Articles

Data Loggers Monitor Distillery Water Temperatures

Chivas Brothers use submersible Tinytag data loggers to monitor the temperatures of water supplies at their distilleries.

Understanding temperature profiles of process water supplies plays an important role in evaluating the energy efficiency of distilleries producing Scotch Whisky and gin.

Submersible data logger at Glentauchers water supply

Chivas Brothers is the Scotch Whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard, the world's no.2 in wines and spirits. Chivas Brothers' award-winning portfolio features some of the world's most revered Scotch whisky brands including Chivas Regal, Ballantine's, The Glenlivet and Royal Salute.

The portfolio also includes two of the world's leading English gins, Beefeater and Plymouth gin, plus a selection of highly acclaimed single malt whiskies, including Aberlour, Longmorn, Scapa, Strathisla and Tormore.

Chivas Brothers wishes to gain a better understanding of the temperature profile of its process water supplies, as these play an important role in the energy efficiency of its distilleries, which are some of the more efficient in the sector. Process water is used to transfer heat from the mashing process to the incoming water for the next batch. This can lead to high water losses during periods when incoming temperatures are too high. The business currently has no information on the variability or range of incoming water temperatures from different water source types and needs to understand these better in order to assess the potential impacts of climate change and inform future developments or expansions.

Water sources are monitored using Tinytag Aquatic 2 data loggers, while Tinytag Plus 2 data loggers are used to record air temperatures. 14 Aquatic 2 loggers are located within river water intakes and dams, spring water collection cisterns and borehole water storage tanks. The Speyside area is split into four regions, each of which has a Plus 2 data logger to monitor ambient air temperatures, generally housed in a shaded location out of direct sunlight.

All loggers are recording actual temperature every 20 minutes on the same time-scales. The monitoring data will be used to review the range and variability of temperatures of water supply sources in response to local ambient air temperature and analysed to establish a predictable relationship, if one exists. The relationship information will be used to predict periods where production may be affected by extreme temperatures to allow better management. The data will also be used to assess the vulnerability of sites to climate change in the future.

Tinytags were chosen because they are robust for use in extreme environments, are self-sufficient and can be left for considerable periods of time. Battery life is good, data can be easily downloaded in the field, and the units are easily transferable to other locations, if required.

Dr. Ronald Daalmans, Environmental Sustainability Manager at Chivas Brothers Ltd. has been impressed with the resilience of the loggers in the outdoor environment, having used the loggers previously for internal process assessments within its distilleries. He comments, "The loggers are in use by other stakeholders within the sector such as SEPA, Fishery Boards & Trusts and Marine Scotland Fisheries Service, which means we are generally confident of having comparable results, or have the facility to cross-calibrate with others."

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