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DistillateurQc

Expansion project - Cooling need - method

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Hello fellows distillers,

We are a small craft distillery and now we have an expansion project.

We need advice on the best cooling system to install after expansion.

The planned setup after expansion is the following:

1x 160 gallons vodka still with 21 plates columns

1x 80 gallons gin still

1x 635 gallons stripping still.

1x 635 gallons mash/lauter tun

3x 635 gallons fermenters

 

 

We currently own a Kreyer Chilly max 90 chiller (https://www.gwkent.com/media/pdf/product/3942/Chilly_Max_90_eng.pdf) connected to a plate exchanger (https://www.gwkent.com/heat-exchanger.html   6 square meter) that is connected to a 660 gallons cold water tank.

Obviously,  with our new setup, we will need more cooling capacity.

We were thinking about keeping our Chilly max 90 to cool down our mash (will be cooling one at the time, with the fermenter jacket). Will it be enough powerful?

We were thinking about buying a new chiller for the stills operation (condenser & dephleg).

What chiller size do we need (HP, tons or KW of cooling capacity), considering that we would like to run the three stills at the same time? Is it possible to eliminate the cold water tank (to save space) and run glycol directly from our chiller to our condensers/dephleg?

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

 

Regards,

Mat

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Mat,

 

    What is your tap water temp in winter and what is it in the summer?  What are your condenser specs for the still?  coolant input temp?  Flow rate in GPM.  Coolant output temp.  What is the heat exchange surface area of your fermenter (how much area do the jackets cover in square ft? What are the dimensions of your fermenter?  Are the fermenters agitated?  What spirits will you be producing?  What will you be producing your spirits from (be specific)?  Please explain your mash cooking process and fermentation process?  What is your stills run time doing vodka?

 

With all of the above information, I and others on here can help you.

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Hello, our tap water is around 50 F. We cant use it for cooling because we are on a well that has a low debit. We must conserve water as much as possible. This is why we need closed loop system for cooling.

For our still, coolant input temp is about 60 F and the flowrate is about 10 GPM. Dont know about the coolant output temp...... Our condenser ( for 635 gallons stripping still) will be a tube exchanger, with thoses caractéristics:

1.Material: Stainless steel 304;
2.Structure: tube type heat exchanger
3.Inner diameter:Ø1'2";height of body=6';
4.Thickness: 1/8"

The condenser of our vodka still is similar. The condenser of our gin still is smaller, let say 1' diameter x 5' height.

For the fermenter, it will about 3 feet diameter by 8 feet high, no agitator. The jacket coverage area are about 80 sq.ft. Will be producing whiskey, gin, vodka. Will be producing spirit from barley, wheat.

We mash at +/- 145F for an hour, ferment at +/- 82F for 3-4 days. Still run time doing vodka is about 8-9 hours.

 

Thank you Souther.

 

Mat

 

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4 minutes ago, DistillateurQc said:

Hello, our tap water is around 50 F. We cant use it for cooling because we are on a well that has a low debit. We must conserve water as much as possible. This is why we need closed loop system for cooling.

 

 

 

 

Here is the first thing to look at.  Do you use your well water to make mash and clean your equipment and around your distillery?  If that is the case you should look at your condensers as hot water heaters.  So your well water is used to cool your condensers and when it comes out of your condensers you run that free hot water into a couple of insulated plastic hot water tanks and use it for mashing in and cleaning.  No water wasted and you just saved a lot of money on water heating costs.  Also this method will decrease your mashing time. Does this sound workable for your situation? 

 

Of course you cannot do this with your mash crash cooling.  For that I suggest you use your current chiller.

 

 

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Thank you Southern.

Yes we use our well water to clean and make mash. But our well flowrate is too low. We have water tank that slowly fill up with well water that we use as reserve. Because if we use well water to cool our condensers, well will dry up before the end of the run.

So we need a closed loop for our condensers.....

 

 

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13 minutes ago, DistillateurQc said:

About 635 gallons for mashing.

When cleaning, let say 200 gallons.

And you heat the well water for cleaning and mashing correct?  It also takes time to heat it right?  I would suggest you let your well fill the holding tank slowly overnight and run the 835 gallons through your condensers and run the free hot water into hot water holding tanks.  Of course if you need more water than that for your condensers you may have to take a different path.   Also, many times it costs less to dig a well than it costs to buy a chiller.  If you are going to go with a new chiller I suggest you contact Mike at MG Thermal Consulting: http://mgthermalconsultingco.com/Home_Page.html

 

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I’ve always wondered if one could dig a well that produced enough cool water then drill a second bore hole away from it a bit. Then pump cold water out of the one and I used hot water into the other.   That way you replenish the ground water and get cold water. 

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1 hour ago, FijiSpirits said:

I’ve always wondered if one could dig a well that produced enough cool water then drill a second bore hole away from it a bit. Then pump cold water out of the one and I used hot water into the other.   That way you replenish the ground water and get cold water. 

You can actually pump the water back into the well.  Some people with distilleries and good wells do it that way.

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I also know of a couple of distilleries that use coils in streams and ponds to cool their condenser water back down before it goes into holding tanks.

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On 8/19/2019 at 8:56 PM, Southernhighlander said:

I also know of a couple of distilleries that use coils in streams and ponds to cool their condenser water back down before it goes into holding tanks.

This is great where you can do it, but do check to see if a permit is needed or environmental impact study is required, which depends on state and locale.

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22 hours ago, bluestar said:

This is great where you can do it, but do check to see if a permit is needed or environmental impact study is required, which depends on state and locale.

Great advice.  You should never do anything until you check all of the rules and regulations and keep in mind that there is a reason why most of the big distilleries are not inside the city limits and are many times in rural areas. 

Of course, if you will be depending a great deal on revenue form a tasting room, sometimes being in the city is a must. 

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