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jbdavenport1

Cooling Water set up feedback

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Folks, 

Need feedback on my cooling water set up.  Due to cost,  I want to use a water reservoir for cooling the distillate. On a 250 gallon still with a deplegmator, would a 500 gallon tank of water with a radiator and fan work well? Or...what size water tank would you recommend?

Anyone doing same?

 

Thanks in advance.

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Questions:

How many runs per day?

Are you going to cool mash with this as well?

 

 

 

 

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Why not use the water from your condensers as free hot water?  Run it into storage tanks and use it for mashing in and cleaning.  

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I guess we could add a diverter valve to send hot water to separate tank and use that for new mashes or cleaning. That's a good idea.

 

2 runs a day. won't do mash and runs on same days.

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Re-using the hot water should work great for you.  A lot of my customers do it that way and it saves them a huge amount of money and or water over time.  It is a much better way than using a closed loop.  The larger the mass of water the longer it will retain the heat.

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Thats how we do it. Cold liquor tank with glycol that is run through the condenser and heat exchanger and collected in a hot liquor tank with steam jacket. Cold water line has a bypass to street water just in case. We have 2 HLT so one can collect while the other is mashing-in and being used for wash down. We will eventually have solar panels to power glycol (and other electrical) and once city approves, we will go with bio-fuel for steam plant. 

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I have a similar sized still and I'm getting a 1500 gal reservoir. It's overkill but I have the space and want to leave myself with extra room in case I get a second still, mash tun, etc. 

On the topic of using hot water from the condenser to mash... 

My water is hard so I'm putting in a softener to prevent my chiller and pipes from scaling up. Does anyone know if the sodium in my softened water would make this a bad idea for me? Is it enough to adversely affect yeast health? 

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Does anyone have a diagram that would show how this setup works? I'm having a tough time visualizing this. Thanks!

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9 hours ago, jbdavenport1 said:

On a 250 gallon still with a deplegmator, would a 500 gallon tank of water with a radiator and fan work well?

We have a similarly sized still and reservoir.  This time of year with the ambient temp in the distillery in the low 50s, we can probably swing 3 runs a week without running chillers.  Twice a day, probably not possible without more active cooling.  Dry cooler on the roof would be like magic with the ambient temperatures falling near 0F at night, but will be largely useless in the summer unless you are far, far north.

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12 hours ago, jbdavenport1 said:

Folks, 

Need feedback on my cooling water set up.  Due to cost,  I want to use a water reservoir for cooling the distillate. On a 250 gallon still with a deplegmator, would a 500 gallon tank of water with a radiator and fan work well? Or...what size water tank would you recommend?

Anyone doing same?

 

Thanks in advance.

I run a 120 gal still with 550 gal of cooling water.  I can do a run every other day in winter, summer every 3 days.  Looking at adding cooling either a radiator/fan or chiller to be able to do more runs per week.  I would expect that 250 gal still would either need more reservoir volume or external cooling  

 

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Thanks for all the feedback.I came across a video of a distillery that uses a simple car radiator with a fan attached to cool their water. They say their results are that they can get the water to stay around the ambient temperature for two runs a day. Of course, now that I want to share the video with you guys, I can't find it. But will keep looking.

 

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We run a 500 gallon still with a dephlegmator and also a 1000 gallon cooker . We have a 2500 gallon water/glycol tank that we recirculate, but we also use a chiller/heat exchanger loop to rechill the water before it goes out to the still and cooker. The chiller is a must for us. We've tried a stripping run without using the chiller and by the time we finished, the holding tank/incoming water temperature was over 90F.  Without the chiller, it would be days before we could run the still again - much less cool our mash. 

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On 1/2/2018 at 7:31 PM, Silk City Distillers said:

We have a similarly sized still and reservoir.  This time of year with the ambient temp in the distillery in the low 50s, we can probably swing 3 runs a week without running chillers.  Twice a day, probably not possible without more active cooling.  Dry cooler on the roof would be like magic with the ambient temperatures falling near 0F at night, but will be largely useless in the summer unless you are far, far north.

I have done several up North set ups you describe, one in W. CT that uses the "dry" cooler cooling glycol all winter until end of March before he switches over to the refrigeration chiller. Indoors he has a larger poly reservoir for water chilled by either chiller or drycooler by means of a isolation plate exchanger. This means he saves on the running of his 10 HP chiller for almost half the year, payback less than 2 years for the drycooler with it own circulating pump. 

There are more exotic ambient coolers that are hybrid and can use water spray to extend the drycooler function further.

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On 1/2/2018 at 4:21 PM, sandytoes said:

Does anyone have a diagram that would show how this setup works? I'm having a tough time visualizing this. Thanks!

