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Old 06-30-2011, 06:45 PM   #21
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How is the plate chiller going to cool the tap water? Are you going to put it in ice or something?

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Old 07-01-2011, 01:33 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwi
Be careful playing around with compressors and temp controls. You will need something that prevents hot starts of the compressor. It is usually called ASD. It needs to guarantee that the compressor can't be activated within 5 minutes, or better yet 10 minutes, from when it last shut off. This is not a "most times" or "usually" it doesn't thing. Even one hot start can possibly fry your compressor.

You went a little overkill for what you needed to accomplish, but if you have the time and skills, it's more fun that way. The ghetto method is to use an old fridge or chest freezer for a fermentation chamber, and more added for multiple ferms. Since you already have the glycol chiller, you are only a jacketed conical away from having a temp controlled conical.

I have a plan for something similar to your glycol setup, but was going to place my fermenters in individual buckets of glycol inside a large (broken?) chest freezer instead of the radiators and individual chambers. More stable temps, and faster response that way. If the freezer functions, it can be set to the highest of the current ferm temps to stabilize temps further and reduce glycol chiller activation.
Thanks for the tip, I will check in to it. I am pretty certain the compressor has something since my friendly Fermtroller SSR issue clicks the unit on, but after it cycles once, the compressor doesn't come back on.

The whole setup right now seems overkill, but once I have my prechiller installed and gradually save my pennies for my conicals, the planning will make more sense. Personally, I hate the fridge and deep freezer setups, this setup will ultimately allow me to ferment and cold crash in the same spot. It will also allow me to rack with out even moving the carboys. My goal is to make my life easier, not more complex.

The plate chiller will be my prechiller, run the tap through one side while running near freezing (if not colder) glycol through the other. This should mean I need fewer BTUs for cooling since I am only taking the tap from 82 to 55ish rather than boiling wort down to pitching temps.
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:35 AM   #23
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I should add that the heated water leaving my CFC will go down the drain as before, but now I should need less than currently.

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Old 07-01-2011, 01:45 AM   #24
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i live in the dfw area, and have a 50' ic. i can chill down to around 75-80 in about 30 minutes. not a problem, since i'm watching tv drinking a mug or 2 during that time. i seal it in the fermenter, let it cool down in the house a little more, then pitch.

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Old 07-01-2011, 02:27 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by hatrickwah View Post
Thanks for the tip, I will check in to it. I am pretty certain the compressor has something since my friendly Fermtroller SSR issue clicks the unit on, but after it cycles once, the compressor doesn't come back on.
The ferm/brewtroller should have a parameter to delay activation after last cutoff. The safeguards built into the A/C unit can't be counted on to prevent hot starts when using an external controller.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hatrickwah View Post
The plate chiller will be my prechiller, run the tap through one side while running near freezing (if not colder) glycol through the other. This should mean I need fewer BTUs for cooling since I am only taking the tap from 82 to 55ish rather than boiling wort down to pitching temps.
The simplified math is just heat in/ heat out for BTUs. The tricky part is temperature differential, flow rates, thermal transfer barriers (chiller materials), recovery rates, etc. Also, no need to send the water down the drain. It can be saved and used as preheated cleaning water, or for the next batch if you are doubling up that day, or even just to water the yard if it is sprayed to cool it some.

For two CF chillers (plate or tube) in your setup, the best performance, whether lowest temp or fastest flow, would be gained by using them in series. Tap water as the chilling fluid for the first, and glycol for the second. It would complexify things a bit though by adding an extra chiller to clean and sanitize. As for making life more complex, that seems to be a built-in feature of the counter flow chillers- worrying about what is hiding inside the coils/plates, having to use hop backs for flame out additions to work, fiddling with flow rates to get the outflow temp right.

The ICs seem simpler with no real downsides other than needing to agitate the wort, and possibly increased water usage depending how you use it. They are sterilized easily by dunking them in the boil, get the whole wort down below critical temps faster, and temps can be controlled easily. I think this may be one device where the big brewhouses would like to use homebrew technology, but can't, because it doesn't scale.

The stainless ICs from NYBrewSupply give almost the same performance as copper, are cheaper than an equivalent copper IC, and he will custom build any size you want. Using tap water to get within 10-20F of tap water temps, then switching to a recirc'd chilled fluid lets any pitching temp be hit easily.
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Old 07-23-2011, 01:13 AM   #26
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Been a while since I updated, but it has been crazy busy, long nights, etc.
I finished most of my build last night, just a few tasks left. I also kegged off my first batch that I had fermenting in my first chamber. It sure looked good, and tasted good too. We will tasting it more tomorrow.
Anyway, after a few set backs I am finally close. The grand plan for the setup is to ultimately have 2 chambers, a conical, a plate chiller, and a beer cooler, but this will come in stages. For now, I finished assembling my two chambers, large enough for 3 carboys each, but designed for 2. I will be getting a plate chiller in the coming weeks. The cooler worked great with inaugural batch, 67 degree fermentation, and a 43 degree cold crash. I will post pictures and more details tomorrow as well as brew another batch to "test" out the system with.

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Old 07-30-2011, 11:50 AM   #27
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I'm almost done with phase 1 of my build. There is enough room (if I had a big enough kettle) to ferment 15 gallons in carboys in these things.

Each box has a 12v valve tied to the trunk glycol line running above. The valves are controlled by my Fermtroller unit to the right. The a/c glycol unit will be Fermtroller controlled as well some day, but for some reason I can't get the two to cooperate, so for now, that unit runs on a PID. I have a 320gph fountain pump running 24x7 inside the glycol unit. The flow inside the cooler is such that it must crossover the coil once it enters in order to exit.

Shot of the brewstation, with the Fermtroller unit, my music, and workstation. To the right in phase 2 there will be a 20 or 30 plate, plate chiller for pre-chilling my 85 degree tap water down to 50s. $12 a batch simply for ice is ridiculous.
Phase 3 will see the section underneath converted into a cooler box for my over flow of filled kegs. I have a few months though before that is needed as I have capacity for 10 in the keezer, and only own 12 kegs (for now).

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Old 01-27-2012, 01:28 PM   #28
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hatrickwah, I was looking into building a simple cooling unit in an insulated cabinet and have been googling like crazy but not able to find those little radiators you have. Were those something you ordered, or repurposed from some other appliance?

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Old 01-28-2012, 01:28 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weslson View Post
hatrickwah, I was looking into building a simple cooling unit in an insulated cabinet and have been googling like crazy but not able to find those little radiators you have. Were those something you ordered, or repurposed from some other appliance?
Actually, all you need to do is go to your local Auto parts store, they are called Transmission Coolers. I bought mine at O'Reilly Auto Parts for around $40. Here is the link to the category on their site. You can order online or pickup at their stores.
http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/se...26+accessories
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:43 PM   #30
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Sorry to dig up an old thread, but could you point me in the right direction for how you converted your AC unit to a glycol chiller?

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