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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Brew Stands > New brewery in Texas!
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:04 PM   #11
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I chill with what I call the ice cream maker method. I put a 25' coil in a bath of ice and salt and let the beer run through the coil. I can run 10 gallons through in about 10 minutes and I usually run it through twice to get it to 75-80 degrees. I brew outside in Fort Worth. A couple of things about this method:

1. don't add the salt to the bath until your wort is flowing. It WILL freeze before reaching the output.

2. Don't let the hot wort stop flowing. It WILL freeze. Getting it unfrozen it not trivial.

I ruined a batch of beer one time trying to pull the frozen up coil out of the bath and knocking the cooler full of saltwater off the table into the bucket of wort on the floor. Crappy part is that I only had about 1/2 gallon left to cool when it froze up. I should have left it.

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Old 06-20-2011, 05:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
the cost of ice was about $10 for 40#.
find one of these ice houses -> Ice House America

$2 or less for 20 pounds if you bring a cooler to dump it in
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:27 PM   #13
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You can get a cheap pond pump to pump cold ice water threw the chiller.

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Old 06-20-2011, 06:32 PM   #14
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I keep a spare 5 gallon corny that I fill with ~10lbs of ice to pre-chill my immersion chiller. Works great, cheap solution.

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Old 06-21-2011, 01:09 AM   #15
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So here is my plan for this build. I already have the parts on order with exception for the plate chiller, but $10-$20 of ice per batch versus the $50 plate chiller should be an easy sell to swmbo. Technically I could just use the glycol, but I fear that the heat returning would overwhelm the a/c glycol unit.


North Houston btw.

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Old 06-26-2011, 09:59 PM   #16
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I need some help here. My Fermtroller build was on track until this afternoon. I have everything wired and functioning EXCEPT that my SSR that controls my A/C won't stay on much longer than 15 seconds. What is frustrating is that when I tie the SSR to my spare PID it works fine. Any thoughts anybody? I should also add that I have tried changing out the wire running to the SSR but no difference. I am really hoping to keep everything under control of the Fermtroller, no added PIDs if I can help it.

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Old 06-30-2011, 06:25 PM   #17
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Still in a bind but I want to share the progress here. I've nearly completed converting my A/C into a glycol chiller, just need Fermtroller to take control, and I have built 1 of 2 fermentation chambers. I have my Fermtroller box assembled, but will probably be making a few tweaks this evening or so, right now my controls are on the valve panel, and I want to transition them to the heat outputs so I can put a higher gauge wire in contact with my 12v controlled items. Here some pics:

Fermtroller Box with 5 LED indicators for 5 zones, will only be using 3 to start.

Fermentation chamber for 2 carboys, built, but still needs wired and plumbed.

My cooling radiators, with 2 120mm 12v fans for cooling the air across the glycol cooled radiator.

Glycol A/C unit, almost wired. I was able to by-pass the digital control quite easily, but for some reason my Fermtroller won't keep the SSR on continuously like my PID does.

** Does anyone have any idea why Fermtroller won't leave my SSR on like my PID**
I have tested this with a 10a and 25a SSR, the PID works fine with either, but Fermtroller will only stay on for a few seconds then cycles off then on.

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Old 06-30-2011, 06:50 PM   #18
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I find a PID control is really not suited for a compressor cooling system. You probably want to buy a 120V relay and use the alarm output instead. Then you can put in your turn on temp and turn off temp and keep it from cycling too fast thus locking up your compressor.

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Old 06-30-2011, 07:31 PM   #19
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Be careful playing around with compressors and temp controls. You will need something that prevents hot starts of the compressor. It is usually called ASD. It needs to guarantee that the compressor can't be activated within 5 minutes, or better yet 10 minutes, from when it last shut off. This is not a "most times" or "usually" it doesn't thing. Even one hot start can possibly fry your compressor.

You went a little overkill for what you needed to accomplish, but if you have the time and skills, it's more fun that way. The ghetto method is to use an old fridge or chest freezer for a fermentation chamber, and more added for multiple ferms. Since you already have the glycol chiller, you are only a jacketed conical away from having a temp controlled conical.

I have a plan for something similar to your glycol setup, but was going to place my fermenters in individual buckets of glycol inside a large (broken?) chest freezer instead of the radiators and individual chambers. More stable temps, and faster response that way. If the freezer functions, it can be set to the highest of the current ferm temps to stabilize temps further and reduce glycol chiller activation.

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Old 06-30-2011, 07:43 PM   #20
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RE: chilling to pitching temp

Don't forget that if you recirc the chilling fluid for a counter flow (or plate) chiller, the outflow temp of the product will change as the chilling fluid temp rises due to being recirculated. This will affect things even if you just recirc for the prechill as you are doing. The chilling fluid input into prechiller and subsequently to the final chiller will change temps during the chill unless your glycol chiller reservoir and recovery rate is great enough to not change temps. Should still work, but will require a bit of fiddling and some leeway to increase chill fluid flows as the chill progresses.

If you aren't hung up on CFC or plate chillers, an immersion chiller works well with hot tap water temps. Chill to 80-100F with hose water, then switch to a recirc'd open ice bath. Much less ice this way than the cfc/plate method where all the water needs to be iced to the same temp.

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