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Thread: Brewhouse Glycol Plumbing Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Brewhouse Glycol Plumbing Question

    Building out my FV & BT chilling system - my question: Should the glycol enter the vessels' jackets at the top port or bottom? I've seen/heard both ways recommended and am wondering if it makes a difference.
    I should note that I'm using a pretty small chiller/pump - the kind made for draft lines (One of those little Tayfun/UBC jobs) with a 1/3 hp pump.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Santa Cruz, CA
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    Heat rises, so entering through the bottom is usually better, although it sounds like you'll be using pretty small tanks, so I'm not sure it will matter. You might want to check one of the calculators on a chiller manufacturer's website to make sure you'll have enough BTUs with your unit to keep your tanks where you want them and (more importantly) be able to crash them down to 32. G&D has a good one on their website.
    Peter Landman | Brewmaster | Seabright Brewery | Santa Cruz, CA

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Wisconsin
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    They’re 3 bbl tanks - 2 FV’s and 1BT.
    I’ve run the calculator and should have sufficient BTUs (the unit is rated at 3200 BTU/hr).
    I’m more worried about whether the pump has enough cajones to move the refrigerant around.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama, USA
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    In through the lower jacket glycol INLET, and out through the topmost jacket OUTLET. For small tanks with multiple jackets, it is alright to go into the cone lower inlet first, out of the cone outlet and back into the wall lower inlet, then finally out from the wall upper jacket outlet. That is running the jackets in serial. Larger tanks, it is better to run them in parallel with individual glycol feeds to the inlet.

    Put ball valves at the main glycol trunk line supply/return to each tank.

    Put ball valve before and after each solenoid valve for servicing the valve.

    No additional valves are needed for the outlet ports other than the main trunk return line up above in the rafters.,
    Todd G Hicks
    BeerDenizen Brewing Services
    Serda Brewing Company
    OPEN - Finally!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Dubois, Pa, USA
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    Do you put the solenoid on the inlet or outlet of the tank?


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    San Diego
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    Inlet

    I agree with Todd Hicks. and about the shutoffs on both sides of e valves. You want to be able to replace or work on a valve without draining the whole system. I worried about pumps a lot myself and came to find most are just fine but if you ever use a gear pump make sure a bypass is in place. Otherwise kiss your little hoses goodbye. Cheers

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama, USA
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    Todd G Hicks
    BeerDenizen Brewing Services
    Serda Brewing Company
    OPEN - Finally!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama, USA
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    210
    Quote Originally Posted by liljohn View Post
    Do you put the solenoid on the inlet or outlet of the tank?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    solenoid before the inlet.

    On recent builds, I put them high up on the tanks rather than lower directly at the inlet. Just make sure you can get easy access to the solenoid valves and isolation valves for servicing and maintenance.
    Todd G Hicks
    BeerDenizen Brewing Services
    Serda Brewing Company
    OPEN - Finally!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    70
    I wound up with check valves next to the main trunk at every tank-send and every tank-return. Yeah the return valves weren’t probably necessary but I had extras and figured it couldn’t hurt. Solenoids are near the inlet for each tank. I have inline valves ordered and will splice them in on either side of the solenoids when they arrive.
    I ran some solution through one tank yesterday and it seemed to work fine. Just need to get more glycol because the pipes and tanks are going to hold more than half my tank capacity.

    Will it harm the chiller if the solution in the reservoir is low and doesn’t cover all the cooling coils?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama, USA
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    The check valves weren't necessary as there shouldn't be any back flow. They may put some strain on the system, but I don't know. The return line should never really have any pressure on it as it just drains back to reservoir.

    Probably ok to have a check valve on the end of line loop. Still need some sort of bypass. I have the regulator and gauge at the loop valve to set the line pressure to the solenoids so not overpressurizing the line or tank jackets. Also have a VFD on an oversized glycol supply pump for when I reach maximum tank expansion.

    The cooling coils that are not flooded will probably ice up. You won't be getting full cooling efficiency from the chiller without a full reservoir. You will be ok for now. Don't let the circulating pump run dry. Get more glycol. Make sure your glycol is mixed to correct dilution with charcoal filtered water to about 10P or about 50-50 mix.
    Todd G Hicks
    BeerDenizen Brewing Services
    Serda Brewing Company
    OPEN - Finally!!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Posts
    51
    You want your glycol mixture to be about 35% glycol/65% water, or ~25 Plato, not 10.

    http://gdchillers.com/faq/what-is-th...age-or-mixture
    Peter Landman | Brewmaster | Seabright Brewery | Santa Cruz, CA

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    Thanks for the input everybody.
    Well dammit now that I have everything plumbed and hooked up it turns out the chiller isn’t chilling (I picked it up used a couple years ago and hadn’t used it before now). Time to call the refrigeration guy I guess.

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