Keep your beer cool on its way to the faucet with our glycol beer chiller system. Being one of the most popular draft beer systems, The glycol beer chilling system is the ideal choice for any long-draw dispensing system.
In this article, we talk about what is the glycol beer chiller system, how does the glycol beer chiller work? its main components, how to size a brewery glycol chiller and calculating the proper ratio of glycol to water.
What is A Glycol Beer Chiller?
A glycol chiller is a piece of equipment that cools glycol down and circulates the glycol through the draft beer system. Beer needs to stay at a temperature of 38 degrees. This allows the user to maximize keg yield by giving beer the best flavor profile.
Glycol is a food-grade antifreeze. The proper name is Propylene Glycol and also used as a lubricant for the pumps on glycol beer chillers.
A glycol chiller is a system that cools beer through tubes, which lead to a chiller plate. Chilling involves forcing a cold liquid (glycol) through tubes to a chiller plate, then through the tap system to keep beer cold.
Now that we got the main idea of a glycol beer line chiller system, let’s take a look at its components and see how it all works.
How does the Glycol Beer Chiller Work?
The glycol beer chiller plant consists of a refrigeration component and tubing containing a glycol-water mixture as a coolant. Beer passes through tubes to a chiller plate and becomes cold. The chilling process works by forcing a cold liquid (glycol) along tubes to a chiller plate, and then through the tap system, thereby keeping the beer cold. Although glycol beer systems consist of dozens of components, there are main parts as below.
What are the components of a Glycol Beer Chiller?
It is essentially a commercial refrigeration unit that circulates glycol through the system to maintain the correct temperature.
A typical glycol power pack draft beer chiller consists of the main sets of components:
- Glycol power pack (power pack with a glycol pump)
- Controller (to regulate the temperature)
- Evaporator fan.
- Glycol reservoir with a coil (contains cooling refrigerant)
- Trunkline (with glycol lines)
Glycol is stored inside the refrigeration unit and pumped through glycol lines inside the trunkline, which cool down beer lines that come into contact with them.
To put it simply, the trunk lines serve as conduits through which beer product lines are connected from the walk-in cooler to each faucet in the draft beer tower as well as sealed refrigeration lines that run from the power pack to the tower.
How To Size a Brewery Glycol Chiller?
There are three main factors to consider when choosing a glycol chiller for your brewery tanks:
- The tank volume ( AKA‘bbl,’ )
- Temperature differential (AKA‘delta T,’ )
- Cool down time ( 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 Pull Down Loads
- Calculate the tank volume (bbl x 31= tank volume in gallons)
- ex: 8 bbl tank = 248 gallons
- Convert gallons to lbs (tank volume in gallons x 8.33 = volume in lbs)
- ex: 248 gallons * 8.33 = 2065.84 lbs
- Multiply the total pounds by your temperature difference.This is often 75°F – 34°F = 41°F
- ex: 2065.84 x 41 = 84699.44 Total BTU
- Calculate BTU/H (total heat load/cool down time in hours)
- ex: 84699.44 /18 = 4705.52 (BTU/HR)
- (381,147.48/24 = 3529.143 (BTU/HR if your pull-down is 24 hours)
Calculate the heat load:
- Calculate total heat load (temperature differential (delta T) x volume in lbs = total heat load)
- fermentation tanks load (total bbl.’s x 4200 / 70 hours)
- Calculate the pull download: (bbls x 271 x 40F/ 24 hours)
- Calculate the brite tanks (holding) load:
- (bbl.’s x 31 gallons x 8.33 lbs. x 40F delta T / 48 hours)
Add a 15% safety factor to compensate for heat loss in pipes, pumps, etc.
Calculate Freezing Point – Percentage Glycol in Chilled Water Systems
Calculating the proper ratio of glycol to water in a chilled water system depends on the coldest temperature you need during operation.
For many glycol water chillers, ethylene glycol is mixed with water at a ratio of 60/40. Antifreezing properties are significantly enhanced by the higher percentage of glycol in the mixture. Water freezes at 32° F; however, glycol freezes at 9° F. Mixing the two lowers the freezing point of water, allowing it to run through a chiller system at much lower temperatures without freezing.
As an example, according to the chart above, you would need 28% glycol in your water-glycol mixture to achieve an ambient temperature of 10°F. An ambient temperature of -20° F can be achieved with a 45% glycol level. An ambient temperature of -50° F can be achieved with a 55% glycol level. Therefore, the lower the temperature, the greater the requirement for glycol-water ratios.
Buy Glycol Beer Chiller from Lando
Whether you are looking for a glycol chiller for a brewery or bar, you are guaranteed to find the right product on the Lando Chillers website.
We have got plenty of models to choose from – feel free to browse our selection!
If you are not sure which glycol beer chiller is right for you, contact our Lando team via email or phone for a professional consult.