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indyspirits

Mash Tun Cooling: Part Deux

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Backstory:  On site we have a 2500 liter steam-jacketed mash cooker with  wedge-wire bottom. Two drains -- one is a manifold style (a series of twelve 3/4" drains in a circular pattern to prevent wort from channeling through the grainbed) and the other a centrally positioned 3" triclamp drain for grain-in cooks. Agitator is top mounted to facilitate removal of WW false bottom.   Facility has 2,500 gallon water/glycol reservoir chilled to 7° C ( 45° F).

Our challenge is cooling. Currently we have a home-rolled "fold-back liebig" -- basically a tube in tube -- 2" copper over 1" copper. Total cost about $350 for just shy of 6 sq ft of cooling surface. It's neither fast nor the least bit convenient. 

My idea: 

TIG weld vertically oriented sections of  13/16" x 1-5/8" 304 stainless strut channels spaced approx 18" on the inside wall of the mash tun.  Use stainless strut pipe clamps to hold 1 1/4" CSST gas pipe (plastic jacket removed). Terminate CSST with a MIP adapter for connected to glycol loop.  Pump glycol through CSST to cool contents of mash cooker.

The ID of the mashtun is about 5' 4" so circumference of 16.5 ft.  I can pickup a 300' CSST roll for $1,050 which will get me 18 (ish) loops in the tun.  If the tubing was smooth-walled that would be just shy of 100 sq ft of cooling surface area. Perhaps an increase of 25% due to corrugation??  Total cost will be around $2,000.

What haven't I considered?? Backpressure? Cleaning issues?  Interested in everyone's thought on this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If you have a false bottom, why don't you just get a plate chiller like beer guys use?

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We use the tun for both lautered  (false bottom in) and grain-in mashes (false bottom out).  We want a system that can cool both.

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I certainly have not but I'm interested! Honestly never consider S&T as a mash cooler.  How much cooling area does yours have? Are you running the mash on the inside or outside of the tubes?  I assume you're able to cool grain-in mashes. How do you have it positioned re: your tun?

 

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We only do grain-in and it works pretty well. We have it on the wall next to our mash cooker, and recirculate with a pump through it back into the cooker to do our drops to malt temp and then to fermentation temp. We switch from recirculating to the fermentor we are going to when our outlet temp is where we want it. We go through the tubes, and use potable water on the shell side. We have it plumbed so we can reclaim the hottest water for the next cook, or close the potable loop and run it through a plate chiller connected to our chiller system.

It isn't perfect as it can be difficult to clean, or become plugged if you are really thick. However we had it sized by our mechanical contractor and it does the times we wanted just about perfect. Its about 10 or 12 feet long, 1 foot across. It is a 4 pass with 3  3/4 inch tubes. We do 500 gallon cooks, from 185ish to 145ish in 20 or so minutes, from malt to fermentation 45 minutes to 1 hr 15 mins depending on set temp. We run a 30 gallon beer (1bushel/per 30 gallons) with almost no issues.

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Hello Indyspirits

 

Please see our tube and shell heat exchange below.  We have gotten the price down to $2,950.00 for the ones that I have made in China.  We can make them here, but the price for those $4,773.00  there is no real difference between the 2.  This heat exchangor has 54' of 2" tubing, jacketed with 2.5" tubing.  Artisan was selling something similar, made in china, for over $4,000.00  If you are interested give us a shout paul@distillery-equipment.com  The other option is to use your steam jacket for cooling.  Lots of our customers do that with our Mash Tuns.  Rusty Cox in VA has been using the steam jacket of his mash cooker to crash cool 5 days per week for 6 years now with no issues.  Years ago I saw a really large Mash cooker that had been used that way for over 20 years with no issues and it was 304 stainless.  Of course our jackets are heavier than most.  I have a plumbing design that I came up with that will allow you to use your steam jacket for cooling.  I am glad to email it to you if you like.  

 

Large_Heat_exchanger_1.jpg

 

http://distillery-equipment.com

http://moonshine-still.co

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Paul let me make sure I understand this...  you charge $2,950 for 28 sq ft of cooling and my proposed solution will be $2,000 for a bare minimum (excluding area increase do to corrugation) 98 sq ft of cooling and I don't have to deal with a pump or cleaning. 

Cooling with the steam jacket is fraught with problems about which others have addresses ad infinitum.

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31 minutes ago, Tom Lenerz said:

Its about 10 or 12 feet long, 1 foot across. It is a 4 pass with 3  3/4 inch tubes.

I can imagine that getting clogged w 3/4" tubes.   What do you mean it's a "4 pass".  If we go with my idea, I'm a bit concerned about cleaning as the corrugated tubing approach would introduce many knooks & crannies. 

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Our's is setup to flow in and out on one side, and has 6 tubes in a U-shape. The plate is designed on the inside to have liquid flow in 3 of the tubes, down the U and back out to the bottom, where it is closed and the liquid flows back through the other 3 tubes towards the dead end and then back out the top next to the inlet. So the liquid does 4 passes of the coolant before exiting the exchanger: 1 on the top down to the dead end, back on the bottom to the front, back on the bottom to the dead end and then finally out the top on the other side.

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Indyspirts,

 

You understand correctly.  that is exactly what I am offering.  We have sold several of them and they work great. 

There is no problem using steam jackets to cool as long as the vessel is built correctly.  We have proven that.  Lots of my customers do that with no issues.  My calcs show no issues and I guarenty no issues.   People say lots of things.  i had an engineer tell me once that you cannot weld stainless to copper and we do that all of the time with great success and no failures to date.  

