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Old 11-03-2011, 12:04 AM   #1
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Default Glycol or refrigerant based chiller for 1bbl

Is there a commercially made product to pitch 212F wort down to pitching temps that doesn't use water?

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Old 11-03-2011, 01:34 AM   #2
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Not really. Even the pros use water.

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Old 11-03-2011, 04:54 AM   #3
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Sucks that groundwater here is 72* in the dead of winter. Ice or refrigeration are required to hit pitching temps.

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Old 11-03-2011, 01:41 PM   #4
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Sucks that groundwater here is 72* in the dead of winter. Ice or refrigeration are required to hit pitching temps.
If you recirculate back to the BK (using a cfc or plate chiller) until you get down to say 100* then using a pre-chiller you can chill your tap water to knock down the rest on the way to the FV.

Or if you got big money, get a two stage plate chiller and a glycol system and do as the pros do.
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:27 PM   #5
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Is there a commercially made product to pitch 212F wort down to pitching temps that doesn't use water?
Can you explain a bit better about what you are trying to do?

Minimize water usage?
Get temps colder than what are feasible with tap water?
chill faster?

I've built a couple of chiller systems now, but it's important to understand the physics.

Taking a bbl of wort from 212 to 70F involves moving about 36,000 BTU's of energy. To move that much heat in an hour with a typical vapor cycle chiller (such as a house A/C) would require a 3 ton unit. In general it's not practical at these scales to remove all the heat in one shot without water cooling.

You're best bet is to use water to take care of most of the heat. Assuming perfect efficiency 300 gallons of 70F water will get you to about 85F wort. In practice you'll use more, but that gives an idea.
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:35 PM   #6
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I should also add, you could create a largeish glycol reservoir at cold temps with small units, if you run them ahead of time to 'pre-chill' but sizing will really depend on what you're trying to accomplish.

FWIW, I use a mix of these approaches for my home brewery (water to around 70-90, then a 12 gallon glycol reservoir @ 30F with a 1500 btu/hr chiller to take it the rest of the way)

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Old 11-25-2011, 04:45 PM   #7
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300 gallons seems like a lot. Yes the goal is basically to cool at some compromise between speed and not wasting water.

A dudadiesel plate chiller says it'll do 10 gallons of wort in 5 minutes @ 68F water temp from 212F to 75F at 5gpm of water. That's only 25 gallons for 10 gal so 80 gallons or so for 1 bbl. Does that seem unrealistic?

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Old 11-25-2011, 07:59 PM   #8
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300 gallons seems like a lot. Yes the goal is basically to cool at some compromise between speed and not wasting water.

A dudadiesel plate chiller says it'll do 10 gallons of wort in 5 minutes @ 68F water temp from 212F to 75F at 5gpm of water. That's only 25 gallons for 10 gal so 80 gallons or so for 1 bbl. Does that seem unrealistic?
I made an assumption based on mixing of fluids where everything ends up the same temp...or a worst case of how much water you would need....if you pump from one reservoir to another through the heat exchanger, you can reduce the amount of water needed, and end up with a hotter discharge tank. This would complicate the system a little bit (need for extra tanks) and limits your flexibility if anything goes wrong, or your chiller efficiency isn't as high as planned. It also doesn't lend itself to using the refrigerant during the chilling process, although depending on the size of the chiller, that may not matter as much.

There are some tricks that could be used, such as careful returning the hot water to the top and pulling off the bottom, hoping to keep the water temps stratefied, and minimize mixing.

I do use a 30 plate dudadiesel plate chiller with well water in the summer (around 65f) and I don't quite hit those numbers, although I think some of that is due to not be able to get 5 GPM through the chiller.
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:08 PM   #9
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if you have room for a few 275 gallon tote tanks (or similar), just leave them outside, filled, and circulate them thru your heat exchanger as needed. burried in the ground works as well. they will essentially be heat sinks to dump large amounts of energy into real fast, and then they will spend the next few hours or days coming back down to ambient temperature. you will still use the same amount of water, but you just wont be dumping it down the drain each time.

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Old 11-28-2011, 07:34 PM   #10
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I guess that makes sense. If ambient temp is in the 60s you can recycle water or glycol. I am not sure that it is worth it really if you're using well water with a septic system. The water is going back into the ground anyway. It's not going off to get treated at a sewer system. In that case what is the difference....

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