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Thread: Steel glycol lines

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Canada
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    11

    Steel glycol lines

    Hi there, I'm in the process of setting up a new brewery and my contractor wants to use steel, not stainless but black iron for the headers. He says with a corrosion inhibitor it will be no problem. I have never seen a system like this before and the contractor has a lot of experience with glycol but has never done a brewery before. Does anyone know why a system like this might be a problem in a brewery?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Metro Detroit
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    6
    Well.... cost..
    Black pipe is not cheap..
    Sure he isn't thinking of your boiler system?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Canada
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    11
    yup, he's talking about the glycol
    Last edited by johnny17; 07-11-2017 at 12:46 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    51
    I would not go for the black piping if I were you. Its pretty messy. Go with one of the following: Stainless, galvanized with inhibitor or plastic.
    Marius Graff,
    Head Brewer, Graff Brygghus
    Tromsø, Norway

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    173
    Pre-insulated PVC for the loop and headers, and run your tank drops in PEX and hand insulate.
    Todd G Hicks
    BeerDenizen Brewing Services
    Serda Brewing Company
    (Brewery-In-Construction) - Finally!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Canada
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    11
    I'm looking into cost between steel and abs at the minute. No one knows any reason apart from that to not use steel?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Moab, Utah
    Posts
    433

    Chill Water Systems Piping

    Quote Originally Posted by johnny17 View Post
    I'm looking into cost between steel and abs at the minute. No one knows any reason apart from that to not use steel?
    Schedule 40 black iron pipe is, interestingly enough widely used for Chill Water System piping. I have worked on hundreds upon hundreds of linear feet of the stuff in many multi story buildings. With that said, I would not make use of it for Brewery glycol systems because there are other ways that will not introduce iron oxide into the situation. There is nothing wrong with black iron pipe for certain applications. Since I have worked in the straight chill water world and the Brewery world, I prefer alternatives to black pipe with respect to Breweries of the smaller size. However, it could be done even so as a hybrid with the main runs being done that way.
    Old Shcool contractors like to run certain ways becasue they are tried and true which I certainly understand.
    It takes a certain adaptability to come up with a hybrid system that is workable yet rugged enough to hold up.
    It can be done with Schedule 40 PVC and if done carefully, perform quite well and without incident for long periods.
    If you are on a budget this is the only way to go regardless of what any critics may say. Its time tested and works.
    There are tenets which involve do's and definite do nots in the application.
    I can give you some critical things to be aware of if you contact me.
    Glycol has a different surface tension to water. This makes it quite tricky to keep from leaking on threaded connections. It can and will leak through a properly doped connection that will not leak water, but there is way more to it than that....
    That part of it, is a definite art.
    As thus you need to avoid as many as possible mechanical connections of that type in the layout and the ones you have must be made up impeccably.

    SC
    Warren Turner
    Industrial Engineering Technician
    HVACR-Electrical Systems Specialist
    Moab Brewery
    " No Cell Phone Zone."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Stockton, Ca. 95203. USA
    Posts
    21
    Some very good points , Warren, nicely said.

    What do you think of copper with sweat solder joints ??

    What about Sch. 80 PVC ???


    Gregg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Palau
    Posts
    1,870

    Don't do it.

    Corrosion will happen, inhibitor or not. Not only because you are attaching iron to stainless, but also because the sweat on the outside of the pipes will drip rusty spots on your floor. And black iron is a dirty pipe--if you're using solenoid valves, expect them to stick open when you get a steel threading chip or chunk of rust stuck in the pilot. I am sold on schedule 80 PVC if you must be on a budget. Easier to support, no corrosion, and they last for many years. Maybe not forever, but at least 5-10 years. And for the installations that I've put them in, no insulation either. At most we get a few drips, but the PVC self-insulates to a degree.
    Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Enterprise, Oregon
    Posts
    1,519
    The costs of using black pipe--or any metal pipe system--will be vastly greater than a pre-insulated PVC or ABS system. The materials costs are no the problem--the installation costs are. Pipe must be either threaded or welded, while most of the pre-insualted systems go together like Legos. Even using solvent-welded PVC would be cheaper and faster, but don't forget the time, mess, and inefficiency of hand-insulating--which you would also have to do with a metal pipe system.

    PEX for the drops is an excellent choice. Some flexibility here will save many headaches.

    Be sure to include isolation ball-valves on both the inlet and outlet. The isolation valve on the inlet should be upstream of the solenoid valve for easy repair of the solenoid. Site the solenoid so it can be rebuilt/cleaned in place, and you'll save more headaches. New systems are prone to jammed solenoid valves until every last little bit of debris is out of the system.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Moab, Utah
    Posts
    433

    And...

    Copper is a better choice for Hard piping option....
    I have photographs of various implementations of methods that work perfectly and do not fail, including very well kept secret of control valves which scores of people waste tons of money on....
    Never thought in the chill water world I came from I could learn to be so cheap about what works.
    Warren Turner
    Industrial Engineering Technician
    HVACR-Electrical Systems Specialist
    Moab Brewery
    " No Cell Phone Zone."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    861
    Green Man Brewing in Ashville has black iron and uses an inhibitor and to my knowledge has not had problems. I would not say there is a vast price difference between pre insulated and iron. Preinsulated is NOT cheap by any means. I have a 2" sched 40 pvc header that has been in place for 20 years with very minor issues rarely. I would feel a lot better if it were at least sched 80. The drops to the old tanks were copper, all the new tanks I have used 1" pex to within 1' of the tank then go to ss to prevent the pex from getting heated during CIP. Works great and is super cheap. Just wrap the pex in armaflex and if you are in a high humidity area use the armaflex paint on it. Remember to use the correct thickness armaflex for your glycol temp and your average ambient temp.
    Joel Halbleib
    COO / Zymurgist
    Goodwood Brewing Co
    636 East Main St
    Louisville, KY
    goodwood.beer

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