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300 Gallon Fermenter - What size glycol chiller?

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waterpocket    3

You might also check out Custom Metalcraft - http://custom-metalcraft.com/

They make a similar fermenter...and they have been very responsive. They have them in many sizes & options...plus many other items for brew, wine, distill.

I found a lot of info at http://www.prochiller.com/reSalesLit.htmland they have also been responsive and helpful.

I found a couple things were relevant:

Are you using glycol to chill any intake water for distillery? How quickly do you want to chill the volume you're working with? Are you crashing any ferments?

I think I started with this page as a general starting point: http://amchiller.com/size-brewery-chiller/

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Thatch    2

I asked a similar question of Paul Hall, Affordable Distilling, his answer is below.  Some background first though.  We get our water from Lake Erie and it is reasonably expensive.  The temperature of the lake in August is 75 degrees. 

Most of my customers use tap water to chill their fermenters.  Exactly how much chilling your fermenters need depends on a number of different variables including, but not limited to the temp of the air in the room, what you are mashing.  Even if you are mashing the same grain bill the mash will build up different amounts of heat depending on which yeast that you use.  Also it depends on what max temp that you are holding your mash to.  Some people don’t let their fermentations get over 80 F while others let them get up to 95F.  So there is absolutely no way that I or anyone else will be able to tell you exactly how many btu’s that you are going to use.  If you can pump and use lake water that is free or if your tap water is really cheap then I wouldn’t worry about a chiller as long as the water is 72F or lower.   If your water is expensive then and over 60f then I might use a chiller.  

If you think that you will have air temps in the distilling area over 95 f in the summer then I would get a 1 ton chiller.  Otherwise a ½ ton will do the job no problem at all.  If your tap water is really cheap you will spend a lot more running a chiller than using 70F tap water.

 Please keep in mind that your fermenters will take very little cooling energy compared to your still condensers and crash cooling corn or rye mashes when using the cook method.  If your tap water is cheap you can use 68F or colder tap water for you condenser cooling and it will come out of your condensers hot.  If you are smart you will run that free hot condenser water into 2 hot water holding tanks.  Use the water from 1 tank for your next mash cook and the hot water in the other tank for cleaning around your distillery.  The cooling specs for the 300 gallon stripping still are 55° F water in 150° F out at 3.4 gpm Max.  For the 100 gallon still the input condenser water at 55° F and 150 ° F out with a flow of 1.2 gpm max.  Many people in the industry use close loop chillers.  I would never do that.  I think that it is crazy to return 150 F water back to the chiller to cool it down to 55F.  That is a huge waste of free hot water and energy.  If you just have to have a chiller, I would chill a tank full of water, run it through my condensers and then use the free hot condenser water that comes out of the condensers

 

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Thatch,

The peice of info that I did not have is the fact that your water is expensive.  That and the fact that your water is so warm dictates that you must have a chiller.  That being the case, Mike at MG Thermal consulting is the guy that you should talk to about your chiller needs.  He has sized and sold chillers to several of my customers.  Just let him know the size of all of your equipment and what you will be mashing and the specs that I gave you concerning coolant flows and temps, and he will size a chiller for you.  I can give all of the specs for my equipment including coolant flows and temps etc that a good chiller guy can use to size your chiller for you, but I do not sell chillers so I do not size chillers.    Thatch asked me if a 1 ton chiller would be enough to chill his fermenters and I gave the answer above concerning the size of a chiller required for the fermenters only.  Of course Thatch will need a much larger chiller for his entire distillery.

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Basically, most all systems require a water reservoir and not just a chiller.  When using a reservoir, you can upsize the reservoir slightly to take care of the small loads (unless you're talking many, many fermenters).

Once you add fermenter requirements to a city water situation, you're talking higher flows for 75F water usage because of the low transfer capability of jackets.  Once you commit to a chiller system, the reservoir takes care of load when not running still or mash loads.  You can usually come out ahead once you figure how much you're paying for water plus sewer versus purchasing a chiller- usually payback less than 3 yrs to purchase chiller.

That being said, in warmer climates, it's a must to keep fermenters under control, especially where it gets above 95F outdoors and city water gets above 80F.

In future (next yr maybe) heat recovery chillers will offer 180F hot water.  New refrigerants being tested at present will allow this higher temp to be achieved.

Attached is a special we built for one of Paul's clients, stripping rum with capability to operate at 25F for cold filtering and 50F for strip runs.

 

IMG_1591 (1024x768) (800x600).jpg

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Thatch    2

Thanks to Mike and Paul,

Paul, If you wish, I'll contact you via email since my needs are pretty unique.  You should have an email from me in your info box.  How many tons/btu/Kw is the unit pictured? What is the length and width?  Is is made to go outside?  You can answer here or via email.  I also need to know the price.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Thatch said:

Thanks to Mike and Paul,

Paul, If you wish, I'll contact you via email since my needs are pretty unique.  You should have an email from me in your info box.  How many tons/btu/Kw is the unit pictured? What is the length and width?  Is is made to go outside?  You can answer here or via email.  I also need to know the price.

Thatch,

This is a "special" 230/1/60 with (2) 4 HP compressors with salt air coating on coils, 500 gal poly tank, circulating pump and dual temp processor with toggle switch. Rated at 8 tons for 50F glycol/4 tons for 25F glycol. Distillery on Daytona Beach, FL. Outdoor installation. Email me with your contact info with distillery location (nearest city),  operating voltage and run time from Paul's figures and I'll price it from there.

Mike G

www.mgthermalconsultingco.com/ mikegronski@gmail.com

 

 

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