We do 2 other kinds of cooling systems.  One of the best is a coil in the tun.

We have another way that will crash cool the whole charge in less than 5 minutes for each crash cool, and several of our customers are using that method as well.

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6 minutes ago, Tom Lenerz said:

So the liquid does 4 passes of the coolant before exiting the exchanger:

That's what I assumed, but, well, you know what happens when one assumes...   About 2 seconds after I posted my "knooks and crannies" comment I remembers our tun has  CIP ball in it which should take care of much (most?) of the cleaning.  

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2 hours ago, Southernhighlander said:

We have another way that will crash cool the whole charge in less than 5 minutes,

Im curious how that's possible  500 gallons from corn gel temp to malt temp needs nearly a quarter-millon BTUs of cooling.  In five mins that would be impressive.

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2 hours ago, indyspirits said:

That's what I assumed, but, well, you know what happens when one assumes...   About 2 seconds after I posted my "knooks and crannies" comment I remembers our tun has  CIP ball in it which should take care of much (most?) of the cleaning.  

As this is an external exchanger we pump CIP solution through the tubes when we clean the pump and hoses. It has a low point drain, and we do lots of rinsing. Not as easy to clean or as sanitary as a tube in tube, but still gets clean. We haven't torn the head baffle off yet to inspect the tubes, as the replacement gasket is kind of expensive if we need to replace it, but are planning on putting that on a regular preventative. 

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We use a TIS model just like Southernhighlander is offering.  The short answer is: they work great.  They work even better and faster if you have very cold water to work with.   I would not pick a different path to cool my grain-in mash.  

 

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4 hours ago, Southernhighlander said:

It is impressive, and it gives my customers, who use that method, a huge advantage over their competition.

How about a picture or description of this system and the cost?

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Any one of the mash tuns on this page https://distillery-equipment.com/300gallonmashtun.htm  Some of of my bigger mash tuns would need a small modification.  You can do the job in this one, with no modification.  A few distillers on here know this method and I certainly did not come up with it.   If you know how this is done, don't tell these guys that don't.  We will see if they can figure it out.  Sort of a fun riddle.

The price of this mash tun in the 300 gallon size is shown below.  All crash cooling methods have advantages and disadvantages and this method is no different.

$13,492.50

 

 

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32 minutes ago, Jedd Haas said:

How about a picture or description of this system and the cost?

As they say, if there's no picture it didnt happen.

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I gotta hand it to you, you never miss the chance for the hard sell.  But honestly, I don't give a toss about a new mash tun, I have one of those. Can we redirect responses to my OP?

 

 

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Indy

22 minutes ago, indyspirits said:

I gotta hand it to you, you never miss the chance for the hard sell.

 

23 minutes ago, indyspirits said:

As they say, if there's no picture it didnt happen.

Indyspirits.

 

  Let's see if you will put your money where your mouth is. Lets make a $500.00 wager.  If I win, you donate to the charity of my choice.  If you win, I donate to a charity of your choice.  If I can prove, that there is a way to crash cool my 300 gallon mash tun in 5 minutes from 140° F to 83° F, then I win.  If I cannot prove it, then you win. What do you say? 

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I say your constant hijacking of threads to flog your equipment is offputting. If you have comments or thoughts on my CSST approach to cooling I'd like to hear them.  I'll simply ignore non-related posts.  

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Indyspirits, 

 

I'm sorry that you feel that way.  I did make some good suggestions concerning your crash cooling dilemma, and after that I only replied to your statements.  I certainly meant no offense, but I do apologize for offending you. 

So does that mean that you are not interested in my wager?

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Indyspirits:  If I am visualizing what you are describing, I believe I have recently seen a Vendome mash cooker of a like construction.  

From a cleaning and sanitation POV I would absolutely steer clear of an exposed coil/piping inside my mash unit.  As an earlier poster mentioned, nooks and crannies will make it a bacteria haven very quickly.  Smooth walls, bottoms, adequate drains, no dead legs are my watch words when it comes to optimum mash design.  Others may not mind this, and that's cool.

For the cost of a TIS cooler (like described above), you get a proven, easy to maintain/clean solution.  Not a gamble, a solid fix.  

Perhaps a good way to think about this is what will you do and have to pay to make the original idea come to life?  What will you do and have to pay to fix it if it doesn't?  

Another thought and not perfectly germane to your original question, we have in the past used the steam jacket as a cooling jacket as well.  A bit of a pain to sort out, but a solution.  In my opinion not an efficient solution.  Using the same inputs, we cool a bunch faster with the TIS solution.  

 

Hope this helps! 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Blackheart said:

Perhaps a good way to think about this is what will you do and have to pay to make the original idea come to life?  What will you do and have to pay to fix it if it doesn't?  

$2k plus my time. A lot more if it doesn't work. I was the one who posted the "nooks and crannies" question. Still very valid. 

 

12 minutes ago, Blackheart said:

Another thought and not perfectly germane to your original question, we have in the past used the steam jacket as a cooling jacket as well.  A bit of a pain to sort out, but a solution.  In my opinion not an efficient solution.  Using the same inputs, we cool a bunch faster with the TIS solution.  

I just cant imagine cross contaminating boiler feed water and glycol/water mixture is a good thing if you went the cool-with-the-steam-jacket solution.  Leaning toward a tube/shell solution as this point.

 

 

 

 

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