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Anvil Brewing cooling system - anyone use yet?

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Bad Bubba

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I noticed Anvil has released a cooling system to go with their bucket fermentors. I am considering getting the 4 gallon fermentor with their cooling system for my small (3 gallon) batches. I was wondering if anyone had any experience with these. Their pricing is pretty reasonable, IMO.

My only concern is the design of the cooling coil is just a U shaped tube and would not have as much surface area as a true coil. It seems it may suffer from low heat transfer efficiency.

An thoughts?
 
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Bad Bubba

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exactly. this seems like the solution nobody needed.
for smaller batch stuff this is just not needed.
I would disagree from the standpoint there is no one size fits all solution. I can have 2 to 3 small batches going at a time and these are different styles so they need different temperature parameters. I also have several 7 gallon and a 14 gallon fermentor. Right now the ambient temperature of my brew room is 61 degrees F so I may want heat the fermentor more than cool it. The mini fridge may be the right solution for some but does not give me the control flexibility that I desire. This solution appears to be what I am looking for instead of purchasing an FTSS system for more $s.
 

IBRUTOO

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I got one and it works great. It came with a 308 controller so put a heating blanket under the insulation blanket of my 7.5 anvil fermentor and had full temp control. Had it in my garage and able to hold 90f and ramp to 95f for hornidale then crash to 45f. I have a roll around cooler that I filled with ice water for the immersion cooling pump circuit. A bit shocking how quick the chiller dropped the temp once I set for cold crash. Cleanup was easy and is easier to store than an extra fridge.. Immersion temp sensor is a nice added benefit that is part of the kit. Will be doing a porter tomorrow and see how well it can hold 64f but expect it to work well.

Was looking at fridges or piecing a chiller like this together but couldn't really come close to the same price.

Overall really pleased so far.
 
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Bad Bubba

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I got one and it works great. It came with a 308 controller so put a heating blanket under the insulation blanket of my 7.5 anvil fermentor and had full temp control. Had it in my garage and able to hold 90f and ramp to 95f for hornidale then crash to 45f. I have a roll around cooler that I filled with ice water for the immersion cooling pump circuit. A bit shocking how quick the chiller dropped the temp once I set for cold crash. Cleanup was easy and is easier to store than an extra fridge.. Immersion temp sensor is a nice added benefit that is part of the kit. Will be doing a porter tomorrow and see how well it can hold 64f but expect it to work well.

Was looking at fridges or piecing a chiller like this together but couldn't really come close to the same price.

Overall really pleased so far.
Thanks for sharing that information.
 

lablover

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I don't have the Anvil unit, but I do have this one and it works great. Looks like the Anvil may be a bit more expensive. I had to buy my pump and the Inkbird separately. The coil on this one is plenty long enough to cool my brews for lager temps in the low 50's so I think the Anvil unit would do the same. https://ballandkeg.com/temperature-control-loop.php
 

Homergah

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I think it's a cool idea, but the video review by Short Circuited is nearly useless. Cooling warm water down is not the same thing as keeping an active fermentation chilled. He should have waited to try it on an actual brew. ANDDDDDD.......the whole thing with using the fridge for a chiller water exchanger....Good grief, that horse is beginning to smell. Quit beating it!
 
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I don't have the Anvil unit, but I do have this one and it works great. Looks like the Anvil may be a bit more expensive. I had to buy my pump and the Inkbird separately. The coil on this one is plenty long enough to cool my brews for lager temps in the low 50's so I think the Anvil unit would do the same. https://ballandkeg.com/temperature-control-loop.php
That is an interesting site. He seems to have some interesting products. I may try his chiller for one of my Speidel fermenters.
 

WESBREW

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I noticed Anvil has released a cooling system to go with their bucket fermentors. I am considering getting the 4 gallon fermentor with their cooling system for my small (3 gallon) batches. I was wondering if anyone had any experience with these. Their pricing is pretty reasonable, IMO.

