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Thread: CO2 recovery/venting--I could use some help.

  1. #1
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    CO2 recovery/venting

    We're trying to get our CO2 in the fermenter hall down to reasonable levels. I had considered a heat-recovery ventilation system, but simply getting rid of the CO2 at the source makes better sense.

    We have a lot of blow-off from our ferms, so I need a trap of some kind to separate the CO2 from the foam. Does anyone have any examples of such a system so I don't have to re-invent the wheel?

    I'm considering using a 35 gallon plastic drum for a trap, but having some guidance would be nice.
    Last edited by TGTimm; 10-30-2018 at 11:34 AM.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  2. #2
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    TGTimm,

    I would imagine the 35 gallon drum, with the addition of an anti-foam like Fermcap, would keep the foam down and let you vent the CO2 outside.


    Quote Originally Posted by TGTimm View Post
    We're trying to get our CO2 in the fermenter hall down to reasonable levels. I had considered a heat-recovery ventilation system, but simply getting rid of the CO2 at the source makes better sense.

    We have a lot of blow-off from our ferms, so I need a trap of some kind to separate the CO2 from the foam. Does anyone have any examples of such a system so I don't have to re-invent the wheel?

    I'm considering using a 35 gallon plastic drum for a trap, but having some guidance would be nice.
    Linus Hall
    Yazoo Brewing
    Nashville, TN
    [url]www.yazoobrew.com[/url]

  3. #3
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    I would Make it:
    Stainless - you don't need a bacteria swamp in the brewery.
    CIP Ball w/ TC connection
    Bottom Drain w/ Tc ball valve
    4" top Port for inspection and to add fermcap
    PRV on top. Safety Girl told me so.
    Overflow gooseneck on top and Have piping to out side run 2' above it.
    Put a screen on the outlet for little critters. Also put outlet where if yeast blows out it wont ruin your day.
    Size it according to your capacity - perhaps a 55gl SS Drum, can be found used a reasonable prices.
    Make all piping 2" and as short as runs as possible. Also that piping will need to be in its CIP loop.
    I did this, well actualy FX Matt did the work, at a brewery with success. Granted it was another thing to clean- yeh!

    But - are you using fermcap in the FV's already? Maybe cut your batch size a little bit? Think of a new yeast or consider that the workings are over active?
    Brewmaster, Minocqua Brewing Company
    tbriggs@minocquabrewingcompany.com
    "Your results may vary"

  4. #4
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    Thanks, Ted.

    If you have or can get pictures/diagrams of that system, I'd sure appreciate it.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  5. #5
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    This is turning into a PITA.

    It seems there are no commercially made systems for this sort of thing, and I can't find pics of a DIY solution. Are we really one of the few that need a solution like this?

    I realize that most breweries don't have as much blow-off problem as we do--original owner undersized fermenters or oversized brewhouse. We tried various de-foamers in the ferms, but didn't see much difference in blow-off.

    I'll have to wing it myself. I just ordered a 30 gallon plastic barrel w/clamping lid and some bulkhead fittings. We'll see how it all works out. Eventually I'll need three of these due to lousy fermenter/brewhouse layout. The layout also precludes any chance of using a CO2 recovery system.

    I'll still be needing some sort of active ventilation system w/heat recovery, too.

    I want a new brewery.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2009
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    Moab, Utah
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    Makeup Air Equipment Choices

    We had to install a 100% MAU on teh Distillery. The original unit spec was for McQuay. I said no to that for sure.
    We ended up with Reznor, which I am also not real happy with. I would lean more towards an industrial grade unit such as made by this type of OEM:
    http://www.aerovent.com/products/make-up-air-units

    https://www.absolutaire.com/
    Warren Turner
    Industrial Engineering Technician
    HVACR-Electrical Systems Specialist
    Moab Brewery
    " No Cell Phone Zone."

  7. #7
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    Minocqua WI
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    Quote Originally Posted by TGTimm View Post
    Thanks, Ted.

