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Doubling Down: SS Brewtech Conical + FTSS + Glycol Power Pack

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Morrey

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Just took a hydro sample and then dropped a few dryhops in. Any of you planning on using a basket or anything? I used to do bags in my old conicals but they'd sometimes block the racking valve. I'd tie it with some floss and run it up the lid, reach in and grab that out if it happened. Dont really want to do that since no O2 on dank eepahs is the goal. My experience with dryhops settling during cold crash is pretty hit or miss. Think Ill just go for it and see if I wind up with any clogged dip tubes.


For dry hopping, I have an Arbor Fab mesh dry hop tube with a cap that is suspended by a chain and hook. I took a 3" TC blank end cap and tack welded a bracket on the underside to hang the chain and suspend the tube mid-level. The tube measures 2.75" in diameter so it fits perfectly down into the 3" port on top. The cooling coils keep the hop tube from blocking anything, plus the chain and hook keep the tube suspended and out of the way of any openings that may otherwise get blocked.

Of course opening the tank's 3" port allows some O2 exposure as we are all trying to avoid. Conversely many big breweries just open a hatch and dump hops in, so at least we are not the lone strangers out there allowing in minimal O2 exposure.

Just a thought: Do you think there may any value to connecting a CO2 line to the BO tube and running CO2 thru the racking cane while we took the 3" port off the top to dry hop? This may not be 100% effective, but a flow of CO2 over the top of the beer may keep O2 from entering the tank as rapidly. Thoughts?
 

iijakii

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For dry hopping, I have an Arbor Fab mesh dry hop tube with a cap that is suspended by a chain and hook. I took a 3" TC blank end cap and tack welded a bracket on the underside to hang the chain and suspend the tube mid-level. The tube measures 2.75" in diameter so it fits perfectly down into the 3" port on top. The cooling coils keep the hop tube from blocking anything, plus the chain and hook keep the tube suspended and out of the way of any openings that may otherwise get blocked.

Of course opening the tank's 3" port allows some O2 exposure as we are all trying to avoid. Conversely many big breweries just open a hatch and dump hops in, so at least we are not the lone strangers out there allowing in minimal O2 exposure.

Just a thought: Do you think there may any value to connecting a CO2 line to the BO tube and running CO2 thru the racking cane while we took the 3" port off the top to dry hop? This may not be 100% effective, but a flow of CO2 over the top of the beer may keep O2 from entering the tank as rapidly. Thoughts?
Nice, I might have to grab one of those if I wind up clogging this batch.

I figured after dry-hopping I'll just purge a few times while feeding some CO2 in from the carbstone.
 

marjen

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I got something exactly like that from amazon I am going to try. Will be adding dry hops today. Need to add about 12 oz. Not sure if I will put all in the container or some loose as well.

Has anyone dumped the trub yet? Just wondering how it went. Also should I close the blow off valve before opening the bottom butterfly valve? Just wondering if it would suck back up water from the jar its connected to?

I think my plan is to dump trub, add try hops then close blow off going forward and let it start to build carbonation as it dry hops. One thing I found with my fermentasaruas is once you start to pressurize you can't really open it up again as it really started to foam up and mixed any hops and trub back into the beer. It took quite some time for it all to settle out again. So thats why I am thinking single large dry hop and then start to build pressure. Though next trub dump will be a lot more iffy as I am afraid with the pressure it will explode out the bottom port. Had that happen on the fermentasaurus as well. Anyone else have a good method for handling that?
 

iijakii

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I got something exactly like that from amazon I am going to try. Will be adding dry hops today. Need to add about 12 oz. Not sure if I will put all in the container or some loose as well.

Has anyone dumped the trub yet? Just wondering how it went. Also should I close the blow off valve before opening the bottom butterfly valve? Just wondering if it would suck back up water from the jar its connected to?

