Brewery Boiler Shut Down
It is dangerous and wasteful to leave the boiler running when people are not using it, so we turn it off when we are not brewing.
After every brew day, the boiler "blow-down" procedure must be carried out. Blow downs remove minerals and gunk that results for boiling water a whole bunch to make steam. You don't want to keep that stuff in your boiler because it ruins it, so you blow off the gunk. You have to blow down the bottom and the top of the tank because some gunk sinks to the bottom and some stuff floats to the top.
Blow Down Procedure
Every day (for now, but eventually this will adjust to every other day once the system is fully broken in after a couple of months) we do a bottom blow down procedure to remove any of the gunk that has settled in the water at the bottom of the boiler.
- At Whirlpool, turn the boiler off using the estop at the Brewhouse post. This is for convenience so you don't have to go upstairs.
- Set a 10 minute timer for yourself. We need to let the water in the boiler settle and pressure to be reduced. You should not go to the next step unless the pressure is somewhere between 5-10psi.
- Go upstairs to do your blowdown procedure. Verify the pressure is between 5-10psi.
- Look at sight glass on blow-down tank, verify it has water in it. The blow-down tank has cold water in it from the previous brew. If for some reason the water in the blow down tank is hot, you want to add cold water to. The whole point of the blow down tank is to temper the hot water coming out of the boiler with cold before it goes down the drain. Sending super hot water down the sewer system is illegal and bad for the sewer system, in that it kills the good bacteria. **Do not initiate a blow down unless the blow down tank is half full of cold/room temp water.** Add water via the yellow valve on the wall if necessary.
- Open the red Bottom Blow Down Valve for ~30 seconds and close. Do this gently, it can be opened partially to avoid a lot of splashing in the floor sink drain. We are looking for the water to come out clear and then you can stop. It will never be perfectly clear, but you will see a significant difference. !(https://cloud.githubusercontent.com/assets/464725/8602760/e9d52dc4-2628-11e5-8f21-82f18fa83a2c.png)
- Open the yellow Top Blow Down valve twice for a quick 2 seconds each and close. Do this one quickly and powerfully to suck the water off the top of the boiler. The top blow down procedure also clears the special black box behind the water sight glass on the boiler. This box has the sensors in it that tell the boiler when to call for more water. It is important to keep it clean so the boiler always operates with enough water in it. It is important to do the Bottom Blow Down first, because doing the Top first would disrupt the settled gunk and render it a useless blow down.
- OPTIONAL: if the sight glass water looks cloudy, grab a bucket and drain it. It is important for your visual inspection when you start the boiler that it is clean, so now is a good time to grab a bucket and drain it if it needs it. You can dump the small amount of water down the floor drain.
- Turn off the red switch. This turns the boiler off for the next brew day.
- Go back down to the brewhouse post and turn the estop back on. This will allow the boiler to come on for the next brew day. Hopefully it is obvious why it is important to do this step and the one before in that order.
- Expansion tank is not full check that the backflow device valves are open so that water is flowing.