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Old 08-15-2010, 08:31 PM   #11
JohnMc
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I was wondering if anyone has a 42 gallon blichmann fermenator and what they think of it.
whenever this type of thing comes up, I start surfin' and salivating.
I wonder if anyone's tried one of the 40 gallon ones here: http://conical-fermenter.com/product...al-fermenters/
The page says it'll fit into a Fridigaire freezer.
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:39 PM   #12
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The Blichmann is 24d x 48h. You might be able to find a fridge that could fit that. It would certainly be easier than setting up a glycol system. Maybe even cheaper if it's from CL.

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Old 08-15-2010, 08:54 PM   #13
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you could always get a plate chiller for the 27gallon or 42 gallon not sure if the would fit in the 14 gallon

They also have a lot of tri clamp fittings including racking arms

http://www.stpats.com/index.htm

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Old 08-16-2010, 04:10 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by jo83ben View Post
It does introduce some more sanitation issues regarding the tubing being coiled loosely in the fermenator, but that can be easily remedied with some good old elbow grease and good sanitizer.
Coil the SS loose enough so particles won't get pinched between the coils and hit your unit with a hot oxi-clean bath and you will have no problem with cleaning things up.
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Old 08-17-2010, 02:49 AM   #15
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Coil the SS loose enough so particles won't get pinched between the coils
very good idea
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Old 08-17-2010, 02:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
You might be able to find a fridge that could fit that. It would certainly be easier than setting up a glycol system. Maybe even cheaper if it's from CL.
agreed, and yes you can fit the big 42 in a fridge/freezer. but to be honest its all about going the extra mile. someone else mentioned something to the tune of not understanding the desire for the complication and exspense of a glycol system, and i wrote a lengthy reply. i've copied it down below for all to enjoy. interested to see if people agree with me or am i just crazy!? or maybe drunk?

Quote:
Quote:
"am curious as to what people see as the advantage of a glycol cooling process?"


Well first i must be honest and say its all about "creating" my own mini brewery. I used to want to open a real brewery, but having worked in one for a while i'm not sure its a good career path for someone who wants a family and time to do other things. so by making my own mini brewery in my basement i can try to find ways to make copies of larger brewery set ups...such as a brew sculpture, stainless conicals, and the ability to do lagering.

Building some elaborate and probably $$ glycol system really plays into my desire to design stuff, build stuff, and be creative about it. Also, if done correctly i could really create neat and professional look to it, which is a bonus. They call the blichmann fermenators blingmann, and lets face it. if i get one, i'd rather see it in all its glory out in the open rather then stuffed in a fridge. i'm not trying to sound stuck up or anything, i just know i would smile every time i saw the thing.

Also, using the glycol set up i proposed would free up extra freezer space for other things. on another site i posted this idea and it was proposed that stainless tubing be used for the glycol to prevent oxidation of the copper i originally proposed, and by using another temp controller on the freezer, you could set the temp at just above freezing to prevent beer icing up around the coiled stainless tubing thats routed in the fermenator. and in the unlikely event i actually get to do a set up like this....and the even more unlikely event that i could get more than one fermenator, i could easily expand the system with some more tubing, pumps, and temp controllers to allow for temp control on various fermentations. i don't know how well this would all work, but its possible it could even be a viable option for very small start up brew pubs lacking the cash for genuine temp controls.

hope this helps give some insight into us crazies and our glycol and no i'm not being facetious... hehe
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Old 08-20-2010, 03:28 PM   #17
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I think I have created something similar to what you are considering, but instead of glycol I am using recirculating ice water.

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Old 08-20-2010, 03:48 PM   #18
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I think I have created something similar to what you are considering, but instead of glycol I am using recirculating ice water.

This is the 5 gallon Femenator set up for cooling:


CIMG3887 (Large) by jimlebeau, on Flickr

Ice water is held in the 5 gallon Igloo cooler (same as my mash tun) and pumped by a March pump to the cooling coils installed on the lid of the Fermantor.

Ice bath:

CIMG3895 (Large) by jimlebeau, on Flickr

The pump is controlled by a Johnson Controls A419 PID set to cooling, the thermocouple is installed in a SS thermowell in the stopper.

The controller and pump:

CIMG3902 (Large) by jimlebeau, on Flickr

I made the cooling coils from 10 feet of 3/8" copper tubing:

CIMG3877 (Large) by jimlebeau, on Flickr


CIMG3879 (Large) by jimlebeau, on Flickr

Compression fittings in the lid (drilled holes in a spare corny lid) and thermowell:

CIMG3910 (Large) by jimlebeau, on Flickr

In the summer my basement pantry is in the high 70s. I find I need to replace the frozen 1/2 gallon juice jugs twice a day to maintain 68 degrees in the Fermenator during active fermentation. I have not tried lager temps yet.

So far 2 ales have been brewed with this setup, no problems. Very light corrosion of the coils occurs above the wort line but it is easily cleaned off.

I use the same A419 controller in the winter with a brewbelt resistance heater (the blue band around the fermenator) to control my temps.

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Old 08-20-2010, 05:50 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Dunerunner View Post
Total - $1080 I figure closer to $1400 by the time I add solenoid valves and controls for that.[/I][/B]
This is the part where it is economically backwards to do this, IMO. A ferm chamber can be built for 200-300 bucks including temp controllers and all the fixings. CAN you do it with Glycol? Absolutely. But I just don't think it is a cost effective option unless you have multiple tanks that are too big to move and/or you need multiple tanks at different temps (depends how many, but it would appear easy to do a multi-chamber ferm chamber with a single cooling device)

It does sound like fun, but I am not sure it is truly worth it. I don't think you would necessarily save on space or efficiency considering A/C options integrated into the ferm chamber.
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