Enhancing Beer Equipment with Cold Water Tanks

What is the purpose of a cold water tank in brewery equipment?

A cold water tank (CLT) in a brewery is typically a stainless steel tank with cooling jackets. It functions similarly to a fermenter. The CLT is filled with city water, which is chilled to a temperature of around 2℃ during brewing cycles. This cold water is then pumped through the wort exchanger at a 1:1 ratio, cooling the wort from post-boil temperature to the desired fermentation temperature. The water that exits the wort exchanger at around 70℃ is transferred to the hot liquor tank for use in the next batch of beer brewing. The size of the CLT is often determined based on the requirements for a typical 24-hour brewing cycle. For example, if you have a 15 Bbl brewhouse and typically brew three times per day, the CLT would be sized at 45 Bbl.

How does a glycol water tank work without a cold water tank in a brewery?

In this situation, a two-stage heat exchanger is typically used.

The two-stage wort exchanger in brewery equipment cools the wort in two steps:

1. City water is used at a 1:1 ratio to remove as much heat as possible. Depending on the efficiency of the heat exchanger, the hot wort will be cooled down to around 30℃.

2. The remaining heat is transferred to chilled glycol, and the wort exits the heat exchanger at the desired fermentation temperature.

In addition, the glycol is also used to cool fermentation tanks and bright tanks. The glycol water tank operates at a higher pressure during the beer brewing process. To ensure sufficient cooling capacity, the size of the glycol water tank is usually 2-3 times that of the brewhouse.

What are the advantages of using a cold water tank in a brewery?

When a cold water tank is used in a brewery, a single-stage heat exchanger is employed. The cold water is only used to cool the hot wort directly to the fermentation temperature. The glycol is solely used to cool fermentation tanks and bright tanks. This separation of cooling processes using different mediums helps alleviate the pressure on the glycol water system, which is beneficial for the long-term operation of the brewery.

In the past, most suppliers only offered a glycol water tank without a cold water tank.

As you may know, after the glycol water exchanges heat with the hot wort, it is recycled back into the glycol water tank. The temperature of the recycled glycol water will rise, which can cause an increase in the temperature of the glycol water tank. During busy brewing days, when several fermentation tanks need to be cooled, the rise in glycol water temperature may have an impact on the cooling of the fermentation tanks. To avoid this risk, it is better to have a cold water tank. Additionally, having a cold water tank allows for future brewery expansion. With a cold water tank, the size of the glycol tank can also be reduced.

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