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Glycol chiller for nano - How do you pick the right size and scaling

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  • Glycol chiller for nano - How do you pick the right size and scaling

    Forgive me if this is answered elsewhere. If so, please post the forum link and I'll hop on over to it.

    I'm opening a 1 to 2 BBL nano and am trying to add glycol, but am on an extreme budget (or else, why would I be opening a nano!?).

    I'm thinking to start at least with a jacketed brite tank for tax determination/conditioning and therefore need some chilling. I would like to be able to add on jacketed fermenters as budget allows.

    My questions are:

    1) If I find a used chiller that is bigger (or even much bigger) than I need, will that work? Or will the "overkill" aspect somehow be bad? I'm worried that running at far under capacity could somehow damage the chiller unit. But if that is not a worry, such a unit would be something I could grow into for a couple or more years before having to get a bigger unit.

    2) Can the beverage line chillers be used for 1 to 2 BBL jacketed tanks? If yes, any special considerations or equipment needed?

    3) It seems that chillers can be run with just water. Is this true? What kind of differences can I expect from water vs a water/glycol mix?

    4) What else do I need to know to make the right decision?

    5) As an aside, I've seen people using non-jacketed fermenters (such as the Blichmann) and placing them inside upright freezers. This would seem good from a cost perspective. Any recommendations for freezer models that are sized right for the 42 gallon Blichmanns?

    Thank you all very much. Cheers!
    Wages Brewing Company
    West Plains, Missouri
    The Middle of Nowhere Never Tasted So Good!

  • #2
    Here's some answers, as a chiller system manufacturer, that I hope are helpful:


    1) If I find a used chiller that is bigger (or even much bigger) than I need, will that work? Or will the "overkill" aspect somehow be bad? I'm worried that running at far under capacity could somehow damage the chiller unit. But if that is not a worry, such a unit would be something I could grow into for a couple or more years before having to get a bigger unit.

    This isn't a simple answer, but say for example you need 3/4 HP cooling capacity for the nano load, and you find a 2 or 3 HP unit. With the systems we manufacture, they are supplied with glycol reservoirs and the chiller system simply works to maintain the reservoir temperature at setpoint. If no load exists, the refrigeration unit will cycle off and essentially wait for the reservoir temperature to increase. It is less than ideal, as one thing we try to avoid is rapid cycling of the compressor- for example if we have the thermostat set with a very tight differential- say 1 F, the compressor could come on for a very short period, cool the tank down one degree F and then cycle off. You have the option to increase the differential setting, perhaps to 3-5 F, this would insure that you have a greater cooling load and the compressor will not cycle off and on too quickly.

    2) Can the beverage line chillers be used for 1 to 2 BBL jacketed tanks? If yes, any special considerations or equipment needed?

    There are a lot of posts on here you can find using the search feature, and yes, these units definitely can be used and are used. Keep in mind that these units are designed to provide a low volume of glycol/water at a high pressure, the opposite of what is needed for a cooling jacket on a vessel.

    3) It seems that chillers can be run with just water. Is this true? What kind of differences can I expect from water vs a water/glycol mix?

    If you want to operate at a chilled water temperature below 45F, you will need a glycol/water mixture. Keep in mind that the chiller uses refrigerant to cool the water, the refrigerant temperature is often 15-20F below your setpoint temperature. so if you operate at 28 F, you'll need to have enough glycol to prevent the solution from freeze up- we suggest operating with a freeze point in the 0 to 5F range or approximately 33% glycol to 67% water mixture.

    4) What else do I need to know to make the right decision?

    As a business owner, I understand the importance of a budget. I am biased that the chiller system isn't one component that you should target for going cheap. You are fortunate to have this great forum, and hopefully will get the feedback and advice to help you make the best decision.

    Good luck! hope this helps,

    Jim

    Jim VanderGiessen
    www.prochiller.com
    jimvgjr@prorefrigeration.com


    Originally posted by ipabrewer View Post
    Forgive me if this is answered elsewhere. If so, please post the forum link and I'll hop on over to it.

    I'm opening a 1 to 2 BBL nano and am trying to add glycol, but am on an extreme budget (or else, why would I be opening a nano!?).

