100 joints on Canada Day
When it came time to design a heating and cooling system for our fermenters, we were fortunate to be connected with Kevin who works at the NRC. Whereas I was thinking we would need a chiller to cool the fermenters, Kevin suggested we start by using city water then see what our actual cooling requirements are in production. He designed a series of valves to regulate the flow of hot and cold water flowing through the fermenter jackets. The valves were controlled by a Siemens PLC that Kevin programmed. Using digital thermometers, the PLC can measure the temperature of the fermenter and adjust the electric valves to maintain a set temperature. Kevin came up with the design but said we should get a plumber to do the piping. Being a decent solderer, I thought I could do it in a couple of hours. Hours quickly became days and I found myself trying to finish the work over the Canada Day weekend. As I discovered later, my propane torch didn't have the power to heat the 1.5-inch copper pipes. But I struggled through it and finished the job with a couple leaks (well perhaps more than a couple).