I’ve decided to upgrade my fermentation setup with a glycol chiller. Before this I was using a bucket of water in the fridge next to the fermenters and used that for cooling. It worked well for ales and when the ambient temperature wasn’t too high(20C-25C). But in the summer months it became a struggle. Additionally the tap water gets quite warm here in Spain and reaching yeast pitch temperature becomes a problem. With this setup crash cooling is impossible and forget about lagers.
A glycol chiller is supposed to fix all my above problems. I researched what’s available on the market and also consider building one myself. I went with the “not cheap but effective and compact” option, the SS Brewtech Glycol Chiller 1/5 hp. I will give it a go and after some brews I’ll write a review.
Here are some shots from the unboxing:
I’ve got it all set up un running, the good is that it’s working really well. I’ve set the chiller to -1C and it functions as expected. Temperature drops fast enough.
Now as for the bad parts – it’s louder than I would like it to be. Definitely louder than a fridge. If you’re planning to have it close to the living room, this could get annoying
Another bad issue is condensation, if you’re living in a humid area this will be very noticeable. Adding good insulation to all tubing helps, but there will still be places where condensation occurs and water may start to accumulate. Obviously if you’re not planning to brew lagers, this would be less of a problem
However, those are minor annoyances and the main thing is that it does to my beer what I need it to do.