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Old 02-18-2012, 09:15 PM   #1
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Default Franconia Brewery Accident

I've been to Franconia a couple times for their tour, Dennis and all the guys there are good people, and they make great beer. Hopefully everyone is ok.

http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/arch...explosion.html

That big fermentor laying on it's side in the pic was originally in another room, separated by a wall, about 20 feet or so away. Scary stuff.


Someone that was there tweeted this pic of the bulging fermentor before the explosion:



And what was left of the wall if flew through:

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Old 02-18-2012, 09:18 PM   #2
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Wow, reading the twitter posts at the bottom, it sounds like a tour group of 100 people were in the room with the fermenter three minutes prior to it exploding. This could have been a major accident...

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Old 02-18-2012, 10:54 PM   #3
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You'd think those would have a pressure release valve on them considering the amount of damage one could cause. Not sure if that is a pressure gauge on the right or what the scale is but it looks like its pegged pretty high.

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Old 02-18-2012, 11:20 PM   #4
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There could have been a pressure relief valve, but sometimes they fail or cannot relieve pressure quick enough, depending on what was going on in the tank. Anyway, some of the nicest brewery folk I've talked to. Hopefully nobody is injured too badly.

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Old 02-19-2012, 12:57 AM   #5
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That gauge is pretty high, no doubt!

That tank, should have had a PRV on top of the dome, sometimes you see the PRV on a blow off or CIP line. Generally they attach via a 1.5" Tri-clover fitting. Sometimes a Spundig valve will be used. The static PRVs are usually calibrated to a specific pressure, whereas the spundigs are adjustable. Some people will attach a spundig valve and assume it will blow off at it's last pressure setting. This is a dangerous practice. They should be adjusted with EVERY use.

One company I worked for I was the corporate brewmaster and had two additional pubs under my supervision. One of the brewers didn't check his spundig on a tank and it caused the manway door to buckle. These tanks used a much lighter door than the one in the pic and if it had given way, it would have just popped the door. A manager at the pub saw the manway and alerted him before it got ugly. This was one of several things that led to this guy's walking papers. The INSANE thing is that his replacement did the SAME thing within a couple weeks of starting. He didn't last long either.

I am NOT saying this is what happened here - I wasn't there, I don't know and don't want to slander anyone.

Anyway, SCARY... I hope the people who got hurt recover quickly

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Old 02-19-2012, 04:02 AM   #6
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So sorry to hear this. The owner is a good guy, very friendly and deserving of success. I bet his insurance company will forbid any future tours... :-(

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Old 02-19-2012, 08:02 AM   #7
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Hope everyone is ok, and this doesn't affect business too much.

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Old 02-19-2012, 01:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fratermus View Post
So sorry to hear this. The owner is a good guy, very friendly and deserving of success. I bet his insurance company will forbid any future tours... :-(
I was too wondering, what, if any, impact there would be on future tours. Hopefully they can keep them going.
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:07 PM   #9
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What would lead to a build-up of this kind of pressure? Could the blow-off tube have been blocked or something?

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Old 02-19-2012, 03:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dedndcrusr View Post
What would lead to a build-up of this kind of pressure? Could the blow-off tube have been blocked or something?
A blocked blowoff tube wouldn't be enough, the blockage would give long before the tank... look upwards at my previous post for some thoughts.

Basically the possibilities are these; a faulty, uncalibrated or even non-existant pressure relief valve
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