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Old 05-10-2013, 01:51 AM   #1
Derick_Z
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Default Fermentation Jacket

I've been drawing up designs for a system to control fermentation temperature. My current plan involves a blanket with flexible tubing stitched back and forth over one side, so I can wrap the blanket around the fermenter and velcro it tight. The hosing would run through some copper windings which are thermally bonded to one side of a peltier unit (for those unaware, peltier units work to rapidly and dramatically cool one side while heating the other, depending on which way the voltage is applied). I'll use a microcontroller and a thermistor to sense the temperature of the wort, decide whether it needs to be heated or cooled and flip the voltage of the peltier as needed, then activate a pump to circulate the fluid (most likely just water).

My thoughts are that the blanket will help insulate the fermenter, and although it will likely not be the quickest way to change the temperature, it should theoretically be capable of keeping the beer within the set range. My concerns are that the tubing might not cool/heat the fermenter as well as I hope, that I'd have trouble getting the peltier to chill/heat the water as much as is needed without pumping very slowly, or that it'll be too loud.

Any thoughts? Anyone else tried something similar?

Thanks

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Old 05-11-2013, 09:43 PM   #2
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Nobody has any thoughts?

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Old 05-11-2013, 10:31 PM   #3
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Sounds cool. We got my daughter a Peltier-based fridge for her dorm room. It worked fine but it did take quite a while to cool her Mt Dew. So as long as you don't have to change the temp too much too quick it will probably work well. I'm interested in seeing the design and hearing how it works.

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Old 05-11-2013, 10:58 PM   #4
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I've always pondered building almost the same exact thing, peltier, microcontroller and all. I bought a wine cooler at a garage sale recently and yanked the peltier out of it. I stuck it in my old son of fermentation chamber. It doesn't work very well to be honest. Granted I have it on top so I think it's reusing the air in the top few inches of the chamber so I may have to duct the cool air to the bottom or something. How do you intend on attaching the copper to the peltier? I had envisioned putting fans on the warm side and attaching the cold side to a vessel of water but what your talking about would work better if you have a solid way of thermally connecting the coils to the peltier. I was thinking too of using rigid insulation instead of the blanket too. You could cut slots into it to allow it to wrap around the pale and cutting channels for the tubing. That way there is direct contact between the tubing and the pale and good insulation on the outside of the tubing.

Curious to see how it turns out.

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Old 05-12-2013, 01:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spintab
I've always pondered building almost the same exact thing, peltier, microcontroller and all. I bought a wine cooler at a garage sale recently and yanked the peltier out of it. I stuck it in my old son of fermentation chamber. It doesn't work very well to be honest. Granted I have it on top so I think it's reusing the air in the top few inches of the chamber so I may have to duct the cool air to the bottom or something. How do you intend on attaching the copper to the peltier? I had envisioned putting fans on the warm side and attaching the cold side to a vessel of water but what your talking about would work better if you have a solid way of thermally connecting the coils to the peltier. I was thinking too of using rigid insulation instead of the blanket too. You could cut slots into it to allow it to wrap around the pale and cutting channels for the tubing. That way there is direct contact between the tubing and the pale and good insulation on the outside of the tubing.

Curious to see how it turns out.
Check out the cooler I built, in my posted threads section of my profile. This was a fun build but I found a professional temp controlled blanket for carboys on the Internet for about $150 and it would probably cost you at least that much to make it yourself but sometimes the experience of making something like that your self is worth the extra money
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:41 AM   #6
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I had planned to use thermal paste to affix the cold side of the pelt to a copper sheet which I would wind a few turns of copper pipe across and just slather it in thermal paste to try to get a good connection. Who knows if I'll actually pursue this project as it sounds a bit over my head, I just read about peltiers and I've been itching to find a homebrewing use for em!

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Old 05-12-2013, 02:05 AM   #7
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What about the water block from a cpu liquid cooling system? I think you can get entire systems for about 60 bucks. Maybe if you could find somewhere that only sells the blocks. I don't know if you can push enough liquid through it though.

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Old 05-12-2013, 04:49 AM   #8
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The h20 cooling is a good idea but I have one for my computer and the surface area it is intended to cool is less than a postage stamp so I'm not sure if they commercially make a h2o system big enough to cool a carboy, especially since a carboy actually makes heat during fermentation. The largest peltier device I was able to find is on www.electronicsgoldmine.com at 100w and with heat sinks about the size of a piece of toast. Maybe you could make something substantial out of that?

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Old 05-12-2013, 05:24 AM   #9
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I've seen peltiers as large as 300 watt. Check this out. http://www.customthermoelectric.com/Water_blocks.html You could stick one on either side with heat sinks and create something of a cooling stack. That's if you needed that much cooling.

It works for sure. http://morebeerpro.com/view_product/...ted_and_Cooled There's proof. It's just a matter of building it yourself.

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Old 05-12-2013, 05:41 AM   #10
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Those are both cool sites but look at the price tags on that stuff, the conical is prob 2000 bucks after tax and shipping, I bought a 18cu ft chest freezer off Craig's list for 100 and a controller for 60 and I can ferment way more than that conical. Plus have room for bottles to condition. Peltiers are cool but freezers or even a mini fridge with a aquarium temp controller is the economical way to go.

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