I think my plan is to dump trub, add try hops then close blow off going forward and let it start to build carbonation as it dry hops. One thing I found with my fermentasaruas is once you start to pressurize you can't really open it up again as it really started to foam up and mixed any hops and trub back into the beer. It took quite some time for it all to settle out again. So thats why I am thinking single large dry hop and then start to build pressure. Though next trub dump will be a lot more iffy as I am afraid with the pressure it will explode out the bottom port. Had that happen on the fermentasaurus as well. Anyone else have a good method for handling that?
Heh, I made a mess dumpin trub last night at just a couple PSI. Until I get it tall enough to throw a bucket under Im going to just use some hose on the dump valve.

Ive heard of people having issues with dry-hopping carbonated beer before, never really have had that happen in my kegs. We'll see how it goes with my dry hops. Hard to see through the stainless but I guess Ill be able to see if the samples I pull are all trubby.
 

iijakii

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Did you guys see they're launching a 7gal version? https://www.ssbrewtech.com/collections/home-unitanks/products/7-gal-unitank

If I ever get a second I'll maybe consider one of those (or the spike). I do a mix of 5 and 10gal batches. Ive got a fiver(well, 6) going in my unitank right now. With the temp probe being at the 4gallon mark it's good enough. Would prefer more of the wort to be in contact with the coil and walls though.

I do like that the carb stone is on the side so the front is less cramped.
 

Morrey

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Did you guys see they're launching a 7gal version? https://www.ssbrewtech.com/collections/home-unitanks/products/7-gal-unitank

If I ever get a second I'll maybe consider one of those (or the spike). I do a mix of 5 and 10gal batches. Ive got a fiver(well, 6) going in my unitank right now. With the temp probe being at the 4gallon mark it's good enough. Would prefer more of the wort to be in contact with the coil and walls though.

I do like that the carb stone is on the side so the front is less cramped.
I had previously talked with Ss about using our 14G uni's for 5.5G batches. They said it was completely within reason, but due to the limited turns of the cooling coils that would be in contact with the wort at the 5.5G level, cold crashing would be slow and inefficient. They didn't say it, but I also wonder if general cooling during fermentation may be compromised too? Our 14G's kept the same design as the bigger tanks, just scaled down. As we all agree, valve placement got tight as a result of the scale down. The 7G makes various changes by necessity, and I am not completely sold on the way the BO racking cane and pressure valve is configured. I may be wrong, but this looks like at least two weak points that may be fragile. Not sure.

I thought all along I'd buy a 7G uni if offered. Now I better put my wallet where my mouth is......or just use the 14G for half batches and quit with all this bling.
 

iijakii

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I had previously talked with Ss about using our 14G uni's for 5.5G batches. They said it was completely within reason, but due to the limited turns of the cooling coils that would be in contact with the wort at the 5.5G level, cold crashing would be slow and inefficient. They didn't say it, but I also wonder if general cooling during fermentation may be compromised too? Our 14G's kept the same design as the bigger tanks, just scaled down. As we all agree, valve placement got tight as a result of the scale down. The 7G makes various changes by necessity, and I am not completely sold on the way the BO racking cane and pressure valve is configured. I may be wrong, but this looks like at least two weak points that may be fragile. Not sure.

I thought all along I'd buy a 7G uni if offered. Now I better put my wallet where my mouth is......or just use the 14G for half batches and quit with all this bling.
Yeah we'll see how cold crashing goes. I think with a pretty cold glycol temp it'll drop fine.

I was just thinking that I should probably drop the thermowell down to the lower row when doing the smaller batches. I think the carb/sample ports are more 3G level from what I remember.
 

Matt617

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Given the tightness of controls with the 14g, I suspect the 7g to be tighter around the dump valve. Two questions:

1. What are your thoughts about adding extension legs to the 14g unitank?
2. Glycol Chiller...SS or Penguin?

Love this forum!
 

marjen

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So last night I emptied some trub. It went well. It does come out pretty fast. What I did was attach a 1.5" TC with a 1/2" cam lock connector. This made the flow a lot more controllable. After the first few seconds it slowed down drastically to where it was kind of clogged. So I took off the connecter and it was enough to start dropping again. Probably emptied 1/4 gallon or so.