My only concern is the design of the cooling coil is just a U shaped tube and would not have as much surface area as a true coil. It seems it may suffer from low heat transfer efficiency.

An thoughts?
I just got one of these for my 7.5 gallon unit and I think its really cool. I set it up for a test run. The cold water valve on my brew sink broke recently so I had to fill fermenter with hot water. Started off at 99.9F and got it down to 78 degrees in an hour. It melted the little bit of ice I had but it worked great, better than I was hoping for. keep in mind I was only using a 1.5 gallon cooler that was only partially filled with ice and the lid was cracked open. When I get this cooler situation properly set up it should be perfect. I think I'm only limited by the cooler/ice capacity. I plan to test lager capability next. Love it so far
(fermentor had 4.5 gallons of hot water, 73 degrees ambient temp)
 
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Wansombeer?

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I bought this for my 4 gallon Anvil bucket and have been using with Inkbird's wifi temp controller. On my fourth 3 gallon batch with it and have to say I like it a lot. My basement stays at about 67f and the cooling system using a small cooler with bottles of ice keeps the temps right where I want them. With the Inkbird app I can check and adjust the temp on my phone. At first I was wondering if the thermowell being so close to the cooling coil would cause inaccurate readings, so I moved the probe between the outside wall of the fermentor and the jacket to check. Readings were the same.
Why did I get this instead of a fridge? Similar to IBRUTOO, I didn't want yet another fridge taking up floor space at this time and the concept of this appealed to me. Very happy.
 

WESBREW

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I don't have the Anvil unit, but I do have this one and it works great. Looks like the Anvil may be a bit more expensive. I had to buy my pump and the Inkbird separately. The coil on this one is plenty long enough to cool my brews for lager temps in the low 50's so I think the Anvil unit would do the same. https://ballandkeg.com/temperature-control-loop.php
Looks pretty close to the same, but the anvil comes with a neoprene coat for the fermenting bucket too. I'd say when you add up shipping for pump and controller its going to be close to same price. There is a cool zone kit that is similar but its way more at about $230 but has heating pad, and the brew jacket one that sits on top. that one was pretty minimalist looking, I liked it but can't use it on different fermentors I have. plus with a bigger cooler/ice we can lager.
 

deepdisco

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Seems like it would be easier to just put the fermenter in the mini fridge imo.
If there is a mini-fridge that's big enough to fit one of these fermenters, I haven't found it yet.
Has anyone else?
 

deepdisco

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These fermenters are pretty small. Most mini fridges around 4.4cu ft will fit one fairly easily.
The 7.5 gallon bucket? I've been a couple of fruitless Kijiji dates with a Whirlpool and a Danby so far and haven't been able to fit it over the compressor hump.
 

WESBREW

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the volume (4.4cu ft) means nothing if the depth or height doesn't allow it to fit.
Right. they must be talking about kegerators or small chest freezers with temp controllers. No way any fermentor would fit in a "mini-fridge" not even the bigger ones. An additional appliance dedicated to fermentation would be great, if you have the room for it. I don't and I can store this gear inside the Anvil bucket I already have and put it on a shelf.
 

cnash

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I have a small 4.2 cu ft generic brand mini fridge that my anvil bucket fits in. Then I have a 4.4 cu ft Sanyo mini fridge that I use as a kegerator (fits two cornies and a 5 lb co2 tank) that the anvil bucket fits in with a LOT of space to spare.
 

WESBREW

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I have a small 4.2 cu ft generic brand mini fridge that my anvil bucket fits in. Then I have a 4.4 cu ft Sanyo mini fridge that I use as a kegerator (fits two cornies and a 5 lb co2 tank) that the anvil bucket fits in with a LOT of space to spare.
interesting, would not fit in either mini fridge I tried.(7.5 gallons ) it will fit with ease in my kegerator but I have beer in it and didn't want to raise the temp of all my beer to ferment an ale. that works great if you're out of beer
 

cnash

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interesting, would not fit in either mini fridge I tried.(7.5 gallons ) it will fit with ease in my kegerator but I have beer in it and didn't want to raise the temp of all my beer to ferment an ale. that works great if you're out of beer
If it is tight just get a plastic or lead-free brass barbed elbow and some tubing as a blow-off instead of using an airlock.
 

