Welcome to Northern Brewer

– "Brew, Share, Enjoy."

Glycol cooling tower

Moderator: Global Moderators

<<

CH3CH2OH

Post Thu Oct 06, 2005 9:22 pm

Glycol cooling tower

I recently bought a 5 tap Perlick tower on EBay, and didn't know what I was getting into. I figured it was worth it because the stout faucet alone was worth more than what I paid. I had no ideal it would be a glycol cooled tower.

Has anyone rigged up a cooling system? I called Perlick, and a glycol cooler for my tower would be over $1,000, too rich for my blood. I just have a converted Sanyo 4912 and plan on putting the tower on a piece of plywood on the top (the tower weighs 26#!) What I have in mind is running a copper coil on the inside of the fridge against the back, loading the system with propylene glycol, and pumping it with something like an aquarium pump.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I know I may be smarter just selling the tower (bought for $52, retails for $560 new) but I have to give it a try first.
<<

BrewerGeorge

Post Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:39 pm

Personally, I would try to pull al the glycol lines out and fill the inside with foam insulation. Even if you succeed in getting the glycol to cool the tower, you will essentially turn the tower into a radiator for the fridge. It will sweat, and let lots "cold" out of the fridge.
<<

Backglass

Post Fri Oct 07, 2005 6:40 am

I would get a small recirculating pump and try your homemade option. I think it would be pretty cool.

Maybe you could circulate a saltwater solution so if it leaks it's not too nasty...assuming the lines wont rust. ;)
<<

CH3CH2OH

Post Fri Oct 07, 2005 7:59 am

Thanks for the input so far. There is a heat trasfer piece in the top of the tower that would be really hard to remove; also, parts of the frame are riveted. I think I would destroy it if I tried to remove it.

Has anyone out there put a glycol filled copper coil up against the refrigerant coil in the inside/back of a refrigerator?
<<

QC

Post Fri Oct 07, 2005 8:19 am

Backglass wrote:Maybe you could circulate a saltwater solution so if it leaks it's not too nasty...assuming the lines wont rust. ;)


Propylene Glycol is quite safe for that application

Propylene glycol is used by the chemical, food, and pharmaceutical industries as an antifreeze when leakage might lead to contact with food. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified propylene glycol as an additive that is "generally recognized as safe" for use in food. It is used to absorb extra water and maintain moisture in certain medicines, cosmetics, or food products. It is a solvent for food colors and flavors, and in the paint and plastics industries. Propylene glycol is also used to create artificial smoke or fog used in fire-fighting training and in theatrical productions. Other names for propylene glycol are 1,2-dihydroxypropane, 1,2-propanediol, methyl glycol, and trimethyl glycol


Salt water would just cause problems.
<<

Mike_A

Post Fri Oct 07, 2005 9:36 am

What are you going to do with 5 taps on a Sanyo 4912? You can only get 2 5-gal kegs in there and maybe one more 3-gal with modifications.
<<

CH3CH2OH

Post Fri Oct 07, 2005 10:19 am

Mike_A:

Good question - it is massive overkill for what I need. I had planned on buying a standard cylindrical two tap tower but this tower came up for less money. I only plan on actually using three of the faucets, but only two at a time. Right now, I have a stout and a weiss in the fridge, so I will use one standard faucet and the stout faucet. For other beers, I'll use the two standard faucets. Also, someday I will install it in a home bar.
<<

CH3CH2OH

Post Mon Oct 10, 2005 5:30 am

After doing some more research, I think I'll try attaching an aquarium bubbler to one end of the copper pipe that would normally carry glycol. Since I am only dealing with a very short run, air cooling may be adequate. If it's not, I'll go back to looking at a glycol system.
<<

ddn

Apprentice Brewer

Posts: 42

Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2005 12:06 pm

Location: St. Paul, MN

Post Tue Oct 11, 2005 2:57 pm

Why not a makeshift glycol system that just circulates water (or some glycol) through the tower and then back into a custom made radiator in the fridge?
<<

mbg-nb

Post Wed Oct 12, 2005 5:40 am

I had a 4910 w/a tower and I cooled it by blowing cold air into it with a pvc pipe and a small 1" dia. computer fan.

