Calculating The Size Of Brewery Chiller For A Craft Beer Brewer’s Needs

Last updated on March 21st, 2022 at 12:21 pm

Brewery Chiller Sizing For Your Glycol Beer Chiller

Anyone who enjoys a cool one from time to time is familiar with names like Coors, Anheuser-Busch, and Budweiser. These are industrial-scale breweries that are American icons of beer. Today, however, craft breweries are trending high and taking the nation by storm.

Small-scale craft brewers need brewery chillers for their ales and pilsners just as the large commercial breweries do. Whether you are a nano brewer that produces hundreds of barrels of beer a year or a successful craft brewer responsible for brewing hundreds of thousands of barrels, the right glycol chiller is available from JC Younger. Whether you need to purchase or rent a brewery glycol chiller, we are happy to meet any need.

We believe that your chiller is the most important piece of equipment in your brewery chilling system. Chillers are used to cool wort, control the fermentation process as well as simply cool the final product. It can even be used to remove heat from your brewery, check out this blog post to learn more about the possibilities of a JC Younger chiller.

Even nano breweries producing beer on a small craft scale can chill like the pros with the right JC Younger chiller. The important thing is to get the right size chiller for your own production level. It involves a bit of math so get out your calculator and follow the formula below: n

Sizing Glycol Chiller for Breweries

Understanding your total tank volume is where we like to start when running our brewery chiller calculator.

  • 1 bbl tank holds 31 gallons.
  • 7 bbl tank contains 217 gallons

Step One: Multiply the number of tanks you have with the number of gallons the tank holds to get your total tank volume.

For example, if you have (3) 7 bbl tanks, you would multiply 3 (tanks) x 217 (gallons per tank) = 651 (gallons, total tank volume)

Next, you need to discover how much liquid weight your tanks are holding. A single gallon of liquid weighs about 8.33 pounds.

Step Two: Multiply 8.33 lbs by the number of the total tank volume to arrive at your total liquid weight in pounds.

For example: 651 (gallons) x 8.33 (pounds) = 5422.83 (pounds, liquid load)

Following your liquid load calculation, you’ll need to calculate Total BTU’s.

41 degrees Fahrenheit is the average brewing temperature difference. This temperature is arrived at by subtracting 34 degrees Fahrenheit from 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step Three: Multiply your liquid load figure by 41 (above temperature difference) to arrive at total Btu.

Example: 5422.83 (pounds, liquid load) x 41 (temperature difference) = 222,336.03 (total Btu)

Next, you’ll need to determine the number of hours in your pull-down, otherwise known as crashing. The crashing period is the time it takes for the temperature of your brew container to drop.

For some vessels crash time will be 24 hours, for others, it may be 12 hours.

Step Four: Divide total Btu by pull-down total hours.

Example: 222,336 (total Btu) ÷ 12 (pull-down hours) = 18,528 (hourly Btu)

Now you have calculated your hourly Btu requirement. We recommend increasing this figure by 10-15% to compensate for the additional heat that is created by pumps or system inefficiencies.

Calculating Heat Load During the Fermentation Process

When brewing craft beer, you may want to know what the heat load is going to be during the fermentation process. We can help you calculate this as well:

The first step in this process is to calculate the total bricks.

Step One: Multiply your total bbl x 15 to get your number of total bricks.

For example, using (3) 7 bbl tanks: 21 (bbl’s) x 15 (bricks) = 315 (total bricks)

Next, you are going to multiply the total bricks by 280 (Btu)

For example, 315 (total bricks) x 280 (Btu) = 88,200 (total Btu)

Step Three: On average, it takes about 70 hours to accumulate heat gain from yeast during the fermentation process, even if the overall fermentation time is longer. Multiply yeast heat gain hours with total Btu to arrive at hourly Btu requirements.

For example, 88,200 (total Btu) x 70 (yeast heat gain hours) = 19,518 (hourly Btu

By knowing your hourly Btu requirements, you can select the right used brewery glycol chiller for your needs. Renting a chiller from JC Younger for your craft brewing needs is one of the best options on the current market in 2022.

Benefits of Renting a JC Younger Glycol Chiller

Whether it is for a single month or a long-term application, the right glycol chiller is available from JC Younger to meet your craft brewing needs. Renting a chiller gives you as a brewer more options and assurances., such as:

  • Minimal up-front investment
  • Upgrade or downsize options
  • Damage protection
  • Maintenance
  • Tax incentives
  • Rapid response for delivery and repairs

Contact JC Younger Today

To select your own brewery chiller, please contact us. We have over thirty years of experience keeping beer and ale at the perfect temperature. We have the chiller to meet your need.


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