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Thread: How warm, and for how long? Warming cooler with full bright tanks in it.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    How warm, and for how long? Warming cooler with full bright tanks in it.

    Trying to figure out how long we can warm up a room with 6-30 bbl unjacketed bright tanks, all around 1/2-3/4 full, so that we can redcoat our floors. 50ºF seems to be the lowest the product can cure at. Trying to preserve quality of the beer, will 4-5 days at 50ºF be detrimental to the overall quality of the beers? Could we go higher? Any ideas on how to preserve beer temp?

    Of course I figure that it is style dependent. Some are filtered, some not, some IPA's, some Lagers.

    Really just need to figure out what my general limits are. Nothing will be optimal, but emptying the tanks or moving them isn't an option.

  2. #2
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    If you want to post tank dimensions/wall thickness/temperatures I'd be happy to do the math, but I suspect that over a few days they're inevitably going to get to near-ambient temperature. I'm having trouble believing that a few days at cellar temperatures would have a serious impact, though, unless you're planning on holding on to the beers for months afterward.

    If you're really worried about it, it would be worth checking into cure time at *higher* temperatures. There may be a window where the floor would cure faster than the beers could warm above your threshold of concern.

    Make sure you have a plan for condensation. Cold tanks in a (relatively) warm room are going to drip.
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  3. #3
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    Your real challenge will not be keeping them from warming up, but rather bringing them back down again. It takes a lot longer to cool a tank off with air than it does to warm it up. I would maybe try to have a planned outage for the tanks where you keg everything and then do the work. The tanks would be ready for the next batches after that.

    Its a lot of work, but probably the safest way if you can swing it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    Portland, Oregon USA
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    Some of the things to take in to consideration.
    Tanks sweating will be an issue for the floors to properly cure.
    Once tanks do reach higher temp the CO2 may start to escape from solution taking some of the desired aromas out of the beer.
    Energy needed to chill back down the beers once the floors have cured. This will take some time to chill beers back down. Watch your glycol chiller for overworking when you turn cold room back down.
    Brand image would be my biggest concern for trying to do it this way. It may make sense to have beers contracted out while process was done correctly without possible impacting finished beer.

    Interested to see what you do and the results.

  5. #5
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    All good points, especially about tanks sweating. I'm considering tenting off the floor with plastic to keep the tanks separate from the floor and to catch the moisture.

    Emptying the tanks isn't really an option, as we don't have 300+ kegs, or a place to store them. I did consider renting kegs and maybe some storage from our distributor though. That is a big burden for a floor project though.

    Contracting seems to be a greater threat to quality than warming up the room for a few days. I don't know how much aroma would really be lost in a closed, pressurized tank but it is definitely something worth noting.

    BTW this is probably something everyone should take into consideration when building a brewery and deciding between jacketed or non-jacketed tanks. I didn't build the place, but it sure would be nice to have jackets at the point.

    And our coolers aren't run off glycol so cooling the place back down won't be a huge draw down on the system. I would expect the chillers to be over worked for a time though.
    Last edited by mikeyrb1; 10-30-2018 at 07:54 AM.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2018
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    Portland, OR
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    Concerns over warming of BT's...

    In addition to the loss of aroma issue Mike had mentioned above, your carbonations will definitely need to be dialed back in once the cold room is completed and the tanks can be brought back down to your set point. Another concern is the consideration of micro in the beer. At this stage at least the beer is finished fermenting, has an alcohol content and is kept in a CO2 environment so there are many variables working in your favor but ultimately when warming the tanks up you temporarily lose the safety of a cold room to inhibit microorganisms. If you feel confident about your tank cleaning and sanitation I think you should be just fine during the few days needed to cure your floors.

    Cheers,

    Don Marcil
    Brewery Design Consultant
    Stout Tanks and Kettles

  7. #7
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    San Francisco, CA
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    I think what jebzter is suggesting is that you plan a lull in your production (ideally, timed to line up with a slow sales period – and, hey, the holidays are coming right up!) so that your tanks empty themselves most of the way as you sell the beer you've got, and you just don't don't brew more to replace it for a couple weeks, so you've got a smaller volume to keg off. Yeah, you'll probably run out of some things before you can brew all those tanks full again, and that'll be a hit to sales, but you're taking a key part of your facility off-line, you're gonna have to take a hit somewhere!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    Portland, Oregon USA
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    4

    Importance of forecasting and planing floors

    I think this thread brings up the importance of forecasting and planning floors when opening a brewery. I brewed for almost 16 years and always had issues with floors. It was such a pain to spend hundreds upon hundreds of hours with a squeegee. Or watching the floors turn into aggregate and wash down the trench drain. I always envied the breweries who did it right and got floors done before tanks were placed. If you don't address floors in beginning you will most likely never deal with them until it crashes production to a halt and affects your business negatively. We learn from each other every day. Thanks for sharing and keep us updated on how everything is going please.

    Cheers,

    Mike Paladino
    Brewery Design Consultant
    Stout Tanks and Kettles, LLC
    16300 SW 72nd Ave
    Portland, OR 97224
    503-372-9580 (Office)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by StoutTanksMike View Post
    I think this thread brings up the importance of forecasting and planning floors when opening a brewery. I brewed for almost 16 years and always had issues with floors. It was such a pain to spend hundreds upon hundreds of hours with a squeegee. Or watching the floors turn into aggregate and wash down the trench drain. I always envied the breweries who did it right and got floors done before tanks were placed. If you don't address floors in beginning you will most likely never deal with them until it crashes production to a halt and affects your business negatively. We learn from each other every day. Thanks for sharing and keep us updated on how everything is going please.

    Cheers,

    Mike Paladino
    Brewery Design Consultant
    Stout Tanks and Kettles, LLC
    16300 SW 72nd Ave
    Portland, OR 97224
    503-372-9580 (Office)
    To be clear, these floors were done right, 22 years ago. Nothing lasts forever, especially stuff that tanks the beating our floors do. But yeah, I know a lot of breweries that have no coating on their floors, just bare cement. When they finally scrape together the cash for a floor, they'll have to move a ton of stuff around.

    Planning a lull in production might be possible, but that is unlikely. Especially not around the holidays. Might have to be next year sometime in May for us.

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