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Old 01-13-2010, 05:16 AM   #1
mikefromcu
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Jan 2008
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Attention all engineers (I should have paid more attention in skool):

I'm thinking of recirculating Glycol through the plate-chiller as the cooling solution to my large batches. On my 20 gallon system I run hose water through the chiller, while recirculating the wort back to the kettle to get the wort down to ~150, then use a recirculating ice bath on the plate chiller and pump from the kettle into the fermenter. No problem. BUT!

Now I'm moving to larger batches and don't want to waste as much and would like to speed this up... Wonder if I used glycol the whole time if I could go straight off the whirlpool kettle (still around 200ish) to the fermenter if it used Glycol as the chilling fluid?

I was thinking I could put a container (bucket like) in my chest freezer to hold a large glycol bath (20? 30?? gallon bucket in there, with a submersible pump) and two lines, one to and one from the glycol bucket through the chiller.

How would I calculate how much glycol I'd need? I really need to go single pass straight off the whirlpool kettle - and this for what will be my 51 gallon batches...

Thoughts? Seen it? Help!

 
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:58 AM   #2
kladue
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Probably the simple answer would be to series connect 2 plate chiilers and pump from kettle to fermenter. First plate chiller would pull wort temperature down to 80 using water then second glycol cooled chiller would drop remainder of temperature. The method for the glycol system would be water filled tubes with glycol circulated through copper pipe hairpins, with water in frozen state you would have a larger energy sink than just liquid glycol solution. I will look into calculating what it will take to cool 50 gallons from 212 to 60 degrees as a starting point for a wort cooling system.

 
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:13 PM   #3
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Kevin, using the method you mentioned above would a water bottle cooler be able to handle the second plates chilling needs for small batches?
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:21 PM   #4
kladue
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If you used a storage container and circulated the coolant until it got down to temp before starting wort chilling it should work. The coolers thermostats bottom out at 40 F without some recalibration, so a bit of work would be needed to get temperatures down to 32 F. I have a cooling system built with 2 remote water fountain chillers and a 50L keg for coolant storage, running but not tested with a 10 gallon batch yet.

 
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefromcu View Post
Now I'm moving to larger batches and don't want to waste as much and would like to speed this up... Wonder if I used glycol the whole time if I could go straight off the whirlpool kettle (still around 200ish) to the fermenter if it used Glycol as the chilling fluid?

I was thinking I could put a container (bucket like) in my chest freezer to hold a large glycol bath (20? 30?? gallon bucket in there, with a submersible pump) and two lines, one to and one from the glycol bucket through the chiller.
You could use brine solution instead of Glycol...less toxic if spilt and easily made at home.

I think you need about (depending on temperature of brine/glycol and efficiency of CF chiller) about two times the amount of chilling liquid than wort to be chilled. On a 51g batch you would need about 100g of brine at 0*F.


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Old 01-13-2010, 09:21 PM   #6
goatchze
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mikefromcu,

It's difficult to say how much glycol you'll need, but I imagine quite a bit. You'd need to know how quickly your chest freezer can keep up with the heat you'll be dumping into it. (Don't forget that for every BTU of heat you dump into your freezer, that BTU has to be pumped back out).

You can calculate the minimum amount of glycol required using a heat balance. BUT! You want to speed this thing up, so you're going to need more than the minimum.

How quickly do you want to drain your wort? Do you know the UA on your heat exchanger from past runs or can you approximate it? (UA can be approximated if you have your old flow rates, ie how long does it take to drain, and temperatures going in/out). The manufacturer may have given the "design" UA or at least an area.

If you can answer those two questions then the needed amount of glycol can be calculated. (BTW, which glycol are you planning on using?)


 
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:33 PM   #7
kladue
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Here is an ice bank example built by Yorg from HD parts http://picasaweb.google.com.au/YorgT...97670941569362, this lets the freezer freeze the water then the glycol coolant is circulated and transfers heat to the ice. This will increase the heatsink capacity of a freezer to a point where glycol cooling becomes practical on a small scale. The other advantage is the total quantity of the coolant is in the 5 gallon range not 50 gallons.

 
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Old 01-14-2010, 02:46 AM   #8
kladue
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Here are some rough numbers for the glycol cooling systems for cooling 51 gallons of wort from 210 degrees to 65 degrees

1. All glycol at 40 degrees F starting temp, about 55 gallons at ideal heat exchange conditions.

2. Water pre cool to 100 degrees, Glycol to 65 degrees F., about 37 gallons at ideal exchange.

3 Water pre cool to 100 degrees,130 Lb Ice bank with glycol circulation (10-4"IDX30" cylinders in freezer), total melt of ice to bring wort down to 65 degrees F..

Water consumption for pre cool would be in excess of 65 gallons to remove most of the heat.

 
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:42 AM   #9
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So...if you're making 50 gallon batches, a dedicated chest freezer filled with glycol might do the trick....

 
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Old 01-14-2010, 04:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladue View Post
Here are some rough numbers for the glycol cooling systems for cooling 51 gallons of wort from 210 degrees to 65 degrees

1. All glycol at 40 degrees F starting temp, about 55 gallons at ideal heat exchange conditions.

2. Water pre cool to 100 degrees, Glycol to 65 degrees F., about 37 gallons at ideal exchange.

3 Water pre cool to 100 degrees,130 Lb Ice bank with glycol circulation (10-4"IDX30" cylinders in freezer), total melt of ice to bring wort down to 65 degrees F..

Water consumption for pre cool would be in excess of 65 gallons to remove most of the heat.
This must be a rather large investment in glycol alone at this large of a amount. I see Texas so the pre cool ground water must be rather warm besides the amount available to let let flow and considered lost or yard water.
The 65 gallon amount isn't a worry with my brewing in the past as I have city water plus well water that I let run by the hour for the yard. I can go thru 1,400 gallons of well water every second day without any worries with the temp at 63*F summer, 59 to 61*F winter.
My friend has a 14 cu/ft freezer that had a 1/8" aluminum liner fitted inside which holds 135 gallons of well water starting at 34*F as a second chiller system for his 25 gallon batches. First run with well water then the keezer cooler water. He needs 4 days to chill 63*F water down first. This was way cheaper than the price of glycol, messing around with blocks of ice or any other chiller system with the larger brew batches.
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