Originally Posted by Banjoman002
Hopefully this unit will give me what I want and that is to nudge the temp a few degrees one way or the other to keep it at optimum Ale temps.
It looks like you did not insulate the cone or the top... I wonder if doing so would make it function better? Also, the insulation you used is the reflectix type and the one used by the Morebeer conical is a different type--- would changing the insulation make it more efficient for dropping temps, do you think? The morebeer conical is insulated everywhere except where valves come out it looks like... you may be getting some heating from ambient from the non-insulated areas.
The thing about the exothermic reaction that has to be counteracted is quite true, however, fermentation may also help some with making cooling more efficient, as the continuous mixing of the beer will reduce localized cooling effects and bring more of the warm beer to the surface of the vessel faster. Might make cooling more efficient when you need it most?
Also, even with the perfectly fitting aluminum blocks, they are still NOT perfectly fitting. There are little microscopic air gaps that prevent efficient heat transfer. THe whole thing would work better if some sort of heat conductive paste were applied between the fermentor and aluminum blocks, although cleanup would be painful. Also thermal compounds seem quite expensive and you would need a lot. Does anybody know of a cheap way to get better contact between the aluminum blocks and the steel wall of the conical? I see these "thermal pads" on ebay like this
, but I have no experience nd don't know how good they are as compared to metal to metal contact. Anyone have experience with these?