Now on Draft in SC and select locations in NC

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Batch #17 BottleTree Blonde is now available to distributors in SC/NC

Red, Blonde 1/2 bbl, 1/6 bbl kegs are available in SC

Batch #4 BottleTree Imperial Red Ale is now available to distributors in SC/NC, and VA     

 Contact Your Local BottleTree Distributor

(We are Looking for Distributor(s) in Florida, and Georgia)


 

 

 

Hefeweizen starter, 1/2 gallon at 68F.

 

Dunkelweizen, ready to be enjoyed. 

 

Sparge arm (no, it doesn't spin), but it has a connection for recircing and for sparging. The height of the sparge connection has been lowered since the photo was taken as too much head space was needed in the HLT to get the sparge to start (not to continue, of course, siphon action takes care of that).

 

System setup sparging. The MT needs something that is prettier than a hot water heater blanket and strings, but with a 10 gallon batch, the temp moved only 1F 

 

MT, showing dual connections for recirculating (vertical to the pump), or for sparing (horizontal to the copper).

 

Left to right: temp controlled mini-fridge, for yeast starters. Temp controlled freezer (two carboys) with Johnson controller, beer fridge.  All hoses, bottlers, siphons, counter pressure fillers, keg supplies, etc. hung from the rafters (keeps organized). The supplies used to be stored in boxes, etc. but found that it was a hassle getting to stuff, and this is more sanitary.

 

Close-up of hop catcher, blow-off pipes, kegging supplies, counter pressure fillers, siphons, etc.

 

Counter Pressure filler. Left connection is C02 (with a shutoff valve) . Vent is shown bottom left. Right connection is beer.  Sankey coupler connection coming out of the top is the connection which connects to beer (with shutoff valve). The side port is the C02 coming into the sankey coupler. All connected through quick disconnects to the header, including a separate C02 source (to the manifold, not shown). 

C02 comes into the manifold and then is dispersed to the keg, and to the counter pressure filler. The vent valve is open. 

Pressurize your C02 tank to the proper pressure based on the temperature of the keg and the desired carbonation level of the bottled beer. 

Open the c02 line (to purge the bottle). Air will escape out the vent, followed by C02. Close the vent valve but not all the way(pressurizing the bottle). Open the beer shutoff valve (the flow will be proportional to the amount of flow you allow out the vent). When the bottle is full, close the beer shutoff valve, and allow the pressure to bleed off the vent. When the pressure has been bled off the through the vent, remove the filler and cap. 

The reason the C02 will stay in solution is because the pressure was bled off slowly. If the pressure was suddenly let go, there would not be very much carbonation left in the bottle. There are slight variations to the above procedure, but you will have to form your best procedure based on your individual equipment setup and personal preference.

Sankey Keg Cleaning setup. The mash-tun holds the cleaning agents, which are then recirulated up through the center port of the sankey top, and then back down the side port back to the mash-tun. Hot chemical solution PBW, for example cleans the kegs.  By using a quick disconnect header, you essentially take out having to have many custom connections. On that header is water, C02, and your recirculation from your mash-tun all isolated through ball valves, and only opened at the proper time in the cleaning sequence.  The kegs are elevated for circulation back to the mash-tun. 

The copper assembly holding the kegs in place is removable, it is simply my old false bottom bent around the kegs. 

The same chemicals are sent to a tub with bottles for bottling cleaning. When the kegs are being rinsed with water, the return water from the side port is used to rinse the bottles, that have soaked in cleaning agents. In this sense, nothing is wasted.

However the head loss is pretty significant, and probably in the future, a dedicated pump, specifically for keg washing will be inserted.

 

Underside of keg holding stand. This allows for 2 1/6 bbl kegs to be held securely in place. The sankey coupler has had the ball valves and gaskets removed from them so that chemicals and water now flow up through the center port (normally the beer connection) cascading up the inverted keg, and then out the side port, which is normally the C02 connection. The size of boards were just equal to 2 widths of the kegs, and the width enough to hold the kegs from falling through, but also wide enough to allow the sankey top to be inserted and removed w/o trouble. 

Very important to put a valve on the end of the side port, so that the keg can be safely depressurized before cleaning and re-pressurized with C02 after cleaning. Note that the C02 used for repressurizing will come into the center port (with the side port closed). 

Eventually, I would like to have two sankey tops installed at the same time from the manifold, so that the process time can be cut in half.

Cleaning hot chemicals being re-circulated through the kegs. False bottom shown as well (new false bottom). Not as significant as it used to be using a HERMS, but still gets the grist off the bottom for better flow. You can see the flow of chemicals recirculating back to the mash-tun in the top of the photo.

 

 

 

Workbench, built for purpose of building brewery, and maintaining the brewery. Vector mini-fridge box shown (won it).

 

BottleTreeTM Beer Shown with First Place Ribbon, First Place Medal, and Excellence in Homebrewing Award from the 2003 season.

Alpharetta Brewmasters 2003 (Spice Beer), West Virginia Brewers Mountain Open 2003 (38.2 points).

   

Keg Cleaning, Bottling, CIP Manifold (Water, Air, CO2, Beer)

By using quick disconnects, and a manifold, there is never the need for swapping out hose connections to make up various connections to other various connections. The manifold takes care of that. 

Water comes into the manifold through the bottom left. The first hose is shown with C02 connected. The second hose, is presently just a hose used for cleaning (water coming out), used during brewing (very nice to have).  The third valve points down acts as a drain, but also another connection. Typically during bottling, the C02, has to go to both the keg, and the counter pressure bottle filler. So, having the C02 on this manifold does the trick, as two of the valves would be C02 out, and the other one, C02 in.

C02, also used to purge back through the recirculation system, having running the HERMS, which will prevent any wort from staying in the heat exchanger, or any of the pump or recirculation piping. Also, in the event of a stuck mash, the C02 can flow back through backwards into the mash turn, unclogging the mash.

The same manifold is used to clean the kegs, which use the Sankey tops. C02 is used to pressurize the kegs to force the water out, and also to store the kegs with pressure.

If the kegs are going to be washed with a few cycles, air from a compressor is used for the intermediate steps so that C02 isn't wasted, and the final purge is done with C02, before storing the kegs.

BottleTree Gardens, April 2008

 

 

Buffalo Theory

'Well you see, Norm, it's like this . . . A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the lowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members.
In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Now, as we know, excessive intake of alcohol kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. And that, Norm, is why you always feel smarter after a few beers.'

 

I don't know if I want to celebrate or cry.

 

Why I was fired......

For the last company picnic, management decided that, due to liability issues, we could have but one (1) drink per person. 

I was fired for ordering the cups..................



 

 

 

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