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Beer engine with corny setup questions

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peebee

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I actually wrote up my brewery build here. But it is 4 years old and it has had a number of tweaks since. I'll update once the "HLT Reserve" is complete and working (I do not use the RIMS any more).

An up-to-date schematic goes:
Brewery Schematic.jpg

Looks complicated, but covers everything. Feel free to mine the information to find anything that maybe useful to you.

I use floating extractors ("Cask Widge" floats) in place of the dip-tube in the Cornies. Made easily detachable for cleaning (they need it from time to time).

I do ferment in the dispensing keg (up to about SG1.045) so obviously have no bother with yeast sediment in Cornies.

My "secret weapon" for brewing perfect "cask" "Real Ale" is Chevallier barley malt. In fact it produces better "Real Ale" than you can buy in a Pub! Takes a little bit of practice to handle the stuff right, but the results are terrific (my opinion; some folk wont like it!). Documented my recent experiences with this malt here.



Flip, appears we've just been stuffed into Covid-19 lockdown again. Still, I have my order in for 25kg Chevallier barley malt. Tesco's Web site has crashed probably because of the sudden load. Looks like I'll be going hungry again, but I can still get plastered with all this home-brew!
 

Ajdpilot

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I actually wrote up my brewery build here. But it is 4 years old and it has had a number of tweaks since. I'll update once the "HLT Reserve" is complete and working (I do not use the RIMS any more).

An up-to-date schematic goes:
View attachment 33433
Looks complicated, but covers everything. Feel free to mine the information to find anything that maybe useful to you.

I use floating extractors ("Cask Widge" floats) in place of the dip-tube in the Cornies. Made easily detachable for cleaning (they need it from time to time).

I do ferment in the dispensing keg (up to about SG1.045) so obviously have no bother with yeast sediment in Cornies.

My "secret weapon" for brewing perfect "cask" "Real Ale" is Chevallier barley malt. In fact it produces better "Real Ale" than you can buy in a Pub! Takes a little bit of practice to handle the stuff right, but the results are terrific (my opinion; some folk wont like it!). Documented my recent experiences with this malt here.



Flip, appears we've just been stuffed into Covid-19 lockdown again. Still, I have my order in for 25kg Chevallier barley malt. Tesco's Web site has crashed probably because of the sudden load. Looks like I'll be going hungry again, but I can still get plastered with all this home-brew!
Wow, thanks. Alot of helpful information there. Started reading your manual there. So far very interesting and detailed. Will have to finish that when in offshift I think 🤣

You might cover them later than where I am in your manual. But initial question that jumps to mind is: what process do you use for cleaning / sanitizing all that gear?
Always wondered how the large scale brewers do it...not like they can take it all to the bath and hose it down with the shower head!

When you say you ferment in the dispensing keg but have no bother with yeast in cornies, just wanted to check:
You do use cornis?
Have the regular post setup?
And rack straight to the keg from primary fermenter?

I'll probably have a ton more questions for you once I've finished reading your manual later. Lots of things I will take inspiration from there already
 

peebee

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Really drifting off-topic now. Still, it's your thread and your choice!

When you say you ferment in the dispensing keg but have no bother with yeast in cornies, just wanted to check:
You do use cornis?
Have the regular post setup?
And rack straight to the keg from primary fermenter?
I do go from fermenter direct to keg, but use conical fermenters where this a normal step (commercially there might be a "conditioning tank" acting as an intermediary or "secondary" fermenter). Some folk go from primary fermenter (bucket) direct to keg anyway. But where I was saying "ferment in the dispensing keg" …

You've missed the important bit! There's no "racking" (I use 12V pumps only now anyway, so I was initially perplexed by "racking"!), the dispensing keg is the primary fermenter! I'm venturing into a keg only zone (no hand pumps), but try >this<. That should keep you in reading matter for a bit!


Cleaning: I'm still working on this (mostly laborious manual methods at moment). CIP (clean-in-place) with pumps (which need to be powerful) and rotating spray balls.
 

Ajdpilot

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Really drifting off-topic now. Still, it's your thread and your choice!


I do go from fermenter direct to keg, but use conical fermenters where this a normal step (commercially there might be a "conditioning tank" acting as an intermediary or "secondary" fermenter). Some folk go from primary fermenter (bucket) direct to keg anyway. But where I was saying "ferment in the dispensing keg" …

You've missed the important bit! There's no "racking" (I use 12V pumps only now anyway, so I was initially perplexed by "racking"!), the dispensing keg is the primary fermenter! I'm venturing into a keg only zone (no hand pumps), but try >this<. That should keep you in reading matter for a bit!


Cleaning: I'm still working on this (mostly laborious manual methods at moment). CIP (clean-in-place) with pumps (which need to be powerful) and rotating spray balls.
Haha, it started as a few questions about beer engines, then it was obvious you are as obsessive as I am about getting the brew right and wanting to analyse every detail. So it's now turned into a picking your brain and learning as much as I can.

