Cidery Glycol Chillers
It could be said that brewing and wine making are just as indicative of an advanced civilization as written language and building structures out of stone. It is no wonder the ancient Egyptians had the art of brewing beer down to a science before they stacked even one stone on top of another during the construction of the Great Pyramid.
Brewing is a process of organic chemistry, in which sugars are converted into alcohol by the process of fermentation. This can happen in many ways, but most commonly living organisms such as yeasts are used to facilitate the process. Yeast changes sugars into alcohol and the waste material of carbon dioxide, but this process is not without its limitations. Even though a home-brewer might be able to throw everything into a bucket and wait a few weeks, on a larger scale, there are many more factors to consider.
The process of making cider is almost like a hybrid of brewing a beer and making a wine. Cider comes from apples and other fruit, which traditionally have been ways of preserving the juice (and calories) of apples from the harvest. Apples are harvested and taken to the cider mill where they are stored. As apples ripen, the fruit naturally converts the sugars within. When the apples have mellowed, the now softened apples are sorted, cleaned, and ground up into a pulpy paste where they are later pressed in a cider press to extract the juice. The juice is held in tanks and allowed to ferment. When the juice has converted to the correct alcohol by volume, it is pumped out, sometimes filtered, and bottled.
Control is everything
Here is where the process demands special attention. Fermentation not only creates alcohol and waste gas such as CO2, but the biochemical reaction also creates heat. In a bucket at home, this is hardly noticeable, but on a large-scale production level, all of that yeast–whether it is pitched or naturally found in the apples themselves from the skins, leaves, and stems of the apples themselves–are going to produce a lot of heat as they convert sugar to alcohol. This process is known as an exothermic reaction. Yeast thrive at warm temperatures, but die at higher temperatures and go dormant at low temperatures. If this heat is not controlled, an entire batch of cider can be ruined when dying yeast releases all sorts of bad tasting chemicals as it tries to survive.
In controlling temperature, you can control the rate of fermentation, as well as the quality and consistency of flavor. On a large scale level, this precision can easily be maintained with a glycol chiller, since it can fine-tune the temperature of your apple juice as it is converted to cider. Otherwise, the process might get out of control and the yeast die-offs you might experience would leave your cider tasting bready, bitter, or unappealing.
Consistency is key when producing a quality cider. What better way to improve consistency than precise temperature control? The less you interfere with a product, such as adding flavoring agents, acids, or other additives, the better (and less expensive) your product will be. Temperature control is crucial in producing a good cider with a rich, crisp, or bold flavor. If you can control the fermentation process through non-invasive temperature control, you get to tap into the unique, and delicious flavor your customers are demanding.
The J.C. Younger Difference
We are no strangers to the brewing and wine making business. Our machines are built in the USA and are used throughout the country in small as well as large scale cideries, breweries, and wineries. J.C. Younger makes your chillers and other equipment to spec and because we are involved in the process from start to finish, our dedication to quality control and technical support is unparalleled. Contact us if you would like to get started with using J.C. Younger equipment for your brewing needs.