Pump recommendation for glycol chiller

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Ridenour64

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Hey guys,

I just purchased a glycol chiller. The ice master 100. I am looking for recommendations for a pump to use now. I believe the barbs on the ice master are 3/8”. I am fermenting in a 15 gallon torpedo keg and plan to use the 1.5” ID blue discharge hose wrapped around the outside for cooling. Is there a minimum GPH and lift rating I should be looking for?


I used the 620 GPH pump from Harbor Freight in the past and it worked very well but I’m curious as to whether I can step it down and use one of the lower ones. Reason being, I plan to buy more in the feature for additions FV’s and would like to keep cost down.
 
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Ridenour64

Ridenour64

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I see the pump penguin chillers offers is 16’ head which is significantly higher than the pond pumps I’ve been looking at. Does anyone know if penguin is the manufacturer or if they’re made specifically for penguin? If no, available unbranded?
 
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Ridenour64

Ridenour64

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I ended up going with this. It appears to be the same pump/ same specs as the penguin. Hopefully this is sufficient.
 
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Ridenour64

Ridenour64

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I purchased that blue PVC discharge hose today and this stuff is not really ideal. Feels cheap and like it won’t last. I couldn’t get a tight clamp with the 1.5” barb I tried to use and when I took the clamp off the blue hose was torn in several places.

Is there any reason I can’t just simply wrap 3/8” vinyl tubing around the torpedo keg and call it a day?
 
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Ridenour64

Ridenour64

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i was able to get the keg very cold using this set up. This is 20 ft of vinyl. I’ll probably use maybe 50 ft once I get running.
Only thing now is trying to find a better clamp solution to make sure the vinyl stays tight against the keg. What I have on there now is not ideal am I’m sure would damage the vinyl over time.
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BrewAgain

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Why not use copper tubing? If it's coiled on a slightly smaller (0.5 inch) diameter, it could easily be attached and removed.
 
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Ridenour64

Ridenour64

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Copper just seems like it would be more difficult to work with. I don’t think I could get it as tight as I can with the vinyl either. With two people I can get the vinyl on very tight. Just trying to figure out a suitable way to make it stay tight. The vinyl can also easily be removed every few batches in the event it needs cleaning. Also, the fittings for vinyl are very simple just put a swivel nut barb and your good to go.
 
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Ridenour64

Ridenour64

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So I read a post about vinyl being very poor at heat transfer so I’m considering buying this bucket from tractor supply. This bucket is only a few inches bigger than my torpedo keg in diameter and height so it should be a good fit. I will then run a length of copper tubing between the wall of the keg and the bucket, then fill the remaining volume with water for heat transfer. This seems like it will work well. It looks like my length options for the copper are 20 ft or 50 ft. Would 20 be enough? Seems like 50 is the way to go. Would this work well?

I didn’t think I would need too much water as it doesn’t seem there would be too much extra volume. Also, after the wort cools down a bit, I can use run off from my immersion chiller so as to now waste any additional water.

 

superiorsat

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If you decided to stay with the vinyl (was thinking the same on poor transfer) you could put a "T" ( or 90 degree which would add some resistance to the pump) hose barb at that intersection so you could then clamp on to something solid to keep it cinched up tight and just put a plug in the unused leg of of the "T's". I just got the penguin pump and for $60 this thing is crazy tiny. If you use the $20 one on amazon an update of how well they work would be cool. I put them on my list for future purchase. The $20 looks identical except it didn't get the penguin sticker before it left China.
 

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Ridenour64

Ridenour64

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alright I’m committed now. Hoping 20 feet of 3/8 OD is sufficient. Seems like it should be. 50 Ft was more per foot than 20 was for whatever reason. I will attach compression fittings on the end of the coper along with barbs then run lines to my glycol chiller. I will fill the bucket with water to a reasonable level to assist with heat xfer.
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Ridenour64

Ridenour64

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My pump looks identical to that one. I did a test run and was impressed with the output but it was with ice water not glycol. Time will tell. Keep in mind the one from Amazon doesn’t come with a wall plug so you need to buy an adapter. Still cheaper but something to consider
 

BrewAgain

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Now that looks like a great idea with the water bath. Are you planning to have the temp probe in the water bath or on the keg? The response will be quite different. How many gallons will that add for cooling? Keep us informed on how it works. Thanks
 
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Ridenour64

Ridenour64

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My plan at this point is to just have the probe floating in the bath and away from the coils. I figure that would give me the best reading. I assume if it’s strapped to the keg that it may over shoot.

