Cooling Snake for 150 Gallons of wine?

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Kneenis

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Hello everyone

Im having issues setting up a glycol system. Currently the setup is a 2.5M cooling snake hooked up to a kreyer chilly max 90 glycol system (34% glycol) feeding into the top of about 150 gallons of Pinot Gris. Im having two issues.

First, if I push the temperature below -2C (28F) the pump breaker trips after about 10 minutes with an error code ER06. At the glycol blend in using I should be able to go lower than -2C without issue I believe.

The second issue is its not cooling! When I set the temperature to 29F on the chiller the temperature started to go down very slowly. It has now all but stopped. My temp probe is reading 47F and hasn't moved in hours. The temp probe is sitting about 1.5 feet from the bottom of the tank. The tank is a 1000L variable lid tank.

What would cause the temperature to not be able to go lower than -2C?

Are these cooling snakes meant for smaller volumes? I haven't found any reviews or feedback on these products.

Ive tried to find out what the error codes mean but there is virtually no information online about these chillers. I've placed a few calls to morewine! but they haven't returned my calls.

Does anyone have experience with these systems and the snakes on larger volumes of liquid?
 

BBBF

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I don't have any experience, but I have some 640L, variable volume tanks and have looked into them.

Is the snake fully submerged?

The 2.5m has .40m Square meter of Cooling Surface. For every sq meter, you can cool 1000L of wine. So your snake is undersized, but I would think it would continue to cool and just take longer.
 
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Kneenis

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The snake is fully submerged.

I finally got through to Morewine! And they said that I need to reset my pressure settings because I changed the glycol concentration of glycol.

He also asked how the snake was laying in the tank. It's around the outside edge which might be why it's not cooling efficiently because it's not in the center.

A weird thing he said was that we need a shorter snake positioned in the center of the tank (sort of like those water bottles with the center you freeze to keep your water cold.) This goes against everything their website says about surface area of the snake and cooling efficiency. The shorter snake part also goes against common sense as it would not be able to cool as much wine.

Unfortunately I don't have a way to fix that because the snake enters the tank through the airlock port which is on the side of the tank .

Resetting the pressure switch also didn't work so I'm going to call in a professional to tweak it . I don't want to risk messing up my 10k investment
 

BBBF

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That makes sense that you don't want the coil cooling the metal wall that will be acting like a heat sink and cooling the air instead of the wine. I hope when you get it all figured out, you share your review of the cooling snake. I may go that route some day. Right now I'm thinking about just building a refrigerated box around the fermenters.

You could look into having a tri clamp ferrule welded to the center of the lid. This would give you a center hole for the chiller and if you plan to keep the wine in the fermenters long term, you can set up an low pressure, inert gas system similar to what morebeer sells. https://morewinemaking.com/products/inert-gas-system-variable-volume-tanks.html
 
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Kneenis

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We have a refrigeration specialist coming out tomorrow. Hopefully we can get it fixed.

We've got two ferrels welded on already. The issue there is the snake doesn't fit in the size we have welded on. We're thinking of getting jacketted tanks for the system and just returning the snakes.

Thanks for your help!
 
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Kneenis

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Sorry for the delay in replying. We have 1.5" I believe.

We brought in a refrigeration specialist, who had the issue fixed pretty quickly. One of the breakers was set too low and was tripping every time there was an increase in the power required. He adjusted it up and boom, problem fixed. Now the wine is sitting at 32F and stabilizing.

I actually misspoke as well about the size of the cooling snake we are using. I have a 5m snake in the tank and the tank itself is only a little over half full.

We also added some insulation around the tank to help the temperature drop.

While jacketed tanks chill more quickly and efficiently, the snakes do work, although they are messier and more likely to cause an infection because you have to put it into the wine. They also take longer to cool the wine.
 
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