Kegconnection Complete Starter Kit and More Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > planning a glycol chiller for 1-3bbl fermenters

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-12-2012, 12:44 AM   #1
SirJoshuaIV
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Delhi, NY
Posts: 61
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default planning a glycol chiller for 1-3bbl fermenters

To start, I will give a little background information and would like to appologize for such a long post. I am in the process of opening a small(nano) brewery and restaurant. The system is 1bbl. The location has a walk in cooler that I could use for controlling fermentation temps. However, I would like more control over fermentation temps and be able to use the cooler for restaurant purposes and not build another. I will be using plastic conicals ((2) 1bbls, (4) 2bbls and (1) 3bbl) to start because they will save lots of money that can be used for other parts of the business start up costs, with plans to upgrade to an all stainless and larger system.

I have come up with a rough plan to build a glycol chiller, and there is one little thing I can't seem to wrap my head around. This is a very rough plan, and I will do much fine tuning to it. Please point out any and all errors you see in my planning/reasoning, and hopefully you can also help me solve me last problem.

I intend to mimic many other glycol builds by simply making copper coiles that will be submerged into the fermenters, and mounted to the lids on the fermenters (similar to a herms system), which would allow for easy removal and cleaning. If I do not do this, I will use the Frankenbrew method and make the coils flat and attach them to the outside with insulation.

Each coil will have an Autovalve on it that is wired to my BCS-462 for control to open the valves when cooling is needed. Each conicals coil will connect to a manifold that is plumbed to a large glycol holding tank inside the cold room which will ideally be kept around 34-40 degrees.

Here is where im stuck - I would like to use a single pump for this setup. So here are my questions. Will controlling the pump by my BCS be problematic? My concern is what would happen if multiple conicals needed cooling at one time - in example the pump is already triggered on by one temp controller in FV1, and then FV2 triggers it to turn on even though its already running. I dont think this will cause a problem because it is extremely low voltage but I want to be sure and wrap my head around this completely before I jump into the build.

Also, could I just leave the pump running continously? I know this would reduce the pump life, but would it be a drastic reduction if i kept it in the cold room to keep it cool?

Any other ideas on how to do this all with a single pump?

I would like to thank anyone who gives advice/insight in advance. Thank you!

__________________
www.BearKaat.com
SirJoshuaIV is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-12-2012, 01:32 PM   #2
Kyled93
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Posts: 233
Liked 9 Times on 8 Posts

Default

This is an interesting problem.

I'm at work now but I can help tonight explain how to design this system. At the end of the day your going to need a pump that when all the fermenters cooling coils are open will be able to recirculate the glycol. Can you help with as little more information for some rough calculations?

Things I will need to know:
-Your pump size now?
-Tubing size, both length and ID (inside diameter) for the fermenters as well as the manifold.
-What will the manifold be constructed from? PVC?
-Will the glycol tank be closed or open to the air?
-What percentage of glycol will you be using?
-Will you be using 2 way or 3 way valves off the manifold?

Kyle

__________________
Kyled93 is offline
SirJoshuaIV Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-12-2012, 03:09 PM   #3
fork
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 119
Liked 8 Times on 7 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

You don't need to worry about providing the pump an on signal from multiple locations, it won't hurt the pump. I don't know how to program the software so I can't speak to that. However, just having a tub of glycol in a freezer isn't very efficient the heat transfer from cold air to a bucket of glycol isn't that good where as the heat transfer from "warm" fermenting beer to the copper coil of glycol is good. Commercial glycol chillers directly cool the glycol with a heat exchanged, not just cold air. One person in another thread mentioned having the glycol pass through another coil in the freezer to cool it on the way to the fermentor, this would help.

__________________
fork is online now
SirJoshuaIV Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-12-2012, 05:17 PM   #4
SirJoshuaIV
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Delhi, NY
Posts: 61
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyled93 View Post
This is an interesting problem.

I'm at work now but I can help tonight explain how to design this system. At the end of the day your going to need a pump that when all the fermenters cooling coils are open will be able to recirculate the glycol. Can you help with as little more information for some rough calculations?

Things I will need to know:
-Your pump size now?
-Tubing size, both length and ID (inside diameter) for the fermenters as well as the manifold.
-What will the manifold be constructed from? PVC?
-Will the glycol tank be closed or open to the air?
-What percentage of glycol will you be using?
-Will you be using 2 way or 3 way valves off the manifold?

Kyle
Nothing has been completely determined. However, these are my tentative thoughts. I was thinking 3/8 copper, 50 feet of coil per fermenter. The run from the fermenters to the glycol tank would be roughly 12 feet, and will be insulated. The manifold would likely be 3/4 for the return, and a 3/4 manifold that sends the glcol to the fermenters. My rationale on this is the oversized manifolds would provide enough flow capacity if mulitple fermenters are chilling at one time. I intend to do everything copper, however stainless is an option since I have a good amount of it avaible in 3/8s.

I have yet to purchase a pump, but I do have an extra march 809 pump laying around that I could use if it was feasible for this application. Advice on a pump would be very helpful if the march 809 is not sufficient (which at 7gpm, i would not assume thats enough).