I will definitely post back with an update. I don’t expect it to take much water to fill the bath as there really isn’t too much room in there. The only question mark I can see at this time is whether or not 20 Ft of 3/8 OD copper will be enough, but I think that it will.
 

superiorsat

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Are you planning on keeping it towards the top of the water line? Thinking the cold will fall as hotter water rises should be less stratification.
 
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Ridenour64

Ridenour64

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I’m just going to put it in there and let it fall to wherever it needs to go. Right now it falls to the bottom. Once I get the barbs and vinyl on there won’t be as much room and it may sit a bit higher. I don’t think it’ll be an issue though.
 
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Ridenour64

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So this is not working well. I’m doing a test run with the keg empty (I have weight plates sitting on it to hold it down) and about 4/5 gallons of water poured around the outside. It only dropped 3/4 degrees over an hour. The bottom
of the bucket in condensating so it appears that stratification is an issue. I’m not sure if raising the coil to the top of the bucket would help significantly or not. Also no sure if maybe the slow flow from the pump would be the issue.

very disappointing though. I have a glycol chiller I can’t really use at this point 😂. I may need to buy another unitank..
 

BrewAgain

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Is the keg itself getting cold? Adjust the speed of the pump up and down. If the speed of the glycol is too fast, the heat transfer is reduced.
 
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Ridenour64

Ridenour64

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It is not getting cold aleast above the water line where I can feel the keg. Even if the bottom is getting cold I’m afraid the same thing would happen with the beer. The bottom gets too cold and the stop stays warm. I can’t believe it’s not dispersing better. Using the 50 foot coil probably would have worked better but I’m not sure I want to spend the $50 the find out.
 

BrewAgain

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I would fill the keg with water and test the actual temp. It's chilling a donut of water with more surface area rather than 6 gallons . Might add a small pump into the bucket just to circulate the water bath. That's only a test to determine if the placement needs to be better. Good luck. Don't give up yet.
 

augiedoggy

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I purchased that blue PVC discharge hose today and this stuff is not really ideal. Feels cheap and like it won’t last. I couldn’t get a tight clamp with the 1.5” barb I tried to use and when I took the clamp off the blue hose was torn in several places.

Is there any reason I can’t just simply wrap 3/8” vinyl tubing around the torpedo keg and call it a day?
I suppose not all hoses are made equal... the blue discharge hose I have is like 6 years old now and still works fine.. thicker hose will work just less surface area transfer and less effective transfer with thicker hose wall. I have a cool zone jacket too which has worked fine for me but YMMV depending the pump your using with it. Ive seen others complain of failures.
 
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Ridenour64

Ridenour64

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I was aware of the cool zone jacket but I had 3 concerns
* the jacket alone appears not to be sufficient for the diameter of my keg. I would also need to buy their extension piece
* I had planned to purchase more of these kegs to ferment in, which would require additional jackets and cost would quickly grow
* I see the jacket has a fairly low PSI threshold and was not sure if this pump would cause damage

turnsout my cost concerns were moot because so far it appears I’ve wasted more money messing around with this.

I still plan to fill the keg with roughly 10 gallons of water to see if it works any better, but I am not hopeful.
 

superiorsat

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I think I would try to hang that coil with wire to the top just under water line in that bucket. Then insulate the bucket with neoprene or something to stop the condensation. The water will cycle just due heat rising. A pump would speed the the mixing but looks like no room left in the bucket. It is obviously getting cold enough at the bottom to condensate.
 

superiorsat

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The 50 foot would also work considerably better. More cold copper and less room in the buck for water that is not being directly chilled. Maybe test up high and if things improve you could decide if the cost of the 50 is worth it. Just put 50 foot of 1/2" OD stainless in the lid of my ace-roto 35 gallon tank.
 

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Ridenour64

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So I put about 10 gallons of water in the keg and ran it for an hour and 15 minutes. I had the probe sitting in the keg and within an inch or two from the top. It stayed at 56.9 for the entire time where the probe sat, but there was ice build up around the copper inside the bath. 😂
 

superiorsat

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I would let it run and keep checking. It would have to start to drop eventually.
 

BrewAgain

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What about keeping a full turn of the copper coil on the bottom of the bucket and spiral the rest up to the top? Make sure the flow of the glycol is from the top to the bottom. That should give the best heat transfer.
 
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Ridenour64

Ridenour64

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trying again but this time with an actual batch of beer.
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