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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Insulation for chiller
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Old 06-13-2007, 05:39 AM   #1
GrundleCruncher
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Default Insulation for chiller

I have been trying to build a fermentation chiller from the "son of fermentation chiller" specs. I have checked Ace, Lowes and home depot in Atl looking for 2" extruded polystyrene insulation and have come up empty handed. I bought two sheets of 3/4" and glued it all together but it turned out like crap, unusable crap. I've been using the swamp towel method but I can't get a consistent temp, it fluctuates too much for my likin'.
Can I special order the 2" through a local store?
Is there a better chiller to be aspiring for?
Is nitrating toluene dangerous?
The answer to all these questions and more, in your post that I am thankful for.

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Old 06-13-2007, 05:55 AM   #2
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I dont know the answer to any of your questions, but this

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Originally Posted by GrundleCruncher
The answer to all these questions and more, in your post that I am thankful for.
made me crack up. And your name did too. Who calls themself a grundlecruncher?
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrundleCruncher
I have been trying to build a fermentation chiller from the "son of fermentation chiller" specs. I have checked Ace, Lowes and home depot in Atl looking for 2" extruded polystyrene insulation and have come up empty handed. I bought two sheets of 3/4" and glued it all together but it turned out like crap, unusable crap. I've been using the swamp towel method but I can't get a consistent temp, it fluctuates too much for my likin'.
Can I special order the 2" through a local store?
Is there a better chiller to be aspiring for?
Is nitrating toluene dangerous?
The answer to all these questions and more, in your post that I am thankful for.
i bought the 1½" polystyrene from home depot and it works great. can you get that size?
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Old 06-13-2007, 03:08 PM   #4
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When I went to home depot they didn't have any polystyrene, they only had a compressed fiberglass. It was 2" and had a good r-value but I didn't think fiberglass would be a good material to use.

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Old 06-13-2007, 04:45 PM   #5
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One option might be to build it as a cabinet with an actual frame, rather than using the foam as the entire structure. This is how I built mine, and I think you'd have less trouble with using multiple layers of thinner foam because the layers don't need to be structurally sound, they just need to be held in place.

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Old 06-13-2007, 06:54 PM   #6
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What type of glue did you use?

I've used the spray on adhesive (the most common I've found is the 3M stuff, about $2.99/can) on foam insulation before and it worked like a charm.

WARNING: Do not use the spray adhesive in an enclosed area. LOL! It was awhile back but we used it in our garage with the door open and still WHOA!

I just made one last week with 2" foam board (hidden treasure from buying a house!) and it works great! I used (3) 2-liter ice bottles to cool the chamber to temp and now it only takes (1) 2-liter to keep it at temp! The bottle lasts between 1 to 1 and 3/4 days.

I would imagine if you used the spray adhesive and kept them compressed whilst drying they would work good. I also used 1" staples pushed into the sides for support. They seemed to do a great job for (1) keeping the boards together while I expando-foamed the seams and (2) stabilizing the entire structure.

Cheers!

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Old 06-13-2007, 06:57 PM   #7
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built mine, and I think you'd have less trouble with using multiple layers of thinner foam because the layers don't need to be structurally sound, they just need to be held in place.[/QUOTE]


I agree with evan with the structure, I almost did the same. The 2 in. seems to be working great for me as structure is concerned all except for the foam seems to be compressing under the weight of the beer.

As for building a wood (or other sound material) structure and insulating that, go for it!
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Old 06-13-2007, 07:31 PM   #8
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I used liquid nails as per the instructions I followed...it seemed to dissolve some of the insulation while drying. Which is why I wanted the 2" so I didn't run into that problem again. The spray would be a lot better at not dissolving the foamboard, I'll remember that if i can't find 2"; I don't mind a little fumeage its good for the sinuses

My problem is I am a poor college student and i live deep in the city, I don't have resources for fabbing wood structures and the sort. Do hardware stores custom cut small orders like this?

If all else fails i could try it again using the spray adhesive and staples but everything would be soo much easier if I could get my hands on a 2" piece.

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Old 06-13-2007, 07:50 PM   #9
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You might try a real "Building Supply" store instead of those big box stores.

I seriously doubt anyone is going to cut up a piece up for you.

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Old 06-13-2007, 08:46 PM   #10
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our home depot charges per cut, so do most of the smaller stores. sometimes you can get them to do it for free. i usually make the big cuts there just so i can get it home, then do the rest at home.

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