Thanks, I shall have a read. Plenty to keep me going for abit now.

Ohh, I see. I also use a conical fermenter, but transfer to keg using gravity and a hose on the take off tap. My priority in the near term is to get my post fermentation setup spot on...I'm also looking to get away from hand pumps along with buckets. Would prefer some built in setup where I can just open valves and turn on pumps along with decreasing the risk of oxygenation.
Once I have post sorted, I will then really focus on the boil and pre fermenting setup. But the thinking about all that is already happening.

If you do work out the cleaning, I'd be very interested. I'm hoping to do some sort of brewery tour and quiz them how they do it and try to take inspiration from that.
 

Ajdpilot

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Really drifting off-topic now. Still, it's your thread and your choice!


I do go from fermenter direct to keg, but use conical fermenters where this a normal step (commercially there might be a "conditioning tank" acting as an intermediary or "secondary" fermenter). Some folk go from primary fermenter (bucket) direct to keg anyway. But where I was saying "ferment in the dispensing keg" …

You've missed the important bit! There's no "racking" (I use 12V pumps only now anyway, so I was initially perplexed by "racking"!), the dispensing keg is the primary fermenter! I'm venturing into a keg only zone (no hand pumps), but try >this<. That should keep you in reading matter for a bit!


Cleaning: I'm still working on this (mostly laborious manual methods at moment). CIP (clean-in-place) with pumps (which need to be powerful) and rotating spray balls.
I finished reading your manual, lots of good stuff in there. Will most likely take from that in the future when I hopefully create my own brewery.

I'm assuming you don't have any issue with the pumps aerating your beer (particularly when pumping from dispensing keg to corny keg?)
I'm guessing you also open the lid or vent somehow to stop any glugging?

On another note, I'm looking at getting a floating widge. Not sure why I havent got one up until now. I used to use one on my old plastic king keg, but when I moved over to cornies, I just used the standard tube setup.
Do you know if the silicone tube that is supplied with most of the stainless ball float types fit ok?
Just wondering if I'm going to need a new type of post setup too
 

peebee

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… I'm assuming you don't have any issue with the pumps aerating your beer (particularly when pumping from dispensing keg to corny keg?)
I'm guessing you also open the lid or vent somehow to stop any glugging? …
Hum. I'm still misleading you on that "side" subject?

The dispensing keg is the fermenter. The dispensing keg is a Corny. There is no transfer after moving the beer from boiler to dispensing keg, so certainly no "glugging". It was a fast output technique and not one I'd use for "general" brewing; for that I back to more "normal" practices.

As for flexible dip-tubes: I don't like cross-linking forums, but to avoid writing this stuff again --- Floating dip tube for corny - Page 3 - Home Brew Forum. Moving over to 6mm ID silicon tubing might (I've not tried it) avoid the need to use the "Increaser" fittings (5mm milk hose - 10mm OD - is very difficult to fit, and does need to be tailored to the right length or it jams on the keg sides). The hose clips are stainless steel BTW.
 

Ajdpilot

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Hum. I'm still misleading you on that "side" subject?

The dispensing keg is the fermenter. The dispensing keg is a Corny. There is no transfer after moving the beer from boiler to dispensing keg, so certainly no "glugging". It was a fast output technique and not one I'd use for "general" brewing; for that I back to more "normal" practices.

As for flexible dip-tubes: I don't like cross-linking forums, but to avoid writing this stuff again --- Floating dip tube for corny - Page 3 - Home Brew Forum. Moving over to 6mm ID silicon tubing might (I've not tried it) avoid the need to use the "Increaser" fittings (5mm milk hose - 10mm OD - is very difficult to fit, and does need to be tailored to the right length or it jams on the keg sides). The hose clips are stainless steel BTW.
Sorry, that was my bad. I was meaning kettle to keg. Do you have any problems with the pumps aerating?

Thanks for the float info. Again, very helpful
 

Ajdpilot

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Sorry, that was my bad. I was meaning kettle to keg. Do you have any problems with the pumps aerating?

Thanks for the float info. Again, very helpful
Ignore that, clearly havent had enough coffee yet.

I mean when your brewing a general beer and do transfer from a fermenter to a keg (or do you never do that anymore?)
I'm interested in the use of a pump to transfer and thinking how it affects the beer. I'm assuming the top of the fermenter will need to be open to air to stop a vacuum or glugging, but also wondering if the rotating motion of a pump causes any sort of aeration within the beer?
 

peebee

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Ignore that, clearly havent had enough coffee yet.

I mean when your brewing a general beer and do transfer from a fermenter to a keg (or do you never do that anymore?)
I'm interested in the use of a pump to transfer and thinking how it affects the beer. I'm assuming the top of the fermenter will need to be open to air to stop a vacuum or glugging [Yes], but also wondering if the rotating motion of a pump causes any sort of aeration within the beer? [No, where would the air come from?]
 
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