If you want to have reliable temperature control over your fermentation and storage temperatures, we recommend looking into a complete glycol system for your winery. A properly set-up/sized glycol system will allow you to independantly control your fermentation vessels, storage tanks and cellar - all at the same time with a single machine.
How Does It Work?
At the heart of a glycol system is the glycol chiller itself. A glycol chiller is actually a refrigeration system that is used to cool a bath or tub of an antifreeze called "propylene glycol", or just "glycol
" for short. This cooled liquid is pumped though a looped circuit of tubing connected to the input and output sections of the glycol chiller. This is your main cooling line. For every vessel you want cooled, just connect the heat-exchanger (ex: a jacket on a tank, a stainless steel plate exchanger
, a stainless steel cooling snake
, etc.) to the inlet and outlet legs of the main cooling line. Once connected, glycol will now circulate through the heat-exchanger and the vessel will be cooled.
Control The Flow:
Glycol is usually chilled below the freezing point of water. This makes it very effective for cooling, but if you would like to maintain a temperature higher than freezing for your wine, you will need to adjust the flow rate of the glycol through the heat-exchanger. This can be done in one of two ways:
Manually: by inserting a shut-off valve and opening or closing it as needed, you can regulate the temperature of your wine. However, you will have to consistantly monitor it to make it work.
Automatically: using a temperature controlled solenoid valve. This is the recommended way to easily and effectively control your temperatures. You simply connect the temperature contolled solenoid valve to the tubing leading to the heat-exchanger and then place the temperature probe/thermometer into wine (using a thermal well). Program the temperature that you would like the wine to be at and the solenoid valve automatically opens and closes to maintain your desired temperature.
Can I just Use Water In My Glycol System?
In short, No. Most wineries usually use glycol at around a 33% solution in water because of the following benefits it has over using pure water alone:
Glycol is an antifreeze, so it can be cooled below freezing temperatures without icing-up the insides of the Glycol chiller (which would damage the chiller and make the cooling actually less effective).
Glycol acts as lubrication for the pump.
Glycol holds temperature better than water in longer tubing runs.
Some Units Heat!
With certain Glycol Chillers (like our line of Chilly Max chillers) the glycol systems might also incorporate a heater to heat the glycol instead of cooling. This can be exceptionally nice in cold weather areas or when you want a ML fermenation to complete quickly.
Please feel free to contact us by giving us a call at 1-800-600-0033 or by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any glycol system related questions. We will be more than happy to help you size and choose the glycol system that best suits your individual needs.