Keg cooling jacket experiment

Help Support The HomeBrew Forum:

Hazelwood Brewery

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
1,705
Reaction score
1,659
Location
Kent
Having seen several people asking for ideas on how to cool pressure barrels, I thought I’d have a go at coming up with something.

After working up several elaborate ideas I eventually forced myself to get back to basics and come up with something cheap and simple, and I hope effective. This is the what it looks like in situ. Not the prettiest little thing I’ll grant you but as an experiment it will do just fine.

8CFD9222-D28F-43E8-9247-150F4C50A5D4.jpeg
 

Hopsteep

Flat out like a lizard drinking
Supporting Member
Joined
May 19, 2017
Messages
734
Reaction score
468
Location
Essex
I trust you’ll need to pour several pints of both ales to thoroughly evaluate the experiment 😉
 

Hazelwood Brewery

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
1,705
Reaction score
1,659
Location
Kent
The materials are cheap, the design is simple, and it’s quick to make. I can’t yet give you performance information because I’ve only just started to gather it but over the next few days I’ll update the thread.

D24924A6-AB69-4212-A199-7CBAA0221ADF.jpeg


The materials list is pretty short:

Lagging jacket from screwfix £10.99. The jacket has four separate panels, only one is needed per keg.

Hot Water Cylinder Jacket 18 x 80mm x 1219mm


Pack of 6 freezer blocks (17cm x 10cm x 2cm) from Amazon £8.99. I’m working at the moment in the basis of 6 blocks per jacket.


KEPLIN Home Freezer Blocks Family Pack (x6 Blocks) - Keeps Food and Drink Cooler for Hours:Amazon.co.uk:Sports & Outdoors


3 x 22m x 48mm rolls clear packing tape from Amazon £5.65. You don’t need anything like this amount but it’s cheap!

Packatape 3 Rolls 48MM x 66M Clear Packaging Tape for Parcels and Boxes. This 3 roll Pack of Heavy Duty Clear Packing Tape Provides a Strong, Secure and Sticky Seal for Your Boxes:Amazon.co.uk:DIY & Tools


50m x 25mm Bias binding tape from Amazon £9.99. You actually only need 4.5-5m per keg.

50 Meters 25mm Cotton Tape Bias Binding Tape Bunting Tape Twill Webbing Tape Sew Herringbone Roll Tape for Sewing Dressmaking Alterations Craft Apron, Natural:Amazon.co.uk:Kitchen & Home

You also need a couple of plastic carrier bags that will be used to form pockets for the freezer blocks.

Tools are just a Stanley knife, black felt tip pen, and a cutting board. I didn’t use the scissors.
 

Hazelwood Brewery

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
1,705
Reaction score
1,659
Location
Kent
The jacket is a perfect fit around the keg but a little taller than the keg.

8B12D1A6-34D6-4BBF-8D32-6D2A94E24AA2.jpeg


This is helpful though because the jacket needs to be drawn in around the top of the keg so I used the excess height to fold over and create a drawstring arrangement.


ACCACFF9-FCE0-4D42-A90C-858570ECD60F.jpeg



7005B837-F03E-49F1-BA0F-7A2264310572.jpeg


73702537-2B4C-472F-AF62-AA5BFFC3CAB1.jpeg


A little test...
668F3049-6164-4EE2-810D-49C38611188B.jpeg
 

Drunkula

Landlord.
Joined
Nov 30, 2017
Messages
2,195
Reaction score
1,783
In the pockets for the ice blocks it would be good to have something that'll thermally bind the blocks to the barrel - like bags of gel or water.
 

Hazelwood Brewery

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
1,705
Reaction score
1,659
Location
Kent
Next, to form the pockets, I used plastic carrier bags. I cut off the handles and then cut the bag in half - these two pieces will form two pockets.

F7F54E03-DFDA-4599-873C-3D79D4748FC4.jpeg


For each keg cooler there are three pockets.

8A395A08-EEAE-4BCC-B9F6-773D4AB46EE0.jpeg
 

Hazelwood Brewery

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
1,705
Reaction score
1,659
Location
Kent
In the pockets for the ice blocks it would be good to have something that'll thermally bind the blocks to the barrel - like bags of gel or water.
It would, feel free to start the Mk.2 version, we’ll all gain from an improved design.athumb..
 

