Building a glycol chiller from an old freezer

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MaltAndMayhem

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I live in Norway, which is undoubtfully known for its cool climate. We reach about 77-80 degrees F in the summer(25 degrees celsius) on a good day.
I am in need of a glycol chiller to chill multiple fermenters. I've been looking at official gear from SS Brewtech which is crazy expensive. I've also looked into two other options. The Window AC unit is not an option, since hey are not easy to come by in Norway - since the climate is so cold. The AC we use are very expensive and designed to both heat and cool, since we need it as an efficient heating in the winter. They are also harder to use for this purpose(they are separated into two parts. One mounted inside the house, and one outside the house with power and coolant(I guess) running between the wall...)

So basically I have two options.

1. Attempting to use a freezer to chill the glycol. I've found a upright freezer cabinet. The beauty about this cabinet is that once the freezer drawers are removed, the coils are visible underneath. Which means that in theory I could arrange a glycol bath in the middle drawers, and then bend a few of the coils down into that bath. That would give the glycol bath direct contact with the freezing coils which I suspect will increase efficiency.

2. Attempting to use said used freezer for parts. Build a copper coil that fit into a 20-30 liter camping cooler and have someone working with refrigeration to dismantle the copper coils from the compressor, and hook it up to my excisting copper coils. This will also allow me to have direct contact with the glycol which would increase capacity. This would be very similar to how the SS Brewtech glycol chiller operates.
 

Toxxyc

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Stupid Q, and I've been thinking about it for a while, can't you just have your glycol in a tank in a freezer set to max, and then you simply pump the glycol from the tank through a regular IC chiller in the wort? So instead of using ground water, you use glycol in your IC chiller? Just asking, as I've thought about it a lot and I'm guessing it should be relatively easy to do this. Once you're done, the freezer simply chills the glycol (or coolant mix) down to -30°C or wherever the freezer is set, ready for next time.
 

Nate R

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Stupid Q, and I've been thinking about it for a while, can't you just have your glycol in a tank in a freezer set to max, and then you simply pump the glycol from the tank through a regular IC chiller in the wort? So instead of using ground water, you use glycol in your IC chiller? Just asking, as I've thought about it a lot and I'm guessing it should be relatively easy to do this. Once you're done, the freezer simply chills the glycol (or coolant mix) down to -30°C or wherever the freezer is set, ready for next time.
Not a stupid Q imo... i had the same one!!
Quick answer- no, you cant. The glycol gets too hot too fast and the freezer cannot cool it down fast enough.
Long answer... i posted the same Q's before in various forums. Theres ton of posts here on it.
 
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MaltAndMayhem

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Stupid Q, and I've been thinking about it for a while, can't you just have your glycol in a tank in a freezer set to max, and then you simply pump the glycol from the tank through a regular IC chiller in the wort? So instead of using ground water, you use glycol in your IC chiller? Just asking, as I've thought about it a lot and I'm guessing it should be relatively easy to do this. Once you're done, the freezer simply chills the glycol (or coolant mix) down to -30°C or wherever the freezer is set, ready for next time.
You won't get it too chill fast enough lest the coils are in direct contact with the liquid. I've seen some people run the glycol bath directly in a freezer, meaning the coils are pretty much right into the glycol and it works some but the best would be to allow the glycol to have direct contact with the coils. I am doing testing on my freezer now. I bent the freezer parts into the glycol bath and this far, it looks promising.
 

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