Mike
<<

arasb

Brewer

Posts: 59

Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2005 3:56 am

Location: University of Illinois - Urbana, Champaign

Post Mon Oct 17, 2005 7:09 pm

I had a small fountain pump (2 foot lift max) that came from one of those soothing water fall rock scultpures for your home. Turns out the pump was noisy and not-so-soothing.
I placed it in a metal pot in my fridge and connected a small piece of hose the connected to copper where I needed the heat transfer to occur, then just dumped back into the pot of water. Worked fine, but I was using it for cooling my conical fermentor.
I now have a beer tower and will be connecting it for cooling the tower. My tower gets too warm and foams my first beer. Good luck. Please post photos if you can.

Aras
<<

CH3CH2OH

Post Thu Oct 20, 2005 12:18 pm

I've pretty much completed my kegerator. I had planned on going with my air solution, but then had a vision (after a couple of Salvators.) I mentioned putting in a glycol loop in the fridge to cool the tower. What about putting a 3/16" line inside of a 1/2" copper tube and setting up a counter-flow beer chiller? I could run the glycol through the tower to cool it, and when I have a warm keg, I could hook it up to the 3/16" line and run the beer through in the opposite direction of the glycol, causing the beer to cool? I built a counter-flow wort chiller, this should pretty much be the same thing.

Has anyone rigged a counter-flow jockey box rather than the immersion systems that are usually used?
<<

MarkwithaK

Post Thu Oct 20, 2005 11:02 pm

ecbeer wrote:I've pretty much completed my kegerator. I had planned on going with my air solution, but then had a vision (after a couple of Salvators.) I mentioned putting in a glycol loop in the fridge to cool the tower. What about putting a 3/16" line inside of a 1/2" copper tube and setting up a counter-flow beer chiller? I could run the glycol through the tower to cool it, and when I have a warm keg, I could hook it up to the 3/16" line and run the beer through in the opposite direction of the glycol, causing the beer to cool? I built a counter-flow wort chiller, this should pretty much be the same thing.

Has anyone rigged a counter-flow jockey box rather than the immersion systems that are usually used?

i am an HVAC technician and i have had extensive experience with glycol based chiller systems so if i may through my 2 cents worth..a CFC/glycol set-up is entirely too involved for this....as someone else mentioned a fountain pump circulating chilled water should be sufficient for this application as long as your flow rate is high enough....this is exactly what i plan on useing in my own set up....just remember the 2nd law of thermodynamics....heat transfer always occurs from hot to cold
<<

CH3CH2OH

Post Fri Oct 21, 2005 10:38 am

Mark:

For just the tower cooling portion, I was looking at a Hagen AquaClear pump that moves 127 gallons per hour, or about 2 gallons per minute (from Petco for $18). That seems high to me for what I need, but do you think that would cause problems with the glycol system?

Also, I can see just using water as water has a higher specific heat than glycol. However, because the container will be against the back coil, I thought that it may freeze when the pump is turned off. So I was thinking about a really light glycol mix, like 10%.

The counterflow idea was something that occurred to me that could cool the tower and, when needed, could be used as a jockey box. I wouldn't want to put 50 to 100' of tubing in my fridge (for cost and space reasons) as a normal immersion jockey box would require. So it occurred to me to use a counterflow which is a lot more efficient than a static immersion system. Problem is, I have no idea if it would be efficient enough with, say, 10 feet of 3/16" inside of a 1/2" tube with glycol running in the opposite direction of the beer.
<<

MarkwithaK

Post Fri Oct 21, 2005 11:42 pm

DO NOT put anythong againt the coil....my idea involved having the water suppy/resivoir in the freexer/refrigerator/kegerator....this means the water is kept at the same temp as the beer supply....
Next

Return to Draft Systems

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot]