Author Topic: Questions  (Read 1310 times)

Offline klickitat jim

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Questions
« on: December 24, 2013, 12:04:21 AM »
No I'm not thinking of going pro. Just curious and trying to learn something.

How many fermentors would a typical 7 bbl brewery use?

My 5 gal batches seem to finish between 3-4 weeks in the primary. Do larger batches go quicker just because of size? Or is it about the same regardless of scale?

Stupid question, what is a bright tank? Is it a secondary where they carbonate? How long does it stay in the bright before kegging?

Offline singletrack brewer

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Re: Questions
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2013, 04:49:08 AM »
In our 7 BBl set up we have two fermenters and four brite/serving tanks. 

In terms of fermenter time, our batches take about the same amount of time in primary that yours do.  I like for them to have 3 weeks in the fermenter at a minimum and I find that the beers greatly benefit from that.  Prior to me coming on the brewer would do ten days with one day of bulk maturation then knock out.  I talked with a friend that works at a much larger brewery and asked if the idea of letting the beer stay in the tank for 21 days minimum was a bad idea, mainly for a sanity check.  He filled me in on their times and said they used to go 28 days in the fermenter before transferring to the brites.  Now they are doing 21 days and haven't seen any difference in quality.  Good to know that I was on the right track there.

Brite tanks are where the brite, finished beer is stored and are used for a few reasons.  They are tanks where the beer is held after fermentation is complete.  Finings can be added during transfer, which is what we do, or the beer can be filtered on it's way to the tank.  The beer is carbonated in the tank and is allowed to rest for a few days.  From there the beer can be either kegged off or hooked up t o a tapping system to serve beer directly from the tank.

Hope this hepled answer your questions.  Hopefully others will post that may fill in some gaps I may have left, I blame the lack of coffee at the moment for that.  If you have any other questions just ask, I'm willing to help where I can. 
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Questions
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2013, 06:14:56 AM »
I have a bright tank at home.  Ok, it's actually a keg with about an inch cut off the dip tube.  I just transferred a kolsch last week to my "bright tank" with gelatin and put in my kegerator.  A few days later, I hooked up a jumper from the tank's out to the new keg's out and transferred the beer.  As I was watching the line, I couldn't tell if it was transferred because it was so clear.  It wasn't until it was empty that I knew it worked.

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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Questions
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2013, 07:33:20 AM »
In our 7 BBl set up we have two fermenters and four brite/serving tanks. 

In terms of fermenter time, our batches take about the same amount of time in primary that yours do. I like for them to have 3 weeks in the fermenter at a minimum and I find that the beers greatly benefit from that. ...


What do you mean by this? Are they more clear? Less fermentation byproducts?

I ask because I think 3 weeks is quite a long time to sit in a fermenter at home, let alone in a production environment, unless you're lagering in a Uni.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Questions
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2013, 07:35:21 AM »
I have a bright tank at home.  Ok, it's actually a keg with about an inch cut off the dip tube.  I just transferred a kolsch last week to my "bright tank" with gelatin and put in my kegerator.  A few days later, I hooked up a jumper from the tank's out to the new keg's out and transferred the beer.  As I was watching the line, I couldn't tell if it was transferred because it was so clear.  It wasn't until it was empty that I knew it worked.

This is a great idea, especially if you lager, condition, or fine in the keg and you tend to move kegs around or transport them.

Since my kegorator only holds 3, I tend to move kegs in and out. Every time I do, I'll stir up a bit of sediment.
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Offline singletrack brewer

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Re: Questions
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2013, 07:47:09 AM »
In our 7 BBl set up we have two fermenters and four brite/serving tanks. 

In terms of fermenter time, our batches take about the same amount of time in primary that yours do. I like for them to have 3 weeks in the fermenter at a minimum and I find that the beers greatly benefit from that. ...


What do you mean by this? Are they more clear? Less fermentation byproducts?

I ask because I think 3 weeks is quite a long time to sit in a fermenter at home, let alone in a production environment, unless you're lagering in a Uni.

It does seem like a long time but the beers benefit because it gives the yeast time to settle out properly and clean up fermentation byproducts.  Keep in mind that the three weeks includes fermentation, settling, trub dumping, yeast dumping/harvestiing, dry hopping and cold crashing prior to transfer.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 08:50:26 AM by singletrack brewer »
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Questions
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2013, 09:41:16 AM »
Thanks Singletrack.

I thought I understood but wasn't certain. I suppose how many fermentors depends on how quick you need them. Or space.

I've been noticing some debate over how long brews stay in the primary. My personal method is to let them go till no visible signs, then verify with hydrometer, and tasting for acetaldehyde. Currently I brew small milds and 1.065 IPA with 1728, and a 1.045 lager with 2112. All at 55°. The mild usually finishes in about 18-20 days, and the other two by 28 days. I dry hop the last 7 days and crash at 32° the last 3 days. Sounds like this would work on a large scale too.

Thanks again for the info!

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Re: Questions
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2013, 10:22:31 AM »
I have a bright tank at home.  Ok, it's actually a keg with about an inch cut off the dip tube.  I just transferred a kolsch last week to my "bright tank" with gelatin and put in my kegerator.  A few days later, I hooked up a jumper from the tank's out to the new keg's out and transferred the beer.  As I was watching the line, I couldn't tell if it was transferred because it was so clear.  It wasn't until it was empty that I knew it worked.

