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Closed Loops Chilling - solution


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I've read the other forum posts. But just looking for a bit of advice on a closed loop cooling system for our condenser.

Original solution was a cooling tower. But this cannot work now, as we do not have the outside space.

Second solution is a small tank and very powerful electric chiller. But this is very, very expensive.

Third solution, is two large tanks (flowing one into the other - alternating) with a chiller element cooling the full tank overnight.

Our still is only 500 litres in charge capacity. Rectifying to make gin from 55% abv NGS charge. With a run expected to last 8 hours.

How much cooling water are we likely to require? The estimate I've received from the still manufacturer seems very high - at around 27,000 litres per run? Does anyone use that much cooling water for a similar set up?

Thanks in advance

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We do have one customer that is using 2-100 gallon tanks for his cooling water. He has a 100 gallon still and runs about 6 hours per day. his tanks are inside close to his still. In the winter it works fine, in the summer he is having some trouble getting his water as cool as he wants it, but it is still working. One option would be to run the water from your condenser through a condenser coil with a fan on it before it goes back into the tank. This would be a inexpensive was to make it work.

Other than that I would recommend calling G&D Chillers. The can set you up with the perfect system.

I hope this help you out some.

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Your chiller should be 3 HP and be able to pump about 7 GPM to your still condenser, but your condenser may not need that much, so you bypass the overage back to the inlet of the chiller. I do have new units available in about 3 weeks and a refurbished one available as well. If you are cooling wort or mash, you will need a water reservoir as well.

A "drycooler" is an option I use as well and performs well in winter months.

Sample photos of system using both a 10 ton chiller and drycooler is on my website.

website: www.mgthermalconsulting.com


Mike Gronski

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big tanks and small chiller can work if you insulate

3x the size of your kettle charge is about minimum.

for a 500L still 27,000 L cooling water per run seems high. one of our 600 gallon (2500L) systems uses in the neighborhood of 2000L for a 4 hour run.

You may have an undersized or inefficient condenser if you have to flow more than a still 5x the size.

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I've seen really high cooling water volume requirements from still manufactures (vendome), but it seemed like they were calculating for only a 2-3F rise in outflow water temp. Maybe they imagined we'd draw the water from a river or giant retention pond and eject back into the same body of water and couldn't have too much increase temp for environmental reasons?

We have a Kothe 4 plate still and it uses about 1.2x the boiler volume for a 4 hour run.

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Much of the delta-T comes from the condenser design, such that for the same BTU/hr capacity you can have different GPM's but the the delta-T of the water will be in inverse proportion to the GPM.

Generally I find Vendome flows to be higher, and the exiting cooling water to be not as wide a temperature difference.

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