Not sure what setup mentioned above your looking for, but the simple one we are using looks like this:

Conestoga River -> City Water -> Condensers on Still -> Hot Water Holding Tank -> Mash Tun

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On 1/19/2018 at 2:44 PM, HedgeBird said:

Not sure what setup mentioned above your looking for, but the simple one we are using looks like this:

Conestoga River -> City Water -> Condensers on Still -> Hot Water Holding Tank -> Mash Tun

Smart:D

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Im in the same boat. We have a 5000lt (1300gal) poly holding tank running a submersible pump feeding the condensers. 

During winter it's fine and I can do a few runs a week without issues. This is our first summer and it's causing us problems. 

Ambient water temp is 30°C (86f), and following a run it's upwards of 45°C (113f) and takes a very long time to come down again. 

 

Does anyone have any suggestions for chilling the water? 

I was thinking of hooking up a glycol chiller set to 10°C and having the tank water pass through then to the condenser and the hot water from the condenser return to the tank. 

 

The poly tank water would take a lot of the heat load out of it prior to returning through the chiller. 

 

Is this even possible or am I on the wrong track?

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You don't need to deal with glycol to add a chiller to the reservoir.  If your reservoir is large enough that a near-room-temp starting point is sufficient, just plumb in a chiller on a separate loop, turn it on when needed.  Sizing will determine whether you can return the reservoir to the starting point in a few hours, or a few days.

 

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HSD,

 

What is the temp of your tap water?  If the temp is 60F or less just run it through your condensers and then run the free hot water from your condensers into 2 hot water holding tanks.  Use one tank of free hot water for your next mashing in and the other for cleaning.  Problem solved and you save a huge amount of money on energy costs since you won't be heating water up for your mash and cooling it down for your condensers.

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The bottle neck on the cooling system is the mash cooling- recovering it gives you hotter water to capture and more of it.

On the chiller side, the refrigeration unit must have a couple things in order to reclaim it from straight water- non ferrous water passages (plumbing, evaporator and circulating pump. The chiller normally is indoors to prevent freeze-ups or is a split )refrig condenser outside and the indoor chiller section indoors (this set up requires extra refrig piping and refrigerant gas done by a hvac/r mechanic).

 

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I agree with MG Thermal for crash cooling mash, a chiller is almost always the best way to go, and if you need a chiller Mike at MG Thermal is the best out there, in my opinion.

 

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On 2018-01-05 at 10:18 AM, jbdavenport1 said:

Thanks for all the feedback.I came across a video of a distillery that uses a simple car radiator with a fan attached to cool their water. They say their results are that they can get the water to stay around the ambient temperature for two runs a day. Of course, now that I want to share the video with you guys, I can't find it. But will keep looking.

 

Sounds like Sons of Vancouver/The Distillery School - 

 

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The closest practical "approach" is around 15 degrees, approach being the leaving water temp minus entering air temp.  

This is why you can get a "radiator" type devise, hook it up with a glycol solution, run it with a coil or plate exchanger to your water tank and you can get the water to near freezing with 20F glycol.

In a warm processing space, you won't see much cooling because your space is going to get warmer as you transfer Btu's to the air getting it hotter.

It all depends how hot the reservoir is, in other words.

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This video is exactly what I was thinking of...but couldn't find the video. Thank you. So if I use a larger water tank (500 to 1000 gallons) and the radiator, I should be able to get through full runs without worry of water getting too hot...in theory.

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On 1/23/2018 at 6:08 AM, Silk City Distillers said:

You don't need to deal with glycol to add a chiller to the reservoir.  If your reservoir is large enough that a near-room-temp starting point is sufficient, just plumb in a chiller on a separate loop, turn it on when needed.  Sizing will determine whether you can return the reservoir to the starting point in a few hours, or a few days.

 

Remember to purchase a chiller with non-ferrous pump and evaporator passages- you don't want iron bleeding into your mash, yech.

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Having a chiller does not mean you have glycol and vice-a-versa. Glycol is simply an additive you can add to the chiller fluid (which could be anything, but city water is great). With glycol you can run your chiller much colder than you can with water alone. We run only water, simply because the cleanup of glycol is messy if there is a leak and it operates steady at 48-52 degress F in Texas heat. As we expand and need to run more equipment off of it, we can add glycol to improve the cooling efficiency and lower the system temp. A chiller is simply an advanced version of what you are talking about, a reservoir, fans and the addition of a condenser. Our chiller has a 100 gal reservoir, twin small condensers and a small pump. We run a 1300 gal mash tun/still and a 130 gal still. While overkill, we can add a mash tun and 8 fermenters without having to change the chiller. While utilizing warm or hot water for other processes is definitely a positive, it only works if you are setup for near continuous operations. FYI, don't use distilled or R/O water in a closed loop, the lack of minerals increases the corrosivity. 

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