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Thread: glycol piping...again

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    10

    glycol piping...again

    hello forum-

    sorry to re-hash an old topic, but we are having trouble affording some of the nicer piping options for glycol, and are curious as to what everyone is using.

    we are starting a new micro up here in seattle, usa, called odin brewing. have scoured this forum and it's great to see everyone sharing their experience and hard-fought knowledge they've gained.

    i have been involved in a start-up build before, but it was in ireland and i can't remember the types of piping we used. we are planning on using sch.80 pvc or abs, un-insulated, for our mains, but cannot decide what to use for piping the jackets....1.5" mains and 3/4" jacket lines...i have heard nitrile, radiator hose, copper, pex, etc...just wondering what people use that is reliable but still affordable...(prob not copper due to tight budget)...

    any help or suggestions would be great. i read braided hose somewhere and was wondering which type of braided hose exactly? and does the pex withstand the -27f temps?

    thanks again for any help.

    cheers,

    brian

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Santa Rosa CA USA
    Posts
    954
    Please consider the value of what a leak costs: Fermenter temp out of control... likely dump the brew. Nine f*ing hundred dollars of glycol to refill the glycol tank..."ideally" when the refrigeration supply place is open.
    Sucks. Been there.
    This separate from the efficiency aspect.
    I have PVC and hose. Just be sure connections are snug and safe. I understand ABS is more durable than PVC at low temps.
    Do you feel lucky?
    Last edited by Moonlight; 08-20-2009 at 02:09 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Salem, VA
    Posts
    314
    I used CPVC at my last brewery. It worked well, was easy to install and available locally at the big home stores. I used 3/4 and insulated it with split foam insulation. We were a 25 bbls setup and it is probably a little undersized so I would recommend bigger pipe.

    Mike
    Mike Pensinger
    Brewmaster
    Parkway Brewing Company
    Salem, VA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Salem, VA
    Posts
    314
    Oh yeah... I spoke with the Wirsbo PEX people and they assured me that I could not get their PEX tubing cold enough to cause and issue. We used PEX to wrap a plastic tank to make a CLT at my current brewery and it works pretty well (Plastic to plastic doesn't conduct heat so great).

    Mike
    Mike Pensinger
    Brewmaster
    Parkway Brewing Company
    Salem, VA

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Duluth, MN
    Posts
    744

    plumber

    As I write this im waiting for a plumber to get here to fix leaks (yes plural) in my pvc glycol pipes. Leaks are right by the tank so I assume its from expansion during cleaning with hot coustic. I never had a problem with copper in over 10 years other than learning how to solder to replace a solinoid. G. Fisher's ABS is sweet, but the cost is huge, 27$/ft for the insulated I think.
    And for size 2" main w/ 1" to tanks is min. I would go with. Flow baby, flow!
    Last edited by Ted Briggs; 08-20-2009 at 09:56 AM.
    Brewmaster, Fitger's Brewhouse
    tbriggs@justtakeaction.com
    "Your results may vary"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    32

    Metal to Plastic Fittings

    We used to have issues of PVC leaks right at the tank because of thermal expansion. We added these fittings and haven't had any issues:

    http://www.mcmaster.com/#pvc-pipe-fittings/=39rwp8




    Cheers,

    dave

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Duluth, MN
    Posts
    744
    Thanks for the update. My memory was from a MBAA meeting a few years back At Dogfish Head. Guess you got the price lower or I had too many 90Mins IPA's--lol
    The plumber is suggesting Pex to the tank- I see beermkr used that. hopfully it will take care of the thermal issue and any possible pipe hammer from solinods opening and closing.
    Im also going to get him to put air bleeds on each tank, on the high point of the exit pipe too while the system is down. Might solve one tank cooling to 35while others will only get to 38......
    Brewmaster, Fitger's Brewhouse
    tbriggs@justtakeaction.com
    "Your results may vary"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    871
    I always wondered how folks were complaining about PVC breakage. Our headers are PVC and the drops to the tanks are all copper down to a dielectric union. I bet it is the heating a cooling at the tank on the drops that does it.
    Joel Halbleib
    COO / Zymurgist
    Goodwood Brewing Co
    636 East Main St
    Louisville, KY
    goodwood.beer

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    10
    great - thanks for the suggestions - we have 30bbl tanks, 7 of them, so gonna increase the pipe sizes....found pvc80 at 1.40 a foot, and dan's abs is 2.62 a foot...hmmm...gotta try to convince the boss man on this one...also thinking of doing the pex to the tanks, for flexibility...still no one ever used braided hose or radiator hose? not gonna do any pvc from mains to tanks...seem to be too many leaky stories here...

    thanks again,

    cheers,
    brian

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Auburn, WA / Winston Salem, NC
    Posts
    260
    Remember the labor is essentially the same, I think for $1 a foot price difference, the ABS is a smart investment choice.

    Although not as common in breweries, it is real common to see wineries using flexible hose from their main glycol headers down to the jacket inlet connections.

    The hoses we have seen utilized with success and offer are a Nitril hose rated for applications up to 250 PSI and from -20 F to 190 F. These are classified as a "premium multipurpose hose" by the hose manufacturer. Wineries are often moving their vessels and will also utilize quick connect check valves to facilitate this. You can order in any length with any connection, typically female or male pipe thread connections.

    I'd be happy to swing by and meet with you and help explain some different options that I am familiar with. We are located about 25 minutes south of Seattle.

    Thanks

    Jim VanderGiessen
    Pro Refrigeration Inc.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    9
    M.G. Newell has installed unpolished stainless tubing and have had great success. We certainly recommend insulating the lines as you do not want to lose temperature or have a lot of condensate. The PVC, while cost savings up front, will not last and give you headaches in the long run.
    Gray E. Sherrill
    M.G. Newell Corporation
    800.334.0231 office
    336.404.1375 cell

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