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Old 09-19-2012, 03:44 PM   #1
Chugmaster
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Default Glycol Cooling for Large Ace Roto Tanks

Long time reader, first time poster.

I recently purchased a 110 gallon plastic Ace Roto tank and am wondering if anyone has any experience cooling such a tank with a DIY glycol jacket.

I've seen it done in other posts with 15 gallon plastic tanks and larger SS tanks, but no mention of anyone attempting to cool a tank of this size.

My plan right now is to fill a freezer with glycol and use a pond pump with temperature controller to circulate the coolant through copper tubing that has been insulated on the outside of the tank. I'm wondering how effective this would be given the thickness of the plastic and the size of the tank.

Thanks.

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Old 09-19-2012, 03:58 PM   #2
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What about pumping glycol through an immersion chiller. You could control the pump on/off depending on wort temp. I think the biggest problem your facing is thermal mass of 110 gallons, particularly during fermentation. I might be really tough getting enough cooling through 1/4"+ insulating plastic. Someone might kick me for this, but you might check out this thread on another forum. http://www.probrewer.com/vbulletin/s...ad.php?t=26572. We're talking 10BBL plastic cooled by AC.

Good luck!
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:01 PM   #3
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I'd rather cool on the outside for ease of cleaning. Having to clean 100 feet of SS or copper tubing on the inside of a 110 gallon tank doesn't sound appealing.

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Old 09-20-2012, 02:45 AM   #4
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PLOVE's link will work fine if you're just interested in keeping the vessel at ale fermentation temps.
If you're looking to cold crash and/or lager, you'll need an internal coil. You wouldn't need a huge one, 25' would be plenty for 3BBL.

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Old 09-20-2012, 03:42 AM   #5
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I'll bite.

I don't see why you couldn't run a copper line on the outside of the tank and make it work. That being said, I agree and disagree with the thermal mass being an issue only because you will only be taxing the chiller to maintain temperature. This PID loop will take care of how long to run the pump for cooling. Now, if you were to try to crash the fermentation, that may take a bit longer depending on its location, insulation, how well the freezer works and the amount of glycol you plan on having in the freezer for reserves.

I think that the only major problem would be the amount of tubing required. This may require a decent size pump. In my setup I had to use a 100 psi diaphragm pump to pump through 50' of copper line and probably and additional 12 foot of stainless through the water fountain. Take a look below at some general calculations.

If you used 3/8" copper and lets say 100 feet so you can have enough revolutions round the vessel and an estimated 100 gallon per hour flow rate.


Flow medium: Water 20 °C / liquid
Volume flow:: 100 gal/hr
Weight density: 998.206 kg/m³
Dynamic Viscosity: 1001.61 10-6 kg/ms
Element of pipe: circular
Dimensions of element: Diameter of pipe D: .375 in.
Length of pipe L: 100 ft.
Velocity of flow: 4.84 ft./s
Reynolds number: 14008
Velocity of flow 2: -
Reynolds number 2: -
Flow: turbulent
Absolute roughness: .0013 mm
Pipe friction number: 0.03
Resistance coefficient: 91.33
Resist.coeff.branching pipe: -
Press.drop branch.pipe: -
Pressure drop: 2073.11 lbw./sq.ft.
14.4 psi


p = 0.434 h SG (1)

Where
p = pressure (psi)
h = head (ft)
SG = specific gravity( which will be 1 as we are using water)

14.4= 0.434 *h*1
14.4 \ .434= h

h= 33 ft of head

Take this with a grain of salt as this calculation does not take into consideration fittings or additional distance from the pump. At the least this will give you an idea if the pump you are looking to get will work for the chiller.

Kyle

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Old 09-20-2012, 02:25 PM   #6
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Thanks for the calculations Kyle. Could you clarify what the calculation for "head" refers to?

If I were to go with 100' of 3/8" copper, what size (hp) pump am I looking at? What are you using for your 50' setup?

My intent is to lager at 2c (36f).

I have visited wineries before where they've had massive fermenters encased in glycol jackets. My high school physics background tells me that it can be done given enough glylcol and insulation.

My plan is to fill a 3.6 cu.ft. freezer completely with glycol (right up against the walls of the bare freezer) and cool it to at least -5F.

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Old 09-20-2012, 11:26 PM   #7
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My concern would be the the resin is not going to transmit much heat from the beer to the cooling lines- I don't know anything about the material but it looks pretty much like plastic which tends to be a pretty excellent insulator. Not an engineer by any stretch of the imagination but that's just what jumps out at me.

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Old 09-21-2012, 01:26 AM   #8
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Thanks,

"Head" is the height the pump is able to pumps liquid before the liquid over comes the pumps flow.

So as an example, take a look at chugger pump stats:

Model : Chugger SS Inline
Description
Inlet 1/2" MPT Outlet 1/2"MPT

Max Flow 7 GPM 22.7 LPM
Max Head 18.6 FT 4.1 M
Power .04 HP .029 KW
Electrical 115V 50/60HZ
Submersible Non-Submersible
60HZ 50HZ


So ideally, the calculations we did above would rule this pump out due to the pressure drop across the tubing and our head requirement was at least 33 ft. You would almost need at a minimum double the head to just allow the glycol to flow through the tubing.

I do agree that plastic isnt the ideal material to transfer heat which is why most of the plastic fermentors use a coil mounted in the lid for cooling. That being said, I dont think that it will not work having the coil outside. It will merely take longer to cool down the beer to the Tempature you desire. By the way at -5 degree glycol, enough insulation and time this will work. Make sure you have the Tempature probe from the PID in a thermal well with it contacting the beer not the surface of the fermentor.

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Old 09-21-2012, 01:33 AM   #9
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Oh I forgot. My setup is as follows

50' of 1/4" copper line
My pump is a 12v diaphragm pump that has an adjustable pressure output from 30 psi to 100psi. For my setup I needed quite a bit of pressure from the pump due to the size of the tubing. But I want to say my pump is 1/2 hp...

Here are my photo's

image-1542225533.jpg   image-3135660357.jpg   image-1698555259.jpg   image-2384805049.jpg  
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyled93
Oh I forgot. My setup is as follows

50' of 1/4" copper line
My pump is a 12v diaphragm pump that has an adjustable pressure output from 30 psi to 100psi. For my setup I needed quite a bit of pressure from the pump due to the size of the tubing. But I want to say my pump is 1/2 hp...

Here are my photo's
Nice Job!

What temps can you crash to with an ambient temp of say 75 degrees? What temp is your chilling glycol?

Thanks!
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