Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - lupulin5446

Pages: [1]
1
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Home Glycol system
« on: July 02, 2011, 06:12:21 AM »
Ahh, thermo-electrics...I first became familiar with the technology when it was restricted to military/NASA use.  Thermo-electrics hold great potential for efficient heat exchange, but unfortunately, it is only really practical when the temperature difference is large.  I.E. Thermo-electrics are great at changing a volume from 80c to 10c, but lose efficiency when it comes to maintaining temperatures.  The less the difference between the target volume and the outside temperature, the less efficient it becomes.  The great benefit from thermo-electrics is that the coolant system requires no moving parts other than fans that circulate the air.  Thermo-electric systems often cost more than standard refrigerators, even though they are more efficient over time.  You will lose a bit of heat in the python, so you may want the coolant to be a bit colder.  What you do not want is an 'open system'.  If your head pressure in your kegs does not overcome friction and gravity with a positive value, than you are losing carbonation as you pour.  If you only pour 1 glass at a time, with a reasonable time between pours to build up pressure, than everything will be fine, if not you will lose carbonation on the total volume, and with each beer poured, the foaming will get worse.  BTW, the cool thing about thermo-electrics is that if things are reversed...Heat on 1 side and cool on the other...electricity is generated.

2
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Home Glycol system
« on: June 30, 2011, 11:46:12 PM »
It seems your knowledge of Newtonian physics may be lacking...If pressure on the liquid is equal to the total resistance, then there can be no flow.  The only way you can get liquid to flow this way is if you have gravity on your side.  If the volume of liquid is above the spout on the tap, then gravity would cause the liquid to flow out (like a siphon).  If the mass of liquid is below the spout, than nothing will happen.  The only other thing that would cause the beer to flow if the pressure at the spout is 0, is the decarbonization of the beer.  An open spout will cause a pressure drop that will drive an excessive amount of CO2 out of solution, resulting in a steady flow of beer, and a glass full of foam.

3
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Just bought a CO2 tank...
« on: June 30, 2011, 10:57:25 PM »
When I studied draft systems at Seibel, the word was, 'do not put the regulator or tank inside a refrigerator'.  In addition to effecting the components of the regulator, the gas will become more dense.  I am certain that the regulator will function at a wide temperature range, but was it specifically designed for beer?  How is the accuracy affected?  1-2 psi make a big differance when carbonating beer.

4
Lots of big words and questions...

So it is an old fridge paid $20 for it from craigs list. (one more piece of info down below)
cooling was not sufficient. I unplugged it for 24 hrs and just plugged it back in to see if it was a matter
of re collecting the refrigerant in the system where it should be. It is located outdoors facing east in an east
facing garage. I have had it about 5 years without any issues and holding temps through 100*+ outdoor temps.
Garage never really peaked above 80s, Not ideal, I am sure, but it worked. Not sure of the bypass. It is an older
fridge I guess 1990's age maybe. The fridge would not hold much more than 4 kegs and a door full of beer,
which it has. One keg just blew before the fridge did but overall I am sure there is a decent thermal mass in there...
Freezer was an auxilliary to the house freezer right next too it. maybe half full of mixed use, and hops. :-\

I am not expecting a fix over the net just a clue whether it is a paper weight or needs a boost or what. Even so my
expectations are low. Just plugged it back in after a 24 hr sit to see if by chance something changes.

I did find in the freezer that there is a small fan that pushes cool air from the freezer to the cooler with a return vent
in the front of he freezer compart ment. One of my vacu-bagged hops had slipped into the grate causing the fan to
buzz but it was still running, it hindered the fan and I wonder if it was enough for the fridge to run in excess killing it.
Damn! >:(

A bag of hops blocking airflow to the freezer could have caused the system to run constantly if the temperature in the freezer never got high enough to cut the compressor off.  If the system is from the 90s, it may need some simple maintenance, but it is not uncommon for a quality fridge to last 25 years.  If you only paid $20 for it, then at least it's not a big loss.  I prefer chest freezers with a digital Johnson Control and draft towers.  They are well insulated, have great cooling capacity, and can make great lagering chests when you need to drop the temp down to 28-29 degrees. 

