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Old 02-28-2011, 07:31 PM   #1
wspnut
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Default Good Pump for Glycol/Water Tower Cooler?

Hey all,

I've got my beer lines running about 5-feet in my keezer through a 4" stainless-steel tower. I'm trying to eliminate that evil first-beer-foam, and I want to put in a cheap pond pump that can pump glycol or water from a reservoir (see: bucket) next to the beer lines inside some insulation.

The only problem is it seems I am having a hard time finding a pond pump that can pump through a decently-small sized ID hose (3/8" or less?) to fit into my tower comfortably.

Have any of you successfully setup your own glycol pump to cool your tower, and if so, what pump did you purchase (and how well did it work out)?

Thanks for any help!
-Andrew

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Old 03-01-2011, 12:00 AM   #2
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wspnut, I have the same question here. I'm about to just suck it up and buy a cheap fountain pump and see what happens.

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Old 03-01-2011, 01:12 PM   #3
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Hey hatrick-

I actually just went to lowes last night and picked up a 100-130 gph fountain (it says it pumps to 4.1 feet, but I found it went much higher as long as I was circulating). It works like a charm! With a Lowe's bucket, lid, the pump, 20ft of tubing, and some pipe insulation, the total came to about $54.

My only problem is that the 3/8" tubing that I purchased for it seems to insulate TOO well, and does not chill the beer lines enough. Will have to figure this one out! I may choose to use flexible copper piping instead of latex, but will have to be VERY careful about not causing kinks in it.

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Old 03-01-2011, 01:56 PM   #4
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Hey guys, check out my blog, lowellbrewing.blogspot.com . I used a small computer processor cooler pump, fan, and radiator. Got it cheap off ebay, $30 or so. Although, I am fortunate to have a glycol cooling plate in my setup. Check out the pics and let me know if that might work for you. I am pushing it through about about an 1/8" ID tubing.

Andrew

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Old 03-01-2011, 03:14 PM   #5
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Thanks alowell!

Does that work well for you? I've got the flow running perfectly and the water is ice cold... the problem seems to be that the thickness of the tubing for my pump (half a cm or less?) is keeping the colder temperatures from transferring.

Also, I keep my water at 38F as it sits in the keezer with my kegs. In that case, IIRC, the water will actually do a better job with heat transfer than glycol as it is above 32F.

I may just suck it up and buy a new 4" tower with proper insulation and glycol transfer tubing built in... the pump seems to work beautifully; it's my setup in the tower that seems to be the fault-point.

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Old 03-01-2011, 04:35 PM   #6
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Ahhh, got it. Could you bend some copper tubing and use that extended into the tower? That might work.

Andrew

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Old 03-01-2011, 04:36 PM   #7
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alowell, awesome, that idea never even occurred to me, and I'm they guy with too many computers. Probably didn't even register because when I think water cooled, I think $$$. My tower has glycol in it as well, used to be in a brewery until the needed more taps, so I know the lines are there, all 50' or so, but I just don't want to have a huge setup in the bottom of my keezer taking up valuable real estate for kegs. I'll have to look into that setup.

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Old 03-01-2011, 06:39 PM   #8
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I've thought about the copper pipe option. Bending copper pipe into a 2" U-shape worries me a bit, but it's definitely a solution I've considered.

I'm worried about the lack of insulation, as well, with any DIY solution with my current setup. In the long run, with the amount of refrigeration I'm losing through my poorly-insulated tower it may be more cost-effective in the long run to get a completely new tower. Insulating my current tower has already been one failure after another >.< Just too little room in the 3" well for everything I need.

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