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Thread: 2 Vessel Brewhouse, sparging and water treament

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    2

    2 Vessel Brewhouse, sparging and water treament

    Hello Everyone,

    I am currently drafting a business plan for setting up a small micro and am looking at brewhousee options. One of the things that I see very commonly in turn key solutions is a 2 vessel setup. For my understanding the vessel are multiple purpose as follows:

    Vessel 1: Mash tun/lauter tun

    Vessel 2: Kettle/whirlpool/HLT

    I also they are feed by a tankless water heater to supply hot water on demand. The advantages to these types of systems that is often described in reduced space requirements and initial setup costs, due to no need for a HLT or a dedicated whirlpool.

    To me the combined Kettle/Whirlpool makes perfect sense, as there is only small gains in terms of geometry with the biggest impact being batches per day which will likely bottle neck elsewhere anyhow.

    However I am having trouble working out how this type of system works in terms of the sparge process and specially how a tankless heater provides a supply of treated water. I can conceive how mashing works; you fill the kettle with treated liquor, heat to strike temperature recirculate to preheat the MT then, mash in. The HLT at this point is now empty.

    The confusion I have is when you precede to sparge, as the kettle is occupied receiving runnings from the MT/LT and can't double as a HLT. This means further liquor will need to be supplied at sparge temperature from the tankless water heater.

    So where does water treatment for sparge liquor take place? In understand treatments with salts can all be applied during the mash, but you will still require de-chlorination, potentially demineralization and acidication for sparge water, something that as far I can tell is usually by nano-filtration or RO and not something that can be done inline (not that suppling the plant with RO inline would be a good idea anyway).

    So this begs the question do you need to feed the tankless water heater from a Cold liquor thank filled from your plant water treatment? in which case I fail to see how it saves space. Alternatively if you have a fast flow nano filter and inline acidification this is also likely to be significantly more costly than a slow flowing system with a CLT.

    Is there something I am missing?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Calmar Iowa U.S.A.
    Posts
    21
    Hi tom.
    I worked for several years at a place with a 12bbl 2 vessel system like the one's you are talking about. We had no hlt, clt, no r.o. and we didn't even have a grist hydrator. It was basically giant home brewing. Lol. One thing that place had going for it was amazing tap water. Here is how we made it work. The night before a brew we would fill the steam jaketed mt/lt with the proper strike volume of water for the recipe and and salts, acids ect. Directly to the mt. And begin heating to strike temp. We would then fill the kettle/wp with water, once again chemically treating as necessary and set to 90c. The next day we would auger into the mt/lt with the rakes running on high. This actually worked quite well for us. No dough balls or stuck mashes and good efficiencies. At that point we would have a resting mash and a kettle full of near boiling treated water. As soon as we began vorlauft we would pump the hot h2o into the fermenter that we will be knocking out into later making sure to isolate the glycol jackets so as to not burn out the compressor leaving us an empty kettle ready to lauter into. When it came time to sparge we would pump the hot h2o from the fv into the sparge arm and blend to temp with dechlornated tap water. (As I said, we had really nice tap water.) Once sparge was done we would dump any extra hot water from the fv, rinse and start a sani loop. As we waited on the boil, we would clean the hell out of the mt/lt (this was done manually as there was no cip in that vessel. Royal pita, pulled the grates every time, but we had a super clean mt.) After wp we used tap water on the service side of the heat x to cool the wort and collected it into the mt to use to clean the kettle heat x ect.
    This was a lot of extra work, I mean a lot. But it worked there. We would brew like this 4 to 6 times a week with an average day being 8-9 hours.
    All that being said, I now work at a place with over sized hlt and clt and combo mt/lt, boil kettle/wp. I would not want to go back to the way described above.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Posts
    1
    We have a 5bbl SS Brewtech system that is set up this way. I thought the same thing as you. SS Brewtech actually offers an acid reservoir in which you can dose your sparge water in line. We have not needed it and I don't anticipate ever needing it. Our ph is still great when we cut the sparge. Even with session strength beers. Our de-chlorinator is the first thing on the pipe coming off of the street. All of the water in our building is treated with it. If your water is like ours, you will be fine. I love this set up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by 4PBrewer View Post
    We have a 5bbl SS Brewtech system that is set up this way. I thought the same thing as you. SS Brewtech actually offers an acid reservoir in which you can dose your sparge water in line. We have not needed it and I don't anticipate ever needing it. Our ph is still great when we cut the sparge. Even with session strength beers. Our de-chlorinator is the first thing on the pipe coming off of the street. All of the water in our building is treated with it. If your water is like ours, you will be fine. I love this set up.
    Along these lines, you can actually have a small high-pressure diaphragm pump that Tees into the line you are using to put the sparge water in. Have the inlet tube from the diaphragm pump go into a container containing an acid/water solution. You can then just regulate the flow so that the acid solutions runs out around the same time as your sparge water. You can also just wait until maybe the second half of the sparge water where the ph level will start to rise. These diaphragm pumps are pretty cheap, like $20-30 and are usually for RV applications if you're searching for them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    2
    Thanks guys for you really useful insights, that has clarified things significantly.

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