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Thread: Brite Tank Leak - Tank Insulation Soaked With Beer - Is it a problem?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    13

    Brite Tank Leak - Tank Insulation Soaked With Beer - Is it a problem?

    Hey,

    We had a brand new brite tank manifest a leak in the carb stone port. The leak was in a weld and beer leaked in between the inner and outer shells of the tank into the insulation and eventually out a small vent hole in the bottom of the tank. The MFG of the tank came out and repaired the leak but it was clear that the insulation inside of the tank is completely soaked with beer and there is really no way to dry it out without tearing the tank apart.

    I've expressed concern to them about this issue but looking for opinions on whether this is a valid concern with actual consequences now and in the future.

    Best,
    Tom
    Indeed Brewing Company
    Minneapolis & Milwaukee

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    862
    Tom,

    It probably depends on the type of insulation. We had the exact same thing happen. We ended up having to cut the cladding off the outside to get to the weld to fix it. The insulation was a closed-cell spray foam that didn't soak up the beer. If it was something more like rock-wool you might have a problem with the beer soaking into the insulation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Indeed View Post
    Hey,

    We had a brand new brite tank manifest a leak in the carb stone port. The leak was in a weld and beer leaked in between the inner and outer shells of the tank into the insulation and eventually out a small vent hole in the bottom of the tank. The MFG of the tank came out and repaired the leak but it was clear that the insulation inside of the tank is completely soaked with beer and there is really no way to dry it out without tearing the tank apart.

    I've expressed concern to them about this issue but looking for opinions on whether this is a valid concern with actual consequences now and in the future.

    Best,
    Tom
    Indeed Brewing Company
    Minneapolis & Milwaukee
    Linus Hall
    Yazoo Brewing
    Nashville, TN
    [url]www.yazoobrew.com[/url]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Minocqua WI
    Posts
    826
    Yes its a problem- one that was their fault, shoddy workmanship. I would tell them to replace the insulation or deliver a new tank...
    Brewmaster, Minocqua Brewing Company
    tbriggs@minocquabrewingcompany.com
    "Your results may vary"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Stuart, FL
    Posts
    487
    Seen this exact thing happen before. More than once. Agree with the other comments. As far as potential issues I have seen manifest....

    Weight. Depending on the size of the tank and how much beer was trapped, the tank will have a considerable weight increase. Not an issue if you are never moving it, and on the bottom floor, but could pose potential issues.

    Pressure. It is possible for there to be a pressure differential between the jacket and either inside or outside the tank that could lead to bulging or contraction. I have seen contraction, but never bulging myself. This was likely due to the glycol chilling the jacket layer and contracting.

    Heat Transfer. The liquid will absolutely effect the heat transfer coefficient. You will be chilling the liquid inside the jacket as well, needing more BTU's to crash the product.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
    Posts
    830
    Consider this: Chloride Stress Corrosion Cracking.

    http://www.ssina.com/corrosion/stres...-cracking.html

    As little as 10ppm can cause failure. I would remove skin and insulation around where leak was. Clean, dry, apply a chloride barrier paint/membrane/foil. Re-insulate, re-skin. Shitty. Depends on your expected life of that tank, I guess. Doing nothing will shorten the life of that tank dramatically.

    Best of luck,

    Pax.

    Liam
    Liam McKenna
    www.yellowbellybrewery.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Stuart, FL
    Posts
    487
    This is great information, but the article itself mentions that austenitic steel immersed in chlorides are not often an issue until 60*C or greater temperatures are reached. I avoid all chlorine based products around 304/316 for these very reasons, but the reality is that you will only be exposing the metals to significant stresses during the cleaning cycles. This is when your temperature may be elevated high enough to increase the chloride based stress cracking potential. I have seen really abused bio-reactors last for decades despite the surface damage when used at low temperatures. Heat it up and they can go bad in weeks.

    The really bad part is that you will be having the worst corrosion impact on the inner part of the jackets where you cannot see or test for stress cracking. The metallurgy of the weld areas is different do to temperature and filler rods and can be subject to all kinds of potential issues if not done well. The chlorides, and temp/pressure changes can pose real problems, but do not always. You will have to determine the course of action, but personally on anything major I advocate for the vendor to replace or refund the item. They can have the old one back and refurbish or recommission at their discretion. If they do that, I am 100% satisfied and make sure to convey that to anyone who asks. There was a small issue, but it was corrected properly. If they don't or string me along forever, I just avoid working with them again.

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