This is by far the most common question, and it is by far the hardest to answer. There is no blanket statement that applies.
Water Chillers: Our lowest recommended operating temperature is 45F. Can the unit go lower? Sure, on 5 gallons we tested to 36F, however our recommended lowest set point is 45F. That does not mean the chiller is guaranteed to reach 45F. The temperature the chiller is capable of reaching is completely dependent on your setup (Water Volume / Heat Load / Goal Temp / Ambient Conditions /etc.)
Glycol Chillers: Just like the standard chillers, the lowest temperature the glycol chiller is capable of is dependent on the heat load. Our lowest recommended setting is 5F. In testing it maxed out at -15F with no load.
Water Chiilers: There is no built in tank or reservoir. The internal piping and exchanger holds less than 1/2 gallon of water.
Glycol Chillers: Our standard line of glycol chillers range from 1.25 – 3 gallon reservoirs. Our XL line ranges from 8 – 30 gallons and our commercial line has a 30 gallon reservoir. See individual product details for more information.
No they do not. Our chillers only have cooling capabilities.
The chillers are fairly quiet. The general feedback is, “they are quieter than expected”. The DBA ratings are provided on the individual product page if available.
That depends. The function of a chiller or any refrigeration device is to move heat from one area to another. In a water chiller it is moving heat from the water to the air. The amount of heat going into the air is directly related to how much heat needs to be removed from the water.
Some ventilation is required. A chiller cannot properly function if placed in a small cabinet or closet. Remember the chiller is taking the heat out of the water and putting it out into the air. When it can no longer put excesses heat out into the air the chiller won’t be able provide any additional cooling. It is recommend to provide as much ventilation as possible for your chiller. The cooler the air is around the chiller causes it to run less which makes it much more efficient.
Our standard chillers need to be protected from rain/water that could damage the controller or internal electronics. If properly protected from rain/water an outside installation would be ok. Our commercial line is outdoor ready.
No, you will need to supply your own pump
Water chillers: We typically recommend using a 500gph- 1,800gph pump to achieve a minimum measurable flow of at least 250gph. A pump needs to be sized to compensate for loss of flow due to pipe length, fittings, and head height. A common misconception is that the size of a pump determines how efficient the chiller will be. The pump size plays little or no role in how effective a chiller is, the main purpose of providing a recommend pump size is to ensure the consumer has enough flow to not freeze water in the chiller, and not too much flow to over pressurize the chiller. Typically submersible pumps are used due to simplicity, however most any pump providing the required flow would be suitable. One exception is a diaphragm pump, do not use a diaphragm pump.
Glycol Chillers: We carry two lines of glycol pumps that are recommended for our glycol chillers, space is limited in the glycol bath so sourcing a different pump may be problematic due to size restrictions.
Commercial Water Chillers: We recommend maintaining a measurable flow of 1,200- 2,500gph though the chiller. Due to the variety of applications the pump size may vary considerably to achieve this flow rate.
Usually when this happens the first thought is that the chiller isn’t working correctly. Most of the time that is not the case. You will first need to determine if it’s the chiller or something else causing the issue. If the chiller is maintaining it’s set point and turning off and on, it’s most likely not the chiller. If the chiller runs constantly and can not get down to your desired temperature, there may be an issue with the chiller. If this happens you’ll need to contact our technical support team via email at email@example.com.
If it’s not the chiller causing the issue, the problem may be that heat is not transferring fast enough, or in a great enough quantity, from your product (ex. Beer) to the glycol.
Most likely issue is that your glycol is to cold. If you end up freezing your product (ex. Beer) to the coils, this prevents proper heat transfer to the glycol. While we think of ice as being cold, the problem is that ice contains tiny air bubbles which can act as an insulator slowing down the heat transfer between your product (ex. Beer) to the glycol. In fact, stainless steel is over 7 times more thermally conductive than ice!
To solve the problem – raise the temperature of the glycol several degrees above freezing for a few hours to ensure any ice present is melted, then take the glycol back to 28F-30F.
28F is the most common operating temp for a glycol chiller, going colder will likely result in icing. However sometimes 28F glycol is still too cold and you’ll need 30-32F. Other factors can come into play like alcohol content and dictate a slight higher glycol temp setting. If testing out your new fermenter with water only – you need glycol temps of 33F-34F to avoid icing.
Other possible – less likely causes: Lack of / low glycol flow or incorrect glycol temp reading (is your glycol colder than you think?).