Glycol chiller parts?

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shtank

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I'm getting ready to start building a glycol chiller for my half barrel chronical and just have a few questions.

Does the size of the reservoir/cooler matter besides fitting the coil?

Is pex pipe and fittings suitable for this cold temperature?

Does anyone regret making one?
 

AllanMar

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I've been though a few. I started out with a custom made ~800btu/h chiller with a large cooler and a sump pump. This had a good size reservoir but the pump generated quite a bit of heat and 800btu/h isn't enough.

I then went to a smaller 1/6hp beer line chiller which had a smaller 3gal reservoir but a better external pump. This worked pretty well but when cold crashing my 14gal conicals it ran nearly continuously.

I have copper coils around the outside of the conical, if you have an inside coil it may cool easier.

I now have an older 1/3hp. ~4000btu/h 14 gallon beer line chiller which is working ALOT better.

My advice is get something atleast 2000btu/h+ and reservoir size dictates how often the chiller will cycle. I used PEX for my manifold for ~1-2 years now without issue, just keep in mind glycol has lower surface tension than water and will find leaks easier, so make sure to carefully leak test everything!
 
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shtank

shtank

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Thanks for the input, I think I will go big on the cooler to make it more efficient. I believe the window unit I have is a 5000btu.
 

bcrawfo2

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What about pump size? I guess i don't need much flow, right? I know i will have to overcome the head and thicker glycol mixture
 

AllanMar

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What about pump size? I guess i don't need much flow, right? I know i will have to overcome the head and thicker glycol mixture
You don't need much for flow but keep in mind depending on your coil setup you can need significant pressure. The FTSS setup is pretty minimal so they use the small pumps. I have ~40ft of 3/8tubing around the external of the conical and it runs around 35psi.

If you get a submersible pump you don't want to go too big either as the extra heat will be warming your glycol. If you go the homemade A/C route the 5000btu/h AC has so much power it can overcome it easily though.
 
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