No announcement yet.

Is glycol needed?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Is glycol needed?

    Hello everyone,

    I have searched and couldn't find an answer. This may be a dumb question, but it's one I need to ask.

    Long story short, we were within a month of opening before the current virus situation happened. The local government has had us shut down for around a month now and we are not sure on how much longer we will be forced to do so. We have/had money set aside to pay for glycol installation, but decided to wait until we could see how the virus situation panned out. Since we did not have employees on January 1st, we will not get any stimulus money to help with anything. We obviously still have rent and other bills to pay. So our question is this, is the glycol an absolutely must have before we open? I know we run the risk of it fermenting too hot and getting off flavors, but is there anything we aren't aware of that makes a glycol a must install at this time?

    Thanks everyone!
    Last edited by Charbacca; 04-17-2020, 11:37 AM.

  • #2
    I think you answered your own question. If you can tolerate making subpar product via uncontrolled fermentation temperatures, then go for it. If you are very small in a northern climate, then ambient cooling might work for you. But in any case, you will need glycol for BBT. Otherwise, you won't get a bright product to carbonate to "normal" levels with warm beer. Glycol isn't that expensive, especially if the danger of extreme cold is behind you. Your concentration can be only as rich as you require it for BBT cooling instead of freeze-protecting the glycol unit from sub-zero temperatures outside.
    Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--


    • #3
      The glycol cooling system is the "Life Blood" of a brewery. Unless you have caves to store your beer in.


      • #4
        Some more detail of your system would definitely be necessary to answer thoroughly. If you're a nano, you might be able to get away with conditioning the space and wheeling tanks into a cold room to crash, but above maybe 2-3 bbl fermentation kinetics will build up heat faster than air can cool it.

        It also sounds like you were budgeting for professional installation, which I'd consider overkill for a small (maybe <20 bbl) brewery. My total investment in cooling for 5 x 7 bbl FVs was under $3k. (Our serving tanks are in a separate cold room, but that was <$2k for the CoolBot/AC setup and a bunch of spray foam.)
        Sent from my Microsoft Bob

        Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own. |


        • #5
          Thanks for the input everyone. We are small, our FV are 7.5 bbl.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Charbacca View Post
            Thanks for the input everyone. We are small, our FV are 7.5 bbl.
            7.5bbl is not small. You need a way to control your fermentation temps.


            • #7
              If your water temps are low enough, you would likely be able to chill enough to ferment with that as your cooling. You will have issues getting clear beer without being able to chill down to near freezing temperatures.

              We had a brewery around here that believed that if your batch size was under 10 bbl, you didnt need a chiller....they didnt last long.