If the brewing system is the heart of the brewery, and the artistic interpretation of the mash is the brain and soul, then the plumbing is the nervous system – ensuring that messages are passed from one person to another.
Glycol piping is a critical component of the glycol chiller. It facilitates the transfer of cold glycol water between glycol water containers, fermentation vessels/fermenters, chillers, and glycol tanks. It is important to choose the right glycol piping for your brewery.
Selection Of Pipe Material
Which pipe material is suitable for the brewery? Before making a choice, let’s introduce our three options: stainless steel glycol tubes, PPR tubes, and PPR+PEX mixing tubes.
Stainless Steel Glycol Piping
Pros: Long service life, hygienic, and rust-proof.
Cons: Strict space requirements, any changes require local welding.
PPR Tube for Ethylene Glycol
Pros: Easy to interface with devices.
Cons: The adapters between the PPR pipes are not rustproof. They should be covered to prevent contact with water or other liquids.
PPR+PEX Mixing Tube
Pros: Suitable for small locations, flexible due to PEX piping allowing bending in limited areas.
Cons: Not suitable for systems larger than 1500L.
Selection Of Pipe Diameter
The determination of pipe diameter should consider the characteristics of the conveying medium, flow rate, fluctuation of production process, resistance loss, standard diameter series, and other factors.
The flow rate of the medium affects the diameter of the pipeline. Higher flow rates can use smaller pipe diameters, saving on pipeline investment. However, this leads to higher resistance loss, energy consumption, and operating costs.
It is important to choose an appropriate flow velocity for different media transport. The flow velocity of mash transport is generally less than 1.5m/s to avoid affecting filtration. The feeding speed of the filter tank is advisable to be less than 1.0m/s. Cleaning and sterilizing agents require a flow velocity greater than 1.5m/s.
Pipe Wall Thickness
The pipe wall must have enough strength due to the pressure of the transported liquid or gas. The required wall thickness increases with higher internal pressure. In beer brewing, the pressure in the pipeline is typically small, and the supplier-provided pipes meet the demand.
The Smoothness of the Pipe Wall
The smoothness of the inner wall of the pipe affects cleaning and sterilization. For the food industry, the inner surface of equipment should have a cleanliness standard below Ra<1μm to prevent dirt and bacteria accumulation.
The pipeline layout should meet the following requirements: production and technology needs, ease of operation and maintenance, no dead angles for cleaning and sterilization, and aesthetically pleasing arrangement.