5
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Home Glycol system
« on: June 30, 2011, 10:11:30 PM »
In terms of pushing the beer, most commercial bars go at minimum the distance I'm going from cellar to living room, so how do they get the beer up there without over-carbing it? Could I use a pressure regulator to vent excess CO2 between dispensing? Other than using beer engines, of course, but I'd prefer to use my existing taps if possible.
They use either bigger tubes (1/4" or bigger like Tom mentioned above) to cut the resistance so you can serve at the same pressure as you carbonate with, or they use mixed gas.  N2 is about 80 times less soluble in beer than CO2 is, so using a blend of gases can let you push a long way without over carbonating the beer.  Unless you have some place near you that does custom gas blends, I think a larger tube is the way to go.

Assume you're going up 12 feet . . . 144 inches, Jeff R pointed out in another thread that 1 psi will raise a column 27 inches, so 5.3 psi to overcome that.  If you carb at 12 psi, that leaves 6.7 psi for the hose.  So you want a hose that gives you 0.56 psi resistance per foot.  morebeer's 5/16" says 0.40 lbs per foot, the 1/4" says 0.65 lbs per foot.  You can pick one and tweak the carb pressure/temp, and of course the actual height might be a couple of feet different.  I'd start with figuring out the height.

A hose that gives 0.56 psi resistance per foot based on a 12 foot hose would make the liquid static at the top of the draft tower.  Even 0.40 psi/foot would give a slow flow rate.  I would guess that 3/8 I.D. would be minimum, and perhaps restrict it to a smaller size for the last 4-6 inches.  Another option is to elevate the freezer as close as possible to the ceiling without making keg changing too cumbersome.

BTW, it would be more efficient to keep the coolant reservoir with the kegs, but I recommended keeping the coolant a bit cooler because there will always be some heat loss in the python, which can lead to foaming.  Restricting the draft lines at the end can help combat foaming though.

6
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Just bought a CO2 tank...
« on: June 30, 2011, 02:57:57 AM »
The adjustment apparatus on the pressure regulator usually contains a metal plate and spring that presses against a polymer seal.  Colder temperatures will change the properties of the spring as well as cause an inaccurate reading on the gauge.   

7
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Just bought a CO2 tank...
« on: June 29, 2011, 11:03:48 PM »
Just remember not to put the tank or regulator in a refrigerator with the beer. 

8
Can you give more info?  Is the cooling insufficient?  Is it located indoors or outdoors?.  A low refrigerant charge can can cause a system to lose efficiency and over heat.  If the system is located in a particularly warm place, the condenser may not be exchanging enough heat.  An iced evaporator coil can also be at fault, and depending on the sophistication of the system, could be due to a fault in the bypass system (assuming it has one).  If you are using an external thermostat for temperature control (i.e. a Johnson Control), you can short-cycle your compressor until it burns out if you use the dial type.  The digital type allows you to set a temperature range.  Try filling any empty space with jugs of water-they will help keep a constant temperature, particularly if there is an empty freezer attached.  Air does not stay cool as long as water, so an empty freezer can cause it to run constantly.  Also ensure there is proper air flow around the condenser coil (back of most refrigerators).  I can't diagnose the problem without physically inspecting it, but if you have any more questions, I have 6 years of experience troubleshooting Army HVAC systems.

9
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Home Glycol system
« on: June 29, 2011, 10:42:50 PM »
To glycol cool the lines from your cellar, you will need to put together a 'python', a recirculation pump, a reservoir, and a cooling device.  The cooling device can be a small refrigerator, as you will want your glycol to be only slightly colder than your beer.  The Inner diameter of the coolant line should be larger than your draft lines to avoid burning up your pump.  To construct your 'python', simply loop your coolant line so that the intake and return portions run parallel, but end at the same point.  Lay out your draft lines parallel to the coolant lines, and attach threaded fittings to both ends.  Wrap the whole assembly into 1 bundled cable with insulated tape.  If you can not find it, try finding a more generic insulation, and wrap it in uninsulated tape.  Be sure to give yourself some extra length when constructing your python.  Place the reservoir inside the cooler and recirculate the glycol.  To clean the draft lines, link them in series with fittings, turn off the glycol pump, and recirculate hot caustic. 

