The question that many homebrewers and brewery owners ask is “what size glycol chiller do I need?” - and for a good reason. In beer brewing, the size of your glycol chiller matters because it directly affects the output quality and the overall system efficiency.
With these simple tips from the Beverage Craft team, you will learn how to calculate the right size for your glycol chiller in a matter of minutes.
How to Calculate the Size of the Brewery Chiller?
Before you start approaching the issue of brewery glycol chiller sizing and calculating the glycol beer chiller temperature, there are certain questions that need to be addressed:
- How often do you brew?
- How much time is there between brews?
- Are you going at a steady pace?
Once you’ve got that out of the way, we get down to the specifics. When it comes to sizing a glycol chiller for your brewery tanks, the ultimate answer revolves around the three main factors:
- The tank volume (how many barrels AKA ‘bbl,’ you are able to produce)
- Temperature differential (AKA ‘delta T,’ shows the difference between the starting temperature prior to cooling and the ending temperature after cooling)
- Cool down time (how much time it takes to achieve the desired beer chiller temperature, measured in hours)
Once you’ve considered all the elements in the equation, let’s try to solve it using an abstract example.
- Calculate the tank volume and convert to gallons (bbl x 31= tank volume in gallons)
- Convert gallons to lbs (tank volume in gallons x 8.42886 = volume in lbs)
- Calculate total heat load (temperature differential (delta T) x volume in lbs = total heat load)
- Calculate BTU/H (total heat load / cool down time in hours)
- Add a 15% safety factor to compensate for heat loss in pipes, pumps, etc.
For reference, you can use this handy table below, courtesy of Beverage Craft. It shows all the parameters we’ve talked about in the preceding paragraphs, indicates how they are related to each other, and which glycol chiller model to choose, depending on the entered parameters.
Brewery Chiller Sizing Calculation
*- tanks and glycol lines insulation quality can dramatically impact the timing
"-" - faster than expected
"+" - slightly slower than expected