Heat ExchangerHow Heat Exchangers Work:
Cooling is simply the removal of heat, and the heat exchanger is where this transfer of energy happens. Whether it's a cooling jacket that's welded on the outside of a tank, or a cooling plate or snake that gets inserted into the wine, the principle is the same. Cold glycol is circulated through a heat exchanger that is in contact with the wine. If the wine is warmer than the glycol it will heat the glycol as it moves through the heat exchanger. This heated glycol then gets carried out of the wine and goes back to the glycol chiller where it is cooled back down again (the heat is removed). The newly cooled glycol is then recycled back through the heat exchanger and the process is repeated.
What kind of heat exchanger is best?:
- Welded cooling jackets are extremely effective but they are usually reserved for tanks 530 L or larger. (Note: cooling jackets have to be ordered when the wine tank is made. If your tank doesn't already have a cooling jacket, then you will need to look at a cooling plate or snake for your cooling needs.)
- Cooling plates can be used in both open-topped fermenters and variable volume tanks. (Note: when cooling plates are used in variable volume tanks, the lid will need to be modified by punching two holes in it. The tubes of the cooling plate are passed through these holes and get secured to the lid. Once attached, the cooling plate hangs down from the lid into the wine.)
- Cooling snakes can be used in open-topped fermenters, barrels and any tank that has a 2" opening at its top (usually there for an airlock or vent). Cooling snakes can be inserted through the hole and held in place using a specialized silicon bung sleeve. One benefit that the cooling snakes have over the cooling plates is that the cooling snakes come in sizes small enough to fit into a barrel or a small tank!