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Old 06-16-2009, 02:12 PM   #1
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Default Fermentation Chiller feasible?

Every fermentation temperature control system I have read about works on 2 principles, either place the fermenter in a controlled temperature environment like a chamber or liquid, or use a temperature controlled jacket applied to the outside of fermentation vessel.

Has anyone investigated using an immersion coil inside the fermenter circulating a temperature controlled liquid for a solution? I know inserting the coil would be near immpossible in narrow mouthed vessels like carboys, but not for buckets or conicals.

Is there a reason why this is not a possible solution for fermentation temperature control?

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Old 06-16-2009, 02:18 PM   #2
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check out brewpastor's gallery.

chilled glycol through immersed copper coils.

I'm about to start the process of collecting the parts to do the same. I already have four 30 gallon plastic conicals coming this week.

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Old 06-16-2009, 02:19 PM   #3
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I think it's possible, but why? Seems like a lot of trouble when a far simpler solution exists. Think of the consequences if there was a leak...you don't want glycol in your beer. Also, seems like it would be a real pain to clean and sanitize.

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Old 06-16-2009, 02:20 PM   #4
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10 - Glycol chiller and fermenters - HomeBrewTalk Gallery
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:31 PM   #5
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I think it's possible, but why? Seems like a lot of trouble when a far simpler solution exists. Think of the consequences if there was a leak...you don't want glycol in your beer. Also, seems like it would be a real pain to clean and sanitize.
I think it depends entirely on what size batches you're doing. 5/10 gallon batches? You're right, there are much easier solutions but once you start getting into 15 gallon batches and up, the solution gets a bit more difficult. You can't fit larger conicals in a fridge or cabinet (unless you make a really big one) and if you're using plastic (like I am) it's pretty tough to maintain chilled temps without immersion since plastic is such a horrible conductor of heat.
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:32 PM   #6
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Cool! I should have done a search. Thanks!
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:51 PM   #7
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It's a lot more sanitary to put the coils outside the fermenter and insulate outside of that. I know I'd be paranoid with a somewhat clean coil sitting in my fermenting beer. The only way I'd trust it is if I were fermenting in my brew kettle and left the chiller coil in place.

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Old 06-16-2009, 03:00 PM   #8
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I agree... it is definitely a concern... but to be perfectly honest... having my rig all hard-plumbed in was supposed to be a sanitary nightmare also (not according to you... just from what everyone was saying) and i'm a whole bunch 'o batches into it and it hasn't been a problem.... so... I'm willing to roll the dice on being able to get the coils cleaned and sanitized to the point that it isn't going to be an issue.

I originally was going to go exactly as you said... and basically jacket the conicals and then insulate them but I just think the heavy duty plastic is going to be so tough to get any heat/cool through, that the efficiency is going to be horrendous and the immersion path will be a ton easier.

... and Brewpastor seems to have been able to pull it off.

I am think stainless coils instead of the copper though.

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