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  1. #11
    Disciple
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    Re: Fermenter Explosion at Franconia Brewery in McKinney, TX

    Quote Originally Posted by StraightNoChaser View Post
    I don't think even the brewery knows for sure what happened yet. Hopefully they will alert us to the cause when it's discovered.
    I'm sure lawyers, insurance companies and governmental agencies will be arguing the cause for many years to come. I hope the owners can go on and everyone gets over it soon enough. Incredible!
    Thad

    BTOTY-2011

  2. #12
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    Re: Fermenter Explosion at Franconia Brewery in McKinney, TX

    Quote Originally Posted by Ejmharris View Post
    Really strange that it could build that much pressure to cause so much damage.
    Good example is to put dry ice in a plastic soda bottle, and watch the top expand like a pan of Jiffy Pop popcorn as the dry ice releases its CO2.

    I'm here to tell you that inside a concrete warehouse, it sounds like a major explosion, and can mangle the coffee can it is sitting in.

    CO2 expansion can do pretty scary things, even if you are standing behind the forklift to watch...

    The secretary in the front office threatened to kill me after she got over her fear that I had just killed myself.
    Mark Edwards - Proof of Sanity Forged Upon Request

  3. #13
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    Re: Fermenter Explosion at Franconia Brewery in McKinney, TX

    Well I'm certainly glad no one was seriously injured. I'm also really looking forward to Franconia's imminent, limited release "Fermenter Hopslosion" once they collect all the spilled beer.
    "A man comes from the dust and in the dust he will end-- In the meantime it is good to drink whiskey."
    -->WhiskeyWonka<--

  4. #14
    Disciple
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    Jun 2010
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    Re: Fermenter Explosion at Franconia Brewery in McKinney, TX

    Quote Originally Posted by smokinjoe View Post
    I know zip on how this stuff works. Anyone want to take a guess on how something like this happens? What went wrong?
    A friend of mine recently had a much smaller scale (and much less dangerous) incident with about five gallons of beer exploding from a brewing bucket. In that case, a hop actually was stuck in the valve designed to release the pressure. We were just dicsussing this last Friday, wondering what the commercial distillers do to ensure the gas always vents.

  5. #15
    Connoisseur
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    Jan 2010
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    Re: Fermenter Explosion at Franconia Brewery in McKinney, TX

    HAving brewed for a living and being a distiller you have to be careful with co2. Not only will it build pressure and blw stuff up, it will kill you. I have seen one person knocked down by it. Even in low doses it has a narcotic effect with a nasty hangover. We open top ferment and we have sensors that constantly monitor the air in the distillery and it is linked to an air sytem to ventilate the building. And belive me it helps. When I left at 6 it was kicking on every 5 minutes or so. Looking at that video that fementer had no pressure relief valve. All closed fementers have a vent on them that is hooked to a hose that sits in a bucket of santizer that lets the co2 bubble out and lets no air get back in. But everyone I have ever been around had a safety valve that would pop off if for some reason it got clogged. It could be somebody clean and sanitized the tank and did not uncap the vent and hooked the hose to it. Fermenters are not rated for much pressure at all. I would imagine that if it was closed off, as big as it was, in a days time of fermenting, it would explode. At least it sounds like everybody hurt will be ok. But I would hate to be the owner of the brewery.

  6. #16
    Enthusiast
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    Dec 2009
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    Dallas, TX
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    468

    Re: Fermenter Explosion at Franconia Brewery in McKinney, TX

    I was there with StraightNoChaser - it was LOUD! Lots of free beer, however it was all on/in my clothes (and it was the lager).

    There fermenters DO vent into buckets with of sanitizer, and they have numerous valves/controls on the front for draining/filling.

    As of this morning, the exact cause was still not determined - they'd had the fire department and other local inspectors on site (along with the owners) trying to figure out the cause.

    They are dealing with insurance, repairs, getting electricity back on, permits to re-build, etc. - no tours for the foreseeable future, but Dennis (the owner) seems in decent spirits and appears hopeful they'll rebuild.

    It turns out the two people most seriously injured don't work there (we all thought they did for some reason), but both are out of the hospital and visited the brewery today. One's got a ways to go before he's fully recovered, but seemed in good spirits (according to Dennis' Facebook post).

    Very scary experience - and as was said earlier, it's a miracle nobody was killed!

  7. #17
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    Feb 2011
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    Re: Fermenter Explosion at Franconia Brewery in McKinney, TX

    Latest update from their Facebook

    Befor the weekend another quick update. We had engineers, and state in. They are working hard on the exact cause. The tank will be picked up and closer looked at it. it looks like at least two things came together and hope we will get clarification on it.
    We where working hard this week to get back Brewing and we did brew today and will continue all weekend. Quick Reminder no tour for the next two to Three weeks. Construction will take some time.
    Greetings are going out to the two people Injured. They came by this week and we wish continues healing.

  8. #18
    Disciple
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    Jun 2010
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    Northern Indiana
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    Re: Fermenter Explosion at Franconia Brewery in McKinney, TX

    Thanks for the continued updates SNC. Certainly hope the people and the industry get stronger as a result of the investigations.

  9. #19
    Virtuoso
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    Plano, TX
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    Re: Fermenter Explosion at Franconia Brewery in McKinney, TX

    Franconia will reopen for tours today!

  10. #20
    Disciple
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    Jun 2010
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    Northern Indiana
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    Re: Fermenter Explosion at Franconia Brewery in McKinney, TX

    Good News!

 

 

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