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Old 07-04-2011, 02:22 PM   #1
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Default Jet engine Brewhemoth

So I built a little element that tri-clamps into the bottom of my Brewhemoth to Steam sterilize my conical to kill all the little nasties. I had a 1” braided blow off hose into 2-1/2 to 3 gallons of Starsan and the steam had bubbled through it to keep the nasties from re-entering the conical. I figured that as it cooled it would pull some Starsan into up the tube, but I Never thought it would have done what it did. I was prepping for the rest of the brew day when all of the sudden It sounded like my Brewhemoth was launching into orbit, I about had a heart attack and I didn’t know if something was going to blow or what. In a matter of 5 seconds all the Starsan was violently sucked into my conical …Someone help me here to tell me what exactly happened. I think it was cooling and as soon as the Starsan reached the Conical it created a faster and faster cooling rate from the cold Starsan entering the fermenter. Thank goodness I used a braided blow off hose or it could have collapsed and caused my Brewhemoth to crinkle.

So for my next brew, how should I allow air back into the fermenter as it cools without allowing nasties back in? I was thinking about one of those little sterile air filters people use on top of their carboys to start a siphon?

All is good now with my 10 Gallons of brew nicely fermenting at exactly 68 degrees using the internal chiller.

This was also my first brew going from the boil kettle through my 40 plate chiller, directly into the conical. Wow, I saved an hour off my brew day and I know that no little nasties got into my cooling wort like it could have before.

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Old 07-05-2011, 03:34 AM   #2
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Blowing the stem into the conical displaced the air, when the steam condenses it takes up about 1/1400th of the same space. With that kind of vacuum pulled it will draw from anywhere to equalize the pressures, in your case it drew the star san into the conical. Also any time steam flows into or through water it transfers heat to the liquid which will explosively boil giving you a range of distressing sounds from fire crackers to freight train. The ideal solution to steam sterilize process is to let sterile air refill the conical when the steam condenses, no use in adding star san, you should have killed the beasties with heat from direct application of steam.

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Old 07-05-2011, 01:25 PM   #3
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Default Brewhemoth

Wow, thanks, so what would be the best way to provide Steril Air, a starsan soaked rag over one of my tri clamp openings at the top of the fermenter?

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Old 07-05-2011, 06:28 PM   #4
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You can probably get by using a couple layers of tight woven cloth for a dust filter to keep out airborne materials, soaking the cloth in starsan would probably not be needed if the steam passes through the cloth to sanitize it. You are looking at preventing dust and hitchhiking beasties from recontaminating the inside, hepa filtration would be overkill. The places to really spend time on while cleaning are any threaded joints and ball valve cavities, if there is organic material left behind there it will most likely get infected even with steam sterilizing.

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Old 07-26-2011, 08:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladue View Post
You can probably get by using a couple layers of tight woven cloth for a dust filter to keep out airborne materials, soaking the cloth in starsan would probably not be needed if the steam passes through the cloth to sanitize it. You are looking at preventing dust and hitchhiking beasties from recontaminating the inside, hepa filtration would be overkill. The places to really spend time on while cleaning are any threaded joints and ball valve cavities, if there is organic material left behind there it will most likely get infected even with steam sterilizing.
This is dead on correct imo.
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:19 PM   #6
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I think I've seen sintered stainless tri-clamp gaskets somewhere (like .5 micron or whatever), but I can't remember where now. A bit overkill, but...

I also do a steam sanitizing of my vessels using a steam generator (the ones meant for steaming clothing... think SkyMall). Always after a sour beer and otherwise after about 5 ferments per vessel. My thermowell registers 212 in 10 minutes or less. I'll daisy chain vessels after the primary to steam them all at the same time. I also steam sanitize my plate chiller with it. Fun for sure and there's no better peace of mind.

Why don't you fill the fermenter with O2. Not only with that kill things- it's sterile.. and it's waiting for your wort to splash into. All you are looking for is sterile gas, it doesn't need to be air. Make it CO2 then.

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Old 07-28-2011, 07:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sankepankey View Post
make it co2 then.
+1
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