+1. This is what I do as well. Actually, I now use a sanke keg as a BBT. I don't cut the dip tube though. I just blow the yeast out before racking. I carbonate and fine at the same time in my sanke. I also ferment in a sanke with spear removed, replace spear when time to rack and follow same procedure. Blow out slug of yeast and rack unfined beer. Just make sure you purchase your sanke if you go this route and don't steal kegs.;)

As far as # of fermentors go I have two 30s and four 20s with 2 30 bbl BBTs and one 12 bbl bbt for small 10 bbl batches. I either double or single batch in 20bbls and double or tripel in 30bbl. My fermentations take 1-2 weeks depending on the beer. Sometimes I have a beer sit as long as 3 weeks, especially if I'm dry hopping or experiencing a longer than usual fermentation. I crash cool and fine in FV and that takes about 3 days for me. Then I take 2 to 5 days in BBT for most beers.

For me (production brewery, not a pub) it is better to have more FV that BBT.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Questions
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2013, 10:43:10 AM »
I have a bright tank at home.  Ok, it's actually a keg with about an inch cut off the dip tube.  I just transferred a kolsch last week to my "bright tank" with gelatin and put in my kegerator.  A few days later, I hooked up a jumper from the tank's out to the new keg's out and transferred the beer.  As I was watching the line, I couldn't tell if it was transferred because it was so clear.  It wasn't until it was empty that I knew it worked.

+1. This is what I do as well. Actually, I now use a sanke keg as a BBT. I don't cut the dip tube though. I just blow the yeast out before racking. I carbonate and fine at the same time in my sanke. I also ferment in a sanke with spear removed, replace spear when time to rack and follow same procedure. Blow out slug of yeast and rack unfined beer. Just make sure you purchase your sanke if you go this route and don't steal kegs.;)

As far as # of fermentors go I have two 30s and four 20s with 2 30 bbl BBTs and one 12 bbl bbt for small 10 bbl batches. I either double or single batch in 20bbls and double or tripel in 30bbl. My fermentations take 1-2 weeks depending on the beer. Sometimes I have a beer sit as long as 3 weeks, especially if I'm dry hopping or experiencing a longer than usual fermentation. I crash cool and fine in FV and that takes about 3 days for me. Then I take 2 to 5 days in BBT for most beers.

For me (production brewery, not a pub) it is better to have more FV that BBT.

Keith...do you filter or fine any of your beers?

OP: On another note...I think the yeast strain comes into play with the fermentation/conditioning time. Some strains like 002 are done and out quicker than a Belgian Abbey strain like 530. Of course, fermentation temp is also a factor.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Questions
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2013, 11:56:51 AM »
I usually fine in FV and sometimes again in BBT. No filtering.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Questions
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2013, 12:22:23 PM »

[/quote]

Keith...do you filter or fine any of your beers?

OP: On another note...I think the yeast strain comes into play with the fermentation/conditioning time. Some strains like 002 are done and out quicker than a Belgian Abbey strain like 530. Of course, fermentation temp is also a factor.
[/quote]

Yes totally. My done by times are yeast/recipe/temp driven. Experience with a similar batch may give an approximate time frame, but I still measure and taste.

What spurred this was listening to a Brew Strong pod cast. The pros were saying they primary for two weeks. Making it sound like that was a standard. I was curious. Now I know.

Offline singletrack brewer

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Re: Questions
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2013, 03:09:51 PM »
The debate for long primaries over secondary have been going on for quite some time on other forums as well.  It's interesting to discuss and to share ideas and experiences with other brewers both fellow pro and fellow homebrewers (yes, I still brew at home too).  After all, isn't this how we all improve as brewers? 
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Re: Questions
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2013, 05:30:54 PM »
I just leave mine in primary until it tastes right. No debate thee. ;)
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Re: Questions
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2013, 06:23:52 PM »
All at 55°. The mild usually finishes in about 18-20 days, and the other two by 28 days.

If that's the time it takes reach FG, then I'd say you have some sort of problem. Under-pitching, or pitching/fermenting too cool, or maybe inconsistent temperature, or some sort of nutrient deficiency… something though. 55°F is *really* cold to expect most ale yeasts to attenuate properly, so it could be that simple. I think a good rule of thumb is that ales should attenuate around 2°P/day, lagers half that. So a 5% ABV ale should reach FG in less than five days; even a two-week turnaround leaves plenty of time for maturation, crashing, fining, etc.

As far as fermenters per bright, it varies wildly. A brewpub might well have more brights (used as serving tanks) than fermenters, but a production brewery that filters and packages three batches a day would need 54 times the bright volume in fermentation just to keep up, assuming an average turnaround of 18 days.
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Questions
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2013, 08:41:30 PM »
I would say you adjust your fermenter size to your brewhouse size.
I double brew to my fermenters.

I have 3 fermenters and this allows me to brew once a week every week.
I ferment lagers and it usually takes me 10 to 11 days to reach FG.
I could get by with two fermenters but with this set up I can harvest and pitch yeast on the brew day.

There is more to this madness.
Before you can brew you need to have an empty fermenter.
So you need to look at the production schedule from the back end first.
When do I keg/can/bottle from the bright tank.
When can I clean and filter to the empty bright tank.
when can I clean and brew to the empty fermenter.

This means if you do not package/sell enough beer you will not have open BT and eventually FV.

When we talk about fermentation schedule.
You should be able to ferment Ale in 4 days.
Hybrid (alt...) in 7 days
and lager in 10 days.
Give it a day or two dependent on strain.

As a10t2 said if you do not get this results, revisit your fermentation process.

Good Luck.
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