Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > DIY Fermentation Chiller using my mash tun and wort chiller
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 10-19-2013, 10:28 PM   #1
tooldudetool
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Ferndale, Washington
Posts: 204
Liked 33 Times on 32 Posts

Default DIY Fermentation Chiller using my mash tun and wort chiller

So like many of you I have been looking for a simple, cheap method of fermentation control. I didn't want to look for a mini fridge with a temp controller as I already have a kegerator in the kitchen and a chest freezer in my bedroom closet that I use for cold crashing and cold conditioning kegs.

I found a couple of DIY water fermentation chillers here on HBT like this one: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/water-fermentation-chiller-81501/ but it wasn't quite what I was looking for, although I certainly took some ideas from it.

My basic setup is to use my 10 gallon mash tun as the cold water chamber. I put frozen water bottles into the cold water chamber. I put my SS 3/8" immersion wort chiller into the cold water chamber. I put my bucket fermenter into a large rope handle tub that I insulated with 1.5" rigid foam on the bottom and 2 layers of reflectix insulation around the side. The raw end of my wort chiller tubing is shoved onto a tiny ebay submersible pump that sits on the bottom of the rope handle tub. The other end of my wort chiller tubing (with the female hose thread fitting) is clamped so that its near the top of the water level of the rope handle tub. The pump is plugged into my STC-1000 temp controller, with the waterproof temp probe located up against the outside of the fermenter in the rope handle tub. When the temp controller calls for cooling water is pumped from the bottom of the rope handle tub, through the cold wort chiller and back into the tub.

The best part of this setup for me was the simplicity and cost. I already had the mash tun and the wort chiller, and the only other things I had to buy were:
- STC-1000 temp controller off ebay for around $25 shipped. There are several threads on how to build this such as: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/stc-1000-ebay-temperature-controller-build-330427/ I also had to buy a "project box" from Radio Shack for $9 plus a power cord and outlet for another $10 or so.

- Tiny aquarium pump from ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/US-Plug-AC-110V-3W-Submersible-Water-Pump-Aquarium-Fountain-Pond-micro-mini-/160802880572?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item257099 3c3c for $6.50 shipped.
- Rope handle tub for $12 or so.

So basically everything for under $70.

The pump outlet has a tiny removable stub that fits the 3/8" ID tubing perfectly. I used plumbers glue to permanently fix the stub in place. I was afraid such a tiny pump wouldn't be able to push through the 25' of chiller and 25' of tubing, but it works great. It's definitely a slow flow, but that work out perfect to maintain the temp without overshooting it. I have to force water through the tubing to fill it before I hook it up because it doesn't have the power to push all the air out by itself.

I've been using this setup for a couple of months, and it works fantastic! I change out the water bottles in the morning before work and at night before bed. I feel that a liquid to liquid heat exchange is far more efficient and effective than a liquid to air exchange (like a fermentation fridge). Anyway, I hope this helps someone else out there make better beer. Brew strong!!

Here are some pics of the setup:

img_20131019_142043_230.jpg   img_20131019_142002_060.jpg   img_20131019_142058_150.jpg   img_20131019_142026_957.jpg   img_20131019_124423_500.jpg  

__________________
tooldudetool is offline
Genghis Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-19-2013, 10:40 PM   #2
Travestian
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Travestian's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Posts: 465
Liked 57 Times on 49 Posts
Likes Given: 45

Default

Do you ever do more than one batch at a time? Seems like a good setup but only if you plan on fermenting only 1 batch at once.

__________________
Travestian is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-20-2013, 04:34 PM   #3
tooldudetool
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Ferndale, Washington
Posts: 204
Liked 33 Times on 32 Posts

Default

Yes, I can only do one batch at a time. I usually brew every weekend so it works just fine for me. I need the mash tun and wort chiller anyway for brew day. I really only need the fermentation chiller for the first 4 days or so anyway, after that sometimes I will shut off the temp controller and let the temp rise naturally to help finish out fermentation.

__________________
tooldudetool is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-25-2014, 03:21 AM   #4
kshuler
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
kshuler's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 286
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

great setup!

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beer_Maker View Post
Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into.

-------------------------------------------
http://www.bokehtests.com
http://web.mac.com/kshuler/Site/Welcome.html
kshuler is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2014, 01:54 PM   #5
william_shakes_beer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,934
Liked 98 Times on 86 Posts

Default

Great idea. Seems like it would be simple to expand to 2 fermenters (with the same temp requirements) by swapping out the fermenter bath tub for a larger one.

By the way, if you add a 5 CF chest freezer and a brew belt you have permanent solution that requires no human intervention. You already did the hard part, which is wire up the temp controller to a pair of outlets.

__________________
william_shakes_beer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-09-2014, 03:44 AM   #6
tooldudetool
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Ferndale, Washington
Posts: 204
Liked 33 Times on 32 Posts

Default

Right William, but as I mentioned in the post, I already have a kegerator in my kitchen and a chest freezer as my cold crashing/conditioning fridge in my bedroom closet (a very tight fit!). No room for more refrigeration! I do also feel that water to wort heat transfer is far more efficient than air to wort transfer, so I do feel like its superior to the typical fermentation fridge in that respect.

__________________
tooldudetool is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
WTB (Want To Buy) - WANTED: counterflow wort chiller or plate wort chiller ntertell For Sale 10 10-15-2012 10:05 PM
50ft immersion chiller or 30plate wort chiller? molsonG Equipment/Sanitation 66 03-31-2011 01:36 AM
Sold - Wort Chiller - Chillus Convolutus Counterflow Chiller Yambor44 For Sale 0 03-28-2011 11:10 PM
converting outdoor wort chiller to indoor wort chiller Pauliwankenobi Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 12-30-2008 10:37 AM
DIY Mash/Lauter tun & wort chiller aseelye DIY Projects 4 12-24-2006 01:45 PM