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Thread: Open FV to Unitank

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Davie, FL
    Posts
    6

    Open FV to Unitank

    Brewery in planning here with commercial brewing experience. Looking to do a different setup than my previous brewing experience.

    Plan is for 5 bbl batches utilizing x2 known top cropping strains

    3-4 days time in open FV (jacketed, temp control, crop lower gravity beers)
    Transfer to unitank
    7 days in unitank (dry hop beers x3 days at ferm temps, cold crash and carb x4 days, daily yeast/trub dumps)
    Package on 7th day
    Grain to keg 10-11 days, styles will be English & American (NE IPA, Stout, Porter, ESB, etc) and then some aged beers that will see oak.

    I am looking at spunding on these unitanks as well to save on CO2 and also to dry hop under pressure.

    My expectations are to lose about 15-20% volume on average between post boil and packaging.


    Questions:

    Does this process seem reasonable?
    Is 15-20% volume loss post-boil reasonable?
    Should I expect to package from racking arm on unitank?

    Thanks in advance,

    Jonathan Brewster
    Brewster Artisan Ales
    Last edited by BrewsterAles; 05-01-2018 at 01:33 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    The South
    Posts
    148

    Pump?

    Everything looks to be pretty much spot on but what kind of pump/or method will you use to transfer from the open FV to the unitank since you won’t be transferring under pressure? You definitely want to be gentle on the beer.

    Also, plan accordingly on your open FV to unitank ratio. How many of both will you have?

    Yes, I would package out of the racking arm on the unitank.
    Last edited by Catfish002; 05-01-2018 at 04:29 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Davie, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catfish002 View Post
    Everything looks to be pretty much spot on but what kind of pump/or method will you use to transfer from the open FV to the unitank since you won’t be transferring under pressure? You definitely want to be gentle on the beer.

    Also, plan accordingly on your open FV to unitank ratio. How many of both will you have?

    Yes, I would package out of the racking arm on the unitank.

    Thanks for the input!

    Will be pumping the beer over to CO2 purged unitank. Will definitely try to be gentle with the beer during pumping. Was planning on having a SS lid with CIP ball in center for the open FV w/ TC fitting. I could use a TC fitting on CO2 hose to pump in CO2 through CIP ball while transferring to try to reduce O2 pickup as well.

    Open FV and Unitanks will be 7 bbl total capacity. My projected volumes are:

    212 gal preboil -> 180.2 gal to open FV -> 171.2 gal to Unitank -> 154 gal gallons packaged

    15% loss in BK, 5% loss in open FV, 10% loss in Unitank. 6.83 bbl -> 4.97 bbl.

    Thoughts on this? Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    The South
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrewsterAles View Post
    Thanks for the input!

    Will be pumping the beer over to CO2 purged unitank. Will definitely try to be gentle with the beer during pumping. Was planning on having a SS lid with CIP ball in center for the open FV w/ TC fitting. I could use a TC fitting on CO2 hose to pump in CO2 through CIP ball while transferring to try to reduce O2 pickup as well.

    Open FV and Unitanks will be 7 bbl total capacity. My projected volumes are:

    212 gal preboil -> 180.2 gal to open FV -> 171.2 gal to Unitank -> 154 gal gallons packaged

    15% loss in BK, 5% loss in open FV, 10% loss in Unitank. 6.83 bbl -> 4.97 bbl.

    Thoughts on this? Thanks again.
    Yup, your numbers look to be what might happen but you maybe able to dial in your system some once you are up and running and squeeze out a few more gallons of finished product. Will you be using a centrifugal pump with VFD or a different style pump? Wineries typically use an air diaphragm pump instead of centrifugal as to not beat up the wine as much. Centrifugal set on a lower VFD might be a substitute if you don’t want extra pumps.
    Last edited by Catfish002; 05-01-2018 at 04:52 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    colorado
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    12
    Quote Originally Posted by Catfish002 View Post
    Yup, your numbers look to be what might happen but you maybe able to dial in your system some once you are up and running and squeeze out a few more gallons of finished product. Will you be using a centrifugal pump with VFD or a different style pump? Wineries typically use an air diaphragm pump instead of centrifugal as to not beat up the wine as much. Centrifugal set on a lower VFD might be a substitute if you don’t want extra pumps.
    I produced GABF award winning beers using this method. Open 17 bbl. FV to dish bottom single wall conditioning in cold room, then to single wall BBT. Standpipe in FV. Crop yeast with big scoop after transfer. Should be plenty of cO2 blanket to protect beer in FV during transfer. Easy peasy. I miss those days. Jump inside the FV after transfer and hand scrub it down(5 minutes max.). No CIP. And great beer. No rocket science!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Davie, FL
    Posts
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    Getting quotes now on equipment and could go:

    5 bbl unitank (gives me about 8% headspace)

    Or

    7 bbl unitank (gives me 52% headspace)

    Or

    Custom build to accommodate the 172 gallon volume


    I’m leaning towards 7 bbl unitank though. I plan to spund, so perhaps all that headspace will be a blessing.

    Thoughts?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    The South
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    148
    Quote Originally Posted by BrewsterAles View Post
    Getting quotes now on equipment and could go:

    5 bbl unitank (gives me about 8% headspace)

    Or

    7 bbl unitank (gives me 52% headspace)

    Or

    Custom build to accommodate the 172 gallon volume


    I’m leaning towards 7 bbl unitank though. I plan to spund, so perhaps all that headspace will be a blessing.

    Thoughts?
    Every manufacturer should be able to customize tank size for you. I’d say get the tanks exactly how you want them if you can do that. What are you using as your open fermenters? Jacketed Variable capacity wine tanks make great open top fermenters if your still looking around for tanks.

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