After that I added the dry hops. I added 13 total ounces. I did 6.5 in a canister and 6/5 loose. Kind of a test to see how things drop out and how much trub is formed. When I added the hops I also added my new tilt hydrometer. That does not seem to be working correctly. At first it measured 1.018 which seemed plausible for day 3. However later it was ready 1.001. I think the issue is I could only drop it through the middle of the 3" TC port. I also had to drop in the hopping canister there as well, so I think its obstructing it or something. Next time it will be added at the beginning so I should be able to work out a better location.

I also closed the blow off valve and started letting the pressure build naturally. By this morning it was up to about 11 psi.

I have had a couple issues with the FTSs. The power cord does not seem to be staying in well. twice it has just shut off because of that. This morning when I went to check on things the temp in the fermenter was down to 60 because it shut off overnight. Not sure if its a bad connector or what. tried to move wires around a little and turned it back on, but not happy with its performance so far. The other day it shut off and rose to around 70. I have had it set to 66.5. The rest of the time its been steady when working, but not happy I have had a few large fluctuations due to connector issue.
 

Morrey

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Yeah we'll see how cold crashing goes. I think with a pretty cold glycol temp it'll drop fine.

I was just thinking that I should probably drop the thermowell down to the lower row when doing the smaller batches. I think the carb/sample ports are more 3G level from what I remember.
That's a great idea to use the thermowell down where the sample valve would normally be for a reduced sized batch. I haven't measured, but if placed up higher, would the sample valve be reached by a 5.5G volume?

What about adding some water bottles dunked in star San to displace the wort up for more coil contact?
This would work

Given the tightness of controls with the 14g, I suspect the 7g to be tighter around the dump valve. Two questions:

1. What are your thoughts about adding extension legs to the 14g unitank?
2. Glycol Chiller...SS or Penguin?

Love this forum!
I posted a pic a few posts ago showing my valve orientation which is working well.

In our commercial printing operation, we have used Penguin water cooling products for many years on our high volume presses. Penguin is a long trusted name in this application and we (knock on wood) have a good track record with Penguin's reliability.

Being brand loyal, I ended up buying the Penguin when they had an introductory offer so I've had it in use for maybe 6 months now. Set the chiller at 28F and never worry about it handling the chilling loads. About $200 cheaper than Ss and works just fine.
 

MaltManMike

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What about adding some water bottles dunked in star San to displace the wort up for more coil contact?
As mentioned, this would work, but I hope the irony of buying a top-of-the-line, sanitary-fitting stainless steel unitank and then deciding to throw plastic water bottles inside isn't lost on you. :) I had the same line of thinking, but far more ideally someone could recommend some stainless or maybe teflon cylinders (like giant stirbars) that have a very smooth surface that's easier to sanitize.
 

sfrisby

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As mentioned, this would work, but I hope the irony of buying a top-of-the-line, sanitary-fitting stainless steel unitank and then deciding to throw plastic water bottles inside isn't lost on you. :) I had the same line of thinking, but far more ideally someone could recommend some stainless or maybe teflon cylinders (like giant stirbars) that have a very smooth surface that's easier to sanitize.


Ok.
 

Morrey

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As mentioned, this would work, but I hope the irony of buying a top-of-the-line, sanitary-fitting stainless steel unitank and then deciding to throw plastic water bottles inside isn't lost on you. :) I had the same line of thinking, but far more ideally someone could recommend some stainless or maybe teflon cylinders (like giant stirbars) that have a very smooth surface that's easier to sanitize.
Of course we need to factor in that we are discussing using this specific 14G tank for a volume other than for which it was designed.
 

jready

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I think if you bought some really expensive imported water bottles it’d be okay. [emoji851]

Kidding. My concern would be it would just make it easier for clogs.
 

iijakii

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Displacing volume in there seems silly to me. Either get the smaller one or just brew larger batches :p. More beer is always the answer I reckon.

