Recommended cooling surface area vs volume. Snakes: a very popular alternative to plates, you feed the snake through a hole (at least 35 mm diameter) in the lid so that it hangs vertically down. They can be used for cooling or heating. For heating a longer snake can be used, which coils around on the bottom of the tank, with the heat rising upwards.
Winegrowers Supplies - Internal Snakes, Plates or Coils, for cooling or heating
They can be used also with fixed capacity tanks or wood barrels.
Recommended cooling surface area vs volume.
Snakes: a very popular alternative to plates, you feed the snake through a hole (at least 35 mm diameter) in the lid so that it hangs vertically down.
They can be used for cooling or heating. For heating a longer snake can be used, which coils around on the bottom of the tank, with the heat rising upwards.
0.6 metres long, effectively 0.11 square metres, £123
The flexible/corrugated tube-within-a-tube is made from AISI 316 stainless steel.
Water or 30% glycol/water solution is pumped into the outer tube and flows out through the inner.
The inlet thread is at 90 degrees and the outlet is straight. It's very important that these are connected correctly.
The inlet has ½" female bsp thread (except for the 8.0 metre snake which has ½" male bsp thread) and the outlet has ½" male bsp thread.
I can supply adaptors from ½" to ¾" bsp in order to use ¾" bsp female hose-tails for 20 mm internal diameter hose:-
adaptor to fit on the outlet, ½" female to ¾" male: white polypropylene or stainless steel, £4.90,
adaptor to fit on the inlet, ½" male to ¾" male: white polypropylene £1.90 or stainless steel £5.90.
You always need to wrap ptfe tape around the bsp threads when fitting.
Then to connect you use white polypropylene hose-tail-connectors, with rubber seals, ¾" bsp female to 20 mm (or 13 mm) internal diameter hose.
A special black plastic fitting is available to go in the tank lid, in addition to the normal air-lock fitting, so that the snake can be used during fermentation, £9.
Or flexible cooling tubes:-
Single flxible tubes: ½" male bsp threads,
the total length is twice that shown below:
1.0 metres long, effectively 0.14 square metres, £108
Italian plates: 370 mm wide x
1+1 mm AISI 304.
The length of tube above the top of the plate is 205 mm until the start of the thread.
The plates are double welded at the seam and at the edge: there are no gaps where the two SS sheets are welded together. This makes them more secure, and there are no rough joints or sharp edges. They are electrolytically polished after completion of welding operations, resulting in an extremely smooth surface (easy to clean). They are pressure tested at 8 bar - operating pressure is up to 5 bar.
The plates are normally installed into lids of variable capacity tanks. For each plate, two holes 21 mm diameter need to be drilled in the
lid, at 290 mm c-c. No welding is needed.
Special seals (photo above) for where the plate goes through the lid @ £6 per set of two; a stainless steel nut (½" bsp internal thread) with s/s washer and a silicone seal; photo above.
A stainless steel ½" bsp bolt can be used in place of the above fitting, to seal the hole after the cooling plate is removed.
Inlet/outlet pipes have long ½" male threads, with adaptors this can be increased to ¾" after installation:-
¾" hexagon male-thread with ½" inner female thread @ £6 each; two needed per plate.
The additional weight of a plate is such that a small winch may be necessary to lower and raise the tank lid; hand-operated winches are available from many sources.
Two plates can be fitted to one tank lid, for greater cooling. With 2 plates it is worth fitting a strengthening/bracing sheet to increase the rigidity of the lid.
The cooling liquid can be cooled water. For a much more efficient method then a closed circuit system using a glycol (antifreeze)
solution recycled through a heat exchanger, enables the water-mixture to be cooled to a much lower temperature. A low speed pump is needed for circulation,
with controllable flow rate to enable the temperature of the fermenting juice to be adjusted.
The ideal is, once the fermentation has started, to reduce the juice temperature to just below 10 °C, which should enable the fermentation to last 3 to 4 weeks.
Tartrate crystals precipitate on the plates but these would precipitate anyway, during the winter, on the tank walls.
Heat Exchanger coils:
Stainless steel (AISI 304, V2A) tubular spiral, ¾":-
0.6 square metres, 270 mm diameter, 600 mm high, £280
Cooling/heating temperature controller:- £195
Prices shown are exclusive of Vat.
Delivery will need to be charged at cost.