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Old 12-04-2006, 09:43 PM   #1
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Default Possible Glycol Chiller?

So I have been thinking about ways to chill my beer towers and conical fermenters. While I noticed all of the DIY projects on the board, I could not find anything related to aquarium chillers. Anyone ever use or heard of their use with brewing? Here are some examples.

Instead of saltwater, you would get a gallon of glycol from the local RV shop. Temperature range on some models is 40F-90F with a digital thermostat. Tubing could either be copper or vinyl.

Before someone makes the cost comment, keep in mind that cost is not an issue.

Any thoughts?

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Old 12-04-2006, 10:15 PM   #2
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Looks interesting.

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Old 12-04-2006, 10:22 PM   #3
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Only HBT denizen that I know of that has glycol experience is BrewPastor.

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Old 12-04-2006, 10:55 PM   #4
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What's your objective?

You want to run glycol through an immersion chiller and use the aquarium chiller to keep the glycol cold as you re-cycle it through? Is that right? Or, do you want to run the wort through the chiller as though it were the saltwater? You said, "instead of saltwater, you would get a gallon of glycol" which indicates to me that you are trying to chill the glycol... which I don't think would work as well as chilling the wort directly.

What size batches are you talking about anyway? I'd imagine that would be a factor...

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Old 12-04-2006, 11:09 PM   #5
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I don't see any reason why this wouldn't work, although chilling your towers is an order of magnitude easier than cooling a fermenter. Some form of rubber solar heating mat might be a good choice for wrapping around the fermenters. Granted the heat conduction isn't as good as wrapping copper tubing around the fermenter, but it would be far easier to work with. Some times quantity works better than quality.

You could also use brine.

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Old 12-05-2006, 12:22 AM   #6
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The beer tower would be the easy part; either create a coil with copper tubing, or run the vinyl tubing (obviously not as good a conductor as copper). This idea would be used if kegs were stored in a walk-in cooler behind the bar.

For the fermenters, I would probably consider something similar to BrewPastor's setup (if I recall, he had the copper immersion chillers inside the conicals). I don't think the design of the Blichmann Fermentator would allow for an easy installation of external glycol coils.

Toot - I do not think running the beer/wort through this device would be a good idea, due to sanitation, temperature fluctuations, etc. Batches are 10-12 gallon.

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Old 12-05-2006, 05:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigfoot99
For the fermenters, I would probably consider something similar to BrewPastor's setup (if I recall, he had the copper immersion chillers inside the conicals). I don't think the design of the Blichmann Fermentator would allow for an easy installation of external glycol coils.
So if I got you, you plan on running copper coils in the conical fermenter with ethylene glycol running through the coils. for safety you might want to consider having a couple layers of protection in case you get a leak. Glycol is bad stuff and it tastes sweet so you might not notice if a little gets in to your fermenter, but it can do some serious kidney damage. I was thinking if you had the coils in a sealed container so you wart is never in direct contact with the coils.

Any way one thing about glycol is that it is used for two reasons, it increases the boiling point and decreases the freezing point of water, but for a heat transfer system working at ambient temperatures you are actually loosing heat capacity from pure water. this chart explains it well. I Guess though if you wanted to get large vat of hot wart down to temperature fast Salt water would be a good safe alternative.


http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/ethylene-glycol-d_146.html

Specific Heat Capacity of Ethylene Glycol based Water Solutions

Specific Heat Capacity - cp - of ethylene glycol based water solutions at various temperatures:
Specific Heat Capacity - cp - (Btu/lb.oF)
Temperature (oF) Ethylene Glycol Solution (% by volume)
25 30 40 50 60 65 100
-40 1) 1) 1) 1) 0,68 0.703 1)
0 1) 1) 0.83 0.78 0.723 0.7 0.54
40 0.913 0.89 0.845 0.795 0.748 0.721 0.562
80 0.921 0.902 0.86 0.815 0.768 0.743 0.59
120 0.933 0.915 0.875 0.832 0.788 0.765 0.612
160 0.94 0.925 0.89 0.85 0.81 0.786 0.64
200 0.953 0.936 0.905 0.865 0.83 0.807 0.66
240 2) 2) 2) 2) 2) 0.828 0.689
280 2) 2) 2) 2) 2) 2) 0.71

1. below freezing point
2. above boiling point

* 1 Btu/(lbmoF) = 4,186.8 J/(kg K) = 1 kcal/(kgoC)

Note! The specific heat capacity of an ethylene glycol based water solution is less than the specific heat of clean water. For a heat transfer system the circulated volume must be increased.

In a 50% solution with operational temperatures above 36 oF the specific heat capacity is decreased with aprox. 20%. The reduced specific heat capacity must be compensated by circulating more fluid.

Automobile antifreeze solutions should not be used in HVAC systems because they contain silicates that may cause fouling. Silicates in automobile antifreeze are used to protect aluminum engine parts.

Note! Distilled or deionized water should be used for ethylene glycol solutions. City water is often treated with chlorine, which is corrosive, and should be avoided.

Automatic makeup water systems must not be used. A leakage will contaminate the environment and dilute the antifreeze protection of the systems.
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Old 12-05-2006, 01:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigfoot99
So I have been thinking about ways to chill my beer towers and conical fermenters. While I noticed all of the DIY projects on the board, I could not find anything related to aquarium chillers. Anyone ever use or heard of their use with brewing? Here are some examples.

Instead of saltwater, you would get a gallon of glycol from the local RV shop. Temperature range on some models is 40F-90F with a digital thermostat. Tubing could either be copper or vinyl.

Before someone makes the cost comment, keep in mind that cost is not an issue.

Any thoughts?
HAH. I would NEVER run antifreeze through my food setup to chill my beer. Dangerous, dangerous. It may be permissible for the French to prepare their alcohols with ethylene glycol, but things are a little different over there...
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Old 12-05-2006, 02:19 PM   #9
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im suprised Yuri hasnt jumped on this yet

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Old 12-05-2006, 02:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimone
im suprised Yuri hasnt jumped on this yet
He's out of town for about a week. We'll have to make sure to bump it for him when he returns
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