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Old 02-21-2012, 09:18 PM   #1
shabedue
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Default Tap system, ethylene glycol chilled.

Hey, guys. I've been reading on this site for a while and I decided it's time to start posting some of what I'm doing.

I currently have a home bar (more of a drink mixing cabinate) that I built a while back. At the time I had no idea that I could have my own beer on tap so the bar isn't set up well to integrate a keg system. What I am planning on doing is setting up my half fridge next to the bar and running a line to a faucet mounted on the shelf of my bar.

To keep the beer cool, I intend on running the beer line through a larger line of ethylene glycol or colored water. There will be a small water pump circulating the heat transfer medium around a resevoir in the fridge. I will be using clear lines and enclose the entire top of the shelf in a glass enclosure so that the lines can be seen. I think that the beer lines running through the colored coolant system will look pretty cool while keeping the beer nice and cold.

I am wondering if anyone has any experience with kind of set up. Any input at all would be greatly appreciated.

I'll be posting pictures of the bar's current state and my plans later on and will be documenting the build.

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Old 02-21-2012, 09:59 PM   #2
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DO NOT use ethylene glycol! In the event there is any sort of fault in the system, if that stuff gets in your beer you will end up in the hospital or worse. Propylene glycol is what you want.

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Old 02-21-2012, 11:20 PM   #3
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Thanks @wailingguitar. That's an awesome idea.

I looked up propylene glycol and it definitely a better choice. I think I would probably have been ok with ethylene glycol because it's metabolites are able to be filtered out in humans, thus requiring a much greater concentration to be leathal to humans than dogs, but its always better safe than sorry.

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Old 02-21-2012, 11:30 PM   #4
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I remember a woman was convicted of murdering two husbands by using ethylene glycol in the lime jello she made, don't know how much it took but seems to accumulate in the body.

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Old 02-21-2012, 11:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shabedue
Thanks @wailingguitar. That's an awesome idea.

I looked up propylene glycol and it definitely a better choice. I think I would probably have been ok with ethylene glycol because it's metabolites are able to be filtered out in humans, thus requiring a much greater concentration to be leathal to humans than dogs, but its always better safe than sorry.
Out of curiosity I looked up the toxicity report on ethylene glycol for humans and it seems the lowest published lethal dose for humans is about 750 mg/kg, or about an ounce and a half for a grown man. Not something you want to play with. Even at smaller doses, kidney damage is a b****.

Other than that, what you're describing should definitely work fine. I'd be a little cautious about clear lines for the beer, though, as it doesn't take long to skunk up even a line's worth of beer in the right lighting conditions. If you're keeping the bar covered when it's not being used, though, it should be fine for short stints. Otherwise, you'll be dumping your first few ounces every time.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:49 PM   #6
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i use a salt water reservoir in the top of my beer fridge to chill my tap tower - works great - you can see it in the link below. I think it would be easy to add coloring - and I think having it in the fridge would work just fine to chill your taps.

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