Air bleeder on glycol header?
Is it necessary to have an air bleeder on our glycol header? Seems to be a debate around here, the argument for "no" being that our system is not a pressurized loop. The supply header is pressurized by the supply pump of course, but the return drops into the glycol reservoir which is atmospheric - any air would just work it's way out.
Our system wasn't designed or installed with a bleeder. I would just go ahead and plop one in, but our highest point is at ceiling level, which makes it a more involved project.
Does anyone have a glycol system with no air bleeder?
HooDoo Brewing Co.
You are correct, even with your non-pressurized system you can get air trapped and adding an air bleed at a high point will definitely help prevent.
Are you up and running and noticing any cooling issues? If your plan is to add this in, you may want to hold off and see if this becomes an issue before cutting this in. I know of many breweries operating without these with no issues.
For some different air bleed options, you can contact Andrew, Inside Sales, and he can provide some options that can be added. firstname.lastname@example.org om
Pro Refrigeration Inc
Here’s the thing though…
If you have an air eliminator at the highest point, with the chiller is below that, the glycol in the headers will drain into the chiller reservoir in the event of a power failure. For us, that presents quite a problem as we’d lose a lot of glycol when the reservoir then got full. There are ways around this (actuated ball valves for one), but that leads to other complications. I’ve since capped off my vent to prevent this from happening. It will become a maintenance item to periodically open up to vent any air that may make its way to the header.
Since your system is already built, I’d say run it and see how it works.
If your reservoir is of sufficient size, then I see only benefits by adding a bleeder in should you need it.
If your reservoir isn’t of sufficient size, than it’s a matter of choices. We can discuss when I’m up there sampling your brew at some point. =)
King Street Brewing Co
Bobby! Good to hear you're up and running (or at least close to it). I agree with Jim and Shane... the dynamics of these systems are so dependent on each system, so that if you're not having cooling issues, it may be best to take a wait-and-see approach. Alternately, if you can put in a manual valve at the high point(s), you could just burp it and see if you get any air.
We have air vents on our tanks (at the outlet from each jacket), but in practice, we keep them closed unless we know we've introduced air into the system, or see cooling problems. The main reason is that they can sometimes weep, and we don't want glycol running down the storm drain. You probably wouldn't have that problem.
You could have reservoir overflow problems as Shane discussed. However, if you have a big enough reservoir with sufficient free space to hold any glycol that might gravity drain, you might be OK.
Brewing Operations & Engineering Manager
Alaskan Brewing Company
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/WAT...&cm_vc=IDPRRZ1 We have one on the high point return of each solenoid controlled glycol zone, two zones per tank. They usually hiss when the solenoid gets activated, so I know there letting air bleed. Iv'e seen uni's that had no bleeder's, that I could put my ear to its side and hear it gurgling!! Not good!! I have had great success with these one's from Grainger!! Cheers!!