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Since my chest freezer was recently converted to a keezer, I was looking for a new way to control my fermentation temps in my 7.5 gallon Anvil fermenter. I pulled the trigger on their cooling kit and so far it is working well. I put the pump in a 16qt coleman ice chest, filled with water to a few inches above the pump intake, and then dropped in a few frozen water bottles. I was initially concerned with the thermowell's proximity to the cooling coil, but then I figured any cold spots would quickly equalize in that volume of liquid, especially with the churning of an active fermentation.

I've had no issues maintaining fermentation temps. I've been rotating the water bottles every 12 hours and popping the melted ones back in the freezer. There was one night that I forgot to rotate them, and it went for 24 hrs without being changed. The water temp rose and the pump was running constantly to cool the fermenter. The fermentation temperature did not spike too high, only rising to about 2°F above my set point (still well within optimum range for the yeast), but the still somewhat cool water was no longer effective at actually lowering the temperature after 24 hours without swapping the ice bottles. This was at ale temps, holding 65°F during primary fermentation with a 75°F room temp. I have not attempted to lager with it...yet.

The real test will be crashing before I keg this batch sometime next week. I'll probably leave just enough water to submerge the pump intake, and fill the ice chest up to the brim with ice and see what it can do. I will report back with results.

Initial impressions: I like it, it works, though swapping water bottles is a bit of a pain in the butt. I've set reminders on my phone so I don't forget again. If I had a kegerator with a freezer compartment, I would be tempted to set up a simple glycol chiller like in the video above. It would offer a much more hands-off solution, and the lower temps should make it easier to lager or crash.
 

cswant88

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Since my chest freezer was recently converted to a keezer, I was looking for a new way to control my fermentation temps in my 7.5 gallon Anvil fermenter. I pulled the trigger on their cooling kit and so far it is working well. I put the pump in a 16qt coleman ice chest, filled with water to a few inches above the pump intake, and then dropped in a few frozen water bottles. I was initially concerned with the thermowell's proximity to the cooling coil, but then I figured any cold spots would quickly equalize in that volume of liquid, especially with the churning of an active fermentation.

I've had no issues maintaining fermentation temps. I've been rotating the water bottles every 12 hours and popping the melted ones back in the freezer. There was one night that I forgot to rotate them, and it went for 24 hrs without being changed. The water temp rose and the pump was running constantly to cool the fermenter. The fermentation temperature did not spike too high, only rising to about 2°F above my set point (still well within optimum range for the yeast), but the still somewhat cool water was no longer effective at actually lowering the temperature after 24 hours without swapping the ice bottles. This was at ale temps, holding 65°F during primary fermentation with a 75°F room temp. I have not attempted to lager with it...yet.

The real test will be crashing before I keg this batch sometime next week. I'll probably leave just enough water to submerge the pump intake, and fill the ice chest up to the brim with ice and see what it can do. I will report back with results.

Initial impressions: I like it, it works, though swapping water bottles is a bit of a pain in the butt. I've set reminders on my phone so I don't forget again. If I had a kegerator with a freezer compartment, I would be tempted to set up a simple glycol chiller like in the video above. It would offer a much more hands-off solution, and the lower temps should make it easier to lager or crash.
Just started the crash. I quickly pulled out the blow off tube and hooked up my CO2 tank @ 2psi to prevent a vacuum. Going to do a closed system transfer. The Anvil bucket is handling the pressure well, no leaking around the valve, and the bung is in nice and tight. The keg is sanitized and purged, currently stored under pressure ready to be filled.

I set the temp controller to 38F, we’ll see what happens. Started at 70F, room temp around 75F. I gathered up half a dozen 1gal plastic milk jugs and water bottles, filled and froze them. The water level is just a couple inches above the pump in a 16qt Coleman ice chest. The plans is to put 2 ice jugs in at a time and rotate them as they melt. I will report back.
 

