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Thread: Glycol Chiller size help

  1. #1
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    Glycol Chiller size help

    Hi

    I am looking for a glycol chiller for my meadery. We are going to have 4x 800L (6.5bbl) fermentation tanks + 1x 6bbl brite.

    For these I calculated the total btu/hr needed at around 4000, with 1x 800L (6.5bbl) cold crashing from around 60f (15C) to 32f (0C) requiring about 2500 bru/hr and the 4 other tanks (including brite) at active fermentation (each requiring around 400 bru/hr). Not sure how else to factor in the brite tank, we will be cold crashing in the fermenters and filtering into the brite, so the temperature difference will be minimal, and the only need is to maintain the cool temp at around 34-37f (1-3C) until carbing and bottling is done. I figured this would represent the maximum cooling need, as we would not be cold crashing more than one tank at any time.

    I wanted to check if my calculations are correct, as the information I get from chiller manufacturers websites or sales people conflicts with my calculations. Basically they always recommend a way bigger chiller than what my numbers say I need. I am also a little confused with the conversion from btu/hr to watts and horsepower, as online conversion calculators seem to give me a different number than chiller manufacturers websites. If anyone knows how to convert between these, please let me know

    Thank you in advance, and sorry for bad English. Hope it wasn't terrible

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruggari View Post
    Hi

    I am looking for a glycol chiller for my meadery. We are going to have 4x 800L (6.5bbl) fermentation tanks + 1x 6bbl brite.

    For these I calculated the total btu/hr needed at around 4000, with 1x 800L (6.5bbl) cold crashing from around 60f (15C) to 32f (0C) requiring about 2500 bru/hr and the 4 other tanks (including brite) at active fermentation (each requiring around 400 bru/hr). Not sure how else to factor in the brite tank, we will be cold crashing in the fermenters and filtering into the brite, so the temperature difference will be minimal, and the only need is to maintain the cool temp at around 34-37f (1-3C) until carbing and bottling is done. I figured this would represent the maximum cooling need, as we would not be cold crashing more than one tank at any time.

    I wanted to check if my calculations are correct, as the information I get from chiller manufacturers websites or sales people conflicts with my calculations. Basically they always recommend a way bigger chiller than what my numbers say I need. I am also a little confused with the conversion from btu/hr to watts and horsepower, as online conversion calculators seem to give me a different number than chiller manufacturers websites. If anyone knows how to convert between these, please let me know

    Thank you in advance, and sorry for bad English. Hope it wasn't terrible
    Are your tanks insulated? I also run a meadery. We have 2 10bbl unitanks running off of a 1.4 ton chiller. It has no problem mainting fermentation temperatures and crashing both tanks at the same time from 65F to 35F in 12 hours or less.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmbrosiaOrchard View Post
    Are your tanks insulated? I also run a meadery. We have 2 10bbl unitanks running off of a 1.4 ton chiller. It has no problem mainting fermentation temperatures and crashing both tanks at the same time from 65F to 35F in 12 hours or less.
    The fermentation tanks are not insulated, although we might add some insulation ourselves (like reflectix or something) over the glycol jacket.

    Btw, what does 1.4 ton mean in terms of btu or hp?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruggari View Post
    The fermentation tanks are not insulated, although we might add some insulation ourselves (like reflectix or something) over the glycol jacket.

    Btw, what does 1.4 ton mean in terms of btu or hp?
    1 ton is equal to 12,000 BTU

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmbrosiaOrchard View Post
    1 ton is equal to 12,000 BTU
    Thanks! This information actually confirms my calculations.

    I am considering SS Brewtech 3/4 hp chiller which should give me more than 5000 btu/hr.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruggari View Post
    Thanks! This information actually confirms my calculations.

    I am considering SS Brewtech 3/4 hp chiller which should give me more than 5000 btu/hr.
    I don't think 5000 btu/hr is going to come close to cutting it for your non-insulated fermenters and brite.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmbrosiaOrchard View Post
    I don't think 5000 btu/hr is going to come close to cutting it for your non-insulated fermenters and brite.
    Do you have any idea on how to factor in the "non-insulation"?

    Actually though, the brite will be fully insulated at least. Still haven't ordered the fermenters, so there is still chance to add insulation if absolutely necessary.

  8. #8
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    Tank Jacket Sizing

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruggari View Post
    Do you have any idea on how to factor in the "non-insulation"?

    Actually though, the brite will be fully insulated at least. Still haven't ordered the fermenters, so there is still chance to add insulation if absolutely necessary.
    Hi Bruggari,

    The cooling demand for a particular tank will also depend on the tank design and facility temperature. The jacket size may be more influential than the insulation. I'd recommend reaching out to your tank manufacturer to request a spec sheet for the tanks. With proper specs, the chiller manufacturer can easily size a unit for you. They may be oversizing the unit now because they are estimating worst case scenarios.

    - The Craft Kettle Team

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruggari View Post
    Do you have any idea on how to factor in the "non-insulation"?

    Actually though, the brite will be fully insulated at least. Still haven't ordered the fermenters, so there is still chance to add insulation if absolutely necessary.
    Yes, but you need to also know the ambient temperature. The page can provide some help for your calculations.

    https://www.physicsclassroom.com/cla...-Heat-Transfer

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