Some of you may recognize the large brewing vessels inside our brewhouse, as we put these inside the building back near the beginning of the summer. Though they look a little dusty currently, all the tanks have been sealed and will receive a deep and thorough cleaning before they are piped up.
For the brewhouse, we still need to add in steam pipes. When the boiler in the back of the building is activated, the steam will travel through the pipes and into the vessel by way of a bypass valve (operated by yours truly). They will then move into the steam jackets. Steam jackets are a small, hollow layer between the outside and content area of the vessel. Inside this small cavity, the steam is released and transfers the heat to the inner vessel, applying evenly by direct contact. It’s a safer and more efficient way to heat up vessels without risking direct contact with the steam.
On the other side, the fermentors require piping for a different type of material – ethylene glycol. This sugary substance is a phenomenal heat absorber and is an essential part of many food production facilities, including breweries, dairies, processing plants, and among others where refrigeration is needed. Using similar piping and system to the steam, the fermentors have jackets that will allow pumps to move glycol through the system until the desired temperature is achieved. The difference here is the glycol is cooled by a large, outside compressor unit instead of the boiler.
Both these types of piping are vital, but there are still many other components of the brewing side that still need to be laid out. We are so excited to continue working on the space here and I can’t wait to continue updating you and providing tidbits of my knowledge about all things beer-related. I’m hoping to keep these posts going once a week, so please, stay tuned, and if you’re in town, I’ll see you down by the locks.