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Old 07-04-2010, 11:43 PM   #1
paledragon
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Default 14g conical cooling

i was hoping to find an upright fridge or freezer that would hold one of morebeer's 14 gallon conicals (which is on my list of upgrades, don't own one yet). i took some measurements at the local sears, and fitting one in there seems tight.

i want to be able to ferment lagers (without lagering), so temps will have to get down to 50* F. i've thought about building a chamber that AC or minifridge cooled, but was hoping to just buy something that would hold the conical.

any pointers would be much appreciated. do most people just build something to cool a fermenter this big?

thanks,
p.d.

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Old 07-05-2010, 02:11 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paledragon View Post
i was hoping to find an upright fridge or freezer that would hold one of morebeer's 14 gallon conicals (which is on my list of upgrades, don't own one yet). i took some measurements at the local sears, and fitting one in there seems tight.

i want to be able to ferment lagers (without lagering), so temps will have to get down to 50* F. i've thought about building a chamber that AC or minifridge cooled, but was hoping to just buy something that would hold the conical.

any pointers would be much appreciated. do most people just build something to cool a fermenter this big?

thanks,
p.d.
If you are dead set against building a fermentation chamber, I would look into finding something commercial like this: http://cgi.ebay.com/Pepsi-Commercial-Cooler-Refrigerator-Two-Sliding-doors-/330447974776?cmd=ViewItem&pt=BI_Commercial_Refrige rators_Freezers&hash=item4cf03bf178




The Morebeer conical is 19" in diameter and 42" high so the refrigerator above could probably fit two of them. In the end, a fermentation chamber build will be the least expensive option.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:44 PM   #3
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Yeah, I saw something like that, but those things are freaking expensive. I'll probably just try building something. I'll have to dig through the threads to see what I can find.

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Old 07-05-2010, 10:03 PM   #4
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upright freezer + thermostat?

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Old 07-06-2010, 01:32 AM   #5
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upright freezer + thermostat?
that was my first thought, but everything that has removable shelves also seems to have a temperature alarm built in. conversely, everything without a temperature alarm seems to have cooling coils in the shelves. i'm not sure i trust myself trying to physically disable a built in alarm. if i'm gonna destroy appliances trying to make a fermentation chamber, i'd rather have it be on the cheap side

p.d.
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:58 AM   #6
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that was my first thought, but everything that has removable shelves also seems to have a temperature alarm built in.
FWIW, it's straightforward to bypass a digital controller on a upright freezer.

For example, I bypassed a digital controller on my upright freezer using a couple of resistors and a Love controller. I figured out the OEM temp probe (analog) resistance at -32F and 100F and wired the Love controller relays to show the OEM controller the same resistance (low or high).

This allowed me to keep the OEM defrost heater functionality and still have precious temperature control.
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:10 PM   #7
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Only the newest models seem to have these alarms. A used one probably won't have one. Lamarguy, if you have a good method, you might consider posting a DIY thread on it, it could be of benefit to others.

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Old 07-08-2010, 01:29 AM   #8
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a DIY on bypassing the digital controllers would be great.

i think i've decided to go in a different direction. i'm going to build a chamber just big enough to fit the conical. the chamber will be cooled indirectly by a 5 ft3 chest freezer filled with water bottles (for thermal mass). i'm gonna build a collar, and then run some duct between the freezer and chamber. i'll have a fan kick on and off to control the chamber temperature. the benefit of this is that i'll be able to build a second chamber that is cooled independently of the other (e.g. ale vs. lager).

another benefit is that the chest freezer will run normally, so i won't have to worry about mold, condensation, etc. i'm sure something else will go wrong, but i think that's gonna be the plan for now.

p.d.

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Old 07-09-2010, 09:28 PM   #9
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Several years ago I wrapped my conicals with copper coils and built a glycol chiller out of a window A/C unit. Still working great and allows me to independently control two conicals and dang near any temp I want regardless of ambient. I had a complete write up on it that, sadly, was lost a couple years back when our club site crashed. I think there are picts here somewhere too. I'll try and dig em up again.

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Old 07-09-2010, 09:31 PM   #10
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Here's an old thread that had some picts of what I did.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/home-made-glycol-chiller-c-unit-103280/

Not cheap, but I like that it doens't take up any more space.

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