Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day 59: From Russia with Beer...

I named today's post after the mostest boringest James Bond movie ever made. Today was pretty boring! The off-season is beginning to hit pretty hard and as a result the main priority influencing our brew schedule is "we need to keep the yeasties alive!" instead of "oh crap we are going to run out of that beer!" Today was the first day we have brewed since late august (I believe). I still am keeping myself busy with beer transfers and kegging, but we are almost out of beer to transfer now!

Candice the canning line is what will be keeping me busy starting tomorrow. We had a small computer chip malfunction and had to order a few more... thanks to labor day our "two day shipping" turned into "almost a week." Tomorrow should be the day that I get to start canning water though!!! I'm very excited. Although Candice and I didn't get along very well at first meeting, now I know her better than ever and we are developing into a great team.

Although the day was pretty slow, the end of the day was filled with horror, suspense, and a little drama... It was about 5:07 in the PM, I had just gotten done milling in for the IPA we are going to brew tomorrow. I walked up stairs, wondering to myself "what can I do for the next 50 minutes before I can get out of here?" That was quickly answered for me! Steve was about to clean out our transfer line/heat exchanger that we use to get beer from the kettle to the fermenters. After we had finished our brew we had chased the line out with hot water and then cold water like we always do. When he started the pump on the CIP cart to circulate hot cleaner through the lines, nothing happened! This was puzzling to us...

Could the heat exchanger be frozen? No, the glycol was turned off hours ago.
Could it be clogged with crap? No, we didn't send any crap to it.
Could there be a vapor lock? Nope, not with 500 some odd channels for liquid to move through.

We kept turning on the pump for short bursts only seeing a small amount of liquid trickle through the line back into the CIP cart. More questions and tinkering went on for a good hour. Eventually Steve just told me to go home, he would keep playing with it for a short while and then head home and we would deal with it in the morning. Lots of swear words had been said by now. What if our heat exchanger was somehow clogged?!?!? We would have to rip it apart and send it back to the manufacturer to be reassembled! What if we have to buy a new one? That could cost $5000 easily... I chose to take the easy route and just get the hell outta there. Right as I was leaving though, Steve stopped me and with a stupid smile on his face said "so I got it working" "What did you do?" I asked. "You don't want to know," was his reply.

It turns out that when he put together the filter housing that we use to catch shit running through the lines, he didn't put the metal basket in the bottom. What was happening was the filter bag was clogging our outlet, essentially slowing down the entire wash loop. WOW! One wasted hour and a few extra points on our blood pressure because of a stupid filter bag. I love my job!

Cheers, Prosit, and Skoal!

No comments:

Post a Comment