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Thread: Dual Jackets connected in Series or in Parallel?

  1. #1
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    Dual Jackets connected in Series or in Parallel?

    When connecting jackets to the glycol system, does it really make any difference if the jackets are connected in series or parallel? I like it in series. To me, it is just cleaner/neater to connect a line to the lower inlet on the cone of a FV and then connect the upper port on the cone to the lower port on the body and have it all exit at the top. Does it really matter?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGB View Post
    When connecting jackets to the glycol system, does it really make any difference if the jackets are connected in series or parallel? I like it in series. To me, it is just cleaner/neater to connect a line to the lower inlet on the cone of a FV and then connect the upper port on the cone to the lower port on the body and have it all exit at the top. Does it really matter?
    I'd say its more proper to connect them in parallel. You should get a more consistent temperature this way. If there wasn't a reason from a cooling standpoint then it might as well be one jacket instead of dual zoned.

  3. #3
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    Parallel

    The jackets are meant to be plumbed in parallel, with shutoff valves on the inlet side for each one. This way the jackets can be run independently, for instance, not cooling the cone during active fermentation. There are lots of discussions here about cooling strategies for ferms.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyB View Post
    The jackets are meant to be plumbed in parallel, with shutoff valves on the inlet side for each one. This way the jackets can be run independently, for instance, not cooling the cone during active fermentation.
    This..... with your preferred solenoid/pneumatic/motorized ball valve on the main drop for your controller output signal.

    If you are talking conceptually, then a series setup will probably be more "efficient" in terms of thermal transfer from glycol to the tank jacket. That is not always your most important consideration however. Parallel tends to give more finite control. There are a number of practical implications that impact the results in various ways, and that is why parallel is the preferred method.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGB View Post
    When connecting jackets to the glycol system, does it really make any difference if the jackets are connected in series or parallel? I like it in series. To me, it is just cleaner/neater to connect a line to the lower inlet on the cone of a FV and then connect the upper port on the cone to the lower port on the body and have it all exit at the top. Does it really matter?
    I seem to have the minority opinion on this issue, but I have always plumbed our tanks with the glycol going into the cone jacket first, then in series with the side jacket, and if the tank has a lower and upper side jacket, put those in parallel so you can valve off the top side jacket if you aren't filling the tank completely.

    My reasoning was that I definitely wanted the cone to be cooled, since that was where the yeast would be settling as fermentation slowed down. I also didn't want to have to try to balance the flow through each jacket as you would if they were in parallel. By putting them in series, you get full flow through each jacket.

    I think there are pros and cons for each way of plumbing it. We've been doing it that way for 16 years, for what it's worth, with no problems.
    Linus Hall
    Yazoo Brewing
    Nashville, TN
    [url]www.yazoobrew.com[/url]

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhall View Post
    My reasoning was that I definitely wanted the cone to be cooled, since that was where the yeast would be settling as fermentation slowed down. I also didn't want to have to try to balance the flow through each jacket as you would if they were in parallel. By putting them in series, you get full flow through each jacket.

    I think there are pros and cons for each way of plumbing it. We've been doing it that way for 16 years, for what it's worth
    I would say I have never had an issue getting full flow through the bottom cone jacket of a parallel setup (a dozen or so setups actually) and lagering at -0.5*C for a decade plus as well. You should not “have to” balance the flow between the jackets as they are fed with constant hydraulic pressure (based on the circulation pump) as generally the jackets have very similar frictional resistance. If you have drastically different frictional resistance then you would need to balance. An example of this would be a dual stage heat exchanger that is tied into the glycol loop. The loop would produce different flow rates with the HX open than it would with an adittional set of jackets open due to the difference in friction. The benefit is you “can” adjust the balance if you like in any of the given jackets in a parallel setup. A series setup requires full flow through the initial input, or reducing flow through all, limiting your overall control.

    Concerns on the counterpoint would be the potential of stratification if you can’t close or restrict your cone cooling a little bit at crash. Yes you want to keep your yeast cool in the cone, but you really shouldn’t store your yeast in there too long anyways (IMHO). In fact, you should really be collecting it as early and often as possible for optimal viability. Once you remove it, your cone is going to cool much faster than the top. Then your beer can stratify much easier due to the density at temps close to or below 4*C. If you slow the cooling in the cone, the top can mix via convection as is gets colder/denser and drops to the cone. Met many brewers with serial setups who have issues getting below 4*C, but it could always be the people and not the setup. Stratification is generally much more problematic with an increase in scale.

