The Great Bottle Opener Giveaway

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > My Beer line chiller build

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-12-2010, 01:31 PM   #1
SweetSounds
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 1,429
Liked 17 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default My Beer line chiller build

I'm starting a new thread in DIY because I have progress and pictures now... Original discussion thread is here.

Just a quick overview of my bar and towers...
My keezer is a Kenmore 8.8cf with a 2x4 collar. It lives under the bar, about 3' left of where my tap towers are going. I have to be able to slide the keezer out from under the bar for loading because I don't want to hinge the bar top. Because of that, the trunk line must be flexible, and about 11' long. 7' of that line are going to be outside of the keezer, so I needed a way to chill the lines!
I'll state now that it's not complete yet, and I don't know how well it will work, but I like to build stuff! And that alone was worth the effort and $$ so far (About $60).

So...
Here we go. I could buy beer trunk line at MicroMatic, but that would be too easy. I'm building mine out of 4 11' chunks of 3/16 beer line, and 2 7/16 cooling lines. These will be wrapped in stretch wrap, and enclosed in foam rubber insulation. I am concerned that the thick wall 3/16 beer line won't transfer heat as well as the poly lines in trunk line, but I got what I got and I'm gonna give it a try!

The chiller will have a reservoir, heat exchanger, circulation pump, and a fan. I wanted to keep the volume of coolant small, and make the heat exchange in the keezer fast. I think this will work better than a big pool of coolant being passively cooled in a bucket because more surface area is exposed to the cold at any given time. (We'll see if this works!)

I wanted to force cold air through the heat exchanger, so I built a shroud with a place for a fan. This also gives me room to mount the reservoir, pump, and tubing.

The heat exchanger is just an aftermarket transmission cooler. It's fastened to the box with romex staples. (This actually worked out really well! I was wondering how I was going to mount it when this started)


Next is the reservoir. It's built from 3" PVC pipe. The bottom is reduced to pipe thread, with a hose barb attached to feed the pump. The top is a simple cap for filling coolant.

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecnerwal View Post
What does the primary pressure gauge on the tank tell us? That's right, the temperature. Put it on a scale if you want to know how much is in it...
Put some duct tape over the gauge - Or better yet - Replace the high pressure gauge with a plug - High pressure gauges are useless!

Last edited by SweetSounds; 02-12-2010 at 03:00 PM.
SweetSounds is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-12-2010, 01:31 PM   #2
SweetSounds
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 1,429
Liked 17 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

I attached the reservoir to the box with 3" PVC hangers, trimmed to fit.

The return line feeds back to the reservoir through a compression to MPT elbow, just screwed into the side. I used a step drill to make the hole. (After testing, it's quite water tight)



Here it is with the rest of the copper...

And a closeup of the exchanger mounting and plumbing...

Pump detail - It's a Maxi-Jet 1200 aquarium power head. It's the only one I could find that actually said it doesn't have to be submerged to keep from burning up. Add to that that it lives in the cooler, and I think it'll be fine. Oh! And it's $20! It's rated at 295GPH, but that's with 0' head and no plumbing. The total volume of my system, with the lines filled is just under 1/2 gallon (.489 by my calculations). If I do spring a leak, I won't have a huge mess. Just 1/2 gallon, hopefully in the bottom of the keezer!

So here it is, with the gratuitous beer photo
The output of the pump will connect to the right most tube in this photo. The "U" is simply to make the input and the output of this contraption face the same direction, in the same place. The left tube is the output to the trunk. The middle one is the return. From the pump, the coolant goes through the "U", out the trunk to the taps, back through the trunk, and up the middle tube to the tranny cooler. The tranny cooler then empties back into the reservoir, feeding the pump. This takes about 15 seconds.


I tested it with water, and I have a couple leaks to take care of. I expected that. Just for grins, I filled it up with hot water to see what it would do. Well, it got hot! So I filled it with cold water, and the lines got cold! Obviously, since the chiller is sitting at the same temperature as the beer, and it's not 100% efficient, the lines will never be exactly serving temp. Buy hopefully they will be close.

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecnerwal View Post
What does the primary pressure gauge on the tank tell us? That's right, the temperature. Put it on a scale if you want to know how much is in it...
Put some duct tape over the gauge - Or better yet - Replace the high pressure gauge with a plug - High pressure gauges are useless!

