Z28tt's DIY Stainless Fermenter from Furnace - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Fermenters > Z28tt's DIY Stainless Fermenter from Furnace

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-20-2013, 04:05 PM   #1
z28tt
Recipes 
 
Jul 2008
Farmington, CT
Posts: 19



My folks just had their natural gas furnace replaced. The old Lennox HM30 (hardly old, just 10 years!) had a 32 gallon stainless steel tank. Perfect for a DIY stainless fermenter! Naturally, I asked to keep it.



Yesterday I picked it up, and stripped it down. There's good foam insulation (mash tun possibility?) too. The burner assy was at the top, with a coiled exhaust pipe running through the tank. The plasma cutter made quick work of cutting the top off and removing the burn chamber from the lid. I cut the coiled pipe out with the sawzall.









The cuts got deburred with the angle grinder. It's also time to get a back gas kit for the TIG to patch up the extra holes in the lid, and at the bottom.

Biggest question now is how to create a seal? The stainless measures .059" thick, which is most likely 16ga that's been spun thinner. I've got a harbor Freight bead roller (bend a flat flange?), but I really doubt it'll have enough beef to bend this.





Not sure what I'll do for valves yet, but since I'm welding in the patches, I might as well weld in fittings for whatever's needed.

I can't wait to stop using carboys.

Any suggestions? Possibilities?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2013, 04:23 PM   #2
Leadpencil
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
 
Leadpencil's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2013
Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Posts: 250
Liked 39 Times on 26 Posts


Looks great, perhaps you could sacrifice a corny keg for the top.
I would leave all the threaded holes for future use.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 05:22 PM   #3
ScubaSteve
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
 
ScubaSteve's Avatar
Recipes 
 
May 2007
, DC
Posts: 3,680
Liked 84 Times on 58 Posts


What was the coil made from? I'd hold onto that.

You could either make a kettle or fermenter with it. If you expect it to hold pressure I hope you are a very skilled welder.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 05:50 PM   #4
grathan
Recipes 
 
Jul 2010
Albany, NY
Posts: 2,250
Liked 146 Times on 115 Posts


I wonder what the welds look like inside. Perhaps cleaning with an agitated bath.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2013, 03:34 AM   #5
Gartywood
Recipes 
 
Jul 2011
Windsor, CT
Posts: 306
Liked 10 Times on 10 Posts


There aren't many of those Lennox Completeheats left in service the product was a total failure. The biggest problem is the tanks developing leaks, but it looks like you have the tools to deal with that.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2013, 02:13 PM   #6
z28tt
Recipes 
 
Jul 2008
Farmington, CT
Posts: 19


It looks like all the parts are stainless - tank, burn chamber, and hx tube. The tank is magnetic, so I'm assuming the less expensive 400 series stainless, or work hardened 304.

We'll see how far I get trying to roll a flange with my Harbor Freight tube beader set. It says 18ga for mild steel, but I added a 1/2" thick strap right behind the roller to beef it up. I might have to get some steel, and turn some mandrels.

JMESanitary.com has butt weld stainless 1.5" tri clamp fittings for under $10ea, so I'll get some this week. Have to get valves (thinking 1.5" butterfly for the trub dump) and come up with a racking arm setup too, but that could always be down the road.

For the back gas purge, I'll be going cheap with a Y after the regulator and some aluminum foil. The solar flux paste isn't for use with food, so back purge it is.

The welds inside look OK. I may try to polish them out. I'll see if I can get some Nitric Acid and HF to pickle the tank after I'm done welding.

My parents neighborhood all had the Lennox CompleteHeat systems in their new construction around 2001. I'd say 75% have been replaced by now, but ya can't beat a free stainless tank! We gave the board & blower assy to a neighbor to keep as spares.

Thanks for the comments. Fun project!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2013, 02:31 PM   #7
bradjoiner
Recipes 
 
Feb 2009
woodlands texas
Posts: 241
Liked 14 Times on 13 Posts


I hate to be the nay sayer here, but I don't think there is enough of an angle to dump yeast out of the bottom of that. Every thing I have ever read recommends a sixty degree slope or else the yeast wont slide.

Quick search. It is talked about here

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2013, 04:00 PM   #8
patthebrewer
 
patthebrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2012
, allenwood, nj
Posts: 687
Liked 56 Times on 49 Posts


And yet people convert sankey kegs ( upside down) as fermenters with bottom drains....seems to work...even though there was less angle than my 60 degree conical's cone. Very creative use of a boiler, can wait to see how it turns out. Also that coil looks like it could be used in the "distilling industry"
__________________
Manasquan River Brewing LLC

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 01:45 PM   #9
bradjoiner
Recipes 
 
Feb 2009
woodlands texas
Posts: 241
Liked 14 Times on 13 Posts


That is the problem and why I posted the link many people are not able to dump there sanke fermenters off completely. I have a sanke fermenter and know what the inside looks like when I clean it. He will definitely be able to dump a cup or so for cleaning, but will probably not be able to dump the yeast out enough to significantly clear the beer.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 02:13 PM   #10
z28tt
Recipes 
 
Jul 2008
Farmington, CT
Posts: 19


I wonder if I could spray on a dry film lubricant (non-stick teflon?) surface to the bottom, and allow the yeast to slide better. MSC has bondable teflon sheets, but I'm not getting the 2'x2' sheet for $100.

Another option could be a cone insert in the tank? ID of the tank is 18". If I fabbed a 60 cone with a 1.5" bottom hole to mate with the dump valve opening, I figure the yeast would settle and slide, and I could just drop this in. Shouldn't be a big deal if there's a little gap along the sides. Worth trying? I'll search the forum. Someone must have tried it!

BTW - The harbor freight tool worked to flange the lid!

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
$49.95 Stainless fermenter runhard Fermenters 25 01-10-2015 01:56 AM
The new DIY stainless fermenter fork Fermenters 37 12-05-2013 04:36 AM
Stainless Fermenter Build Dhruv6911 Fermenters 13 05-04-2012 07:57 PM
Sanitizer for stainless fermenter? scottsr123 Equipment/Sanitation 3 10-04-2011 01:45 AM
My stainless fermenter SAMBUCA Fermenters 5 07-02-2009 03:07 PM


Forum Jump