    If you have or can get pictures/diagrams of that system, I'd sure appreciate it.
    It was at a brewery i worked at 10 years ago and they are now out of business.
    Brewmaster, Minocqua Brewing Company
    tbriggs@minocquabrewingcompany.com
    "Your results may vary"

  8. #8
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    Thanks, Warren. I'd rather go with a heat recovery unit and heater, unless there's some reason it would be a bad idea. Aside from high humidity and CO2, the air in our ferm hall is pretty clean.

    So it goes, Ted. Looks like they should have kept you on!
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  9. #9
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    Prototype

    Here's my hastily-scrawled-on-the-back-of-an-envelope diagram of my prototype CO2 trap:

    Name:  2018-10-30 001 CO2 Trap.jpg
Views: 209
Size:  77.5 KB

    The wavy line across the drum is fluid level. This should work as a self-draining trap, with CO2 going out the top and liquids draining via the siphon tube. The little tube sticking up from the top of the siphon is a siphon breaker, so it doesn't drain all the liquid out, leaving enough to work as a trap. The liquid out siphon is 1 1/4", so in the worst-case scenario, if the CO2 out line is clogged or pinched off, the siphon will work as a PRV. Additionally, the ferm has its own PRV. Safety first!

    I primed the drum with enough water to cover the bottom of the blow-off in tube and added 1 oz of De-foamer 30.

    The prototype in place, waiting for the blow-off hose to be attached:

    Name:  2018-10-30 002 CO2 Trap.jpg
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Size:  98.2 KB

    We'll be giving it the first test today. For the test phase, the CO2 out hose is just hung out the window.

    I used a 30 gallon poly barrel w/clamp-on lid for the body. I suspect I'll have to go with at least a 55 gallon if we want to vent more than one ferm at a time. I may have to add a water spray to knock the foam down, as the de-foamer will eventually wash out. A dosing pump on timer for the de-foamer would also probably work.

    Currently, cleaning will involve taking the lid off the drum. The union at the bottom of the siphon tube allows me to fully drain the barrel. If this works, I'll include a CIP system w/sprayball in the final design.
    Last edited by TGTimm; 10-30-2018 at 01:12 PM.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  10. #10
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    Sep 2012
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    37
    Hey! It looks like we went to the same engineering school....

  11. #11
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    I suggest you include a water top up and drain facility and some sort of sight glass in the side of the drum, or the vent from the drum because the water tends to get bits of fob and yeast in it, even if an FV doesn't overflow, which means the water in the trap foams up horribly, defeating the purpose of a fob trap. We had sprayballs in one system, but it didn't really work to knock the foam down, as expected, but was used to rinse out after draining. If one overflow badly, you simply set the trap to continuous drain and rinse regularly with the sprayball to collapse the fob.
    dick

  12. #12
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    Well, I'll be:

    Name:  2018-11-01 003 CO2 Trap.jpg
Views: 187
Size:  96.1 KB

    It's actually working!

    The blow-off in is on the left--the tube that's full of foam. CO2 out is on the right--just a little condensation! This is attached to a 110bbl ferm at high ferment and 70 degrees F. We'll see how it progresses. I primed the trap with 5 gal of cold water and 1 oz of De-Foamer 30, which will, of course, rinse out eventually. I'll have to add some more at some point, but the bung in the barrel top makes this easy. For the final product, I can add a cheap dosing pump to keep the De-foamer up.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyB View Post
    Hey! It looks like we went to the same engineering school....
    You sure can't tell now, but back in engineering school I got high points for my neat printing. Long time ago....
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  14. #14
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    Moab, Utah
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    Negative Pressure Limits

    You'll need to direct vent the unit heater more than likely.
    Warren Turner
    Industrial Engineering Technician
    HVACR-Electrical Systems Specialist
    Moab Brewery
    " No Cell Phone Zone."

  15. #15
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    Feb 2014
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    west coast
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    280
    might be besides the point now that you've got your rig set up, but have you considered just adding a few psi of head pressure to the ferms? i feel like ive seen decent spunds for around 200-300 bucks. usually just a few psi will keep the krauzen head down for ya.

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