Benefits of Utilizing CLT for Wort Cooling
When it comes to cooling wort, utilizing CLT (Chilled Liquor Tank) offers several advantages. One major benefit is that CLT ensures a constant temperature of the water throughout the year, regardless of seasonal temperature changes. Tap water temperature can vary significantly during summer and other times of the year, making it difficult to adjust the wort to the desired temperature. This can affect the efficiency of the ethylene glycol in the two-stage heat exchanger, resulting in higher temperatures at the end of the wort collection process. It may also be necessary to shut off fermenting vessels in cold storage to prevent them from overheating. Additionally, during the summer months, the ambient temperature is higher, requiring the glycol system to work harder to restore the glycol temperature to normal operating levels.
However, these issues are not a concern when using equipment with CLT. The water temperature remains constant throughout the wort collection process from start to finish. This provides reassurance and eliminates the need to monitor the temperature of the wort entering the fermenting vessel. By recirculating the CLT before cooling the wort, an even temperature can be maintained throughout the container.
Extra Hot Water for Cleaning or Next Brewing
Another advantage of using cold water to cool the wort is the abundance of hot water generated as a byproduct. This hot water can be used for subsequent brewing or cleaning tasks. For example, it can be used to clean kegs the day after brewing or for caustic soda brewing the next day. With a single-stage water tank, back-to-back brewing becomes more convenient, as the hot water produced during wort collection can be utilized for the next batch.
Reduced Demands on the Glycol Cooling System
Using a single-stage cold water heat exchanger eliminates the need for glycol to cool the wort. This reduces the requirements and workload of the glycol system, allowing the cooling of the cellar tank to remain uninterrupted. It also enables the glycol system to accommodate more wine racks, providing flexibility for installation or future expansion.
While CLT still requires the use of ethylene glycol to cool the water, the process is slower and does not overload the glycol system like cooling the wort directly.
Drawbacks of Utilizing CLT to Cool Wort
There are some drawbacks to consider when using CLT for wort cooling. Firstly, it increases the cost of piping, control equipment, and integrating the tank into the glycol cooling system. However, this initial cost can be recovered over time, especially considering the cost savings from heating water and the ability to reuse the recovered hot water for other purposes. Additionally, CLT takes up more space, which can be a concern for brewpubs where space is limited. Finally, utilizing CLT requires careful planning, as the water needs to be added at least 24 hours in advance to allow sufficient time for cooling. It may also take time to fill the tank if there is low water pressure, and during that time, the water may not be available for other uses.