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BCRob

Turbine flow meters and grain-in mash?

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Hi everyone, long-time listener, first time caller... Thanks for all of your excellent advice in the forum archives.

Just wondering if anyone here has experience of using flow meters to measure cooled mash into their fermenters, and which ones you are using? I'm not intending to do this for any duty/compliance purposes so accuracy isn't critical, but more for my own interest and records and to help increase my FV and still charge consistencies.

I'd ideally like to use a turbine flow meter for this, which I've used in breweries to measure relatively viscous yeast slurries, but which I'm not sure would be suitable for the grain-in rye/wheat mashes I would need to measure. Something along the lines of this.

The main reason I'd like to use a turbine model for this obviously is cost. I'm sure there is an electromagnetic flow meter that would do the job no-question, but the price seems to be $10k rather than $2k, and they also seem to be a lot more bulky.

Thanks for your advice!

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On 2/14/2020 at 2:10 PM, BCRob said:

Hi everyone, long-time listener, first time caller... Thanks for all of your excellent advice in the forum archives.

Just wondering if anyone here has experience of using flow meters to measure cooled mash into their fermenters, and which ones you are using? I'm not intending to do this for any duty/compliance purposes so accuracy isn't critical, but more for my own interest and records and to help increase my FV and still charge consistencies.

I'd ideally like to use a turbine flow meter for this, which I've used in breweries to measure relatively viscous yeast slurries, but which I'm not sure would be suitable for the grain-in rye/wheat mashes I would need to measure. Something along the lines of this.

The main reason I'd like to use a turbine model for this obviously is cost. I'm sure there is an electromagnetic flow meter that would do the job no-question, but the price seems to be $10k rather than $2k, and they also seem to be a lot more bulky.

Thanks for your advice!

Hello, you could use a MAG flow meter, or a radar flow meter. Both would be around $2000. Radar, you would mount on the outside of the pipe, Mag flow meter would be inline.

 

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Measuring stick would probably get you 95% of the way there.

I don't see how density and solids content doesn't throw off the mag and ultrasonic units.  Turbine, possibly, but what's the maximum viscosity - and what's the impact to error rate of being at whats likely the high end of that?

Coriolis mass flow device is the ideal measuring device here, being able to account for solids and the density - but we're talking thousands of dollars.

That GW Kent unit says to use an 18 mesh screen to protect it.  That's like 1/32nd - would clog up very quickly.

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Thanks both for your advice. I think I am guilty here of letting old brewing habits get the better of me. Agree that taking a tank dip (which we do already) is probably sufficient.

If I do install something cheap and cheerful it might be to the water inlet of our mashing vessel to at least give a metered mash size.

Will look into the above systems. Coriolis meters were a new one to me and seem interesting academically even if a bit beyond my needs and budget. Thanks again!

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We have had very good luck with the IFM ultrasonic "SU series" flow meters.  We use them for metering in water to the mash tun.

You can get them for a song on eBay - only thing the flanges need adapters and you need the cable too.

Some of the units have pulse counter outputs to be able to feed a PLC if you want to control your mash tun water fill.  Oh, and make sure you take a look at the flow rate ranges and make are you falling in the measurement range.]

For example:  https://www.ebay.com/itm/IFM-ELECTRONIC-SU7001-ULTRASONIC-VOLUMETRIC-FLOW-SENSOR/301640423279?epid=1330140070&hash=item463b2b976f:g:9lgAAOSwl8NVXeF6:sc:USPSPriorityMailPaddedFlatRateEnvelope!07470!US!-1

0-13gpm measuring range, pulse and analog output.  Has the flanges - just needs the cable.

Here's the spec sheet:

https://www.ifm.com/us/en/product/SU7001

Saved you $500 bucks.

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I am guessing you don't have the option to weigh your ferments?

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