Recirculating a tank while packaging?

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Rob2010SS

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Hi everyone. Looking to get some information on recirculating a tank while packaging?

We're brewing a seltzer with just about 25% fruit puree added in after fermentation. In talking with the people at Aseptic Fruit Purees, their recommendation, to avoid any settling issues, was to recirculate the tank while canning everything up.

Have never done this before. I overthink things sometimes and get in my head and make it hard to see clearly past obstacles sometimes, so looking for anyone who's done this before.

- Do you need a special kind of pump or will the typical brewing pumps work?
- Obviously sanitation is important, I'm not SUPER worried about that, as that's pretty easy to control.
- The canning line is going to hook up directly to the racking port on the tank, so that's not an option for recirculation use. Perhaps instead of attaching a sample valve directly to the tank, attach a 3rd butterfly valve to the body of the tank and use that as the recirculation port? Can have a sample valve attached to that butterfly valve during fermentation for gravity checks, but then could close the valve, pull the sample valve and use the valve to recirc?
- At this point of packaging, it’ll be carbonated, how do you not end up with a foamy mess? I can use beer line for a keg and make sure it’s long enough but will the pump itself cause foaming? I would think so…?
- As long as there’s positive pressure in the tank, I can’t imagine there’s any risk is collapsing the tank, right?

If anyone has any tips, let me know. Appreciate any help in advance!

Thanks.
 

Deadalus

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I can't answer most of your questions but I recently solved a recirculation idea I had by using a t-style three way ball valve where a regular inline ball valve was. Previously I was pumping water from the HLT to the mash tun for fly sparging. The new three way allows me to recirculate the water in the HLT while also pumping to the MT. Something like that maybe in your canning line and then if you had an L-style three way at your sample port you could switch between recirculation and sampling. Might not be as sanitary as you want I only have looked at NPT versions. I think you can duplicate both types though by using multiple regular valves, just more opening and closing.
 

Deadalus

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So a tee or a wye at the sample port with two valves. Canning line off the racking port with a tee. (or wye) and two valves. One valve and line to the sample port one valve to continue the canning line. How's that?

A wye in the canning line would probably be less turbulent or a long sweep is potentially useful?
 

Deadalus

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They do make TC three way ball valves both types but I ave no idea what size tubing you might be using. With bigger internal diameter there is less pressure loss which might reduce foaming if you used bigger tubing before the canning line run. Just a thought.
 

SanPancho

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i assume you aren’t filtering? Gonna have to make sure fruit bits don’t get funky in cans…

considering you aren’t filtering there isn’t any reason to use the racking arm. Just put a T off of the bottom port and re-circulate back up to racking arm. The racking arm should point upwards initially, then start pointing down as the tank volume decreases. Make sure you dump all the yeast before you start to recirculate. At that point you just need to purge the pump lines and pressurize them to the tank pressure
 
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Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

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i assume you aren’t filtering? Gonna have to make sure fruit bits don’t get funky in cans…

considering you aren’t filtering there isn’t any reason to use the racking arm. Just put a T off of the bottom port and re-circulate back up to racking arm. The racking arm should point upwards initially, then start pointing down as the tank volume decreases. Make sure you dump all the yeast before you start to recirculate. At that point you just need to purge the pump lines and pressurize them to the tank pressure
Nope no filtering. Will be dumping yeast prior to adding fruit. Will also be letting some of the heavier stuff in the fruit settle out and dump that as well before carbonating and recirculating.

As far as the racking arm goes, good thinking! I have a T that I can put on the bottom and hook up the valve as well as the connection for the canning line, so that should work!

Just was thinking… as I’m still concerned about the carbonation and foam, what if we setup the recirculation prior to carbonating. Once the pump is running, hook up the CO2 and start carbing while running the pump?

You mention pressurizing the pump lines to match the pressure in the tank. Could I install another tee on the pump with a ball lock gas connection on it and use that to pressurize them?

Will silicone lines hold the pressure?
 

SanPancho

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as long as it stays pressurized foaming should be minimal. just dont go crazy with pump. use a sightglass, run for a few minutes on low speed until what you see becomes homogenous. then run off into cans.

dont know what hoses you're using but i think even plain silicone is good to like 30psi.
 
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Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

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as long as it stays pressurized foaming should be minimal. just dont go crazy with pump. use a sightglass, run for a few minutes on low speed until what you see becomes homogenous. then run off into cans.

dont know what hoses you're using but i think even plain silicone is good to like 30psi.
So probably should have a ball valve on the out flow of the pump to slow it a bit?
 

SanPancho

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interesting. might cause foaming i would think if you had to close it down alot to get the flow slow. but in a tank full of liquid might not be a big problem. if thats your only option for speed control then thats what you gotta do..
 
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Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

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interesting. might cause foaming i would think if you had to close it down alot to get the flow slow. but in a tank full of liquid might not be a big problem. if thats your only option for speed control then thats what you gotta do..
The pumps I have, there’s no control on them with the exception of a ball valve on the outflow. That’s the only way to control speed. Unless I buy a smaller pump or something for this…
 
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Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

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For those interested, quick update on this…

Bought new braided silicone lines that are capable of holding a ridiculous amount of pressure. Bought new quick connect fittings for those hoses. Have the pump pulling from the bottom dump valve and recirculating back into the top of the tank where the blow off arm goes. I started this and the carb stone at the same time so that the pump started with un-carbed seltzer and that it’ll slowly carb while the pump is running. Seems to be going well and we’re 8 hours in. The real test will be tomorrow when we go to can it on the Duofiller! Fingers crossed…
 
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