Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Chillers and Stir Plates > Water Fermentation Chiller
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-23-2008, 02:07 PM   #1
jcarson83
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
jcarson83's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Springfield, MO
Posts: 942
Liked 15 Times on 10 Posts

Default Water Fermentation Chiller

Like many I've been struggling with fermentation temperatures for a while now. I've been dealing with this like many people and placing a carboy in a tub of water and cycling frozen water bottles through in order to keep the temperature low enough. This is better than some alternatives but it is not practical for styles that require lower temperatures because unless you can change bottles out every 4 to 6 hours your going to see large temperature fluctuations. What I came up with is basically just a modification of what I have been using that makes it more efficient and automated.

Parts:
10 gallon Igloo Cooler $60 (I salvaged one and you could use your mash tun too)
Cooler of any size $30 (I had one like most people will)
Submersion Water Pump $20 (Nothing too fancy here)
Renco 111000 Temperature Controller $65
Misc Tubing $10?

Total Cost: $175
This could be less depending on what you have.

Instructions:
The basic idea here is that the carboy is placed in the 10 gallon cooler which is filled with water to just bellow the wort line (which is important unless you want your carboy to float). The temperature sensor is placed in the 10 gal cooler and as this temperature rises above a set point it will turn the pump on. The pump will transfer water from the cold water cooler, filled with frozen bottles, to the 10 gal igloo which will drain the warm water back to the cold water cooler.

1. Get a temperature controller. There are plenty of threads on this so just do a search.

2. Get a Cooler that will fit your primary. A 10 gallon igloo works perfect for a better bottle and a carboy so if your doing all grain you might use your mash tun.

3. Get a pond pump.

4. Turn the spigot on the cooler around so the spigot faces up on the inside. This will create the drain for the inside of the fermenter cooler.

5. Attach tubing on the outside of the cooler to drain into the chilling cooler.



6. Attach tubing on the inside to drain. This tube should be cut off at slightly bellow the level of your wort in your primary so it won't float. I stuck a thermometer in it to keep it staight.



7. Put cold water in the cold water cooler with the pump. Pump tubing from cold water cooler goes to the fermenter cooler attached with a clamp above the water line. If don't don't keep this above the water line it will siphon back into the cold water cooler when the pump shuts off.



8. Place primary in the 10 gal igloo cooler.

9. Place temperature controller probe in the cooler and plug the pump in.



The chilling cooler will hold temp for quite a long time as long as you put some ice in every couple of days. My first try I had the cooler from 43 to 45 in two days without adding ice.

I'll keep you posted.

__________________

jcarson83 is offline
3
People Like This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-23-2008, 03:14 PM   #2
TimGrz
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 36
Default

Not a bad idea. You would probably want to wrap the top with a blanket to help insulate it a bit too.

You could also go above the wort line. Between gravity of the wort as well as the bottle weight you should be able to cover the wort line by at least an inch.

/tg

__________________
TimGrz is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-24-2008, 01:46 AM   #3
jcarson83
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
jcarson83's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Springfield, MO
Posts: 942
Liked 15 Times on 10 Posts

Default

No need to wrap it yet as far as I can tell. As far as going above the wort line I wouldn't suggest it. If your using a better bottle that won't work and if you have a batch that turns our short you will have to cut a new piece of tube.

__________________
jcarson83 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-07-2008, 08:34 PM   #4
Chriso
Broken Robot Brewing Co.
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Chriso's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Someplace, Nebraska
Posts: 4,718
Liked 72 Times on 63 Posts
Likes Given: 129

Default

WOW. That's some serious ingenuity! I love it, good work!!!!

__________________
BROKEN ROBOT BREWING CO.

Chriso || SMaSH Brewers, Unite! || Nebraska Brewers! || Lincoln Lagers Brew Club
"You have just experienced the paradigm shift that is....all grain brewing." - BierMuncher
Chriso is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-07-2008, 09:06 PM   #5
lamarguy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,657
Liked 23 Times on 22 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

I'm playing devil's advocate here, but wouldn't it be easier and just as economical to buy a small, used fridge and attach an external temperature controller?

