January 17, 2017

Feature: A cool brew

A US brewery required an innovative cooling system for its craft beer production

In late 2015, Two Roads Brewing Co. in Connecticut, US, was looking to expand its fast-growing brewery and needed the expertise of a leading-edge HVAC/R manufacturer to assist it. Phil Markowski, master brewer, and Mike Wight, director of operations contacted a local HVAC contractor, who put them in touch with Gregg Mello in the Carrier Enterprise (CE) Connecticut office, who heads up the region’s craft beer cooling division and is a knowledgeable and passionate craft-brewing enthusiast. Combining Two Roads’ expansion needs, Mello’s craft brewing expertise, and Carrier’s specialised chiller equipment, CE designed a cutting-edge system that would exceed Two Roads’ expectations.

The Stratford brewing company started its brewery in 2012 with an 80 horsepower (hp) chiller system installed in a building built in the 1920s that was the former home of US Baird Manufacturing Co., a metal-forming machinery manufacturer. With its funky, retro vibe and unique lifestyle philosophy, Two Roads became very popular right from the start and grew quickly. In late 2015, the company realised its existing operation was at capacity, so it began the first of two major expansions, taking it from being a 75,000 barrel a year operation to 150,000 barrels to be produced for both Two Roads and other small craft beer artisans by the end of 2017.

The chosen solution

The process of heating and cooling the wort, the liquid created in the beer brewing process, is critical to the success of craft beer and it is crucial that the chiller operates quickly and efficiently to lower the wort back to the ideal temperature. With his in-depth knowledge and passion for craft brewing, Gregg Mello worked closely with Markowski and Wight and a local HVAC contractor to design a system that would meet the goals of integrating the brewery’s existing chiller system, be easy to install with little infrastructure upgrades, and would offer the highest energy efficiency with the best return on investment. After analysing the current system and overall operational goals, Mello turned to Carrier Corp. to find the best chiller system that would provide non-ozone depleting refrigerant, simple installation, superior energy efficiency, and powerful controls.

“It was important for the expansion to seamlessly integrate the existing chiller into the new system with minimal infrastructure upgrades. Since Carrier has such a wide line of chiller options, it was easy to find an affordable and sustainable chiller and control system and that would easily plug into the existing brewing operation for both phases of expansion,” said Mello, CE sales representative for Connecticut.

Mello designed the system using two Carrier Aqua Force air-cooled screw chillers from Carrier’s most energy-efficient chiller product portfolio. The system was designed to provide 100 tonnes per chiller of process cooling and to work in combination with the original 80-tonne chiller to provide enough chilling for an 180,000-barrel production facility. Mello selected Carrier’s Model #30XA162 with direct expansion flooded coolers designed especially for low temp operation. These units are each designed to make 27°F leaving 33% propylene glycol mix with a flow rate of 425gpm.

In addition, the Aqua Force chillers were provided with low ambient kits for operation to -20°F ambient, wye delta starters, suction line insulation, freeze protection, isolation valves, E-coated micro channel type condenser coils, non-fused disconnects, control transformers, and the Carrier proprietary “low sound package” to ensure quiet operation and minimal disruption to the brewery tasting room. The chillers were easily integrated into the existing brewery infrastructure by utilising a parallel arrangement to ensure that they can use the original system as a backup chiller for higher volume processing. The two Carrier units were conveniently installed outside the building on two large concrete pads housed adjacent to the existing cooling system.

Two Roads Brewing Co. is also leading the charge in the craft brew industry with its commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability throughout their operations. For the expansion project, Mello specified an upgrade to the standard controls using BACnet communications, greatly improving the brewery’s abilities to control and view its chiller plant. The two Carrier chillers were supplied with BACnet communications and CE retrofitted the existing chiller with a Carrier BACnet card. With the Carrier BACnet I-Vu control system and user interface, the brewery operations engineer will have the ability to view the chiller plant operation, alarms and modify settings on the Internet anywhere in the world.  

Carrier Enterprise is a subsidiary of the largest independent HVAC/R distribution company in the world, Watsco.

This online exclusive article was provided by Carrier Enterprise. Visit: www.carrierenterprise.com

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