Hot Liquor (not)Tank
Anyone have experience with a tankless hot-liquor "tank" akin to the ones people use in their houses to cut utility bills? Idea is when the hot water valve opens, burner ignites in the unit heating water inline as needed. This saves the cost of keeping it hot while it sits, plus you can't run out. Of course, you often can't recover the hot water coming out of your heatex, but might be good for brewpubs like me who have no room for a real HLT
I have a 7bbl brewhouse and use one with great results. May not be suitable for anything larger. Use it to mash-in, sparge and to sanitize(heats up to 180 degrees). You will need gas, as the electric units don't have the output that the gas units have. The only drawback is, the higher the temp, the lower the gallons per minute. I can adjust from 120 to 180 with a push of a button. Another advantage is that the unit is located outside, freeing up a few precious square feet inside.
Saint Somewhere Brewing
I saw a brewery in Denver that uses 2 of those inline. 1st as a booster and the second bringing it up to final temp.
Note multiple threads on this...check archives.
Last edited by Moonlight; 03-25-2008 at 08:41 AM.
Moonlight-- I believe the other thread is about steam powered tankless water heaters.
I use 2 Noritz 132-M for all hot water needs on my 17 bbl brewhouse. Each water heater is around 400,000 BTU's and they sync together to produce the desired temperature. With 65 degree water, I get about 9-10 gallons of 180 degree water per minute. With a controller, you can have up to 24 units working in series, so they're definitely scalable.
I'm a recent startup, so we've only brewed about 9 brewhouse turns with them, but so far they have worked very well for us. We don't have an HLT, and I honestly don't see why you'd need one when you have these (unless you need RO or to adjust pH of all brewing liquor). They were around $2600 each ($5200 total).
The only criticism (and our crappy water pressure / undersized water line is mostly to blame) is that our water pressure is not great enough for rinsing during CIP. We have to fill up a modified keg with water first, then pump that in for rinsing purposes. If you have great water pressure, I think you'll be fine as long as you're not pulling all of your water from the heaters (their maximum flow rate is 13.2 gpm for each heater).
"We don't have an HLT, and I honestly don't see why you'd need one when you have these..."
The big advantage of a HLT is in energy recovery. What do you do with your 180F cooling water if you don't have a tank for it?
PMR -- why are you using hot water for CIP rinse? I confirmed with my caustic supplier that cold works just as well (and cheaper!)
I'm also real anal about water treatment, adding a different combination of salts, acids, etc. for each beer. I suppose there's no good way to do this with a tankless HLT.
gitchegumee-- We're using our kettle for our ~170F cooling water storage, which is typically then used for cleaning the brewhouse. We have a separate whirlpool. A separate HLT would be nice, but not necessary if you have an open tank to put the water into.
Woolsocks-- good info, thanks. I think we are using cold water now that I think about it. Another brewer usually handles the CIP, and I should probably pay more attention to his process!
I do adjust mash pH with some of our beers, but your right that it's hard to adjust the water with the tankless heaters. I wish there was a safe, inexpensive way to achieve this in-line.
Last edited by PMR; 03-26-2008 at 06:48 AM.