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Thread: Help needed with Beer Transfer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    5

    Help needed with Beer Transfer

    Hello,

    Does anyone have some advice on the best way to transfer from fermentor to brite tank, (both tanks are 3.5 bbl)
    I have a 1/5 HP mag-drive centrifugal pump that pumps 18 GPM and no VFD.

    Would it be best to not use the pump and transfer with CO2 pressure differential by bleeding off pressure from the brite tank and keeping the fermentor at a higher pressure.
    or
    Use the pump and balance the pressure between both tanks.
    or
    A better idea!

    I'm worried about the pump churning the beer.

    Thanks
    Jeff

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    629
    You can always use CO2 to transfer, but that is a waste. Shouldnt be any problems using a pump to do the transfer, that is the standard method.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Minocqua WI
    Posts
    794
    You are right to worry. Without a VFD Id transfer with Co2 under pressure. Not alot of gas use with small tanks. But a pressurized balance transfer with a VFD pump is best. Look to add one to your pump.
    https://www.cpesystems.com
    Brewmaster, Minocqua Brewing Company
    tbriggs@minocquabrewingcompany.com
    "Your results may vary"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    BEMIDJI, MN
    Posts
    123
    We used to transfer to our brite tanks with a march pump inline when we were on our 3bbl system and were using plastic FVs, being we couldn't pressurize those tanks. We made sure the lines were purged with CO2 and full of beer + flowing with gravity prior to turning on the pump.

    I agree with Ted, if you've got stainless tanks I'm in the camp that you'd be better off pushing with CO2. Purge your BBT well, use block-and-bleeds to purge your transfer line and push with head pressure from the FV. Less opportunity for O2 ingress and less opportunity to beat up the beer with an impeller.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    5

    Thanks! What about BBT purge?

    Thanks for the help! I do have SS tanks with pressure rating good to 1 Bar.

    If i transfer with CO2 only, won't i be losing some of the aromatics from the beer as i bleed pressure off the BBT to keep the pressure differential for the transfer. And if the pump is going to beat up the beer.
    What is the lesser of the two evils!!?? haha

    For the BBT purge, ive been putting around 7 psi CO2 head pressure from the bottom of the BBT and bleeding from the CIP arm a couple times. Which doesnt seem to be enough for dry hopped beers.
    Any tips for the BBT purge? I know i have to do more than i'm doing?

    Thanks
    Jeff

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    BEMIDJI, MN
    Posts
    123
    You are correct that you will need to vent the tank as you are pushing the beer in with CO2. However, being you aren't bubbling CO2 through the beer or foaming the beer (hopefully not) then the aromatic loss will be minimal.

    Also, I'm not sure how you're carbonating but you shouldn't be venting AT ALL during carbonation- search out the threads on here for proper carb processes. You will sparge far more aromatics by venting during carbing than you will from a slow, gentle transfer with CO2.

    Regarding the CO2 purge, we run CO2 in the bottom of our tanks @ 10psi with the head valve cracked. Once the top arm smells of strong CO2 we close up the tank and add a bit of positive pressure until we are ready to transfer. If our beer is spunded or has some appreciable amount of CO2 coming out of the fermenter we will add an equivalent amount of pressure to the empty brite tank and essentially fill it like a giant keg...slowly bleeding off the pressure as the beer fills the tank with minimal foaming while avoiding CO2 loss. As you grow, there are instruments available to monitor the gas purity coming out of the top of the tank to quantify your CO2 purge. For now, your senses and good note taking can be your guides.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Leadville, CO
    Posts
    245
    Quote Originally Posted by graphocephala View Post
    If i transfer with CO2 only, won't i be losing some of the aromatics from the beer as i bleed pressure off the BBT to keep the pressure differential for the transfer. And if the pump is going to beat up the beer.
    I don't know of any reason not to run a balance line between the head space of the two tanks. You should only need to vent enough CO2 to purge that line, and you could do it from the BBT.

    I'd definitely suggest a VFD on the pump that you use for beer transfer to avoid the shear stress.
    Sent from my Microsoft Bob

    Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
    seanterrill.com/category/brewing | twomilebrewing.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    5
    Yes i am carbonating with a carbstone without venting.
    i have been spunding late in fermentation and getting around 5 PSI in the fermentor.

    ill try your purge method next time. Id like to pick up a DO meter soon.

    a10t2,

    forsure i would use a balance line when using a pump to transfer but i cant use one when using just CO2 to transfer.

    Cheers
    Jeff

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Burnaby BC Canada
    Posts
    211
    Hello,
    we have some small VFDs on clearance right now. If you call us we would be happy to help you.
    1-800-668-2268
    Your CPE Systems Team!
    CPE Systems Inc.
    800-668-2268
    CPEsystems.com
    Thinkpumps.com
    sales@cpesystems.com

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