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Glycol Chiller


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#1 HVB

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 05:08 AM

Any using a glycol chiller for their fermetner and anyone build one?  The Flex + is too big to fit into my fermenting fridge so it is time for something else.  The commercial glycol chillers are a bit more than I would like to spend so I am taking apart an old 12KBTU window AC unit and converting that into a glycol chiller.  I should have most of the rough work on it done this weekend and then just have to wait for the pumps and glycol.  Other than the common parts for the Flex I would need with a commercial unit I should have about 100-150 into this and that is a LOT better than the 700+ to buy one.

 

 


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#2 Mando

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 05:17 AM

how exactly is the temperature controlled?  is it a jacket around the flex+?


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#3 HVB

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 05:25 AM

how exactly is the temperature controlled?  is it a jacket around the flex+?

 

Lets see if this image works.  Coil goes inside the Flex.

 

Drop_in_temp_coil_1024x1024.gif?v=155357


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#4 Mando

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 06:08 AM

oh cool.  so like an IC but for the fermentation.  and glycol circulates inside the coil?


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#5 HVB

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 06:11 AM

oh cool.  so like an IC but for the fermentation.  and glycol circulates inside the coil?

 

Yup.  When the temp goes up the controller turns the pump on to circulate the glycol.  If it all works out I plan to use an old SS IM and convert one of my Chapman Steeltanks so I can have them both using glycol.  


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#6 shaggaroo

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 06:22 AM

Yup.  When the temp goes up the controller turns the pump on to circulate the glycol.  If it all works out I plan to use an old SS IM and convert one of my Chapman Steeltanks so I can have them both using glycol.  

wow that's cool!


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#7 Mando

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 06:27 AM

Yup.  When the temp goes up the controller turns the pump on to circulate the glycol.  If it all works out I plan to use an old SS IM and convert one of my Chapman Steeltanks so I can have them both using glycol.  

 

can you heat with it too?


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#8 HVB

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 06:34 AM

can you heat with it too?

 That is what heating pads are for.  The glycol only chills.


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#9 matt6150

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 03:36 PM

That's a cool project. I know I've seen other builds like this using a A/C unit. Do you also have the blanket looking thing for the flex?
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#10 denny

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Posted 13 June 2020 - 11:40 AM

I use Grainfather conicals and their glycol chiller.  Love them.


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#11 HVB

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Posted 13 June 2020 - 12:31 PM

That's a cool project. I know I've seen other builds like this using a A/C unit. Do you also have the blanket looking thing for the flex?


The cover is in my Spike cart. I don't have it yet.
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#12 HVB

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Posted 13 June 2020 - 12:34 PM

I use Grainfather conicals and their glycol chiller. Love them.


I think this is going to be nice too. Test run with water was good this morning so I just need to finish it up and try it with a batch.
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#13 denny

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 12:22 PM

I think this is going to be nice too. Test run with water was good this morning so I just need to finish it up and try it with a batch.

I'm sure it will.  I just hate building equipment.


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#14 HVB

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 01:59 PM

I'm sure it will. I just hate building equipment.


I enjoy the building part of it plus I don't want to spend $800+ unless I have to. I just need to finish this and fix my riptide and I will be brewing again.
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#15 JKor

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 10:20 PM

I use Grainfather conicals and their glycol chiller.  Love them.

 

 

That looks pretty awesome.  I'm tempted.


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#16 denny

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Posted 19 June 2020 - 11:36 AM

That looks pretty awesome.  I'm tempted.

They're so responsive and easy to use.  Did a cold crash the other day.  78 ambient, crashed from 72 to 35 in less than 4 hours.  And the pressure xfer kit they sell is fantastic.  The only possible downside is that since the chiller will run 4 fermenters, you keep wanting to buy more!


Edited by denny, 19 June 2020 - 11:41 AM.

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#17 JKor

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Posted 19 June 2020 - 04:00 PM

I've gotten a lot of miles out of the free A/C unit that has run several of my cold chambers, using it this time of year blows, though.  I have my chamber sealed up pretty good but I still have to defrost the AC daily.  Glycol would be noice.


The cover is in my Spike cart. I don't have it yet.

 

 

I looked at Spike's site.  I like the unitank.  that's tempting as well.  I'm pretty impressed by Spike's massive array of accessories.  The really know how to suck every last dollar from their customers!  :D


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#18 HVB

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Posted 19 June 2020 - 08:27 PM

I've gotten a lot of miles out of the free A/C unit that has run several of my cold chambers, using it this time of year blows, though. I have my chamber sealed up pretty good but I still have to defrost the AC daily. Glycol would be noice.



I looked at Spike's site. I like the unitank. that's tempting as well. I'm pretty impressed by Spike's massive array of accessories. The really know how to suck every last dollar from their customers! :D


I thought about getting the CF5 but I would never use the dump valve. The Spike equipment it built awesome tho.
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#19 JKor

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Posted 20 June 2020 - 07:14 AM

I thought about getting the CF5 but I would never use the dump valve. The Spike equipment it built awesome tho.

 

There's so many options it's a bit confusing.  So, the Flex+ is essentially the same as the CF5 without the dump valve?  It looks like you're paying an extra $175 for the dump valve and an extra port.  I like the lower height of the Flex much better, I didn't notice that the Flex+ had the high pressure lid.  That seems preferable.

 

I agree with you on the dump valve, when I had one it never really worked like I wanted anyway.  When you dump trub only the stuff immediately above the valve comes out then clear wort starts coming out while the remainder of the trub stick to the sides of the cone.  Maybe if you dumped a little bit of trub every few hours it would give the stuff on the cone time to settle down above the valve?  In any case, it all seemed to be a PITA.  The dump valve on the Blichmann was 100% useless, the trub was far too thick to even make it's way out of the valve.


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#20 miccullen

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Posted 20 June 2020 - 08:43 AM

didn't you build a homemade glycol chiller at one time Jkor?


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