Last edited by SweetSounds; 02-12-2010 at 03:17 PM.
SweetSounds is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-12-2010, 01:32 PM   #3
SweetSounds
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 1,429
Liked 17 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

I haven't built out the trunk line to the tappers yet. That comes next weekend I think.
I built this to fit on the step in my keezer, and still leave room for the CO2 tank. Success!

The fan is set up to draw air across the freezer wall, and through the radiator. (IOW, suck)
I may have to deflect the fan air out into the keezer a little.. I don't want it recirculating the same air. I'll have to see when it's up and running.


The lines will exit the keezer through he PVC elbows on the right, make a "U" shape for slack to slide the keezer out, and then go across the underside of the bar to the tower.




More to come...

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecnerwal View Post
What does the primary pressure gauge on the tank tell us? That's right, the temperature. Put it on a scale if you want to know how much is in it...
Put some duct tape over the gauge - Or better yet - Replace the high pressure gauge with a plug - High pressure gauges are useless!

Last edited by SweetSounds; 02-12-2010 at 02:59 PM.
SweetSounds is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-12-2010, 01:32 PM   #4
SweetSounds
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 1,429
Liked 17 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Placeholder

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecnerwal View Post
What does the primary pressure gauge on the tank tell us? That's right, the temperature. Put it on a scale if you want to know how much is in it...
Put some duct tape over the gauge - Or better yet - Replace the high pressure gauge with a plug - High pressure gauges are useless!

Last edited by SweetSounds; 02-12-2010 at 03:13 PM.
SweetSounds is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-17-2010, 07:08 PM   #5
jbirch
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Syracuse, Indiana
Posts: 18
Default

Any update on this line chiller project? I am looking at building somthing very simliar and hoping you can confirm success with you design. Thanks.

__________________
jbirch is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-17-2010, 08:03 PM   #6
Cpt_Kirks
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Lakeland TN
Posts: 3,737
Liked 44 Times on 39 Posts

Default

BOO-YA!

I love this hobby!

__________________
Cpt_Kirks is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-17-2010, 08:04 PM   #7
SweetSounds
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 1,429
Liked 17 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Not yet. I'm hoping to get the trunk line built in the bar this weekend. I have to weld up some custom flanges to mount the shanks to the intake and exhaust ports of the engine cylinders. Until those are done, I won't be able to actually push beer through the lines and see if it stays cold.
So the next update will be the trunk line construction. At that point I can see if it properly chills the empty trunk, but not beer. Actual beer to the taps will probably be a while. I think I'm getting shipped to Denmark for a while

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecnerwal View Post
What does the primary pressure gauge on the tank tell us? That's right, the temperature. Put it on a scale if you want to know how much is in it...
Put some duct tape over the gauge - Or better yet - Replace the high pressure gauge with a plug - High pressure gauges are useless!

Last edited by SweetSounds; 02-17-2010 at 08:09 PM.
SweetSounds is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-17-2010, 08:32 PM   #8
jbirch
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Syracuse, Indiana
Posts: 18
Default

Wow! At least you are going some place where you should access to quality beverages.

__________________
jbirch is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-17-2010, 08:32 PM   #9
mordantly
Registered User
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Westside..... CenCal - the country that'll never take away my guns or money !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posts: 3,945
Liked 10 Times on 10 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

that's an awesome setup, but what does that german twin-cylinder have to do with it?

__________________
mordantly is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-17-2010, 08:58 PM   #10
kmack747
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Bad Axe, Michigan
Posts: 157
Default

Nice build.

Whats with the Lycoming engine half?

__________________
kmack747 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Tags
chiller, glycol, line, trunk

Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wort Chiller Build Nickeldeposit DIY Projects 19 09-13-2011 01:24 PM
Keezer build + pics + line question switched DIY Projects 7 11-03-2009 04:33 PM
My Chiller Build JMSetzler DIY Projects 34 02-23-2009 04:57 AM
Using 1/4" braided line for beer line - ok? bmckee56 Bottling/Kegging 12 02-22-2009 06:40 AM
Build your Chiller 4 less cronxitawney General Chit Chat 2 04-01-2008 10:33 PM