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Thread: Newbie Glycol tank question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    14

    Newbie Glycol tank question

    Very newbie question. I'm starting a brewery overseas and the funders bought all the equipment. It's 5bbl with 4 fermenters and two bright tanks. My question is about glycol since thats something I know nothing about.

    We have a 5hp glycol chiller and a tank and a glycol tank that is 475 gallons. This seems way to big to me. How do I find out how much glycol/water mix to put in the glycol tank? I can't find any info on this online, they all say to ask the people you bought the glycol chiller from but that's the same guy that gave us the 475 gallon tank, I've emailed the manufacturer of the chiller but gotten no reply.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Jameson, SK, Canada
    Posts
    172
    That’s a massive tank for 5HP...really massive. The upsized tank option on the 14HP unit I was involved with was that size.

    There’s one upside to that - your compressor sure won’t be short cycling!!

    Your blend will be about 35:65 glycol to distilled/RO water, unless your starting this brewery in Siberia, or Saskatchewan.

    JR
    Jeremy Reed
    Co-Founder and President, assistant brewer, amateur electrician, plumber, welder, refrigeration tech, and intermediately swell fella
    The North of 48 Brewing Company
    Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    www.no48.ca

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    14
    Thanks for the reply. Haha, yeah, I guess that is one benefit to having a giant tank that I could fit three batches in at once. Oh well, shoganai as they say over here.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Jameson, SK, Canada
    Posts
    172
    I had to look up what shoganai means.... I’ve learned my one thing for the day!!

    I think it’ll be fine. Remember, you don’t have to fill the tank right full, you just have to ensure the suction ports are covered. If it’s well insulated you should be fine. The unit will likely run more due to heating in the tank and main loop than from cooling your tanks, but if the guys paying are ok with that... sobeit.

    JR
    Jeremy Reed
    Co-Founder and President, assistant brewer, amateur electrician, plumber, welder, refrigeration tech, and intermediately swell fella
    The North of 48 Brewing Company
    Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    www.no48.ca

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Enterprise, Oregon
    Posts
    1,885
    Insulate the heck out of that glycol back! Even if it's insulated already, add another inch or two of something like Armaflex sheeting. Use glue--you want the insulation as nearly air-tight as possible for two reason: One, condensation moves more heat than anything else. Two, condensation leads to growth of biofilms, usually fungus/bacteria that are not something to have in a brewery.

    That is a huge back for a system this size, but as surface area only increases by the square of the radius and volume by the cube, you'll have less surface area to volume than in a smaller back. Well insulated, it should be fine, and you won't have to worry about upgrading it any time soon.

    Biggest drawback to that huge glycol back is filling it. Food grade glycol isn't cheap.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Chesterfield, UK
    Posts
    1,855
    Your chiller instructions should tell you what the evaporation temperature of the primary refrigerant is, just as an example (I am not using manufacturers data here) - 10 C. So to prevent the glycol freezing, you need to make it strong enough so it will not freeze around the evaporation coils - in this case something like a 25 to 30 % glycol solution, i.e. allowing a few degrees leeway. Hence the comment about 35% glycol.
    dick

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