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Old 05-02-2012, 08:38 PM   #1
sohara
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Default Glycol chilling of 55 gallon drum with stainless coil

Hi there,

I am about to start brewing in large quantities to fill 55 Gallon plastic drums. The drums will be replaced by 60 gallon plastic conicals later on (it takes a while for orders to be fulfilled). I will need temperature control, and I will have access to glycol system designed for beer lines. I was thinking of using this stainless wort chiller inside the drum to run the glycol through.

My main question is how I could secure the chiller through the lid of the barrel in an airtight way. I am thinking perhaps some kind of compression fitting. I will need to be able to disassemble the whole thing for each brew in order to properly clean and sanitize everything.

Here's what the drum looks like:

On the top of the lid I'll also have a bulkhead installed to which I'll attach a blowoff tube.

Any ideas about how to secure the stainless coil?

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Old 05-02-2012, 08:48 PM   #2
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As a plumber my first thoughts are purchasing a couple running thread brass nipples, 4 brass flanged backing nuts, and 4 female x compression adapters...siliconing the penetration so when both backing nuts tighted to each side of the lid it creates an air tight seal.

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Old 05-02-2012, 09:06 PM   #3
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Thanks. I'm not super familiar with plumbing fittings but I think I get most of it. I guess I'll need to make sure they match or are larger than the outer diameter of the stainless.

As far as silconining the penetration goes, do you mean adding silicone to the lid? or do you mean adding it to the stainless tubing?

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Old 05-02-2012, 09:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sohara View Post
Thanks. I'm not super familiar with plumbing fittings but I think I get most of it. I guess I'll need to make sure they match or are larger than the outer diameter of the stainless.

As far as silconining the penetration goes, do you mean adding silicone to the lid? or do you mean adding it to the stainless tubing?
Ill track down some pics of these fittings. Unfortunately Im not at the shop, but I'll find some online to help a bit more.

Basically my thoughts are to drill two holes in the lid for the nipples. Holes tight enough, where the nipple hand threads into the plastic. With equal amounts of the nipple sticking through top and bottom of the lid, apply silicone where the nipple meets the lid on both top and bottom. A flanged backing nut would then be tighted against the lid from both sides (flange side of the nut against the lid).

As for the the female x comp adapters, Id use teflon tape when tightening them onto the nipple. Reason being, even tho pipe dope is NSF 61 spproved, I wouldnt want it coming in contact with my beer.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:43 PM   #5
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I cant find a picture of a flanged backing nut....its a commercial part typically included with commercial back mount faucets for stainless sinks etc. Id say using a normal brass backing nut with a set of washers (also typically used for mounting faucets) wouldnt make a difference. Just go to your local plumbing supply house. Theyll know what youre asking for. Skip the home stores...

Running thread nipple (important that its running thread)


Female x Compression adapter

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Old 05-02-2012, 10:21 PM   #6
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Thanks. I'll give that a go. The only downside is that the the wort chiller I was planning to buy comes pre-bent at the top. I guess I can hack those parts off.

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Old 05-02-2012, 10:26 PM   #7
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Are you concerned about submersing the entire chiller in the fermenter?
If not, it seems easy (and cheap) to just drill two holes and use rubber grommets the size of the tubing.
Like the rubber grommets you would use on a bucket fermenter, just larger.

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Old 05-02-2012, 11:10 PM   #8
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You mean like a rubber bung that people usually attach their airlock to? I guess that would be feasible. But I am concerned about it being really secure in place and also very airtight. On the other hand, it would be easier to disassemble and clean.

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Old 05-02-2012, 11:26 PM   #9
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Not an bung, but a grommet... like these guys.


As long as you get the right size for the OD if the tubing and drill the correct hole size in the lid, they should be secure enough to get you by.

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Old 05-02-2012, 11:33 PM   #10
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Interesting. Never knew those existed. I'll see where I can find something like that. It would definitely save a lot of time and money, especially considering I'll probably only use the drums until I can get properly set up with conicals.

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