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Glycol Chiller: Does fermentation really require one to be placed?

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Let’s not deny it how much we love our beers easing us down. And when there comes a perfection to its taste, heaven manifests itself around us. But what defines that delectable taste of our beers? When it comes to winery or brewery, fermentation guides the taste to a huge level. At places where temperature gets too low in winters, or too high in summers, it becomes unfavorable for the fermentation. This calls for a mechanism to maintain the temperature around that sweet spot where the taste becomes divine. Chillers come for salvation here. They usually deal into either water refrigeration systems or Glycol refrigeration systems.

A glycol is a chemical compound used in industries requiring antifreeze or coolant. Its anti-corrosive property makes it win over water. Above it, it fights the growth of algae or fungus on the equipment. This adds a sense of trust to the food item it cools.

Do you need a glycol chiller for your fermentation?

The good thing about fermentation is that it gives us those delicacies; the bad thing about it is that it fails when the temperature goes either too low or too high. The nature of fermentation is such that it leads to a consistent rise in the temperature. Traditionally, people either used to put wet towels around the fermentation chamber or equipment, or they used to put ice time by time around them. It usually works fine if you have people to take a note of it time and time around, and when the demand is low. But one drawback of this process is that one cannot manually regulate the temperature to a precision and it impacts the taste.

This is where technology comes in. There are now controlled fermenters that use coolants and temperature regulators to the precision where your beer or wine becomes sheer dream-like. A Glycol chiller, or Glycol refrigeration systems, use glycol as a coolant. It is usually preferred over water chillers due to its favorable chemical properties.

Glycol is a chemical compound that comes in two forms – Propylene and Ethylene. People either use pure glycol as a coolant or mix it with water. One big plus of it over water is that it allows better heat transfer than the water. The freezing point of pure ethylene glycol is -12.9 C, while that of water is 0 as we all know. But the strange thing is that when we mix it with water, the mixture needs a freezing point much lower than that glycol. For e.g., a 60/40 solution, or 60% glycol, freezes at -52.8 C. It can cool solution much more efficiently than water.

Do you need a glycol chiller?

The answer is as simple as answering if you need to wear two pair of jackets together in winter. It simply would depend on what locality you live in and at what precise temperature you start shivering. Fermentation starts picking up temperature by time, and an area where temperature goes too high or falls too low for fermentation to happen with near-perfection, you might need a glycol chiller. Another variable is the amount of fermentation you do deal into. If you are fermenting at big scale, you need to talk to those dealing in glycol refrigeration systems and get one to help you out. In the long run it creates your goodwill and saves the labor cost spent on maintaining the temperature manually.

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