoint determined by the user.

    Why does this matter? We've been bottling direct out of a ferm or bright for years without one of these, so what dif can it make?

    Consider the 110 bbl ferm we're canning from right now. It's ~15 feet tall, so there is a 1/2 bar--over 7psi--difference in head pressure between a full ferm and the dregs. By just adding 15 psi of CO2 pressure to the headspace of the ferm, as we've been doing, we will start with an actual output pressure of a little over 22 psi, and by the end of the run it will be 15 psi. No wonder we have trouble with foaming when bottling!

    I think this would also be an excellent addition to a serving tank set-up for draught beer lines. Keeping a uniform line pressure is essential for getting good balance and good pours.

    As for how it works, it's very simple and I could easily build one myself. It uses a simple temp. controller with a 25 mv pressure transducer instead of a temp probe. the transducer mounts in a 1 1/2" diaphragm TC flange T'd off the beer line. The controller outputs to a solenoid valve to maintain the air pressure, with a reg. set to the max. pressure for the vessel for safety reasons.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Milwaukee WI
    Posts
    28

    ABE Watchdog

    We also have had great success with it, but for us, we also use it to carbonate our beer, it was way cheaper than the Meheen Tank manager system, and our sensor cord/Co2 hose are long enough to reach any of our BBTs.

    We simply hook the Sensor up to the top of the tank and set the pressure based on tank temp and what our zahm nagel chart says we should have for pressure, and then hook up the CO2. Works like a champ. Once the pressure in the top of the tank is reached (equilibrium) it automatically shuts off.

    Hope this helps!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Champaign, IL
    Posts
    234
    Quote Originally Posted by TGTimm View Post
    We purchased the ABE Watchdog with our Lincan 35 canning line.

    This is an impressive and simple device. It monitors the output pressure of the beer in the line to the canner/bottler, and adds just enough pressure to the headspace to keep the pressure at the setpoint determined by the user.

    Why does this matter? We've been bottling direct out of a ferm or bright for years without one of these, so what dif can it make?

    Consider the 110 bbl ferm we're canning from right now. It's ~15 feet tall, so there is a 1/2 bar--over 7psi--difference in head pressure between a full ferm and the dregs. By just adding 15 psi of CO2 pressure to the headspace of the ferm, as we've been doing, we will start with an actual output pressure of a little over 22 psi, and by the end of the run it will be 15 psi. No wonder we have trouble with foaming when bottling!

    I think this would also be an excellent addition to a serving tank set-up for draught beer lines. Keeping a uniform line pressure is essential for getting good balance and good pours.

    As for how it works, it's very simple and I could easily build one myself. It uses a simple temp. controller with a 25 mv pressure transducer instead of a temp probe. the transducer mounts in a 1 1/2" diaphragm TC flange T'd off the beer line. The controller outputs to a solenoid valve to maintain the air pressure, with a reg. set to the max. pressure for the vessel for safety reasons.
    What is a diaphragm tc flange?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    BEMIDJI, MN
    Posts
    128
    This is great news, thanks for sharing Timm. We too have a WatchDog coming in mid may with our ABE canning line. You reference 15psi as the head pressure for your tanks during the canning run. Has this been your go-to pressure? Have you had to vary this head pressure based on the size/height of the tank?

    Also, ABE claims their fill head design eliminates the need to weigh cans for consistency or low fills. Has this been your experience thus far? Once dialed in, with the use of the WatchDog, are you able to reliably put cans through at 35cpm and avoid weighing?

    Cheers,
    Tom

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Enterprise, Oregon
    Posts
    1,812
    MCB: Thanks for the tip! I'm guessing you use the Meheen technique w/flow meter for this?

    Anthony: The stainless diaphragm seals the face of a TC flange off to allow for easy cleaning and sanitizing, and protects the pressure transducer from product contact. There is a fluid between the flexible diaphragm and the transducer to convey the pressure.

    Tom: We are still in the tuning phase of things. We're running 13.5 as the SP on the Watchdog, with a diff. of 0.5 psi, and currently canning at ~30 cpm. I'll report back when we get everything hunky-dory.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    34

    Other way 'round!

    We simply hook the Sensor up to the top of the tank and set the pressure based on tank temp and what our zahm nagel chart says we should have for pressure, and then hook up the CO2. Works like a champ. Once the pressure in the top of the tank is reached (equilibrium) it automatically shuts off.
    I've been using a homemade arduino-based gizmo to do this- I think I'll try using it in "Watchdog mode" next canning run! Save on the excessive gage-monitoring and reg-twiddling....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    AUS
    Posts
    140
    Hi Timm

    This sounds like the exact thing I need for our canning. We use a Cask ACS X2 and our fill levels are all over the place throughout the run, no matter what we do. I’ve suspected that some of this could be due to changes in head pressure and volume.

    I’ve send an email to ABE regarding this piece of equipment. How much was one of these?

    Cheers

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Moab, Utah
    Posts
    494

    Interesting

    Very Interesting Timm....
    A Photograph and some details would be very helpful.

    Star
    Warren Turner
    Industrial Engineering Technician
    HVACR-Electrical Systems Specialist
    Moab Brewery
    " No Cell Phone Zone."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    205
    We have a watchdog on the way with our craftcan35 system in June. Is it fairly easy to move between tanks? We like the idea of using it to carbonate beer - even if we wont be canning it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Enterprise, Oregon
    Posts
    1,812
    We're still in the early stages of learning how to run our canner, so I'm pretty busy for the next day or so. I'll try to get some pics.

    Brian: the Watchdog mounts to a downtube with pipe clamps. It would be much easier to move if these were replaced with a quick-release clamp of some kind. I need to get back to ABE about this.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Enterprise, Oregon
    Posts
    1,812

    The needed mod

    As I mentioned above, the one problem with the Watchdog as it comes from the factory is that it takes three hands to move from one location to another, unless your fermenter/bright hall is very small.

    I cut the holes in the hard-mounted pipe clamps into slots using a cut-off wheel in a 4" angle grinder. This allowed me to turn the bolts around with the heads towards the mounting plate. I then tack-welded the bolt heads to the pipe clamp. I replaced the nuts with wing-nuts from bent TC clamps:

    Name:  2018-05-16 004 Centri.jpg
Views: 267
Size:  96.7 KB

    Now one person can move the Watchdog with only two hands! Simply leave one side of the pipe clamp hanging loosely with the wing-nut on, hold the Watchdog clamp onto the downtube, slide the pipe clamp onto the other bolt, and tighten the one wingnut. This is enough to hold the unit to the pipe until you apply and tighten the other nuts.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    AUS
    Posts
    140
    Thank you Timm

Posting Permissions

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