Yeast harvesting/conical fermenter usage

Yeast harvesting/conical fermenter usage

Post by Jeff Kavanaug » Tue, 12 Nov 1996 04:00:00



My question is about using a cylindroconical fermenter. What are the
standard ways/setups to do primary fermentation and yeast
harvesting and final racking to bright/serving tanks.

heres my take: After primary, open the bottom drain and discard the first
runnings (mainly trub). Then collect the yeast for later use. The clearer
beer will follow the yeast and get transferred to secondary or
conditioning tanks.

Do most breweries transfer the yeast and beer through the bottom drain, or
do they use a second valve above the sediment to transfer the beer and
drain the yeast last through the bottom valve?

The reason I ask is to figure out how to use one of those 15gal plastic
fermenters.  I was thinking of doing the primary ferment in the plastic
and the racking to corny kegs for self-carbonating/conditioning.

But do I transfer with one bottom drain or 2 valves ? Anyone with
experience with these fermenters please jump in. (not the
fermenter,except if you want to clean it.)

TIA

Jeff Kavanaugh

 
 
 

Yeast harvesting/conical fermenter usage

Post by A. J. deLang » Thu, 14 Nov 1996 04:00:00



Quote:

>Do most breweries transfer the yeast and beer through the bottom drain, or
>do they use a second valve above the sediment to transfer the beer and
>drain the yeast last through the bottom valve?

Based on poking around a couple of microbreweries I think the beer
is drawn off from a second valve well above the bottom of the cone.
In the small cylindroconicals sold to home brewers there is only the
one valve and it requires some skill to get clear beer. Blow down the
yeast daily for 3 or 4 days and then do this twice on the day beer
is racked to Cornelius kegs or whatever. You will still get some
lumps of yeast (as they fall off the sides of the cone) this way
but they will settle to the bottom of the Cornelius with time.

AJ


 
 
 

Yeast harvesting/conical fermenter usage

Post by Joe Rol » Sat, 16 Nov 1996 04:00:00




Quote:

>My question is about using a cylindroconical fermenter. What are the
>standard ways/setups to do primary fermentation and yeast
>harvesting and final racking to bright/serving tanks.

this could take a long time

Quote:

>heres my take: After primary, open the bottom drain and discard the first
>runnings (mainly trub). Then collect the yeast for later use. The clearer
>beer will follow the yeast and get transferred to secondary or
>conditioning tanks.

>Do most breweries transfer the yeast and beer through the bottom drain, or
>do they use a second valve above the sediment to transfer the beer and
>drain the yeast last through the bottom valve?

best bet is the day after or next shift, to pull a little cold break off
the bottom valve, you can also use this to do a fast/accelerated ferment
to determine what the "bottom" gravity will be.

depending on the yeast strain, the cold may need to be applied to the
fermenter to settle out the yeast.  this can take anywhere from 2 to 7 days
or more. when harvesting pull the middle layers for repitch.  all this will
need to be determined by the tank design, how cold you can get the beer
if the tank is jacketed on the cone (helps when you store for longer
periods be fore drawing off), angle of the cone...it may be advantageous
to have a mid cone outlet with a racking arm.  this will allow you to pull
from above the slurry, get a sight glass of some sort to help the process.
then depending on the volume and thickness of the slurry in the cone you can
rack fairly yeast free beer no matter what the yeasts packing ability is.

Quote:

>The reason I ask is to figure out how to use one of those 15gal plastic
>fermenters.  I was thinking of doing the primary ferment in the plastic
>and the racking to corny kegs for self-carbonating/conditioning.

well skip the jackets.....you may want to have some attemperation device
installed inside the tank, with thermometers

Quote:

>But do I transfer with one bottom drain or 2 valves ? Anyone with
>experience with these fermenters please jump in. (not the
>fermenter,except if you want to clean it.)

one outlet is a pain, it just takes forever to get the bulk of the yeast out.
you may be able to start a siphon from on top rather then spend the expense
of another outlet/valve.  my experience is with SS and the $150 butterfly
valves
so it is a lot different.  cleaning is the easy part;)

good luck
joe

 
 
 

Yeast harvesting/conical fermenter usage

Post by SPBurr » Tue, 19 Nov 1996 04:00:00



Quote:



> >Do most breweries transfer the yeast and beer through the bottom drain, or
> >do they use a second valve above the sediment to transfer the beer and
> >drain the yeast last through the bottom valve?

> Based on poking around a couple of microbreweries I think the beer
> is drawn off from a second valve well above the bottom of the cone.
> In the small cylindroconicals sold to home brewers there is only the
> one valve and it requires some skill to get clear beer. Blow down the
> yeast daily for 3 or 4 days and then do this twice on the day beer
> is racked to Cornelius kegs or whatever. You will still get some
> lumps of yeast (as they fall off the sides of the cone) this way
> but they will settle to the bottom of the Cornelius with time.

> AJ


What about a single outlet which is moveable?  Imagine the outlet to be a
tube which can slide up and down through the bottom of the fermenter.  To
let of sediment and slurry, draw the tube down so that the top is below
the level of the slurry.  To draw off clear beer, push the tube up into
the fermenter so that its top is well above the slurry.  All that is
required is (1) the tube itself with its valve; (2) a fitting at the
bottom of the fermenter's cone which allows the tube to move freely, yet
can be twist-locked to secure the tube's position.

All this tube motion will be a great deal easier if it takes place in a
clear fermenter, of course...

 
 
 

Yeast harvesting/conical fermenter usage

Post by A. J. deLang » Thu, 21 Nov 1996 04:00:00



Quote:

> All that is
>required is (1) the tube itself with its valve; (2) a fitting at the
>bottom of the fermenter's cone which allows the tube to move freely, yet
>can be twist-locked to secure the tube's position.

The problem that I see with this approach is that a tight gland
would also be required as the beer at the bottom of the cone is
under pressure from at least the hydrostatic head of the beer
above it. Unitanks are often sealed in order to allow the beer
to carbonate naturally so there may be another 10 psi or so
from the CO2.

If the beer were not to be carbonated in the unitank your
idea of a moveable outlet is a good one if the pipe comes
down from the top. No gland would be required as no pressure
is to be contained. Racking would work much as it does with
a carboy i.e. the beer would be siphoned. See a patent
attorney!

AJ