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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Fermenters > Any ideas for chilling Blichmann Fermenters?
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:37 AM   #1
Marius
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Default Any ideas for chilling Blichmann Fermenters?

Hi,

I want to buy a 27 gallon Blichmann fermenter, but I don't have a suitable fridge to put it in. Also I wouldn't have enough space to put the fridge so...

I'm thinking of "jacketing" it somehow, but I didn't find any good idea yet.

Thanks for your help.

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Old 10-23-2012, 11:06 AM   #2
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Think "internal SS coil" ala the Brewhemoth. I've read about people wrapping copper pipe around the fermenter and insulating to mimic jacketing, but I'm not convinced that it would work better than a chiller immersed in the fermenting wort.

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Old 10-23-2012, 12:28 PM   #3
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I have a 22 gallon brewhemoth and there is no way it was going to fit in a fridge. Below is the build that I did as a jacketed fermenter.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/good...hiller-319131/

For what it's worth, the reason why I decided to not use the internal coil is because it's just one more thing to clean. The other reason why I choose to go jacketed is because of the heat transfer. By having the cooling outside, inside you create a natural convection motion.

Just my two cents.

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Old 10-23-2012, 03:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyled93 View Post
I have a 22 gallon brewhemoth and there is no way it was going to fit in a fridge. Below is the build that I did as a jacketed fermenter.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/good...hiller-319131/

For what it's worth, the reason why I decided to not use the internal coil is because it's just one more thing to clean. The other reason why I choose to go jacketed is because of the heat transfer. By having the cooling outside, inside you create a natural convection motion.

Just my two cents.
Thanks Kyled, I was thinking about the same idea, but I didn't spect It worked, now that I see it I have no doubt, that's the way I'll go.

I'll think about the way I circulate the water around the fermenter, maybe I find an easier solution since surrounding the conical part of a blichmann sounds hard. If I dond't find anything I'll follow your desing exactly.

Thanks again.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyled93 View Post
I have a 22 gallon brewhemoth and there is no way it was going to fit in a fridge. Below is the build that I did as a jacketed fermenter.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/good...hiller-319131/

For what it's worth, the reason why I decided to not use the internal coil is because it's just one more thing to clean. The other reason why I choose to go jacketed is because of the heat transfer. By having the cooling outside, inside you create a natural convection motion.

Just my two cents.
I have thought of the method which you use to cool your Brewhemoth, however, I kept getting stuck on the efficiency. It seems that there would be limited contact between the copper coil and outside surface of the vessel, specifically, only contact along a tangential line. Also, I would think that the cooling liquid would have to "radiate" through the copper and SS in order to have an affect on the fermenting wort. Your insulation helps, but your coil would still need to cool the airspace between the coils.

With that thinking, I was figuring that the immersion chiller approach would be more economical despite the additional cleaning required. In my case, I would likely be soaking some other brewery part in Oxiclean and would just dunk the chiller coil as needed.

I would like to see some data from those who use the internal coil as to the ability to maintain fermentation temps with high ambient temps as well as being able to crash cool. Can you crash cool with your setup?
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OG2620

I have thought of the method which you use to cool your Brewhemoth, however, I kept getting stuck on the efficiency. It seems that there would be limited contact between the copper coil and outside surface of the vessel, specifically, only contact along a tangential line. Also, I would think that the cooling liquid would have to "radiate" through the copper and SS in order to have an affect on the fermenting wort. Your insulation helps, but your coil would still need to cool the airspace between the coils.

With that thinking, I was figuring that the immersion chiller approach would be more economical despite the additional cleaning required. In my case, I would likely be soaking some other brewery part in Oxiclean and would just dunk the chiller coil as needed.

I would like to see some data from those who use the internal coil as to the ability to maintain fermentation temps with high ambient temps as well as being able to crash cool. Can you crash cool with your setup?

OG2620, I had the same reservations until I did the math with the pump requirements, water fountain, how cold the water fountian could go and the length of coil i would need (used about 50 ft of 1/4") Then I compared it to how the other jacketed fermentors were built.

The design is extremely similar to a commercial jacketed fermentor. That being said, you were curious about the efficiency. Ideally the air surrounding the coil is extremely small and actually helps as an insulator since the air does not move. This air comes to temp very quickly and has little if any effect. The copper coil is in direct contact with the stainless side and spaced maybe 1/4" from each wrap above and below. The over all height the coil is about an 8" to 10" band around the brewhemoth. The water fountian design spec stated that it would guarantee 50 degree water at an entering temp of 80 degree city water and 90 degree ambient air temp with a flow rate of 8 gallons per hour. This is more than enough cooling needed to maintain fermentation temperatures. In reality, the PID controller will calculate the run time of pump and for how long to run the pump to maintain temperature. I let the fountain run when it needs to and the pump run when the controller decides it needs to add cooling.

Now, the location of my fermentor is in my garage here in South Florida. Everyday like today, its typically between 80 and 90 degrees depending on the time of day. I can easily maintain 68 within the brewhemoth with active fermentation and about 11 gallons of beer. I have tested a crash temp of 55 degrees during my test period in July and was able to maintain this temp easily. The water fountains lowest setting is about 45 degrees which is plenty low enough to crash an ale prior to Kegging.

I hope this helps explain a bit more on my process. In reality you can control the temp in a fermentor may different ways. I chose the way that I thought would require less cleaning and less chance for infection. The internal coil is very similar to what commercial wine makes use. Although its not a coil but more of stainless plate.

Kyle
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyled93 View Post
I have a 22 gallon brewhemoth and there is no way it was going to fit in a fridge. Below is the build that I did as a jacketed fermenter.

Just my two cents.
That's absolute rubbish.

I, and many others, have fridges that fit The Brewhemoth just fine. Granted they are All-Fridges, but none the less this is a great, and easy, solution.

My 2c
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OG2620 View Post
Think "internal SS coil" ala the Brewhemoth. I've read about people wrapping copper pipe around the fermenter and insulating to mimic jacketing, but I'm not convinced that it would work better than a chiller immersed in the fermenting wort.
Thanks OG2620, Kyled's system seems to work fine but I think it is going to be hard to wrap the coil around the conical bottom of my blichmann so this other option looks appropriate for me. I thought about it but I was concerned about cleaning. In the end It's just something more to clean, we are all used to that.

So, I will think about those two options.

Thanks to all
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:02 PM   #9
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Hey man, you might wanna look into the Stout Tanks fermenters as well. They're cheaper than the blichmanns and you can have them put an SS coil inside similar to the brewhemoth.

This is the route I'm going with my own setup.

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Old 10-25-2012, 12:27 PM   #10
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One could always go the inductor tank route (with immersion chiller) to save even more money if one desires.

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