"Medium" brewery setup - help needed!

#1

Hi everyone!

I was wondering if anyone has experience with the kind of brewery I am trying to build. I could really use some advice and help.
This is how I planned my setup:

I have a 1150L fermenter with cooling jacket. Because I need both cooling and heating ( summer - winter) I planned on using a chiller and a heating coil in a vessel filled with water / water+glycol . In the same vessel I have a coil that is connected via a pump to the fermenters jacket. The pump would be always on.
Is this solution ok or should I do it in another way? Any advice?

Also, where should I place which sensor? My plan was to have both the “beer” and “fridge” sensors in the fermenter thermowell, that means in the actual beer. Then I would run the BrewPi in fridge constant mode.

What about PID settings? Any advice on what values I should start with? I don’t know if I can tune it with CHR or Ziegler Nichols, as the temperature sinks veeeery slowly.

Any advice or sugestion is welcomed!
Cheers!

Chris

#2

I would do this differently:

  • Have a cool reservoir
  • Have a warm reservoir
  • Have a tee and two one-way valves (check valves)
  • Control two pumps that each can pump warm/cool water through the jacket

You’ll only need a beer sensor in the fermenter thermowell. In absence of a fridge sensor, the beer sensor will be used as fridge temp as well. Set your beer-to-fridge PID to all zeros so fridge setpoint matches beer setpoint.

The PID settings is a bit of trial and error. My small scale setup with glycol at home is very quick to cool. You’ll want a large glycol reservoir though to have some buffer. And you definitely want to use a liquid cooler/ beer line cooler /glycol chiller and not a fridge or freezer.

#3

Thanks for your quick reply!

And what temperatures would you suggest to have in those tanks?

#4

If you want to do cold crashing, your coolant should be around 2 degrees, maybe even lower.
For heating, I’m guessing 30 degrees? I don’t use warm water for heating.

Because both liquids will share the same jacket, they will mix. So you’ll have to have the same liquid in both.
Probably water with a bit of glycol to prevent freezing in the cool side of things.