Jump to content
ADI Forums
Thatch

Alcohol monitor - CO2 monitor

Recommended Posts

Visited a distillery in today and the Distiller mentioned having both an alcohol and CO2 monitor.  He thought this was required by TTB.   Is there any monitoring required by TTB, if so, what?

He has an interesting way of venting the CO2 from his closed tank fermenters using his CIP tube into a bucket of soap.  Anyone else using this technique?  How does this help to disperse the CO2?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Thatch said:

He has an interesting way of venting the CO2 from his closed tank fermenters using his CIP tube into a bucket of soap.  Anyone else using this technique?  How does this help to disperse the CO2?

That sounds less like a vent and more like an airlock. We don't bother with either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

25 minutes ago, Thatch said:

Visited a distillery in today and the Distiller mentioned having both an alcohol and CO2 monitor.  He thought this was required by TTB.   Is there any monitoring required by TTB, if so, what?

 

I could see OSHA wanted distilleries to monitor CO2 and ETOH levels in the air to ensure safe conditions. We monitor both for safety.

22 minutes ago, Thatch said:

He has an interesting way of venting the CO2 from his closed tank fermenters using his CIP tube into a bucket of soap.  Anyone else using this technique?  How does this help to disperse the CO2?

Yeah, this is a common method for breweries. Never heard of using soap, often it is done with sanitizer in case the tank pulls a vacuum and sucks it in. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Tom,

Any idea what the chemistry is behind the sanitizer?  Why does it work?  What do you do with the sanitizer in the bucket after its full of CO2 bubbles? 

We've got good venting in our building and will have monitors in place but the fact that CO2 is heavier then air make me wonder how good a job I will do dispersing it with fans in the middle of winter.  I'm surprised this topic is not discussed on this forum and I could not find much information elsewhere.  Is this not a big issue?  One of my associates just came back from school warning of "brewers death"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the brewery I worked at we had ozone, so typically the first bucket was just ozonated water. If it is going to pull a vacuum, it is going to be right away. It is just a precaution to prevent tap water from getting sucked into the wort. Once fermentation starts the blow-off will dirty the water and we often replaced it during fermentation if it was really rigorous. Replacemewnt buckets had just regular water, because at that point it won't pull a vacuum, at least with the SOPs we ran there.

Most distilleries don't operate with 'air-locks' or blow-off tubes and it is much more common to have an open system like open-top ferementors.

Are you planning on passively venting (opening windows) or running an exhaust system (fan to blow or suck the air across the building)? In addition to exhaust fans, our AC system monitors the level of CO2 and increases the amount of outside air appropriately.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Based on your previous post and my discussion with the distiller yesterday, we are going to monitor for CO2 and Ethanol and tie this into the ventilation system.  Since CO2 is heavier than air I would think that the CO2 sensor has to be no more then 5' above the floor.  Any recommendation as to the height of the sensors?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Tom Lenerz said:

Never heard of using soap, often it is done with sanitizer

Starsan give that soapy/sudsy appearance.  I use it when brewing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Thatch said:

Any idea what the chemistry is behind the sanitizer?  Why does it work?  What do you do with the sanitizer in the bucket after its full of CO2 bubbles? 

http://www.fivestarchemicals.com/wp-content/uploads/StarSanTech-HB2.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We use a bucket filled with sanitizer and a little antifoam, and then pump all the co2 to the outside.  We run it through the air lock bucket first to clean and dehumidify the air so it doesn't cause gross buildup in the ventilation system.

It's nice to not have the place reeking of fermentation 24/7.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the insight folks.

Skaalvenn, how do you "pump all the CO2 to the outside"?  I get the fact that the sanitizer acts as an air lock but how do you get the CO2 out of the sanitizer?  Sorry to be so dense but since CO2 is heavier then air this might be a better way to rid ourselves then triggering our vents fans which are 10 feet high.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Thatch said:

Thanks for the insight folks.

Skaalvenn, how do you "pump all the CO2 to the outside"?  I get the fact that the sanitizer acts as an air lock but how do you get the CO2 out of the sanitizer?  Sorry to be so dense but since CO2 is heavier then air this might be a better way to rid ourselves then triggering our vents fans which are 10 feet high.

 

Its a custom job. Tank is sealed and has an inlet for each fermenter which extend under the sanitizer, and one outlet for the pump at the top of the tank which puts the tank and fermenters under a slight vacuum.  I change the sanitizer out every month or so.

It blows out the roof vent which is about 14' above.

Fermenter>sanitizer>pump>outside

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Elegant, thanks for the insight.   Any recommendation on the size of the sanitizer tank based on fermenter size?  How did you decide on a size for the pump?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Thatch said:

Elegant, thanks for the insight.   Any recommendation on the size of the sanitizer tank based on fermenter size?  How did you decide on a size for the pump?

I probably use 3 gallons of total solution for 3x 350 gallon tanks.  It's been a couple years Since I bought it, but I just took a complete guess for the CFM of the pump. It doesn't take a whole lot of power to pump away some fermentation gasses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is pretty much the size that I will be trying to match. 

How big a pump are you using and how/when are you triggering it?  Sounds like the sanitizer tank is a 5 gal container, what did you use?  Would you mind taking a picture and posting this great solution for all to see?  Thanks again for all your time.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×