An issue you must consider when pushing beer up from a cellar is the head pressure in your kegs.  You will be fighting both gravity, and the friction in your draft lines.  If you use your normal pressure settings, you will likely notice a greatly decreased flow rate.  Increasing the head pressure will over carbonate most of your beers, so your only option would be to use draft lines with a larger diameter because of the lower friction coefficient.  Unless, of course, you want to use mixed gas.  You should note that the glycol lines will keep your beer cool on its journey to your glass, but will not effectively cool warm beer.

I hope this is helpful.

10
Beer Recipes / Re: Oktoberfest 2011
« on: June 27, 2011, 02:31:03 AM »
An easy festbier recipe:
50% pilsner malt, 5% Weyerman caramunich III, 5% Weyerman carared, 35% light munich malt, 3% acid malt, 2% Weyerman cara-aroma (added at mash out to reduce 'roasted' flavors).  First-wort hop with 22 IBUs from noble hops-preferably Tettnang or Hallertau varieties.  Single infusion mash at 152-usually 30 minutes or less, boil 90 minutes, O.G. 1.055

pH is very important for this style of beer, both in the mash, and sparge water.  You will want a residual alkalinity as close to 0 as possible, and this can be easily achieved with gypsum and calcium chloride.  The high enzyme content from the pils malt will reduce the mash time.  This combined with the lower pH in the mash will leech fewer tannins from the barley hulls.  Cara-aroma contains no enzyme, so adding it at mash out will extract color and aroma while minimizing roasted notes that would be out of character.  First-wort hopping will enhance the 'noble hop' character.  

Most german lager strains are acceptable as long as they accentuate the malt character.  My fermentation profile may seem odd at first, but it has really worked well for me.  I pitch at 45 F for the first 72 hours (after first signs of fermentation).  Then raise to 48 for another 72 hours. after that, I raise the temp 1 degree per day until 58 F.  Usually it only needs 1-2 days at 58 to finish fermentation.  When fermentation has finished, I rack to the secondary vessel, and begin lowering the temperature over 72 hours.  In the first 24 hours I drop it to 50 F, in the second, 40 F, the third day I drop it to the final lagering temperature of 28-29 F.  Lager for 3-5 weeks depending on gravity of the beer.  For high gravity lagers, I double the fermentation times below 50 F.

Decoction mashes can be fun if you want to brew old-school, but are generally unnecessary with modern malts, unless you have unusually low enzyme content in your mash.  Heffeweizens can benefit from a single or double decoction because of the lower enzyme wheat malt as well as the high protein/glucan content that makes sparging an all-day event.

11
Beer Recipes / Re: Getting Cold Feet on A Fest Recipe...
« on: June 26, 2011, 05:28:51 PM »
An easy festbier recipe:
50% pilsner malt, 5% Weyerman caramunich III, 5% Weyerman carared, 35% light munich malt, 3% acid malt, 2% Weyerman cara-aroma (added at mash out to reduce 'roasted' flavors).  First-wort hop with 22 IBUs from noble hops-preferably Tettnang or Hallertau varieties.  Single infusion mash at 152, boil 90 minutes, O.G. 1.054

pH is very important for this style of beer, both in the mash, and sparge water.  You will want a residual alkalinity as close to 0 as possible, and this can be easily achieved with gypsum and calcium chloride.  The high enzyme content from the pils malt will reduce the mash time.  This combined with the lower pH in the mash will leech fewer tannins from the barley hulls.  Cara-aroma contains no enzyme, so adding it at mash out will extract color and aroma while minimizing roasted notes that would be out of character.  First-wort hopping will enhance the 'noble hop' character. 

Decoction mashes can be fun if you want to brew old-school, but are generally unnecessary with modern malts, unless you have unusually low enzyme content in your mash.  Heffeweizens can benefit from a single or double decoction because of the lower enzyme wheat malt as well as the high protein/glucan content that makes sparging an all-day event.

Pages: [1]