The cost would be $150 - $250, depending upon the cost of the used fridge. And, there is no need to refill the ice bin. Just set the target temperature and walk away.

But, if you already have most of the parts lying around, this is definitely an option worth considering.

__________________
lamarguy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-07-2008, 09:23 PM   #6
Germey
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Germey's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Rancho Bernardo, CA
Posts: 698
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lamarguy View Post
I'm playing devil's advocate here, but wouldn't it be easier and just as economical to buy a small, used fridge and attach an external temperature controller?

The cost would be $150 - $250, depending upon the cost of the used fridge. And, there is no need to refill the ice bin. Just set the target temperature and walk away.

But, if you already have most of the parts lying around, this is definitely an option worth considering.
As long as you have the space, that is much easier. I have been thinking about something very similar as the OP, but was planning to exchange liquid between the fermentation chamber and a reservoir in my keggerator (what's a couple more holes in the side). When I get around to building the chamber, it will be just big enough to slip in a plastic bin that holds 2 carboys. Overall, it will be just a tad bigger than a dorm fridge, and will be part of a bigger storage cabinet for brew stuff.
Germey is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-07-2008, 09:24 PM   #7
jcarson83
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
jcarson83's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Springfield, MO
Posts: 942
Liked 15 Times on 10 Posts

Default

Actually it just cost me $85 to make since all I needed was the temperature controller and water pump. I would have needed the temperature controller for a fridge so basically all I was out was $20 for the pump. The other reason I like it and may not upgrade anytime soon to a fridge is efficiency and I room. Oh and now I have a 10 gallon mash tun so I can make a barley wine.

__________________
jcarson83 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-07-2008, 10:08 PM   #8
slimer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
slimer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Westmont, IL
Posts: 723
Default

I've been thinking about doing something like this with my sump well.

__________________
slimer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-08-2008, 11:57 PM   #9
FSR402
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
FSR402's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Jenison, MI
Posts: 2,883
Liked 16 Times on 14 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

When I was thinking of using my 15.5 gallon fermenters I was thinking of this same idea, just larger. Using a 55 gallon drum in place of the 10 gallon cooler and I was trying to come up with a way of using cold water from either the tap or a fridge and having the abiliy to use the heat side of the controler to pull hot water from my tap to heat it up if needed.

All to much work and money for me. I'll use the big fermenters in the winter when I need to heat the fermenting room and carboys in the summer.

__________________
TWO FISTED BREWING CO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_cad View Post
Its nice when you and your friends have comparable equipment.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker-san View Post
some people will tap anything that has a hole.
Buy Two Fisted Brewing gear
FSR402 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-07-2008, 10:52 PM   #10
Straydog
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 5
Default Cost to operate

Quote:
Originally Posted by lamarguy View Post
I'm playing devil's advocate here, but wouldn't it be easier and just as economical to buy a small, used fridge and attach an external temperature controller?

The cost would be $150 - $250, depending upon the cost of the used fridge. And, there is no need to refill the ice bin. Just set the target temperature and walk away.

But, if you already have most of the parts lying around, this is definitely an option worth considering.
Some old fridges cost way too much in energy to operate and this would be a fraction of the cost to operate. This is the very thing i am working on for my bocks and dark lagers.
I was looking for an estimate on ice change over and two days is fantastic. do you use 1 gallon ice jugs or ½ gallon?
__________________
Straydog is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ice Water For Immersion Chiller The Pol Equipment/Sanitation 14 02-23-2011 07:50 PM
Water Cooler Refrigeration Components Fermentation Chiller Ben25 Fermenters 7 06-25-2009 06:39 AM
How much water for an immersion chiller? danielinva Equipment/Sanitation 23 05-27-2009 03:17 PM
Pumping water through Chiller hmpitags2006 Chillers and Stir Plates 25 01-04-2008 02:57 AM
Water chiller? Wort*hog Equipment/Sanitation 1 09-30-2006 08:38 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS