with a 1/3 HP chiller I would guess I can crash a tank from 68F to 35F in roughly 8-10 hours. I could freeze the beer if I wanted to.
I get weekly emails ever since I responded this thread so I will include some more detail. I attached a picture showing the actual setup. To use this setup you need a draft line chiller that is set up to run two separate circulation pumps like the one from Foxx Equipment shown in the attachment. It is model 19U07-109 in the 2012 Foxx catalog page 112 and is a 3/4 HP and has two attachment points for circulation pumps although it only ships with a single pump. The chiller is $1680 and the second pump (19C07-101) is an additional $172.
The pump outputs from the factory are 3/8 inlet and outlet. I changed the outlet to 1/2 inch hose barb with a quick trip to Ace Hardware, and use 1/2 ID braided vinyl hose with 1/2 inch thick foam insulation.
Once you have the chiller you need to be able to run the two pumps independently. To do that you need two thermostats, pictured in the attached photo above the chiller and in the Foxx catalog on page 113 as 19U07-203 and are $60 each. The thermostat on the chiller itself controls the bath temp, typically 28-30F, while the two above control the circulation motors. The housing is a simple waterproof box from Lowes in the electrical department that I cut holes in for the thermostats and wires to run. If you do not know how to wire thermostats that is a discussion beyond the scope of what I am willing to do here. Hire an electrician if you need help, it should take 1-2 hours of work to wire everything. You can see the first pump to the lower right of the chiller unit in the picture, the second pump is on the back of the box and cannot be seen. This setup is working flawlessly with the two 10 BBL fermenters shown.
All together the setup is ~ $2,000 and will operate two 10 BBL fermenters easily. I would use this same setup on 15 BBL tanks as well but would worry about slow crash times on 20+ BBL tanks. It is much less expensive for small startups on a budget but not ideal for long term growth. A good full size new (5HP and up) brewery chiller is $7,000 at least and needs another $2,000-$10,000 plumbing and control systems. If I want to move the tanks I don't have to worry about permanently installed glycol plumbing, I just re-arrange or move as needed. I currently have 4 tanks setup in this system, if I grow beyond that I will probably sell this setup and convert to a large central chiller and permanently plumb a circulation header.
Last edited by CopperKettle; 07-30-2012 at 05:10 PM.
This is an excellent thread. I stumbled upon it with the exact same questions as the original poster. Thanks to those who have contributed (especially CopperKettle).
I'm starting a 3bbl nano with 3-4 jacketed fermenters and 6-8 non-jacketed brite tanks stored in a cold room. I'll need a glycol system to maintain fermentation temperatures and cold crash 3bbl tanks, so an $8000+ chiller seemed like overkill.
Just to make sure I understand, you need one pump per tank to be cooled, correct? So if I have four 3bbl jacketed tanks, I'll probably need two chillers with two pumps each, right?
And I noticed that there ARE 1/3HP chillers on Micromatic's site that come with two pumps/motors (http://www.micromatic.com/draft-keg-...4301-PKG.html). Would one of these work on two 3bbl fermenters? Or are they still too small?
Thanks so much for your help!
I am as all looking, thinking, checking budget etc. But what copperkettel did is an excelent budget concinse aproach. I found a perlick unit that only problem is tnak capacity . but I have my ways to icnrease this. Only problem is 1/3 compresor but if this give me problem I will change.
small chiller for knock out
Does any one use these small chillers for their second stage chiller at knock out? With city water I can get my wort to 78 with my first chiller and recirc water from a 55 gallon barrel for my second stage chiller and can only achieve 63 for a 2bbl system. Hence I'm in the market for a small glycol chiller. If you have traveled this road, how did you size your chiller to your brew house, lessons learned, etc.?
I haven't done it yet, but I've been doing a fair amount of research and I uncovered this calculation for pulldown cooling in a previous thread:
((BBL * 271 * (start temp - finish temp)) / HOURS-OF-COOLING = BTU/HOUR
So if you want to run off 2 barrels in less than an hour and cool it more than 20F, you need a fair amount of capacity.
This is the thread it came from: http://www.probrewer.com/vbulletin/s...ead.php?t=6249
Originally Posted by NigeltheBold
That 1/3HP with two pumps is new, they did not offer that 2 years ago when I did my setup. I would guess it would be fine for two 3 BBL fermenters as long as you don't need to crash both tanks from 70-> 35 on the same day. When ordering from Micromatic be sure to call in and tell them you are a commercial account for better pricing. The retail prices listed to the public are about 15-20% higher.
Last edited by CopperKettle; 08-03-2012 at 11:20 PM.
And would a bath capacity (I'm assuming that means glycol capacity) of 11.5 gallons be enough for two 3 BBL tanks? Or does it need to hold more?
Originally Posted by CopperKettle
An increase in bath capacity only gives you a bigger buffer to absorb fast, infrequent changes. You don't get more capacity for cooling more tanks because the compressor can only work so fast and you'll be warming up the bath as the glycol returns.
I see, thanks for the info. I'm assuming I'm good to go then.
Originally Posted by Triptych
The 3/4 HP units I have are 15 gallon bath and work fine. The bath temp rises from 28 to 40-50F when I start crashing and then slowly returns to 28F as the tank cools down.
Originally Posted by NigeltheBold
but moving a bigger volume should reduce your time to cool the tanks right?
I just bought this perlick 4400 . Vs the other guys it has a 1.5 gal cpacity.
I have 3bbl fermenters - these were not jacketed. I made the jackets with 5/8" copper refrigeration pipe, which was soldered into a framework (like a lot of "H" shapes - with the horizontal part of the "H" around the fermenter) and then insulated.
I made the chiller from an AC unit that had the back of the metal cover cut off. The evaporator is dropped into a 48qt cooler, which is filled with 30% glycol. The electronics are removed and the fan is permanently on, and the compressor is turned on and off with a Johnson controller, with the sensor in the glycol. This is set to 23F.
Each fermenter has its own Johnson controller, and turns on its own submersible pump in the glycol. These are connected to the copper jacket with 5/8 vinyl hose.
This one chiller will hold 4 fermenters at 38F, and if I only crash 1 at a time, it brings it down from 67F in 12 hours.
what size is the ac unit?