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  • Glycol Loop

    A gentlemen recommended I add the Differential Bypass Valve in the last pic. My only question where in the loop should I ad it. He also recommended "first in last out" was not quite catching what he meant. Either way, this is how I have it now, since I used shark-pex, I can change the set up reletively easy... I will take any recommendations as he sent me here for answers.

    Glycol Chiller is 3/4 HP meant to cool 250 feet. I have three 2BBL fermenters w/ cooling coils (not jacketed), and one 2BBL brite-tank w/ cooling coils (not jacketed). I have four inkbirds and the valves shown will be controlled by inkbirds at 110v.

    Slide1 by Jeremy Boucher, on Flickr

    Untitled by Jeremy Boucher, on Flickr

    Untitled by Jeremy Boucher, on Flickr

    Untitled by Jeremy Boucher, on Flickr
    Last edited by Brwd.By.Boucher; 02-26-2020, 08:59 AM.

  • #2
    To be clear, I am not the glycol expert, but I have built similar loops in my brewery that have been working well for close to 4 years. With that in mind:

    - I think the differential bypass valve should go where the blue line becomes the red line, it is usually a pressure valve that allows flow if all the valves to the tanks are closed and the pump is still running.

    - Someone else can explain "first in, last out" better than I can, and you can find some threads with diagrams elsewhere on ProBrewer, but for your system and your small loop I don't think you need that. As I understand it, it provides maximum efficiency for your chilling loop, but on four 2 bbl tanks, it is unnecessary. I have four 7 bbl and two 4bbl fermenters on my glycol loop and it is plumbed in the same simple way as yours and works just fine.

    - A question you didn't ask, but something I notice from your picture: your glycol chiller should be moved out of that corner, I think they normally recommend 18" of clearance around those units. It looks like your fins and fans are right against the wall. It will not have proper airflow for chilling, and you won't be able to effectively remove the cover and clean the fins for routine maintenance. I have 4 of those units in my brewery, and the require some very simple, but very necessary routine maintenance to run well.

    - Lastly, I recommend adding manual ball valves on all the ins and out of your fermenters so that you can isolate any of your tanks to address any unexpected issues that come up, or to easily swap out tanks if you decide to upgrade.

    Good luck.

    Comment


    • #3
      response

      Thank you for your response!

      I will be adding ball shut-offs, it was actually an afterthought, but thank you for thinking of it as well.

      for the corner, I have added a floor-based air mover fan underneath aiming up that will remain on very low. hopefully, it keeps things pretty cool.

      I asume with my small area and coils that my constant loop would work well with the one way check valve that i added where the blue meets the red. I think i will plave the differential bypass valve up on the 90-degree turn above the one way check valve. What do you reckon would be a decent PSI setting for the bypass valve?

      Comment


      • #4
        You have your system set us as first-in, last-out already. I think. Doubt it matters for your system anyhow.

        The bypass regulator goes between the delivery line and return line where you now have the Sharkbite coupler between red and blue. With no restriction at that point in the loop, you will get little or no flow through your coils. Also add a T and pressure gauge immediately upstream of the bypass reg so you can set the regulator to where you want it--usually 2/3 to 3/4 the rated safe pressure for your coils or jackets.

        You will need isolation valves so you can work on your solenoid valves and fermenters. Both in and out. Always be sure to close the inlet valve first.

        Look for some Armaflex insulation tape. Azon usually has it (beware of cheap knock-offs). You can use it to insulate the bare fittings in your system. Otherwise, learn to love wet floors and black mold!
        Timm Turrentine

        Brewerywright,
        Terminal Gravity Brewing,
        Enterprise. Oregon.

        Comment


        • #5
          Huh, Timm is right, your system is already diagrammed as first in last out. I wasn't paying close enough attention earlier. Regardless, it doesn't matter either way with a system your size.

          Glad that you already thought about moving air around your chiller, hopefully that extra fan helps with heat exchange. I applaud your creativity, even if I'm not sure that is the best way to go about it. However, I would still be concerned about access to the fins on the right side. Those will need to be cleaned/vacuumed occasionally, and access will be limited. Also, if you need to add glycol and check reservoir fill levels, that will be on the far side against the other wall, seems like it would be at worst impossible, at best inconvenient to access the reservoir once the system is in operation. Once you get that filled with glycol and in service, you aren't going to be picking it up and moving it away from the wall, I presume.