  7. #7
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    Well, actually - water, and therefore beer, gets less dense below about 4 deg C. Science and all. So the colder beer will actually rise to the top as it stratifies.





    Quote Originally Posted by UnFermentable View Post
    I would say I have never had an issue getting full flow through the bottom cone jacket of a parallel setup (a dozen or so setups actually) and lagering at -0.5*C for a decade plus as well. You should not “have to” balance the flow between the jackets as they are fed with constant hydraulic pressure (based on the circulation pump) as generally the jackets have very similar frictional resistance. If you have drastically different frictional resistance then you would need to balance. An example of this would be a dual stage heat exchanger that is tied into the glycol loop. The loop would produce different flow rates with the HX open than it would with an adittional set of jackets open due to the difference in friction. The benefit is you “can” adjust the balance if you like in any of the given jackets in a parallel setup. A series setup requires full flow through the initial input, or reducing flow through all, limiting your overall control.

    Concerns on the counterpoint would be the potential of stratification if you can’t close or restrict your cone cooling a little bit at crash. Yes you want to keep your yeast cool in the cone, but you really shouldn’t store your yeast in there too long anyways (IMHO). In fact, you should really be collecting it as early and often as possible for optimal viability. Once you remove it, your cone is going to cool much faster than the top. Then your beer can stratify much easier due to the density at temps close to or below 4*C. If you slow the cooling in the cone, the top can mix via convection as is gets colder/denser and drops to the cone. Met many brewers with serial setups who have issues getting below 4*C, but it could always be the people and not the setup. Stratification is generally much more problematic with an increase in scale.
    Linus Hall
    Yazoo Brewing
    Nashville, TN
    [url]www.yazoobrew.com[/url]

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhall View Post
    Well, actually - water, and therefore beer, gets less dense below about 4 deg C. Science and all. So the colder beer will actually rise to the top as it stratifies.
    Yes I am not disputing the density properties of beer and water.

    Over enough time the system will balance and stratification should not be an issue if jacket coverage is adequate and conditioning time is extended.

    The point in restricting the bottom cone jacket flow is to prevent the cone zone from reaching the densest point (4*C) first. If the cone zone reaches maximum density first, then the convection mixing effect will be greatly reduced and increase the likelihood of stratification and turbidity.

    If the flow of coolant is restricted in the cone and the cooling effect slowed, then the top area of liquid will cool faster reaching maximum density and falling to the cone zone causing greater physical convection motion, thus better mixing, resulting in a faster and more even finished crash. This will help precipitate solids as well, making less cloudy or fluffy sections of beer.

    Due to the density properties of beer, there is more differential density in the warm liquid cooling than in the cold liquid getting near freezing. Meaning the warm liquid falling will create more convection than will cold liquid losing density.

    I have used tanks with dual temp probes in them at varying heights and have been able to track this before on graphed data points. You can see the stratification take place and the lock-up of thermal transference. If you cool the top first the tank basically flips and the total cooling is much faster/more efficient.

    Of course one more simple solution to avoid this is to step crash your beer. You can bring to about 5-6*C and then step down again once your homogenized a bit better. But again, a bit slower overall. If you are concerned about harvesting yeast, the slower crashing may be preferred anyways.

  9. #9
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    I would do what what you find works for you.

    HOWEVER, tanks with dual jackets which are not linked internally are intended to be run in parallel to give flexibility of cooling. A couple of brewers I have worked with have changed from series to parallel because they found that fermentations were more consistent when using the wall jacket only, but at end of ferm, to assist rapid cooling and yeast flocculation then they use both. Yeast shouldn't be stored in a cone as it is a very poor conductor of heat (or "coolth") in this case. in 500 hl FVs, one brewery measured autolysing yeast at 49 C a couple of days after the cone cooling was applied at the end of fermentation. Certainly other (major) breweries I have worked at take the yeast off before the beer has fully cooled, at say 6 or 7 C, (beer to cool to 3 or 4 C) because of deterioration in yeast viability and vitality for repitching.
    dick

  10. #10
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    Parallel

    Putting jackets in series also has disadvantage of raising the system pressure. Parallel offers least resistance and greatest heat transfer, which is what you're after. Efficiency.
    Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--

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