View Full Version : Cold room temperatures

Sir Brewsalot
04-20-2004, 11:24 AM
I've read a fair amount here about fermentation temps and even maturation temps for ales, but haven't seen exactly the answer I'm looking for, so here goes:

Small micro (not a pub), producing ales only, kegs only, with unjacketed brite tanks and finished product (kegs) sharing a cold room: What should the operating temp be?

I'm looking at buying or building a cold room, and need to understand if insulating the floor is in order - which I think will be if I'm running around 32*F.

Many thanks,

04-20-2004, 02:15 PM
Cold room

I have built a cold room for my BBT which are not insulated. The room is well insulated. It is cooled with a air blaster in the ceiling. 5 BBT * 20 hl, the room is about 50 m3, the blaster has a max effect of 4 kW. To keep the temperature in the tanks at -1 deg.Celsius, the room temp. is about 1-2 degrees cooler.

In Sweden we call it "water locks" (the water that makes the drain not smell). My "water locks" are placed about 50 cm under the insulated concrete floor so they donīt freeze.

I cool down the beer from the fermenters with a heat exchanger, with a max effect of 15 kW, (cooling down from 8 to 0 deg C), otherwise it takes too long time to cool down in the cold room.

As far as I can see after a couple of months in production it works well. The only thing is not to get rinsing water left in hoses and in the CIP tubings (Then you have to borrow your kids hair dryer)

A Brady
04-20-2004, 02:18 PM
32??? thats gonna be tough.
Id shoot for 35.
This is gonna take time for a filtered brew to hit unless its close already, keep that in mind for carbing..
Insulating the floor seems interesting and a pain in the ass, wouldnt think it to be needed.

04-20-2004, 06:35 PM
Originally posted by A Brady
32??? thats gonna be tough.
Id shoot for 35.
This is gonna take time for a filtered brew to hit unless its close already, keep that in mind for carbing..
Insulating the floor seems interesting and a pain in the ass, wouldnt think it to be needed.

If Sir Brewsalot is filtering his ales from a unitank, 32 degee F. (or 0 degree C.) will be no problem. If you are building a cooler from the ground up it is easy to insulate the floor (below the concrete, before the pour) with whatever R-value your area needs to keep your floor drains from freezing (as oppigards stated). However, some States (in the US) do not allow floor drains in a walk-in cooler because walk-in coolers are covered under food service (health code) regardless of their use. Besides, if you are building from scratch, you can oversize your cooling system to maintain any temp. you want. I've seen US breweries use single shell Lager tanks in huge walk-in coolers with the beer maintained at 32 or 0.


04-26-2004, 09:40 PM
Whoa! If you are building a walkin from the ground up, consider how cheap the blue styrofoam board is and how expensive your electricity bill is...Or whatever, we can invade a few more countries for cheaper oil...

04-26-2004, 10:31 PM
The key is to filter the beer at a colder temp. than it will be stored in the bright tanks and kegs. I don't see any reason to keep the room so cold. An other option is to have the room just under 40, and use a heat exchanger to cool the beer just before it is filtered. You can filter at 32 and store at your preferred temp(35-40). Good luck

David Quinn
04-27-2004, 06:57 AM
As far as building a walk-in is concerned, try locating a grocery store warehouse. Where they do all of their loading/unloading usually you can fin out if they have a grocery store junkyard. I am buying walk-in panels for an 8ft ceiling for less than $50 a pop including the door. This guy will also sell me a slightly used 30-40lb compressor cheap (around $800) and has nice stainless triple sinks for $300. At these prices we are going to overbuild our fridge, planning for expansion soon!

Sir Brewsalot
05-05-2004, 04:58 AM
Thanks for all the advice.

To your point Moonlight, since I'm buying my electricity from "sustainable sources", it wouldn't make sense to piss it away and use any more than is necessary - hence my original question. Being green is part of the original business plan. Nice to see someone else considers these things too.

Still not sure if I'll be filtering the product - my preference would be not to. The distribution area is very limited and I'm self-distributing, so I can control freshness to some degree. If I choose to, I can crash the temp to 32 in the fermenter, filter, and transfer to a not-as-cold finishing tank. Now I'm thinking 35-40 degrees for the cold room.

Mind you, I'm building the room FROM the ground up, but not including the ground. There's an existing concrete floor in the space. I've found an outfit in Cleveland that deals in resold cold room components, and will even put them together for you. (American Wholesale Refridgeration I think?)

So, I'm still wondering: Who has an insulated cooler floor out there, and what's it made of?

Many thanks,

05-05-2004, 07:38 AM
I have a stainless insulated (about 3 in thick) floor which is only 2 years old and has some dings from dropped kegs. I was apprehensive about the floor at first but it did allow a sealed, cleanable surface. I don't know about the long term as more kegs will be dropped on it, but i have had concrete uninsulated floors as well and they can be damaged just as easily.

05-05-2004, 08:57 PM
I have installed three brewpubs with Dow "blueboard" foam insulation under the concrete pour. Can't tell you how effective it is, but I'm willing to bet that it is cheaper than continued utility costs. It's standard practice in residential/commercial floors in colder climates. But if you already have a floor, it might be a moot point. And as Beertje46 states, drains are not legal in walk in coolers in the States, at least in two locations I've worked in. Good luck!