As far as the glycol goes, I was thinking somwhere around 45% glycol. The tank will be closed and sealed with a bleeder valve to purge the air. The return line will go through a copper loop that is in front of the evaporator coil fan that cools the cold room. This should aid in dropping the glycol temps to not raise the glycol tank temps as much. As far as tank size goes, I have 55gallon food grade plastic drums available and was thinking of using one of these.

For the valves, I intend to use a 2way valve for each fermenter. Just an open or closed. When open the glycol will flow through the fermenter and back to the return manifold that will send the warm glycol through the copper coil in front of the evaporator coil. If I do not put the heat exchange coil in front of the evaporator, I may throw in threw a upright chest freezer that is in the cold room which should drop the glycol temps pretty rapidly.

Anything else you need, please let me know. I REALLY appreciate the help on this. I am confident in my abilities to construct everything, I just question my ability to put together the logistics of it and have it not only work, but work at least some what effeciently.
__________________
www.BearKaat.com
SirJoshuaIV is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-12-2012, 05:50 PM   #5
SirJoshuaIV
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Delhi, NY
Posts: 61
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fork View Post
You don't need to worry about providing the pump an on signal from multiple locations, it won't hurt the pump. I don't know how to program the software so I can't speak to that. However, just having a tub of glycol in a freezer isn't very efficient the heat transfer from cold air to a bucket of glycol isn't that good where as the heat transfer from "warm" fermenting beer to the copper coil of glycol is good. Commercial glycol chillers directly cool the glycol with a heat exchanged, not just cold air. One person in another thread mentioned having the glycol pass through another coil in the freezer to cool it on the way to the fermentor, this would help.
Programming the BCS shouldnt be a problem, I can tackle that in an evening once the system is ready to go. I know this wont be as efficient as a dedicated glycol unit with a heat exchanger. However, to compensate for this I intend to oversize the resivoir to reduce the temperature increases from the returning glycol. I also intend to make a makeshift heat exchange loop, like you mentioned someone else doing. It will be attached to the evaporator coil fan, as this will cool the returning glycol at least to some degree. If I do not attach it to the fan, i will run it through a upright chest freezer, probably in some fashion similar to what you mentioned someone else doing.
__________________
www.BearKaat.com
SirJoshuaIV is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-12-2012, 09:10 PM   #6
SirJoshuaIV
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Delhi, NY
Posts: 61
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

I just got to thinking that I could throw a temp probe in the glycol tank, put separate fittings into the manifolds for 'cold in' and 'hot out'. Then I could program my BCS to cycle the glycol through the heat exchanger in front of the evap. coil or in the freezer to keep it colder.

This should help with efficiency and keeping the glycol nice and cool, correct? Also, should I consider a separate pump for this? I would imagine the pump be running fairly constant if it was controlling the fermenters and the glycol tank.

__________________
www.BearKaat.com
SirJoshuaIV is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-13-2012, 12:39 AM   #7
crazyirishman34
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 37 reviews
 
crazyirishman34's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Newton, MA
Posts: 1,340
Liked 47 Times on 44 Posts
Likes Given: 81

Default

On most commercial glycol chillers the recirculation loop runs all the time. Also they use procon pumps

__________________
crazyirishman34 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-13-2012, 01:05 AM   #8
SirJoshuaIV
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Delhi, NY
Posts: 61
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyirishman34 View Post
On most commercial glycol chillers the recirculation loop runs all the time. Also they use procon pumps
One of my buddies has one of those I think, I can probably get it for cheap, but I know he doesnt have a motor for it. What size pump motor do they typcially use, 1/3hp?
__________________
www.BearKaat.com
SirJoshuaIV is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-13-2012, 01:52 AM   #9
crazyirishman34
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 37 reviews
 
crazyirishman34's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Newton, MA
Posts: 1,340
Liked 47 Times on 44 Posts
Likes Given: 81

Default

This is the one that my chiller has

http://www.ebay.com/itm/PROCON-PUMP-...item2324761684

__________________
crazyirishman34 is offline
SirJoshuaIV Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-13-2012, 03:22 AM   #10
crane
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 282
Liked 25 Times on 22 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

How are you going to connect the pump to the BCS? If you are going to use a single relay connected to multiple different digital outputs then you may run into a problem. I don't know much about the BCS but I am assuming that its digital outputs a strong drive and not an open drain or open collector output. If that is the case then you can't just hook up multiple outputs together. When one output is off and driving towards 0 volts and another turns on to 5 volts then the two outputs are going to fight each other and you will damage the controller. If they are open drain or open collector outputs then you don't have to worry about that. There are ways to work around this but I just thought I might give you a heads up in case you planned on hooking it up that way.

__________________
crane is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DIY Glycol/Water Chiller for Jacketed or Coil Wrapped Fermenters marcb DIY Projects 27 03-24-2013 02:48 AM
Possible Glycol Chiller? Bigfoot99 Equipment/Sanitation 14 03-20-2013 05:26 AM
Glycol chiller from air conditioner nostalgia DIY Projects 8 10-04-2011 07:08 PM
Building my own glycol chiller JeremyHB DIY Projects 12 12-12-2010 03:14 PM
Given a Glycol Chiller...Now What? HungusBrews Equipment/Sanitation 5 10-22-2010 04:54 AM