Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway - Enter Now!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Fermentation Chiller v2

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 03-02-2009, 06:15 PM   #1
caspio
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Chico, CA
Posts: 280
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default Fermentation Chiller v2

At my old place I had this beast of a fermentation chiller:


I lagered in the chest freezer, and had a second thermostat and fans to pull air so I could maintain proper temps for ales in the foam insulation box. Unfortunately, when I built it I didn't think much about getting it back out of the basement. It was assembled downstairs, and when I moved the only way to get it out was to cut it in half.

Anyway, saturday I finished building my workbench, and between limited room in the garage and the inspiration provided by TwoHeadsBrewing's setup, I figured I could make the best use of the space available to me.
The space it'll go into under the workbench:


I was trying to figure out how to make the best use of the two pieces I had from the original. I had more insulation, but no sense in wasting what I already have:

__________________

Last edited by caspio; 03-02-2009 at 06:27 PM.
caspio is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-02-2009, 06:16 PM   #2
caspio
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Chico, CA
Posts: 280
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Once I figured out the best arrangement, I started by cutting the old pieces to even the edges and open up the middle:


Once I had most of the pieces cut and test fit, it was time to start assembling:


All seams were joined with caulking or liquid nails, and then taped over with foil HVAC tape just to be sure:


In the old chill box, the carboys would settle into the foam, making them hard to move, and every time I moved one in and out the foam got a little more dinged up. Again stealing TwoHeadsBrewing's ideas, I put down melamine board for the flooring:

__________________

Last edited by caspio; 03-02-2009 at 06:21 PM.
caspio is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-02-2009, 06:16 PM   #3
caspio
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Chico, CA
Posts: 280
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Gratuitous action shot (yes, I know I shouldn't be using my tailgate as a sawhorse):


Front panels cut and attached:


And finally, got the door hung:


Anyway, ran out of time so that pretty much wrapped it up for sunday. Still on the to-do list:
Insulate the front, basically the door and the panels on each side.
Re-attach the collar to the chest freezer.
Run ducting from freezer to chill box.
Hook up fans and thermostats.
Put weatherstripping on the door.

I haven't done much testing since most of my carboys are full at the moment, but I'm anticipating being able to fit 4 carboys, and should have some leftover room for a couple sixpacks or a conditioning keg.


Edit: can premium members have more than 4 pix in each post? It was a pain breaking this up (and I've learned a lot here) Maybe it's finally time to pony up

__________________

Last edited by caspio; 03-02-2009 at 06:21 PM.
caspio is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-02-2009, 06:23 PM   #4
TwoHeadsBrewing
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Chico, CA
Posts: 3,930
Liked 28 Times on 25 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Nice build! Good idea on using the HVAC tape on the seams...I think I'll have to steal that idea for my box as well . I'll have to make the trip over and see it in person...and of course bring over a growler of my dry-hopped house pale for the admission fee.

__________________

Fermenting: ESB
Kegged: Extra IPA, Brown Ale, American Wheat, Blackheart Stout
Coming Up: Dunkleweizen, 3C Pale Ale


DIY Fermentation Chamber
More Brew Stuff
TwoHeadsBrewing is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-02-2009, 06:24 PM   #5
Boerderij_Kabouter
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Boerderij_Kabouter's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Posts: 8,461
Liked 118 Times on 102 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

Looks great! There have really been some great ideas floating around here lately.

You can only post 4 pics at a time even if you pay.

Boerderij_Kabouter is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-02-2009, 06:37 PM   #6
bendavanza
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Oak CLiff, TX
Posts: 2,348
Liked 14 Times on 14 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

That's efficient use of space, doing it under a workbench..

__________________
bendavanza is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-02-2009, 07:05 PM   #7
stillstoked
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Elkton Va.
Posts: 37
Default

sweet now i know where mine is going.

__________________
stillstoked is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-26-2009, 10:47 PM   #8
caspio
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Chico, CA
Posts: 280
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Well the project that was supposed to be done in just over one weekend ended up stretching out to more like a month. Mainly just because I haven't been getting my lazy bum over to the hardware store, but finally got that fixed over the last few days.

Anyway, the original plan was to pull cold air from a chest freezer w/collar using computer fans and a thermostat. When TwoHeadsBrewing was visiting during my last brew day, he asked why I wasn't just using a window mounted AC. It was like the clouds opened up and a ray of light shined down. My old place had no central air, but now that i've moved I had a stack of three window mounted AC's just sitting in the garage. I've seen many threads where people have used them, but never even made the connection.

Anyway, the newest one (and therefore most energy efficient) will go down to 62 degrees on the built in thermostat. Perfect for ale temps, and since I have the separate chest freezer I'm set for lagers too. The A/C also has an "energy saver" mode, and when that's activated the fans ONLY run during cooling, otherwise the unit shuts down completely. That works great for 24/7 operation, since my other AC's run the recirculating fan constantly, regardless of whether the compressor is going.

So now, on to the pix!
Unit plugged in for testing, I'm going to need to figure out a better route for the wiring:


Closeup. I just cut a new hole in the insulation and sealed it in with silicone:



From inside. I haven't decided yet whether I want to duct the output away from the inlet, or just leave it as-is. I think i'll probably be fine. Right now I have to poke my head into the ferm box to change temps, but I'm trying to find the remote for the AC so I can change while there's carboys in the way:


11 gallons of Smoked Imperial Porter doing it's thing. You can see the old air inlet and return behind the carboys. I just glued some leftover insulation over the opening:

__________________
caspio is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-26-2009, 10:54 PM   #9
TwoHeadsBrewing
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Chico, CA
Posts: 3,930
Liked 28 Times on 25 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

YES! That looks like a great setup, and from what you describe you won't even need an external temp controller for it? Does it keep the temp pretty steady?

__________________

Fermenting: ESB
Kegged: Extra IPA, Brown Ale, American Wheat, Blackheart Stout
Coming Up: Dunkleweizen, 3C Pale Ale


DIY Fermentation Chamber
More Brew Stuff
TwoHeadsBrewing is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-27-2009, 06:51 PM   #10
caspio
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Chico, CA
Posts: 280
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

yep, no external temp controller needed, just so long as I want to stick with ale fermentation temps. I'm going to need to wait for it to warm up some more to really test, but it looks like the AC has a fairly narrow temp range it maintains. Every 10 minutes or so it will fire up for 30 seconds or so then shut back off.

__________________
caspio 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
Fermentation Chiller Cregar DIY Projects 18 03-10-2010 12:07 PM
For Sale - Son of a Fermentation Chiller rhodes553 For Sale 1 11-06-2009 04:42 PM
My fermentation chiller cclloyd DIY Projects 1 03-16-2009 03:05 AM
Using the Son of a Fermentation Chiller thebull All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 8 08-07-2007 02:51 PM
Fermentation Chiller DesertBrew Equipment/Sanitation 41 06-26-2005 03:40 PM