Heat Exchangers for Wineries
Heat exchangers can be used in a variety of settings for winemaking and juice production. In winemaking or juice making, a heat exchanger is often used to chill the wine or juice, and there are other processes involved where a heat exchanger can be useful. Usually, they’re used to chill liquid, though they can obviously also be used to heat liquids.
Processes that require a heat exchanger
Wineries require temperature control for a range of processes. For example, heat exchangers can be used to chill grape must, to warm malolactic ferments during colder months (or in a cold climate), to cold stabilise wine or stabilise the wine temperature, to warm or cool tanks of juice or wine, or to heat red grape must for colour extraction.
Most wineries, for example, use chillers to control the temperature of the wine in the vats, while they are fermenting wine; this may vary greatly depending on the vintner’s desires or the type of wine, but most wineries require their chiller to be 1-10 degrees and 7-15 for wine vessels.
How do heat exchangers in a winery work?
In a winery, usually cold glycol is utilised as the cooling medium, which is circulated through the heat exchanger to chill the wine. The glycol heats up as it chills the wine and is then returned to the refrigeration system to be rechilled to the desired operating temperature. The refrigeration system may utilise a brazed heat exchanger as a condenser or evaporator.
Glycol is circulated through the heat exchanger, which then chills the wine. Chilled glycol flows in one direction and the wine flows in the other. In this way, an energy transfer takes place where the wine is cooled. The warmed glycol is then carried out of the heat exchanger to the glycol chiller, where it is cooled down again. This process is continuous with glycol recycled back into the heat exchanger along with more wine to be chilled.
Obviously, the same process can be used to chill other liquids, such as juice.
Sometimes the wine needs to be conditioned to a particular temperature before bottling, which may require heating the wine to that temperature.
What to consider when buying a heat exchanger
In summary, the main considerations for choosing a heat exchanger are the same as in many other industries. For example,
- What processes require a heat exchanger in the winery and / or juice factory?
- What are the specific requirements of what you’re trying to achieve: how cold do you want the wine? How large is your operation?
- Food safety and hygiene requirements
It is also important to be sure that the materials used in the heat exchanger are suitable. Generally, plates are made of AISI 316 stainless steel, although in certain cases titanium plates may be called for.