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Thread: heat exchanger in practice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    heat exchanger in practice

    Hi brewers,
    We are building a 15hl brewery. The question i have about the heat exchanger is how much wort does the average size heat exchanger for this size brewery hold. I have sourced a couple such as this one....
    Plate Type, Alfa Laval, 2 Stage, Model P2-HB
    235mm wide x 700mm long plates, 15 plates in first stage and 21 plates in second stage, 50mm diameter inlet and outlet, 10 bar pressure, 130 degree maximum temperature, 91 litres capacity, year 1987, Size: 5.9_sq m

    Firstly is this heat exchanger a good choice?
    also what do you brewers do when the kettle is empty and you want to get the last bit of wort out of the heat exchanger? it says this one is 91litres which to us seems like a hell of a lot.
    this is around $500US and to me looks like a great unit, iam just after any input i can get. What iam concerned about mostly is, is this a good unit for us or not? if not why not?
    any input would be very great thank you brewers.

    Thanx and many ales.
    Ales in bottles
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Wow, that's a tall order! I am guessing you are buying this used since any manufacturer would be happy to assist you in specing a HE for your application. In fact they might still be willing to assist you so they can sell you new gaskets and plates.

    First, you need to spec your HE based on your operations parameters. This HE would be plenty if you are cooling with -4C glycol at 100hl/hr coolant flow!

    What is your peak coolant temperature and minimum flow rate? What is your typical wort temperature? What is your planned wort flow rate? Will aeration/oxygenation be able to keep up?

    After considering these factors you will be able to decide a rate of heat transfer needed to cool the wort. An overall heat transfer coefficient is really the most fundamental number to assist in understanding if the unit will be right for you. You should try to find a supplier who is willing to work with you to give you the technical assistance you need. Maybe even for an hourly service rate.

    Other considerations if used are the condition of the plates and gaskets. 316 SS is preferred over 304 SS in HE's. I prefer tab gaskets rather than glue. Glue stay better but when it is time to replace things get messy.

    Good luck.

    P.S. the 91liters has to be a typo, maybe 9.1l. To chase wort just place a T before and chase with brewing water.
    Last edited by Tbrew; 12-02-2004 at 04:55 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Dexter, MI USA

    Heat Exchanger

    I think Tbrew is right on here. At first look I would think the pictured HE would do just fine for you, but the best way to know is to call the kind folks at Alfa about it. Explain the particulars of your situation. Flow rates (H20, glycol, wort), normal stage 1, and stage 2 temps, etc. I also think 91 seem high (but I am unfamiliar with that particular unit!) Most of the HEs I've used over the years seem to hold between 10 and 40 l. Wide variation I know, but they come in all sizes! Again Alfa should be able to tell you for sure. I also have a "T" fitting in line before the HE to flush with brewing water.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Thanx guys,
    My requirements and specs are cooling 10hl of wort per hour, Coolant will be average around 5c with a flow of max 30hl/h. For a wort temp of 18c
    I'll go from there. If anyone else has any comments re this HE or similar please comment.
    Anyway thanx for the input brewers. I'll go of and do the math!

    Thanx again
    Last edited by Ales in Bottles; 12-05-2004 at 02:46 AM.

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