Brewery Tanks Glossary

ASME – Codes and ratings established by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Beer Stone – The most common surface deposit on stainless steel brewing equipment is beer stone, or calcium oxylate. Beer stone usually appears as a dull brownish to brownish-white film on the metal’s surface. It is most likely to occur in stainless steel brew kettles, hop jacks, counterflow heat exchangers, and primary fermentors. Prolonged contact with hot wort will result in the greatest amount of beer stone buildup. It is necessary to remove the beer stone before it affects the flavor, or, worse, becomes a sanitization problem.

Cone – Most breweries today use cylindroconical vessels, or CCVs, have a conical bottom and a cylindrical top. The cone’s aperture is typically around 60°, an angle that will allow the yeast to flow towards the cones apex, but is not so steep as to take up too much vertical space. CCVs can handle both fermenting and conditioning in the same tank. At the end of fermentation, the yeast and other solids which have fallen to the cones apex can be simply flushed out a port at the apex.

Carbonating Stone – Carbonating stones are made of ceramic or sintered stainless steel with very small openings that produce very small bubbles when CO2 is forced through them. Very small bubbles have a large surface area of exposure to the beer and are easily dissolved in to the beer.

CIP – Cleaning-In-Place (CIP) and Sterilization-In-Place (SIP) are systems designed for automatic cleaning and disinfecting without major disassembly and assembly work. Additionally, a well-designed CIP system will enable the brewer to clean one part of the plant while continuing to run others.

Cladding – Thin metal layer covering the insulation layer on the outside of brewery tank. Usually made from copper or stainless steel. Sealed to prevent moisture from invading the insulation layer.

Elastomer – A fancy word for “rubber”. Some polymers, which are elastomers, include polyisoprene or natural rubber, polybutadiene, polyisobutylene, and polyurethanes. What makes elastomers special is that they can be stretched to many times their original length, and can bounce back into their original shape without permanent deformation.

False-bottom – Used in either a mash-tun or lauter-tun, it is a screen or plate completely covered with very small holes or slits; it separates the grain bed from the opening to the valve or spigot that is used to drain the runnings from the tun, and its purpose is to help keep husk material or rice-hulls from draining with the runnings. Some false-bottoms are hinged in order to be able to place them inside the tun, such as with mash-tuns.

Glycol – Propylene Glycol is a Food Grade Antifreeze. A food grade antifreeze is required when a food product is being cooled. For more information visit our refrigeration section.

Jacket – A hollow shell attached to the outside of the tank, used in conjunction with a medium to heat our cool the contents (i.e.: steam or glycol)

Manway – Access port in tank, large enough to allow a man to enter tank.

Manway shadow – when inside surface of manway is not flush with inside of tank there are places contaminants can hide.

Shadowless manway – when the inside manway surface aligns with the inside of the tank forming a flush surface it is referred to as shadowless.

Racking Arm – Valve/tube assembly that allows brewer to draw off trube.

Sight glass – (aka sight tube) The sight glass is a clear glass tube, mounted vertically in a metal frame and plumbed into the brewing tank. The sight glass allows the brewer to monitor the level of fluid inside the brewing vessel.

Spray ball – Part of a CIP system, the spray ball directs cleaning solution to all interior tank surfaces.

Soft parts – Gaskets, o-rings, elastomers.

Stress Corrosion Cracking (aka:SCC) – A severe form of stainless steel corrosion. It forms when the material is subjected to tensile stress and some corrosive environments, especially chloride-rich environments (sea water) at higher temperatures. The stresses can be a result of service loads, or can be caused by the type of assembly or residual stresses from fabrication (eg. cold working); residual stresses can be relieved by annealing. This limits the usefulness of stainless steels of the 300 series (304, 316) for containing water with higher than few ppm content of chlorides at temperatures above 50 °C. In more aggressive conditions, higher alloyed austenitic stainless steels (6% Mo grades) or Mo containing duplex stainless steels should be selected.

Tri-clover clamp – Tri-Clover is a leading sanitary fluid handling equipment manufacturer in the USA for the food, dairy, beverage, and pharmaceutical industry. The tri-clover clamp is a stainless quick release clamp for sanitary flange to flange pressure connection.

Valve types

* Ball – A ball valve (one of a family of valves called quarter turn valves) is a valve that opens by turning a handle attached to a ball inside the valve. The ball has a hole, or port, through the middle so that when the port is in line with both ends of the valve, flow will occur. When the valve is closed, the hole is perpendicular to the ends of the valve, and flow is blocked. The handle position lets you “see” the valve’s position.
Check – (aka: stop check valve) A valve that allows fluid to flow in one direction only and/or restricts fluid flow until preset system pressure is achieved.

* Gate – A Gate Valve, or Sluice Valve, as it is sometimes known, is a valve that opens by lifting a round or rectangular gate/wedge out of the path of the fluid. The distinct feature of a gate valve is the sealing surfaces between the gate and seats are planar. The gate faces can form a wedge shape or they can be parallel. Gate valves are sometimes used for regulating flow, but many are not suited for that purpose, having been designed to be fully opened or closed. When fully open, the typical gate valve has no obstruction in the flow path, resulting in very low friction loss.

* Globe – Globe valves are named for their spherical body shape. The two halves of the valve body are separated by an internal baffle which has an opening forming a seat onto which a movable disc can be screwed in to close (or shut) the valve. In globe valves, the disc is connected to a stem which is operated by screw action. When a globe valve is manually operated, the stem is turned by a hand wheel. Although globe valves in the past had the spherical bodies which gave them their name, many modern globe valves do not have much of a spherical shape, but the term globe valve is still often used for valves that have such an internal mechanism.

* Relief – (aka: safety or blow down valve) A relief valve is set to open at a pressure safely below the bursting pressure of a vessel. Typically, a disk is held against a seat by a spring; excessive pressure forces the disk open. Construction is such that when the valve opens slightly, the opening force builds up to open it fully and to hold the valve open until the pressure drops a predetermined amount. Relief valve come preset for specific pressures or in adjustable designs.

* Sample valve – (aka: sample cock or sample cock valve)

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