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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Son of a Fermentation Chiller using chest freezer for cooling?
 
 
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:39 PM   #1
ExMachina
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Default Son of a Fermentation Chiller using chest freezer for cooling?

I know this cannot be an original idea, but I can't find plans/ideas anywhere. I'm hoping that somebody can perhaps point me to an appropriate thread or discussion...

Basically I want to use my chest freezer for lagering/serving and then build a freezer collar and run a short air duct from the collar and into an adjacent insulated box that can be used for fermentation. Probably will position the fermentation box a few feet away with a temp controller running a small fan out of the freezer. Not sure if this would work but it seems like it could

I would appreciate any help

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Old 06-28-2012, 12:51 AM   #2
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Like this?

http://www.wortomatic.com/articles/T...ation-Chillers

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Old 06-28-2012, 01:18 AM   #3
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Hi

What temperatures are you trying to ferment at? The idea is a lot more practical for a 65F system than a 45F setup.

Bob

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Old 06-28-2012, 01:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlisle_bob View Post
Hi

What temperatures are you trying to ferment at? The idea is a lot more practical for a 65F system than a 45F setup.

Bob
Lagers and ales, but it will have to handle lagers...and don't mind serving "too cold" if it allows me to ferment at the proper temp. It's easy enough to warm up a pint but a too-warm ferment can ruin a whole batch.

Love the "Mother of all Chillers" concept...that might be the way to go.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExMachina View Post
Lagers and ales, but it will have to handle lagers...and don't mind serving "too cold" if it allows me to ferment at the proper temp. It's easy enough to warm up a pint but a too-warm ferment can ruin a whole batch.

Love the "Mother of all Chillers" concept...that might be the way to go.
Hi

I suspect that getting the fermenter cold enough to properly do laggers is going to be a major chalange. The fermentation process throws off heat. You likely won't have the keezer part much below 38F. If you are targeting fermentation in the low 40's - not a lot of "delta temp" to work with.

Consider that others are measuring >10 degrees just inside their freezer. No moving air in that case, but a lot of delta..

Bob
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:46 AM   #6
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Thanks Bob. That's what I was kinda afraid of...just gonna have to buy/build a dedicated fridge I guess.

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Old 06-29-2012, 01:12 AM   #7
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Rather than running an air duct I would think you would want to run a liquid line to the chamber. Water or Glycol pumped from the fridge over an insulated line to either to a radiator or a bucket in the chamber. I've seen a few different designs, but this gets the point across http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/Bee...nd-Pump-Cooler

Anyone had luck with this type of setup?

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Old 06-29-2012, 04:03 AM   #8
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I have recently built a setup using my chest freezer to cool the insulated box next to it. The two boxes are about 4" apart with an insulated duct running from the freezer to the ferm chamber with a fun sucking air into the ferm chamber. There's also a return hole with no fan.

I keep my keezer at 38 and had a hard time getting my wort down to 67 from 80 (I'd normally cool more but it was test). When I ran a hose from the bottom of the freezer to the ferm chamber hole the temps dropped much quicker. Once it got to temp it's been steady except for a 2 degree increase during peak fermentation (blow off). The small fan couldn't keep up even though I had it on a 1 degree max differential.

I was hoping to ferment some lagers in my box but it's not looking like that is a possibility. I'm not sure how well it would do if I could pre chill my wort down to lager temps then put it in but it may work. I'm going to tinker around a bit before giving up on it.

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Old 09-14-2012, 02:11 AM   #9
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Update on this. I added a slightly larger computer fan that's always on to my keezer in addition to the temp controlled fan in the ferm cabinet and my temp has been holding steady at about 58. If I threw a couple ice chunks in the box I'm thinking it would come down some more.

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