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> Upgrading to Glycol
JayMan
post Jul 1 2009, 09:14 PM
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Greetings,

This is my first post and I apologise if I have posted in the wrong area but I didn't really see a heading that covered dispensing equipment. So moderators feel free to move this accordingly.

I have built a kegerator using a deepfreeze.
I control the temperature using one of the Micromatic controls wired into the compressor.
I have my beer line run through 2inch pvc up to my tap tower.
I am using a high CF bathroom fan to pump cold air through the 2 PVC up to the tap tower in order to keep both the beer line and tower cold.
I have this all encased in a 4" PVC so when the air falls from the tap tower it is brought back to the freezer. Kind of a closed loop convection system.

My system is running acceptably but I am sure it can be improved.
My freezer temp is set at 29f with a 3degree varience so the temp varies between 29 and 32 before the compressor kicks in.
The controller probe is at the bottom of the freezer.
I also have a small LCD thermometer at the top of the keg andit shows about a 4degree difference (warmer). Some of this varience might be the cheapness of the LCD thermoeter but mostly it stays within the 4degree of the bottom so I chalk it up to it just being warmer.

Now the run from the freezer to the tap is just about 30feet. My pour temp varies from 38 to 41 (note the 3degree varience in the freezer cycle).

For most of my brews 38 is probably the optium pour temp however I don't like having a 9degree difference between keg and tap.
I am not suffering from too much foam but if I leave the keg alone for a couple of days I do generally pour off 1/2 a pint and pitch it down the sink as it has been sitting in the lines and it is warmer (close to 50) thus skunky. The next pint or pitcher generally comes out perfect. My wasteage is not as concerning to me as the possibility of bacteria from the warmer line. I clean every keg change and have not had any problems after 8 months but.....

SO.... (and thanks to you who have taken the time to read through this).

I am considering upgrading my system to glycol as 30 feet is just too long for an air cooled system.

The way that has been suggested to me was to use about a 5gal bucket and a submersable pump....

1. Can anyone recommend a container that might be suitable for this. Bucket is a very loose term and I certainly won't be using just a pail for this.
2. I was looking at this unit as a possible for the pump. http://www.serenityhealth.com/fountain_pro...345-p-1262.html
The tap will be less that 4ft above the level of the gycol "bucket" and this pump says it should do 8ft. I am however concerned that Glycol is heavier than water and am a bit concerned over the back pressure of pushing the fluid back into the "bucket" (again closed loop). Any other suggestions for a pump would be appreciated.
3. I was looking to use a food grade line - same as my beer line to run the glycol. Do I need to be strapping this to the beer line or do you think just having this in the same 2" pvc conduit would be enough ? again someone suggest I use copper but I really think that is over kill. When I researched professional beer lines (trunk lines) these all seem to be plastic or vinal http://www.micromatic.com/draft-keg-beer/hoses-cid-367.html However at $10/ft this just seems a tad expensive.
4. I see no reason to elminate my current fan. Any thoughts why I should. I think air cirulation in the freezer is a good idea

Once again thanks for taking the time for this long read....

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rugby1725
post Jul 2 2009, 08:36 AM
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While it's not a lot of help in regards to your glycol questions. Have you checked the temp of the air coming out of your 2" PVC at the tower. If there isn't any insulation in your system it will warm up quick. Basically you have a 30'x4" cooler with no insulation to try and keep the heat out. Also, depending on how many lines you have in your 2" pipe you may not be getting as much airflow as you think. I realize it would be a good amount of work but I would suggest pulling your line out and wrapping it in pipe wrap, then put it in the 4" and push your air through there, using your 2" as your return. Also, consider wrapping the whole 4" pipe in some kind of insulation.

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JayMan
post Jul 2 2009, 11:42 AM
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Hi,

Sadly, I have only 1 line in my 2". I do dream of having 6 products one day.
The 2" is not insulated but as it is inside the the 4" this dead air is a form of insulation.
The 4" is well insulated with both fiberglass insulation and a plastic sleeve.

The air is about 36-42 so it is warming over the distance.
There is also some 90 degree bends so based on venting math each one could be the quivelent of 5'.

I spoke to a commerical beverage installer and he told me that 30 feet was no problem and I should put in a proper blower into my walk in freezer and asked me how many tons of refigeriant I was running. When I told him what I was doing at home (and he stopped laughing) he agreed that the heat output of the blower would be too much for a chest freezer and suggested I might want to go the food grade glycol route.

In speaking to others - well after my system was in operation - I was told that I would never get air cooling to work past five feet. Well they were wrong about that but I do agree that I could be doing this better. Some others have suggested glycol but I have not yet found anyone who has said "This is the way you need to do it".

Once again help and advise most welcome.


QUOTE(rugby1725 @ Jul 2 2009, 07:36 AM) *
While it's not a lot of help in regards to your glycol questions. Have you checked the temp of the air coming out of your 2" PVC at the tower. If there isn't any insulation in your system it will warm up quick. Basically you have a 30'x4" cooler with no insulation to try and keep the heat out. Also, depending on how many lines you have in your 2" pipe you may not be getting as much airflow as you think. I realize it would be a good amount of work but I would suggest pulling your line out and wrapping it in pipe wrap, then put it in the 4" and push your air through there, using your 2" as your return. Also, consider wrapping the whole 4" pipe in some kind of insulation.

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Brewhas
post Jul 2 2009, 09:53 PM
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I would say move the freezer closer to the taps, or the taps closer to the freezer.

If glycol isn't directly around the lines, I would guess that your still going to get some warming, and probably not see much of a difference, glycol retains temperature, but also doesn't let it go that easy, meaning I don't think the cold from one beer line would drop the temperature in the tube much.

I would probably say running the glycol in the space between the 4" and the 2" would be the best to try and get beer pour temp the same as beer storage temperature. And allow for expansion room in the 2" pipe to as many lines as can fit. Although 30ft of 1" circumference space is a lot of glycol. but it could work well, and won't be that hard to do.

For a pump and bucket. you will probably need a good size reserve of glycol, so the "bucket" doesn't change temperature much when the glycol is added. I personally would use a corny keg for this purpose, where the glycol out is a modified gas that is a bit longer (just to prevent air, so you don't have to fill it to the top to prevent air, just to help with filling) and liquid as the return. the area in between should be enough to keep the glycol cool. For the pump, glycol is thick, although you may get away with a lower weight and still not notice a difference in cooling to help things, I would look into an aquarium pump because there relatively inexpensive, (I don't know how expensive glycol is and at what % it typically is used, but you can dilute with water to make it less thick, but less effective)



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