Simple Conical Fermenter Cooler Idea. Will this work? - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Fermenters > Simple Conical Fermenter Cooler Idea. Will this work?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-30-2012, 01:49 PM   #1
18DPA
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
18DPA's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2010
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Posts: 85
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts



Any and all ideas, advice, plans, criticisim, etc would be greatly appreciated.

I'm renting a poorly insulated house in central texas and now have a Plastic conical fermenter. I Don't have room for another fridge to put the conical in to control temps, but I have room near the keggerator and don't mind punching some holes in the freezer to do this.

Cost is a big part of this, also simplicity. Lets go as cheap and easy as possible. I've seen some really involved systems and would rather just go back to Carboy in the rubbermaid with water/wet T-shirt for the summer months.

I have the spare coils and plenty of hoses laying around.

An aquarium pump would be my first idea but I don't know if they could handle the frozen liquid glycol.

From reading other similar minded posts I know I would have to insulate the lines.

I think I need to create a way to bleed all the air out of the system or the pump would cavitate. Yes/no?

Ambient Temp in the house when we are gone is around 85 F. If we try to lower that our Electric bill goes upwards of $300 and the wife really doesn't dig that. I would like to keep it ale temps only. I have a Corny for Lagers that fits inside the keggerator.


Thanks for any help.
Click image for larger version

Name:	Conical Cooler.jpg
Views:	2630
Size:	40.2 KB
ID:	59526  
__________________
De Oppresso Liber

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2012, 03:23 PM   #2
worksnorth
 
worksnorth's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Apr 2011
Soldotna, Alaska
Posts: 684
Liked 64 Times on 50 Posts


Quick thought, could you wrap the coils around the exterior of the fermenter VS. submerging them in the beer?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2012, 03:31 PM   #3
18DPA
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
18DPA's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2010
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Posts: 85
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by worksnorth View Post
Quick thought, could you wrap the coils around the exterior of the fermenter VS. submerging them in the beer?

Thats the basic idea of this: http://morebeer.com/view_product/107...cal_-_14gallon

I am building a plastic conical fermenter. All parts and wooden stand will be under 100$.

Plastic doesn't conduct cold or heat very well and everything I've read here says for the plastic ones it just doesn't work very well.

Thank you for the thoughts.
__________________
De Oppresso Liber

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2012, 03:40 PM   #4
anonymousbrew
Recipes 
 
Aug 2010
Tomball, TX
Posts: 111
Liked 15 Times on 13 Posts


i've thought of this too. In my thinking through it, i was worried that running glycol at ~0*F would cause freezing at the site of the coils before tripping the temp sensor. Ive seen the pics of guys running the glycol systems externally and having frozen condensate on the outside of the coils in an 80*F garage. I think that if you were to run glycol out of the fridge (34*F?) you would have plenty of temp differential to remove heat.

(i'm remembering something about a liquid not freezing until the entire body of liquid reaches freeze point? but i was thinking that the coils being so cold and providing a nucleation point could cause an ice buildup?)

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2012, 05:35 PM   #5
Varroa
 
Varroa's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2010
Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 187
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts


I have a friend that is doing something similar and he is just running the lines into a giant cold room/fermenation room that is set to 34-36cish. I think he said he is just going to have a giant glycol reservoir in the cold room and recirc it through the coils in his fermenters. (He is builing a small brewery). The cold room is only for the bright tanks/lagering, etc.
__________________
Primary #1: Hoppy LAN Party DIPA (>100 IBUs)
Primary #2: Irish Red
Primary #3: Belgian Trappist Pumpkin Ale
Primary #4:
Secondary:
Bottle/Kegged: Belgium Dubbel Blonde, Centennial Honey Blonde, Throwdown Oatmeal Stout, Throwdown Milk Stout, Festabrew Czech Pilsner, Hard Sparking cider On Deck: Varroa's Wee Scottish Heavy, hard sparkling cider

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2012, 05:42 PM   #6
18DPA
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
18DPA's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2010
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Posts: 85
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts


anonymousbrew: Makes me wonder if I'll be ok as long as I am going for Ale temps. The exothermic yeast and the house temp would keep the fermenter well above freezing and prevent ice? Or use another's idea and go even more simple with just water running from the refrigerator not the freezer.

Varroa: Thanks. Kind of reassuring.

Both: Thank you for the input.
__________________
De Oppresso Liber

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2012, 05:57 PM   #7
fletchsj
Recipes 
 
Dec 2010
Beaverton, OR
Posts: 366
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts


how about recirculating a bucket of vodka/grain alcohol sitting in the freezer?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2012, 01:40 AM   #8
bobjohnson
Recipes 
 
Jul 2008
North of Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 47
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


Also, you don't want copper coil in contact with the fermenting beer. I don't have the links available but do some searching here to find info. Copper is ok in the boil, but toxic in the ferment.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2012, 03:22 AM   #9
Bullbythehorns
 
Bullbythehorns's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2007
Lake of the Ozarks, MO
Posts: 150
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts


That is what I am doing with my plastic conical. I coiled some 5/16" SS tubing and pump water thru it with a Harbor Freight pond pump. I placed a 2.5 g container of water in my keezer and tied it to an e-bay aquarium temp controller. My keezer doesn't get to freezing, but you will freeze if you put it in the freezer. Could you place it in the kegerator so you won't have to worry about freezing?

I fermented out some lagers at 50 degrees without any problem during the cooler months and use it for ales all the time.
__________________
FERMENTING: BCS Black Forest Stout, Two Hearted Ale Clone
ON TAP: Dry Irish Stout, Epic Pale Ale Clone, BM's Cent Blonde, Blackfoot River IPA, Racer 5 IPA clone with homegrown hops, Oatmeal Chocolate Stout, Threee Floyd's Gumball head clone, Moose Drools Clone
ON DECK: Saison, Pliny the Elder clone

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2012, 04:58 AM   #10
18DPA
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
18DPA's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2010
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Posts: 85
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts


bobjohnson: Thanks, That was the plan I read the same info also.

Bullbythehorns: Thanks. I'm curious why everyone that does this kind of setup goes for the aquarium temp controller vs a Ranco? Is it just a price thing?

I have the same thread going on theelctricbrewery forum as well. Everyone is saying that I can get the job done without using glycol in the freezer and just go water in the fridge.
__________________
De Oppresso Liber

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Super Simple 15G Plastic Conical Squeeky Fermenters 1220 06-28-2016 04:25 PM
temp control conical fermenter idea justcopen Fermenters 2 02-28-2012 06:13 AM
would this work - conical w/better top.... calicojack Fermenters 6 11-24-2011 01:45 PM
Conical HLT/BK/fermenter idea. mhermetz Fermenters 10 05-24-2010 09:54 PM
idea for DIY conical kcinpdx Fermenters 4 01-05-2009 04:27 AM


Forum Jump