dirt cheap glycol chiller?

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Sidman

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Question for you all...
I was thinking about building a glycol chiller as dropping a grand on a new one seems cost prohibitive at this point. I was thinking of going the deconstructed AC route but wondered is something infinitely less expensive would work just as well.
What if I just took a small chest freezer - approx $150 and put in a glycol tank section at the bottom with 4 pumps. Mounted some stc 1000's on the side to control each pump and and had connections on the side to attach cooling hoses to run to my fermenters. I could use the remainder of the freezer for hops etc. I think if I had a large enough tank, I could theoretically handle any cooling needs.
I think my biggest concern would be not piercing a cooling line when mounting the controllers or connections.

Help me out here, am I missing something that I should be thinking of?
Thanks in advance!
Sid
 

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That's an excellent idea. What you could do is build it like a keezer and install a collar so you can have passthroughs for your coolant and power lines.
 

Golddiggie

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If space isn't a concern, it could work. The IceMaster Max4 I have takes up far less space than even a 5cf chest freezer. Plus, it's on wheel, so I can easily move it around as needed.
 

Bobby_M

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Chest freezers are very weak in the BTU department. You'll probably be good to chill a few fermenters down about 20F below ambient temps (and it will run constantly to do it) but if you're into fermenting lagers and cold crashing, skip this waste of time. Buy a $50 used window AC, which you can easily find these days, and make a tank out of a cooler. Even a 5000 BTU unit will outperform a freezer tenfold.

Yes, I speak from experience. My friend tried it using at least 20 gallons of glycol to chill a pair of CF15s and the best it would do is upper 50's when fermenting and lower 50s when it was done. The compressor literally ran 24/7 trying to keep up.
 
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tripelthelightfantastic

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This is what I use for fermentation control:
 
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