Hazelwood Brewery

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
1,705
Reaction score
1,659
Location
Kent
When thinking about changing the freezer blocks I decided I didn’t want to have to undo the jacket so the pockets need to be accessible from the outside.

ED459FD4-22A3-463A-BED8-A1CEAD48EDB6.jpeg


To achieve this, and remove the risk of stuffing the freezer blocks into the insulation, the pockets will go all the way through the insulation so I split the seam part way down on the side of the carrier bag that is joined.

25CE7A5C-B341-4527-8C58-192237478102.jpeg


The two flaps will then be opened out and fixed on the outside of the jacket.
BA1646F1-D5B6-4DB6-BD74-2E5BE8308CCC.jpeg


For each pocket (there are three at 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 the length along the jacket), cut a slot right through the jacket for the top of the pocket to go through.
5C5B00A1-65EE-440F-92F9-6E730E8B27AF.jpeg


Once fed through tape all around the pocket to fix it to the jacket, I also laid tape across the middle, top to bottom, and across corner-to-corner.

727CF7FE-03A5-46A9-B951-7472936E960B.jpeg
 

Hazelwood Brewery

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
1,705
Reaction score
1,659
Location
Kent
Repeat as above for the other two pockets.

ADE2D19F-BE0F-4D49-82F2-50FF976B6E2E.jpeg



On the outside of the jacket fit two more lengths of bias tape using a small strip of plastic carrier bag to form belt loops under a length of sticky tape.

DB54D111-1E51-4508-94FB-2D96E0C0D6B9.jpeg


One length just above the pocket openings and the other about at the height of the bottom of the pockets.

C5406475-A534-47BE-99CE-048D0A075D1A.jpeg
 

Hazelwood Brewery

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
1,705
Reaction score
1,659
Location
Kent
You’re done, just wrap the jacket around the keg and use the drawstrings to pull it in round the cap. Tie off the other two lengths of tape and slip your freezer blocks into the pockets.

1B1E480A-4FB3-4C72-9752-B83AF3AC8FF7.jpeg



Performance data to follow...
 
  • Like
Reactions: NPi

Hazelwood Brewery

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
1,705
Reaction score
1,659
Location
Kent
Hey @Chippy_Tea, you might be a bit premature moving this thread into a “How-to” section. 😂

May be ok if this is also the “How not to” section but thanks for your confidence!
 

jjsh

Landlord.
Joined
Jan 4, 2011
Messages
2,742
Reaction score
1,403
Location
East Lindsey, Lincolnshire
Great idea. Do you know what the dimensions are of one of the water jacket panels, or just the height, by any chance? I'm thinking of getting one to insulate my HLT and also my boiler.
 

Hazelwood Brewery

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
1,705
Reaction score
1,659
Location
Kent
Great idea. Do you know what the dimensions are of one of the water jacket panels, or just the height, by any chance? I'm thinking of getting one to insulate my HLT and also my boiler.
Hang on I’ll measure a panel...
 

Spratt

Active Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
45
Reaction score
35
Location
Suffolk
You’re done, just wrap the jacket around the keg and use the drawstrings to pull it in round the cap. Tie off the other two lengths of tape and slip your freezer blocks into the pockets.

View attachment 29950


Performance data to follow...
Sounds as though it's going to be warm this coming weekend, so if you've not drunk it all by then, it should be a good test for it. Looking forward to hearing how it goes.

David
 

Hazelwood Brewery

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
1,705
Reaction score
1,659
Location
Kent
An update on results so far...

The jacket is maintaining a temperature that’s about 4 degrees below ambient. Not as good as I’d hoped perhaps but it’s probably as good as I should have expected. The walls of the King Keg are very thick plastic so there’s quite a lot of thermal insulation and the contact area is quite small between the freezer blocks and the keg.

The insulation jacket also seems to be working quite well so between the insulation of the jacket and the insulation of the keg wall, the freezer blocks are lasting 6 hours - which is longer than it takes to re-freeze the thawed blocks.

At a tad under 16 degrees the ale from this keg is plenty cool enough for me and I’m looking forward to seeing how it copes over the coming mini heat-wave.
 

Hazelwood Brewery

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
1,705
Reaction score
1,659
Location
Kent
A day later and...

The ambient temperature this morning was 17C, the beer temperature was14C. The ambient temperature has risen through the day to 20.6C, the beer temperature is still 14C.

Now it’s getting a little bit more exciting!
 

Latest posts

Top