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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Fermenters > Cooling Jackets for Plastic Conicals?
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:23 PM   #1
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Default Cooling Jackets for Plastic Conicals?

Seem to be a lot of threads about DIY plastic connicals.

They got me to thinking: I have seen designs for cooling jackets for SS connicals, but none for plastic. By "cooling jacket", I mean a coil of tubing that encloses part of the body of the connical, that is fed with a chilled liquid. The flow of liquid is controlled by a thermostat, with the probe in the wort, and the whole thing is covered by insulation.

Is something like this worth thinking about with a plastic connical, or am I missing something?

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Old 02-22-2010, 07:43 PM   #2
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I wonder if you could simply purchase 2 hoppers of different size? Then build it so there is an inner and outer hopper.

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Old 02-22-2010, 07:53 PM   #3
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Another option might be to hang a stainless coil from the lid.

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Old 02-23-2010, 04:20 AM   #4
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I was thinking of adding a coil to the inside through the side wall... similar to this...



I wonder if the tempeture gradient would be enough to get the wort to "stir itself" and stay uniformly cooled?

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Old 02-23-2010, 02:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x2wdtoyotax View Post
I was thinking adding a coil to the inside through the side wall... similar to this...



I wonder if the tempeture gradient would be enough to get the wort to "stir itself" and stay uniformly cooled?
At least initially, the yeast should handle that.
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Old 02-23-2010, 06:32 PM   #6
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So, I've been thinking of doing this as well. The main downside is the poor thermal transfer between plastic. However, I'm thinking if its covered in coils and then insulated, you can overcome the slow transfer.

As a starter, I'm planning on buying a roll of PEX tubing and wrapping it around a plastic conical and then insulating heavily. I think a cold enough liquid will allow enough transfer to overcome the poor material choice. If it doesn't work, at least PEX isn't expensive. I'm imagining this conical will be in a room that is already relatively cool (not over 75 for example), so I don't expect it to take much to drop it another 10 degrees or so.

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Old 02-23-2010, 07:06 PM   #7
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Probably be simpler to just use a cheap CL fridge.

The liquid cooling is just SO COOL, though.

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Old 02-23-2010, 07:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpt_Kirks View Post
The liquid cooling is just SO COOL, though.
Pun intended?

I agree with just using a fridge from CL. Maybe build a fermentation chiller? I'll be using my chiller for my conical.

Plastic is cheaper but won't allow a cooling jacket cuz plastic is an insulator not a conductor. There's always a tradeoff...
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Old 02-23-2010, 07:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpt_Kirks View Post
Probably be simpler to just use a cheap CL fridge.

After looking at this project for a couple months, I came to the same conclusion. Pick up a small used fridge, add a new temp controller you're done. No hoses, connections or pumps to deal with every time you ferment new batch. Probably more efficient as well.
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Old 02-23-2010, 07:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpt_Kirks View Post
Probably be simpler to just use a cheap CL fridge.

The liquid cooling is just SO COOL, though.

True, but at some point, that's no longer practical. What if your conical is 110 gallons?! Or if you need 4 of them and each of them are 110 gallons?

Just sayin...
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