          At the very least, make sure you loosen the screws on the cage on the inaccessible sides of the chiller before it is plumbed in place, so that you can lift and remove the protective cage and get to the unit for servicing.

          Do what Timm says regarding adding the other pressure gauge. As for figuring out what pressure to set your bypass valve at, you could always experiment by running your system with the outlet dumping into a bucket so you can gauge flow, then turning on/off tank valves and figuring out what pressure you need to set your bypass valve at so it closes when a tank is open, but opens when a tank is closed. This is my manual, simple way, of doing something the better qualified would use science and math for.

          Good luck.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by backslope View Post
            To be clear, I am not the glycol expert, but I have built similar loops in my brewery that have been working well for close to 4 years. With that in mind:

            - I think the differential bypass valve should go where the blue line becomes the red line, it is usually a pressure valve that allows flow if all the valves to the tanks are closed and the pump is still running.

            - Someone else can explain "first in, last out" better than I can, and you can find some threads with diagrams elsewhere on ProBrewer, but for your system and your small loop I don't think you need that. As I understand it, it provides maximum efficiency for your chilling loop, but on four 2 bbl tanks, it is unnecessary. I have four 7 bbl and two 4bbl fermenters on my glycol loop and it is plumbed in the same simple way as yours and works just fine.

            - A question you didn't ask, but something I notice from your picture: your glycol chiller should be moved out of that corner, I think they normally recommend 18" of clearance around those units. It looks like your fins and fans are right against the wall. It will not have proper airflow for chilling, and you won't be able to effectively remove the cover and clean the fins for routine maintenance. I have 4 of those units in my brewery, and the require some very simple, but very necessary routine maintenance to run well.

            - Lastly, I recommend adding manual ball valves on all the ins and out of your fermenters so that you can isolate any of your tanks to address any unexpected issues that come up, or to easily swap out tanks if you decide to upgrade.

            Good luck.
            This is what I used (adjustable bypass valve) I agree with the airflow on the chiller as well.. its likely fighting itself and possibly pulling a lot of the warm air back in for cooling the way you have it.

            Comment


            • #7
              The valve is also called a backpressure regulating bypass. Tractor supply has them in the parts area for power washers. Plastic or aluminum.

              Be very sure you’ve flushed system before installing. With pex might not be a big deal since it cuts clean mostly. But still good to have filter on supply line before you hit solenoids.

              Comment


              • #8
                The system in the diagram is not first-in, last-out. It's first-in, first-out. Look at the total distance the glycol has to travel from the chiller to FV1 to the chiller, then compare that to FV4. FV1 has the shortest feed and the shortest return. FV4 has the longest feed and longest return. You would basically create a loop like you already have, only you wouldn't have any connections on the bottom pipe it would just be the return back to the chiller and the whole loop would be your return plumbing. Where you have the solenoids now would be your connections to the FVs. Then you'd run another pipe for the supply side. So FV1 still has the shortest feed from the glycol chiller, but the return path from there runs past all of the tanks before returning back to the chiller. FV4 has the longest feed still, but it has the shortest return and everything is balanced.

                As said earlier though, you likely don't have to worry so much about this with your small setup. Just realize that FV4 could potentially take longer to chill/won't chill if all of your tank solenoids are open. The glycol is going to flow most through FV1 bc of it having the shortest loop and least amount of restriction.

                I would also suggest you flip your supply/return top and bottom, you want your glycol entering your tank jackets from the bottom and exiting the top. It looks like you're going to have that reversed based on the layout of your plumbing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Glycol Loop update with Question

                  I am still four weeks out from opening doors and 2 weeks out from my first brew day:

                  1) added the bypass valve below

                  2) I will be adding more insulation and taping off each fitting so no condensation.

                  3) I will ensure all valves are off and run the system on loop (after adding the filter).

                  4) I will set it up first in last out as prescribed above.....

                  Questions:

                  1) can some one recommend a filter?

                  Untitled by Jeremy Boucher, on Flickr

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi,
                    You sadly don't have a first in last out layout instead you have a first in first out.
                    I hope these layouts will help explain.
                    Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. I also have more examples from when I'm teaching at MBAA.


                    Click image for larger version

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                    Cheers!

                    Dan
                    Dan Strömberg
                    Cooling Market Segment Manager
                    Georg Fischer LLC
                    Mobile: +1 951 642 2339
                    Dan.Stromberg@georgfischer.com

                    GF Piping Systems
                    9271 Jeronimo Rd., Irvine, CA. 92618
                    United States
                    www.gfps.com/us

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