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MG Thermal Consulting

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MG Thermal Consulting last won the day on October 3

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About MG Thermal Consulting

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    Atlanta, GA
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    Refrigeration and process cooling industry.
    Civil War History.

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  1. For just the mash cooling, near a 500 Gal. You should be near 65-70 tank temperature when done, so then let the chiller to continue running until the tank is around 55F, and then you're ready for still action! If you're cooling fermenters too, you want to upsize the reservoir so it finishes up a little cooler since you want decent temperature going to the fermenter jackets. I would tap off the return line back to the tank from the chiller so you have coldest water going to the fermenters and then return that back to the tank. I tend to use a hybrid cooler now (not a dry cooler, but similar) that gives you 85F glycol in summer and colder all other seasons. I use a chiller for the still and fermenters when I need to- this is my current high efficiency design. This design also allows smaller reservoir tanks and much less KW used for cooling during off season. I have a 40 ton hybrid cooler and 60 ton chiller used for a quick mash cool in a large distillery where they are mashing every day. They would have had to use 100 ton chiller if they did this with a large reservoir. I am saving 20 HP for the cooling in the summer and probably more like 40 HP in the winter season. Cost savings is immediate as well.
  2. The sizing of the reservoir depends on the mash cooling time plus the fermenter cooling as well, so if you had a 250 Gal mash load, a 500 Gal reservoir for that plus extraneous loads like fermenters. Recovery time should get done before you are ready to make a still run, so get the reservoir back down to around 50-55F before use again. If you are doing stripping runs, you'll have to upsize the chiller in some cases, especially if the tank starts to overheat- creeping above 70F before you're not close to the end of the strip run is not a good sign and you should adjust technique so you don't overheat the chiller. I am adding a 2-stage cooling technique for larger mash runs by adding a hybrid adiabatic glycol cooler which will give you performance of a cooling tower with a closed loop system, so I can run it along with the chiller to take the high heat out of the mash run which reduces the chiller size and overall KW. On a recently completed system, the savings winds up being 20 HP per hour of usage compared to cooling with a chiller. Hope to have pictures posted soon!
  3. For such a small chiller, if you can set it under a roof vent to take hot discharge air off it outside, you should be able to use it indoors unless it would be really close to any ethanol vapor- thats a no-no. The chiller should not suffer too much with glycol at the same temperature output, you may need a little more flow on the glycol to offset the friction loss and inherent loss from glycol thermo properties.
  4. For a 5 ton chiller, a brazed plate exchanger is about $900, new. Obviously there are a lot of used plate and frames out there, you just have to set flows.
  5. Hedge, More often than not, clients just fill the whole inside portion with water (treated) which simplifies it. The only reason glycol is added is to: 1) prevent winter free-ups, and 2) if you want to chill water below 45F, many manufacturers tell you to. Tapping off the glycol line allows you to lower the glycol temperature- handy for chill filtering- but you must valve the line off so the sub-freezing glycol doesn't pass through the heat exchanger (if you have one) and freeze the water in the water loop of the heat -x. You certainly can have the chiller set lower, again depending on whose you have, but you should be able to get to 40F by adding glycol and re-setting thermostat. "Raw" water is often used in critical situations as a backup, only, situation like at hospitals, but it needs to have a rugged filter to keep silt out of the loop which will inevitably end up inside the chiller evaporator. If you have a chiller that has a "coil inside a tank" design, this is not as critical because the water is outside of the tubing, settling in the tank.
  6. Hey Jon! Welcome- I'm from Corning and still have family scattered from Buffalo to Binghamton. If you need anything on the process cooling side, give me a shout.
  7. Yep, that's the deal. The water pump side is your feed to still and the chiller pump can feed the fermenters. This way you can shut off the process pump and just run the chiller pump at night (like now with these hot days and nights).
  8. You need to add a small plate exchanger and second pump. Put globe valves on discharge of pumps so you can balance flow on HTX. I have pix from one of clients, if you want to email me, I'll send them over.
  9. Thanks, Star! It's a tough thing to get through some clients that running a strip requires almost double capacity what a pot run will require- and just because you have oodles of tank capacity, doesn't mean successive strips and mash coolings will have you run out of tank capacity because the chiller was sized marginally or the boiler is over capacity and will try to do the strip in 3 hrs and your cooling was sized on 6 hrs. Lately it seems to be common to have larger mash runs, more than twice the strip run volume and here is where a hybrid cooler can keep your chiller size down to the size of the run volumes and fermenters. Unequal size of batches will make tanks hot such that there isn't enough remaining to control a number of fermenter. Like everything, best be wary of loads that are far apart in the calculations.
  10. I have supplied 5 HP chillers for 300 Gal pot stills, but more often than not, the customer is running a strip, so the load is much hotter an usually wind up supplying a 10 Ton instead, a couple fermenters are enough to make a 5 HP lacking. I really don't like chiller return water to get beyond 70F continuously, 75F continuously and you're asking for trouble on hot Summer days, overheating refrigerant compressors. I am supplying a chiller plus a hybrid air cooler on a large mash load (85 tons) down South right now and wound up selecting a 40 T hybrid cooler (runs like a cooling tower only dry circuited) on the first stage cooling and a 60 ton chiller on the 2nd stage rather than a 100 ton chiller. Much more KW friendly and will allow a second mash run in the future. I have two types of dry or hybrid coolers, one very simple and the other like the hybrid variety which uses a water spray in the summer. Paybacks about 2 years or less.
  11. You will need a very large reservoir to serve a 300 gal strip run with a 5 HP chiller. In addition, you will have a tough time keeping any fermenters and getting back to setpoint to chill mash. It is much better to go to an 10 ton chiller and 600 gal reservoir. Good luck and if you need a trouble free air glycol cooler to precool chilled return water, give me a shout. For the electric cost of a second pump and fan motor, it will save you kwh and have payback in less than a couple years, depending on your weather.
  12. Ben, I just finished up a cooling system for 28 Mile Vodka. Have you tried them? Mike
  13. Get well soon, man! Healin' thoughts to ya!
  14. Just shipped the chiller and heat exchanger/process pump package for Anthony's distillery to provide cooling for this bad boy!
  15. I do offer small chillers for the chilling, but if you have a chiller now and have it charged with a glycol mix, pick an off day, lower the chiller thermostat to 25F and chill the spirit in a jacketed vessel, pumping the glycol through the jacket to lower the spirit temp to near 32F. I have chillers that do this and even have a fancier one that does the switchover "push button" for a rum producer. I would touch base with your chiller provider for the OK. If you need any other info, give me a shout. Mike
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