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Old 02-14-2012, 10:29 AM   #1
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Default Controlling temperatures

Quick question/idea. What harm would come if I left a wort chiller in the fermentation bucket and installed a lid that sealed around the inlet and outlet connections. Then cool or warm water could be circulated through the chiller to maintain a preset temp. Seems like if you added the STC-1000 controller to the equation and monitored the temp from the outside of a fermentor pail that you could easilly maintain lagering temps even in the heat of the summer. You could use an office water cooler to chill and heat the water while driving the correct valve to open using a relay triggered by the STC-1000. Building the electronics for the device would be very easy. I realize I should probably employ a 7.5 gallon brew pail to allow for head room and to avoid blow off's. ANybody ever heard of or attempted anything like this? I'm still new and think outside the box most of the time anyway. especially since I brew in my home shop in Florida where it gets hot and stays most of the summer, spring, and fall. Ideas/Improvements, or just plain stupid?
TIA for the comments.
Bob

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Old 02-14-2012, 10:55 AM   #2
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I have heard its bad for copper to be in contact with fermented beer.
But stainless is used all the time in this manner in larger fermenters.

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Old 02-14-2012, 11:16 AM   #3
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I personally love the idea!

I don't see why that wouldn't work. We put the cooper in the hot wort why couldn't you just leave it in seems logical.

Subscribe! I might have to try I have almost all those parts sitting around

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Old 02-14-2012, 11:44 AM   #4
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Awesome idea!

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Old 02-14-2012, 11:49 AM   #5
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If you build it they will come...

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Old 02-14-2012, 11:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaserchap View Post
If you build it they will come...
Isn't that the truth! LOL
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:53 AM   #7
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I thought of this also by using an old aquarium chiller I have laying around. I figured the cost of making it insulated and the cost of the chillers electrical use would not be as cheap as I originally thought. I found a freezer chest would be cheaper in the long run. The chest could also do more than one carboy. However if you are limited on space and were looking for something energy efficient you could use a probe like this(http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_viewit...utm_medium=cse). I have never tried it on beer, but I know they work for small aquariums.

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Old 02-14-2012, 11:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berniep View Post
I have heard its bad for copper to be in contact with fermented beer.
But stainless is used all the time in this manner in larger fermenters.
Bernie, Thanks for pointing out the possible issue with copper. I still think it would work but would stick with stainless so there is no danger of copper poisoning or foriegn stuff in my beer. The reason I was thinkin this whole idea was to lower the Mash tun temp to pitch temp rapidly and then keep it at a preset temp for the duration of time in the primary. I would eventually rack to a carboy for further aging and dry hopping prior to bottling. I'm thinking that if I keep the ferment at the lower end of the yeasts temp range it would make a smoother beer from the start. After primary fermentation temp control is less critical so the coil would be uneccessary. I could then reuse the fermentor/coil set up again immediately while the temp is allowed to be room temp on the secondary. Hmmmmm, got me thinking again. More as my feeble little mind arrives at a plan.
Bob
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:17 PM   #9
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Temperature control is only important during the initial fast ferment which usually only lasts 2 to 4 days. You might find it much easier to just go with a tub of water with ice chunks to control the temperature for that long.

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Old 02-15-2012, 01:50 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the replies guys and gals. I have decided to attempt to install a stainless wort chiller in the lid of one of my fermentors. It will remain permanently attatched to that particular lid and remain on the batch till the ferocious period is over and normal slow fermentation is happening. I will then be able to immediately install this set up into a different 6.5 gallon pail and start filling the pipe line. I have drawn a diagram for the STC-1000 in my head, to connect to the cheapo water cooler I bought a few years ago. The cooler still works as designed, but has 4 hoses leading into it for fill and return on both sides of the hot /cool equation. I think this will very nearly automate the early fermentation issues we have with the high heat and humidity in North Central Fl. Being that my brew cave is nearly 100 feet from the house and difficult to access from my wheel chair it will greatly reduce my need to visit multiple times during the fast ferment. So, Have I lost my mind completely or would this be a viable form of automation for the home brewer? If it works I will probably assemble a few and sell them as kits or something similar. Just thinking outside the box, and looking for a way to save a little coin and improve my outcome all at the same time. Cheers Fellow brewers!!!
Bob (still in a wheelchair)

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