easily making glycol lines to a chill coil a closed loop when disconnected from coil

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:


Well-Known Member
Dec 14, 2010
Reaction score
Living free in the 603
Something I did yesterday was to make the glycol lines that will be going to my Spike CF10 fermenters a closed system when NOT connected to the chill coils. This will make it so that when I'm not using the glycol chiller I won't need to evacuate them when they're not in active use. I have a BrewBuilt Max 2 chiller, but that part doesn't matter.

To be clear, the chill coil is 3/8" OD stainless tubing. The insulated tubing (from Spike) comes with a pair of 1/2" to 3/8" PTC fittings (the vinyl tubing is 1/2" OD). To make the lines 'closed' all I did was cut some 3/8" OD stainless tubing already on hand to 1-1/2" long and insert them into the two fittings (facing each other at the end of this. For the chill coils, I used some 3/8" ID silicon tubing to connect them together. This will work with any system with these dimensions. If you get chill coils with larger OD stainless, then just use the related tubing (stainless and silicone) to get the same effect.

Picture of the ends of the tubing that would connect to the chill coils:

As you can see, the 1-1/2" long piece of stainless is virtually buried in the fittings. You can still remove it since you can release one side, pull to remove, and then do the other. Takes seconds to execute this. The length also doesn't stress the tubing, or insulation, either.

The real reason I did this was so that IF the chiller is running for one fermenter, and the other controller kicks on (even though it's off) it won't send all the chiller's glycol solution all over my basement room floor. I could have used the method listed by BB, of looping silicone tubing at the chiller, but I'd still need to evacuate the lines, or drain them into something. More steps and more chances for things to go sideways. This eliminates all of that.

I also have enough stainless tubing to do this with about 15 fermenters/chill coil setups (that use the 3/8" stainless tubing). I have enough silicone tubing for at least several more chill coils as well. I, initially, used some vinyl tubing, but that kinked at the top. I didn't like how that looked, so I dug out the silicone tubing I had bought more than a few years back.