Author Topic: Making a DIY 12000 BTU/hr Glycol Chiller  (Read 1975 times)

Offline homebrewdad7

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Making a DIY 12000 BTU/hr Glycol Chiller
« on: February 15, 2017, 09:37:21 PM »
The weekend before last, I saw a guy post a picture on reddit of the DIY glycol chiller he had built using an air conditioner, a cooler, and more knowhow than I possess.  It looked like a fascinating project to me, so I reached out and asked if he'd be interested in doing an actual writeup on his process and whatnot.  Today's post is that writeup. 


Offline denny

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Re: Making a DIY 12000 BTU/hr Glycol Chiller
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2017, 09:43:24 PM »
Wow...very innovative!
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Offline homebrewdad7

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Re: Making a DIY 12000 BTU/hr Glycol Chiller
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2017, 09:48:27 PM »
I know, right?  He's talking about getting the glycol below -20C, and having to be careful to *not freeze the wort*.  lol

Offline denny

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Re: Making a DIY 12000 BTU/hr Glycol Chiller
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2017, 10:32:26 PM »
I know, right?  He's talking about getting the glycol below -20C, and having to be careful to *not freeze the wort*.  lol

Ya know, this is something that I would never do nor have any interest in.  But that doesn't mean I don't think it's damn cool when someone else does it.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline homebrewdad7

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Re: Making a DIY 12000 BTU/hr Glycol Chiller
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2017, 11:19:48 PM »
I an agree on both counts.  My Hydra chills plenty fast enough for my setup.  But this is pretty neat.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Making a DIY 12000 BTU/hr Glycol Chiller
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2017, 12:53:14 AM »
I know, right?  He's talking about getting the glycol below -20C, and having to be careful to *not freeze the wort*.  lol

Ya know, this is something that I would never do nor have any interest in.  But that doesn't mean I don't think it's damn cool when someone else does it.
Damn cool... lol

I think I will avoid procedures that call for running away if hissing noises are heard.

Offline homebrewdad7

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Re: Making a DIY 12000 BTU/hr Glycol Chiller
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2017, 04:35:47 AM »
lol... there are some scary warnings in there.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Making a DIY 12000 BTU/hr Glycol Chiller
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2017, 10:47:59 AM »
I think I have discovered the line that I won't cross on DIY projects.  But as noted that is extremely cool.
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Offline homebrewdad7

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Re: Making a DIY 12000 BTU/hr Glycol Chiller
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2017, 02:02:43 PM »
I just pictured a bunch of homebrewers reacting like the knights in Monty Python and the Holy Grail in the vorpal bunny scene.  "Run away!  Run away!"

Offline gclabbe

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Re: Making a DIY 12000 BTU/hr Glycol Chiller
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2017, 05:07:58 PM »
Nice writeup.

At our brewery, we have been building our own glycol systems using this type of technique since we opened in 2015 ... and we've learned a bit about how to do it safely.

Couple of quick comments about the power of the resultant systems ... basically the 12K BTU rating of that unit being used is relative to the design of the unit and being an air-to-air conversion in the specific temperature ranges it is tuned to operate in.

An unmodified unit running an air-to-glycol conversion will actually be more efficient in the target temperature ranges ... basically 60F to 90F or so.

As the temperature of the bath drops, the efficiency will be reduced.  The only way to really know is to measure the rate of temperature change of a known load of liquid, then do the math.

However, as a general reference for how much power you need, we are controlling 2x 10 BBL fermenters using 2x 8K BTU ACs we got from Walmart.  We crash from 55F (diacetyl rest) to 36F (crash) overnight.

That 12K design is probably capable of mainting a small army of 1/2 BBL fermenters ... like maybe 60 of them even if 30 of them were fermenting all at the same time.

For my pilot setup I'm using a small cooler and a 5K BTU unit.  With a small foot print cooler with a cut into the sidewall, you can cut down the case of the AC and basically slip the cooler under the pressure lines without bending them.

We have also built a total control system based on Raspberry PI that will be productized for the pro and homebrew markets.  Platform is still maturing, however we get to do things like watch and control what's happening in our brewery from anywhere ... fun stuff!

Chris
www.periodicbrewing.com

Offline weazletoe

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Re: Making a DIY 12000 BTU/hr Glycol Chiller
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2017, 06:35:45 PM »
Well, the Mrs's isn't going to be to happy about this.
A man works hard all week, so he doesn't have to wear pants all weekend.

Offline homebrewdad7

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Re: Making a DIY 12000 BTU/hr Glycol Chiller
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2017, 08:27:30 PM »
This is something that I certainly don't need.  But man, it seems like it would be fun to do, just because I could.

Offline 69franx

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Re: Making a DIY 12000 BTU/hr Glycol Chiller
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2017, 12:06:56 AM »
Well, the Mrs's isn't going to be to happy about this.
Lol, you got that right. At least you know how to sweet talk her afterwards.  Remember, beg for forgiveness, never ask for permission

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