So far my 14G one is doing just fine on a 6G batch, but it's cool in my garage so the glycol hasn't really ran at all. I did pitch it at 80 and it dropped the temp down quickly. So the limited coil submergence seems fine so far. Then again the thermometer is up high so maybe down below it's not too uniform. Im not worried about doing 6g batches in there, but I'll probably wind up doing mostly 10s or maybe even some random 8s or so too.
 

Morrey

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Displacing volume in there seems silly to me. Either get the smaller one or just brew larger batches :p. More beer is always the answer I reckon.

So far my 14G one is doing just fine on a 6G batch, but it's cool in my garage so the glycol hasn't really ran at all. I did pitch it at 80 and it dropped the temp down quickly. So the limited coil submergence seems fine so far. Then again the thermometer is up high so maybe down below it's not too uniform. Im not worried about doing 6g batches in there, but I'll probably wind up doing mostly 10s or maybe even some random 8s or so too.
Ss stands by their position we will be fine with 6G batches in our 14G tank. Of course heating from the bottom is no biggie, we'll just have to see how the limited number of cooling coils extending into the wort on half batches will work. BUT, if you got down from 80F pretty quickly, this is a good indication a half batch will work fine.

I'll take your advice and run the thermowell down a row and move the sample port up when I do half batches.

I am still kicking tires on the new 7G, but if the 14G handles half batches as we expect will be fine, the 7G may not be as important as I originally thought. Just more bling...but thats cool too!!
 

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Riddle Me This:

I have one of these guys: https://www.ssbrewtech.com/collections/accessories/products/1-5-tc-pressurized-transfer-fitting

In which I put pressure onto my chronical when I'm cold-crashing/transferring. Currently, I have 1 psi on the fermentor, yet I'm seeing bubbles form on the pressure relief valve when I spray it with StarSan. Any clue as to why this is occurring?

I did immediately put it on pressure once I started to cold-crash (to 48ºF fwiw) and the bubbler was still bubbling (due to nucleation points created from the dry-hops, I was already at final gravity for a few days). Could CO2 still be coming out of solution and that, coupled with the pressure I'm pushing onto the chronical be causing the PRV to bubble?
 

jready

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Today was the reason I think I will love the unitank. I had two batches going one in my 14 gal BME one in the new unitank. Both were at FG.

Spent two hours this AM sanitizing my brite tank, trining to clear the dump valve on the BME to no avail then clearing the racking arm with c02 to get the beer out.

Nothing out of the norm. Beer is now carbonating not a big deal.

Unitank cold crashed yesterday after letting final point of gravity build CO2. Cleared the dry hops and the yeast plug easily let it sit a few more hours. One more clear now carbonating. So easy!

Wish I had waited and had several unitanks but I am not complaining!
 

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@PenguinChillers Congrats on the move from Fla to TN! Given the move, what is the eta to get a chiller shipped up to Massachusetts?
 

Matt617

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Today was the reason I think I will love the unitank. I had two batches going one in my 14 gal BME one in the new unitank. Both were at FG.

Spent two hours this AM sanitizing my brite tank, trining to clear the dump valve on the BME to no avail then clearing the racking arm with c02 to get the beer out.

Nothing out of the norm. Beer is now carbonating not a big deal.

Unitank cold crashed yesterday after letting final point of gravity build CO2. Cleared the dry hops and the yeast plug easily let it sit a few more hours. One more clear now carbonating. So easy!

Wish I had waited and had several unitanks but I am not complaining!

Exactly! I read that most brewers prefer Unitank as it was one less piece of equipment to clean where most would rather have more unitank than fermenters/brite tanks if they had to do it all over again. I’m hoping that by the time I need a 2nd unitank, they have figured out how to build a jacketed one at the 14G size at a reasonable price.
 

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@PenguinChillers Congrats on the move from Fla to TN! Given the move, what is the eta to get a chiller shipped up to Massachusetts?

Thanks! As of tomorrow the trucks get unloaded and we start setting everything back up. Still have a couple 1/2HP and 1HP glycol chillers in stock, they will be the first things to be unloaded. After those sell we will probably be a week out from finishing fabrication on more. We can ship the ones we have in stock this Thursday or Friday. FedEx ground should take about 3 business day to arrive.
 

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i just pulled the trigger on the penguin 1/2hp a couple days ago.........cant wait.......hope its about to be in transit......as my new cf10 is on its way......cant wait to see the diff between it and my bme chronical:rockin:
 

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Exactly! I read that most brewers prefer Unitank as it was one less piece of equipment to clean where most would rather have more unitank than fermenters/brite tanks if they had to do it all over again. I’m hoping that by the time I need a 2nd unitank, they have figured out how to build a jacketed one at the 14G size at a reasonable price.
So are professional brewers pouring straight from the unitanks?
 

Matt617

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So are professional brewers pouring straight from the unitanks?
I’ve seen some keg from unitanks using a splitter kind of thing to fill multiple kegs at once. Otherwise its piped to canner, bottlers, etc. Some good YouTube videos on brewery unitanks that I found helpful before buying SS Unitank.
 

iijakii

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Ive seen some smaller breweries that have one of their big staples in a brite tank piped right to the tap, but yeah that's very rare.
 

iijakii

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Was going to keg my first unitank batch tomorrow but going out of town this weekend. Nice thing about it being pressurized, could leave it in there quite a bit longer and not worry a thing.
 

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I’ve seen some keg from unitanks using a splitter kind of thing to fill multiple kegs at once. Otherwise its piped to canner, bottlers, etc. Some good YouTube videos on brewery unitanks that I found helpful before buying SS Unitank.
Send me a link if you get a chance!
 

jready

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Just keged my first batch. It was a NE IPA. Gotta work on the valve placement, probably taking the advice of others and moving the valve on the dump port to the tank to give more space.

That being said there wasn’t much gunk to pick up after pressure build up/cold crash/ clear under 10 psi.

Out of habit I tried to just open the racking arm to clear any junk using a big pitcher I have. Don’t do that. I made a bit of a mess with pressurized beer.

I attached a reducer and beer line to the keg a let er rip. Worked like a charm. Took about 25-30 min to transfer 10 gallons to two kegs. Poured first beer 30 min later just to see poured perfectly! Really cool.
 

Morrey

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Just keged my first batch. It was a NE IPA. Gotta work on the valve placement, probably taking the advice of others and moving the valve on the dump port to the tank to give more space.

That being said there wasn’t much gunk to pick up after pressure build up/cold crash/ clear under 10 psi.

Out of habit I tried to just open the racking arm to clear any junk using a big pitcher I have. Don’t do that. I made a bit of a mess with pressurized beer.

I attached a reducer and beer line to the keg a let er rip. Worked like a charm. Took about 25-30 min to transfer 10 gallons to two kegs. Poured first beer 30 min later just to see poured perfectly! Really cool.
So you carbed in the tank?
 

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How are people switching between oxygen and co2 with the diffusion stone? Just disconnecting the hose from the barb each time or change out the fitting? Personally, I'm tempted to remove the barb from the mini ball valve and try to fit a ball lock post to the valve if I can figure out how.
 

jready

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How are people switching between oxygen and co2 with the diffusion stone? Just disconnecting the hose from the barb each time or change out the fitting? Personally, I'm tempted to remove the barb from the mini ball valve and try to fit a ball lock post to the valve if I can figure out how.
I just hooked up the O2 to oxygenate the wort then remove it. The recommendation is to then do a small burst of C02 just to make sure no 02 is left. I didn't do that. Once fermentation was done and I cold crashed and cleared the yeast/dry hops, I then hooked up the CO2 and set it at about 25 PSI for the first 12 hours then just turned it down to 12 which is where I planned to carb to.
 

martianpc

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I mean the physical connection on the carb stone. Are you just pushing on tubing and then pulling it off? Or did you rig up a way to quickly disconnect it and ensure no co2 leaks
 
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