Tell me why I'm an idiot. (glycol chiller edition) - Home Brew Forums

 Home Brew Forums > Tell me why I'm an idiot. (glycol chiller edition)

08-19-2012, 12:18 AM   #1
manoaction

Recipes

Aug 2010
Posts: 438
Liked 19 Times on 16 Posts

So most of my projects begin with redneck version of "I dunno why you need that fancy thing when there is a duct tape to be had..." sort of thinking.

I've recently got hold of a double tap tower and I want to mount it in my kitchen running from the beer fridge in the garage.

Below is my train of thought, if you could point out holes in my thinking, I'd appreciate it.

The distance is right around 30 feet, but let's say 35 to be safe.

If we use the Length = (KegPressure - (Height*.5) - DeliveryPressure)/LineResistance formula...

We could increase the line to about 45 feet, use 5/16" line, and set keg pressure to 10 psi.

If we kept the fridge at 40 degrees, that be around 2.3 volumes. Not perfect, but it's a starting point.

To keep it cool, I'd like to put an aquarium pump in five gallons of the non-poisonous antifreeze sitting in the fridge. Then have a length of line sending and returning the cold prop-glycol wrapped together with my beer lines. That braid would then be wrapped in insulation.

Is this never going to work? Do I have to spend large amounts of cash on a glycol chiller?

08-19-2012, 12:41 AM   #2
Psych

Recipes

Mar 2011
Kelowna, BC
Posts: 780
Liked 37 Times on 34 Posts

From what I've read in other posts, that'd work just fine. I have no experience with it, but I can swear I've seen this exact scenario, maybe with 1/4 line though, and this huge insulated trunk line running across this guys house.

08-19-2012, 02:06 AM   #3
heckels
Recipes

Jan 2011
Sioux Falls, SD
Posts: 823
Liked 66 Times on 52 Posts

As long as it's a straight run you should be OK. If there's an increase in elevation the pump may not have the balls to push the glycol that far.

08-19-2012, 04:37 AM   #4
manoaction

Recipes

Aug 2010
Posts: 438
Liked 19 Times on 16 Posts

What's the skinny with glycol? Am I correct in thinking that the red nonpoisonous anti freeze is what I'm looking for? I don't have to buy that \$20 a gallon food grade stuff right?

If I use the 1/4" line, which was my original design, I need 27 psi to push the beer to the tap. That would be way too carbed so I'm wagering on this 5/16" business.

08-19-2012, 06:02 AM   #5
Primevci

Recipes

Mar 2011
Battle Ground, Washington
Posts: 359
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

why not just buy the food grade stuff anyways... couple extra bucks in the setup is allot cheaper then medical bills.
__________________
Keg 1: No Name IPA
Keg 2: Empty
Keg 3: Cream Soda "Kids"
Primary 1 = Oatmeal Stout
Primary 2 = Alaskan Amber Clone
Primary 3 = ApelfWein

08-19-2012, 01:03 PM   #6
jcaudill
Recipes

Dec 2010
VA Beach, VA
Posts: 886
Liked 71 Times on 52 Posts

Yes - you need the food grade stuff - Propylene Glycol. You don't want to be handling Ethylene Glycol - very toxic stuff.

08-19-2012, 04:32 PM   #7
JRems
Recipes

Nov 2010
Mahopac, NY
Posts: 2,221
Liked 62 Times on 53 Posts

Look into the bev seal ultra 1/4" line, its thinner but much more rigid than regular beer line and has much less restriction than regular beer line. You could probably do 40' with that line and still serve at 12 psi. I would just get that " pet safe" atifreeze from the autoparts store. If you can afford it run the glycol thru copper pipe with the beer lines wrapped around it. I'm sure it would keep it much cooler than if the glycol was in a plastic tube.
__________________
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Bobby_M Simcoe smells like 10 cats pissing on a pine tree. It's awesome.

08-19-2012, 05:53 PM   #8
HeyNoPie
Recipes

May 2010
VA
Posts: 161
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

I don't think the fridge would be able to keep the coolant cool enough, particularly with that long of a run. I tried something similar with only 20' and it just didn't work out. If you decide to try it, I don't think you need antifreeze if you are aiming for 40 degrees.

Nate16 Likes This
08-19-2012, 07:54 PM   #9
manoaction

Recipes

Aug 2010
Posts: 438
Liked 19 Times on 16 Posts

Quote:
 Yes - you need the food grade stuff - Propylene Glycol. You don't want to be handling Ethylene Glycol - very toxic stuff.
I was definitely going to use propylene, but there are multiple grades. I think they actually put the food grade stuff in your drinks. It's \$20 bucks a gallon vs \$6 for the other stuff.

Quote:
 Look into the bev seal ultra 1/4" line, its thinner but much more rigid than regular beer line and has much less restriction than regular beer line. You could probably do 40' with that line and still serve at 12 psi.
Awesome, thanks for that. I'd like to use 1/4", but I'm not sure about all the resistance ratings that people throw out there. I don't have the dough right now for copper lines or I'm sure that would be pretty awesome for chilling.

Quote:
 I don't think the fridge would be able to keep the coolant cool enough, particularly with that long of a run. I tried something similar with only 20' and it just didn't work out. If you decide to try it, I don't think you need antifreeze if you are aiming for 40 degrees.
I was going to use propylene-glycol for its heat exchange properties, not because I thought it would freeze.

08-19-2012, 08:03 PM   #10
jcaudill
Recipes

Dec 2010
VA Beach, VA
Posts: 886
Liked 71 Times on 52 Posts

Ok - did not know that. Still, I would use food-grade stuff. You're not changing it that often and it's a safety factor on the rare instance someone freaky happens.

I would think 1/4" is 1/4". I'm not sure why any one would be better than another. Thinner seems to be more prone to add resistance than reduce it. Not sure I see the math here.