PVC Tower Cooling Solution - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kegerators & Keezers > PVC Tower Cooling Solution

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-29-2007, 02:30 PM   #1
bradsul
Flyfisherman/brewer
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
bradsul's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2006
Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,898
Liked 32 Times on 25 Posts



I posted about this in my kegerator conversion thread but I think it's a good idea so I thought I would give it a thread so it would show up in searches more easily.

I wanted a way to cool my tower that didn't require wiring up a fan since the fridge I used didn't have a lot of excess space.

My solution was to use a 1/2" ID copper pipe per beer line that extends into the fridge and up into the tower. The copper transfers the cool of the fridge along it's length keeping the lines cool. In all of my tests (and now in subsequent usage) the first pour of beer is the same temperature as any other. I also don't get that initial excess amount of foam that I've seen reported quite often.

I drilled a 1.25" hole through the insulation to snuggly take the 2 pieces of copper pipe. The pipe should extend into the fridge about an inch and go up the tower to within 2" of the goose neck on the shank.




Spray foam the void and make sure to lean the pipes back slightly away from the shanks so you have clearance. If you just bring them up the center of the tower you will have a weird kink in your lines. Here are the assembled shanks with 3/16" beer line routed through the pipes.


Important: Be sure to use a file to round out both ends of the copper pipe so that you don't cut into your beer line.
__________________
Brad
Canadian Brewers Unite!


Projects: Sylvania Kegerator Conversion, Tower Cooling, Grain Milling Station


5
People Like This 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2007, 02:36 PM   #2
david_42
 
david_42's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,597
Liked 155 Times on 145 Posts


Simple & elegant, like all good engineering.
__________________
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

"I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2007, 05:09 PM   #3
FSR402
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
FSR402's Avatar
Recipes 
 
May 2007
Jenison, MI
Posts: 2,826
Liked 25 Times on 19 Posts


Are you all painting the PVC black or is there black pipe that I don't know about?
__________________
TWO FISTED BREWING CO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_cad View Post
Its nice when you and your friends have comparable equipment.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker-san View Post
some people will tap anything that has a hole.
Buy Two Fisted Brewing gear

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2007, 05:29 PM   #4
bradsul
Flyfisherman/brewer
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
bradsul's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2006
Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,898
Liked 32 Times on 25 Posts


I painted mine with a high gloss acrylic enamel. The pipes are black but it's a very dull finish, has writing on it and is rarely in good shape even after cleaning. The only end cap I could get in the correct size was blue so I would have had to paint anyway.
__________________
Brad
Canadian Brewers Unite!


Projects: Sylvania Kegerator Conversion, Tower Cooling, Grain Milling Station

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2007, 04:42 PM   #5
missing link
Recipes 
 
Jul 2007
Highland, MI
Posts: 648
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts


Making the copper stick into the fridge further would enhance the cooling significantly. You want more copper mass in the fridge than in the tower so that the larger mass cools the smaller mass.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2007, 04:47 PM   #6
bradsul
Flyfisherman/brewer
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
bradsul's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2006
Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,898
Liked 32 Times on 25 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by missing link
Making the copper stick into the fridge further would enhance the cooling significantly. You want more copper mass in the fridge than in the tower so that the larger mass cools the smaller mass.
Yes that is true. Space considerations and clearance don't allow that in my case. But there is also less than 1C differential between the temperature of the copper in my fridge and at the top of the tower so I'm not worried about it in my case.
__________________
Brad
Canadian Brewers Unite!


Projects: Sylvania Kegerator Conversion, Tower Cooling, Grain Milling Station

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2007, 07:46 PM   #7
kornkob
Resident Crazy Uncle
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
kornkob's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Oct 2005
Madison WI
Posts: 1,857
Liked 21 Times on 12 Posts


It's notable that there is nothing about that solution that requires the use of PVC tubing. You could conceivably do this with any tower.

Regarding getting more copper into the fridge: one could use a pipe bender to bend the pipe as it entered the fridge and run the line along the top of the interioir, thus increasing the amount of copper in the fridge without requiring additional clearance.


Nice solution.
__________________
Jason 'Kornkob' Robinson

I wanna move to Theory. Everything works in Theory.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2007, 02:52 AM   #8
BeerCanuck
 
BeerCanuck's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2007
St Catharines
Posts: 474
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts


I think soft copper would work well in this application.
I have another sylvania conversion for my beer brewing buddy.
You got like a small hole through the top of a mini fridge

BeerCanuck

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2007, 09:48 AM   #9
z987k
 
z987k's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2007
Anchorage
Posts: 3,518
Liked 30 Times on 28 Posts


I'm torn over what to do with mine, I have a spare 120volt mini fan laying around that would be really easy to wire up, or I could go this route which takes no energy... what to do.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2007, 08:58 PM   #10
RadicalEd
Recipes 
 
Jun 2007
Posts: 737
Liked 13 Times on 11 Posts


Do the math:
find the price of copper in your neighborhood (very high nowadays). Find the price of running your fan for 5 years. Compare. Done!

.

Seriously though, the copper is a very nice solution and I'd go with it if the copper won't cost you an arm and a leg. Maybe you can get lucky at a local scrap yard.

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cooling the tower Southwood Bottling/Kegging 12 01-13-2011 01:02 AM
Keggles - Confusion over best hop/grain separation and cooling solution atkinsr Equipment/Sanitation 4 03-03-2009 11:06 PM
Tower Cooling Fan Help thdewitt Bottling/Kegging 4 02-01-2009 05:32 AM
Ceramic Tower Cooling kenche Equipment/Sanitation 10 11-29-2007 05:51 AM
cooling beer tower dougbo Bottling/Kegging 2 12-06-2006 03:15 AM


Forum Jump