17 Nov 2014

Just a quick question


Let's see if any brewers out can give me an answer to this.

At equal capacity in hl, will the geometry of the brewing equipment affect the water and energy efficiency of the brew in any significant way?

This just popped into my mind for no particular reason. I'd say it will, but I'd like to be sure.

Thanks in advance.

Na Zdraví!

9 comments:

  1. I'm not a brewer, and I can't speak for commercial equipment, but I do know when home brewing that the size and shape of your brewing pot will affect your boil-off rate.

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    1. That is exactly what it think: a wider pot will warm an equal volume of water faster than a narrower one. I should perhaps try it empirically.

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  2. You also need to account for sea level, water boils at different rates and temperatures at different altitudes. Admittedly such differences are tiny though.

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  3. The amount of energy required is the same regardless of configuration.

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  5. For every volume one can calculate a optimal cylinder that has minimal surface area and thus have minimal energy loss

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    1. Does this mean that a shallower cylinder would result in a higher energy loss?

      To put an example, let's say I have a frying pan, and a saucepan, both with the same capacity, would the frying pan be less efficient?

      What about water usage in a lautering tun?

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    2. The bigger the total surface area of the pan the bigger the losses due to radiation (radiation losses are low with stainless steel / metals) or due to convection. Optimal is about where the hight and the radius of the pan are similar. A very narrow tall pan has a better efficiency than a very wide shallow one, if neither has a lid on. The reason is the emission (coefficient) of the wort is high so you'll lose most energy from there in the wide pot.

      Water usage won't change depending on the geometry, it's mostly defined by the boiling loss / evaporation, the amount of energy you put in your copper an de duration.

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    3. Thanks.

      But what about lautering tuns, I've noticed in big breweries that they are often much wider than the mash tun or the copper. There has to be a reason for that. I suspect is water usage. Having the grain on a thinner layer makes the the sparging easier and faster, which means either less water or less energy, if not both?

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