    I'm thinking to start at least with a jacketed brite tank for tax determination/conditioning and therefore need some chilling. I would like to be able to add on jacketed fermenters as budget allows.

    My questions are:

    1) If I find a used chiller that is bigger (or even much bigger) than I need, will that work? Or will the "overkill" aspect somehow be bad? I'm worried that running at far under capacity could somehow damage the chiller unit. But if that is not a worry, such a unit would be something I could grow into for a couple or more years before having to get a bigger unit.

    2) Can the beverage line chillers be used for 1 to 2 BBL jacketed tanks? If yes, any special considerations or equipment needed?

    3) It seems that chillers can be run with just water. Is this true? What kind of differences can I expect from water vs a water/glycol mix?

    4) What else do I need to know to make the right decision?

    5) As an aside, I've seen people using non-jacketed fermenters (such as the Blichmann) and placing them inside upright freezers. This would seem good from a cost perspective. Any recommendations for freezer models that are sized right for the 42 gallon Blichmanns?

    Thank you all very much. Cheers!

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks, much, Jim!

      On using a "too large" chiller, it sounds like it is a valid concern. I think the chiller I'm looking at would be way overkill for my purpose. Dang, but good to know.

      I will seek the other posts about using line chillers for nano purposes. This might be my best bet, despite the caveat.

      on #3 (using solely water), my goal is simply to maintain temps between 50F and 66F (depending on the beer). If the ambient room temp is say 70F and my target were 60F, would my chiller be running at 50F (putting my target half way between chiller temp and ambient temp)? I imagine it isn't that simple. I'm just trying to get a better grasp of what expectations are reasonable.

      And I appreciate the business philosophy. In a perfect world, I would have raised $250k and wouldn't be trying to make every dollar stretch, but we all know this is no perfect world!

      Thanks again for your help and insight. Certainly, if anyone else has more to add, I look forward to the input. Cheers!
      Wages Brewing Company
      West Plains, Missouri
      The Middle of Nowhere Never Tasted So Good!

      Comment


      • #4
        check this out

        I have one of these running 2 3bbl and 1 running 2 10 bbl. A friend has a brewery with 3 of them running 2 10 bbl each and they work great for about 2K each.

        http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=436872
        Last edited by Karma; 10-19-2015, 07:16 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Karma View Post
          I have one of these running 2 3bbl and 1 running 2 10 bbl. A friend has a brewery with 3 of them running 2 100 bbl each and they work great for about 2K each.

          http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=436872
          Excellent! Thanks, man! Is there anything special that needs to be done (or extra equipment) to make a line chiller work with a fermenter? Hey, somebody has to ask the newb questions! :\
          Wages Brewing Company
          West Plains, Missouri
          The Middle of Nowhere Never Tasted So Good!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ipabrewer View Post
            Excellent! Thanks, man! Is there anything special that needs to be done (or extra equipment) to make a line chiller work with a fermenter? Hey, somebody has to ask the newb questions! :\
            Sorry, I wrote that my friend is running 2 100 bbl ferms but I meant 10 bbl. I just edited it. anyway, I don't have any special equipment for it. I simply ran the braided reinforced hose (purchased at Home Depot or Lowes) from the ferms to the chiller and wrapped pluming foam insulation around the hose and taped it up. When you call foxx equipment you have to let them know that you want the extra pump installed and what size fittings for barbs. Other than that it's pretty much plug and play after you fill with glycol!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Karma View Post
              Sorry, I wrote that my friend is running 2 100 bbl ferms but I meant 10 bbl. I just edited it. anyway, I don't have any special equipment for it. I simply ran the braided reinforced hose (purchased at Home Depot or Lowes) from the ferms to the chiller and wrapped pluming foam insulation around the hose and taped it up. When you call foxx equipment you have to let them know that you want the extra pump installed and what size fittings for barbs. Other than that it's pretty much plug and play after you fill with glycol!
              This is promising news! I'm getting in contact with Foxx. Cheers!
              Wages Brewing Company
              West Plains, Missouri
              The Middle of Nowhere Never Tasted So Good!

              Comment


              • #8
                homemade chiller

                I didn't see how many tanks you'll have, but I'm guessing 4ish. If less, then you might get away with what I'm trying. I'm using a 12000btu/hr mobile ac to chill a 90L reservoir for one 1BBL unitank. The tank hasn't arrived yet so I haven't tested it, but rough calculations estimate crashing within 1 day as plausible. This probably wouldn't be viable if you have more tanks or plan to add more soon. There is also a good thread here on cooling plastic tanks which is relevant for almost anything without a water jacket. Insulation plays a large role in cooling load.

                Jim, what period and duty cycle would you recommend targeting for a compressor? I'm not quite sure how I want to control it.

                Thanks

                Comment


                • #9
                  We purchased our entire setup used (but never in use) and were very happy to learn that it's designed to use glycol through our heat exchanger instead of water, which will help immensely with our water usage. So, you may be able to use a "larger" chiller of some sort and incorporate that into your plans if it wasn't your original plan. Just a thought...
                  Kevin Shertz
                  Chester River Brewing Company
                  Chestertown, MD

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Surfmase View Post
                    I didn't see how many tanks you'll have, but I'm guessing 4ish. If less, then you might get away with what I'm trying. I'm using a 12000btu/hr mobile ac to chill a 90L reservoir for one 1BBL unitank. The tank hasn't arrived yet so I haven't tested it, but rough calculations estimate crashing within 1 day as plausible. This probably wouldn't be viable if you have more tanks or plan to add more soon. There is also a good thread here on cooling plastic tanks which is relevant for almost anything without a water jacket. Insulation plays a large role in cooling load.

                    Jim, what period and duty cycle would you recommend targeting for a compressor? I'm not quite sure how I want to control it.

                    Thanks
                    Originally posted by ChesterBrew View Post
                    We purchased our entire setup used (but never in use) and were very happy to learn that it's designed to use glycol through our heat exchanger instead of water, which will help immensely with our water usage. So, you may be able to use a "larger" chiller of some sort and incorporate that into your plans if it wasn't your original plan. Just a thought...
                    Thanks, guys. I am planning on 3 tanks that are 1 to 2 BBL each (2 fermenters that will simply maintain ~66F and 1 brite tank that will crash down to ~38F). I just looked over all the line chillers that Foxx has, and I'm planning to call them to chat about using one of them for the 3 tanks.

                    But still open to more suggestions. I only have to move on the brite tank right away.
                    Wages Brewing Company
                    West Plains, Missouri
                    The Middle of Nowhere Never Tasted So Good!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm trying to weigh the pros and cons of purchasing either one 3/4 pro chiller chill and flow unit or two of the 3/4 rapid wholesale unites with the extra pump for each. Any opinions? This would be to control temps on 4 3Bbl fermentation tanks no brites my brites are single wall and in a cold room. Ultimately it would be great to have a touch of room to add another one or two 3bbl Fvs.

                      Posted this in another thread but I got no replies

                      Thoughts anyone?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LBBC View Post
                        I'm trying to weigh the pros and cons of purchasing either one 3/4 pro chiller chill and flow unit or two of the 3/4 rapid wholesale unites with the extra pump for each. Any opinions? This would be to control temps on 4 3Bbl fermentation tanks no brites my brites are single wall and in a cold room. Ultimately it would be great to have a touch of room to add another one or two 3bbl Fvs.

                        Posted this in another thread but I got no replies
                        I'd like to see the replies to this too.
                        Wages Brewing Company
                        West Plains, Missouri
                        The Middle of Nowhere Never Tasted So Good!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Pro refrigeration will run a sizing/utilization analysis for free


                          Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
                          Prost!
                          Eric Brandjes
                          Cole Street Brewery
                          Enumclaw, WA

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Brandjes View Post
                            Pro refrigeration will run a sizing/utilization analysis for free
                            Thanks! Seems obvious now that a chiller company would do that, but it didn't before you said it. :\ Cheers!
                            Wages Brewing Company
                            West Plains, Missouri
                            The Middle of Nowhere Never Tasted So Good!

                            Comment

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