Chapter 22

Brewery Refrigeration

(book excerpts)

Modern beer making is an energy intensive process that involves refrigerated cooling at various stages—cooling of must, controlling temperature during fermentation and maturation, cold stabilization, as well as cooling the cellar where barrels are stored. Each phase of the process requires controlling the temperature to achieve optimum quality. Refrigeration accounts for as much as 50 to 70 percent of brewery electricity consumption. Brewery refrigeration systems typically employ a vapor-compression cycle. In breweries, beer or juice may be heat exchanged directly with the evaporating/expanding refrigerant at the evaporator in which case the operation is described as direct expansion. Alternatively, a secondary coolant (glycol solution) may be heat exchanged with the evaporating refrigerant and then distributed around the brewery to cool juice or beer. Smaller breweries will tend to use standardized packaged water/glycol chillers, while larger breweries will tend to use more customized direct expansion systems. Packaged chillers used in smaller breweries can have low capital costs but higher running costs.

Click on the following topics for more information on brewery refrigeration.

Topics Within This Chapter:

  • Refrigeration System
  • Refrigeration Cycle
  • Refrigeration Units
  • Sizing a Refrigeration Unit
  • Direct Expansion versus Secondary Loop System
  • Chillers
  • Sizing the Chiller
  • Glycol
  • Distribution System
  • Portable Chillers
  • Heat Exchangers
  • Plate and Frame Heat Exchangers
  • Tube-in-Tube Heat Exchangers
  • Dimple/Channel Plate Heat Exchangers