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Canning and line balancing

 
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maltwater



Joined: 24 Jul 2018
Posts: 3
Location: Weston MA


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:52 pm    Post subject: Canning and line balancing Reply with quote


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I purchased an https://oktoberdesign.com/ can capper and built an automated filling station http://maltwaterbrewing.com/2018/05/21/canning-line-up-and-running/ (have not worked all the kinks out of this yet, hence my post). My question is balancing the incoming beer line so you don't get foam. I've been researching how to calculate the proper tube length but one thing I'm wondering about is the short line from the valve to the end of the fill tube. This is about 18" and it completely empties when you close the valve and extract the fill head. So when the valve is opened the beer now needs to flow back thru these 18" of tube. What impact does this have on creating foam? Can you calculate this? How do you reduce the foam from this section?

Once I have things sorted out I plan to build a double fill head setup assuming the fill rate does not increase on the single head. The setup is really simple to build (basically the logic is created using latching relays) and I'm happy to share if anyone is interested.
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10190
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum!

I've never used a canner, but maybe some that have can provide some tricks/tips.

Good luck!

Kal

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wscottcross



Joined: 03 Jul 2015
Posts: 219
Location: CT

Drinking: Launch IPA, Double Sunshine clone, Maple Coffee breakfast stout

Working on: expanding my beer horizons (and my beltline)


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worked at a small commercial brewery where our primary packaging was 32 oz crowlers. We manually sanitized, purged and filled them from Perlick faucets and then used the Oskar Blues designed Crowler seamers. While our system was more manual, we filled Thousands of Crowlers and although we started out using fill tubes, we quickly learned that the more tubing you have after the valves in the faucet, the more likely you are to have foaming issues.

I think part of the issue you are seeing is due to the the way that system purges the cans before filling. The single tube design forces the remaining beer out of the tube at some pressure and will start each can with foam. I would try manually purging a few cans and shut off the CO2 going to the automated filler to see if that improves the foaming problem. If it does, I would consider trying to find a way to use a separate tube to purge the cans. You could also put a restricter at the end of the fill tube which would prevent the tube from emptying when the rig lift the fill assembly out of the can. Something similar to this:
https://www.morebeer.com/products/commercial-sanke-tap-check-valve.html?a_aid=theelectricbrewery, but instead of using it as a check valve it will just seal the end of the fill tube once the fill valve closes.

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Ozarks Mountain Brew



Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 738
Location: The Ozark Mountains of Missouri


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen some bottling factories purposely let the foam drip out of the bottle to insure of no oxygen intake so it's natural
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10190
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do that myself with growlers. Always 'cap on foam'.

Kal

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McGruber



Joined: 12 Aug 2014
Posts: 231
Location: Idaho


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Canning and line balancing Reply with quote

maltwater wrote:
My question is balancing the incoming beer line so you don't get foam. I've been researching how to calculate the proper tube length but one thing I'm wondering about is the short line from the valve to the end of the fill tube. This is about 18" and it completely empties when you close the valve and extract the fill head. So when the valve is opened the beer now needs to flow back thru these 18" of tube.

It looks to me like the beer is not present in the full length of the beer tube between fills, not just in the bottom 18". Watching the beer line you can see that beer is not filling the length of tube between cans. I'm not sure what the fix is, but if you can keep the beer under constant pressure and locked into the tubing between fills, that would help a lot.

You mentioned that you've been calculating the length of beer tubing. Depending on the length of your run, you might consider further restricting the flow in the line. Most of the time when foaming is a problem it's because there's not enough resistance in the line. If you're not using 3/16" beer line, that may help. Also, increasing the pressure to the keg that's pushing the beer may help. Keeping the beer and cans as cold as possible might help.

I also agree that you want to cap on foam. The amount that's overflowing isn't terrible, but it's hard to tell how much foam is actually in your can. How full of beer are they?

maltwater wrote:
Once I have things sorted out I plan to build a double fill head setup assuming the fill rate does not increase on the single head. The setup is really simple to build (basically the logic is created using latching relays) and I'm happy to share if anyone is interested.

I would think that if you use two filler heads on that one beer line or (wye out of your keg to two sets of tubing) that your fill rate would decrease by about half. This will also affect pressure in the line and foaming.

I'd also like to see your build directions. Awesome stuff!
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perogi



Joined: 12 Feb 2012
Posts: 833
Location: NH

Drinking: Perogi Pale, NEIPA, Nutter's Crossing Nut Brown Ale, Edmund Fitzgerald Porter Clone

Working on: Max's Maibock


PostLink    Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:07 am    Post subject: Re: Canning and line balancing Reply with quote

maltwater wrote:
I'm happy to share if anyone is interested.


VERY interested in this set up. Please share!
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