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Just started the crash. I quickly pulled out the blow off tube and hooked up my CO2 tank @ 2psi to prevent a vacuum. Going to do a closed system transfer. The Anvil bucket is handling the pressure well, no leaking around the valve, and the bung is in nice and tight. The keg is sanitized and purged, currently stored under pressure ready to be filled.

I set the temp controller to 38F, we’ll see what happens. Started at 70F, room temp around 75F. I gathered up half a dozen 1gal plastic milk jugs and water bottles, filled and froze them. The water level is just a couple inches above the pump in a 16qt Coleman ice chest. The plans is to put 2 ice jugs in at a time and rotate them as they melt. I will report back.
Any update on the cold crash? I ask because I have the same system from www.ballandkeg.com. I haven't had any need to cold crash with it, but I would imagine it would be difficult to get below the mid-40's with ice water only. I would think glycol at sub-freezing temps would be required to get down to the low 30's with the system. It's just not realistic to expect it to get down to an approach temp of less than 10 degrees F. I do love my system, however, as it has allowed me to simply control temps very accurately for lagers or Ales.
 

verboten

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I've gotten my fermenter down to 42 without insulating anything yet. I'm building a distribution system for 3 fermenters and I think it will work just fine.
IMG_20190525_180752.jpg
 

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Cold crash update. The frozen water bottles I tried using were not adequate to the task. I ended up using loose ice, and filling up the cooler to capacity. I was able to get the beer temp down to 42.6F according to the controller, the pump has been running constantly and it isn’t going any lower. I’ve been holding it there for 24hrs now and will go ahead and keg it tonight. I used a lot of ice. I have access to a commercial ice machine at work, and was hauling it home in a 48qt cooler. I used about 1.5 coolers full of ice. I estimated about 60lbs of ice used. If I had to buy it, probably would have set me back about $10.
 

yowzers

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Cold crash update. The frozen water bottles I tried using were not adequate to the task. I ended up using loose ice, and filling up the cooler to capacity. I was able to get the beer temp down to 42.6F according to the controller, the pump has been running constantly and it isn’t going any lower. I’ve been holding it there for 24hrs now and will go ahead and keg it tonight. I used a lot of ice. I have access to a commercial ice machine at work, and was hauling it home in a 48qt cooler. I used about 1.5 coolers full of ice. I estimated about 60lbs of ice used. If I had to buy it, probably would have set me back about $10.
That doesn't surprise me as that's what I've found with my Ballandkeg system. I use it to control the fermentation temps, but I transfer to my keg and cold crash it there. I only get a little extra sediment which comes out in the first glass or two of beer anyway.
 

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using the Anvil carbon chiller today for the first time. I set it up and the controller is in heat mode. I want to be in cool mode and can’t figure out how to change it. No instructions with the unit and not videos posted on this particular Anvil branded Inkbird controller. Anybody know the secret? Edit: on the back of the box - “hold set button for 10 seconds...”
 
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jdudek

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sorry to revive an old thread... would anyone consider running hot water through this for heat control, rather than chilling? for beers that benefit from higher temp fermentation like some belgians. I know the standard way is to use a heating pad or a sleeve, but it always seemed rather inefficient to me to have to heat the vessel and have that heat then transfer to the beer. I've wondered how fast and precisely the temperature can be controlled with the usual solutions...
 

verboten

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I don't see why you couldn't. That would actually work way better for me with them in the outside temp garage. Aquarium heater to keep the cooler warm instead of the cooler to keep it cold. I'm going to try to find my heater tonight.
 

jdudek

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nice one... if you get anywhere with that, post back your thoughts. What i was thinking to use as a heat source was my electric brew pot. Fill it with some hot water, set the controller to maintain the temp at 180or something and run that through the cooling (now heating!) coil...
 

verboten

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I don't think you want to be that high, but that's a great idea. I didn't find my heater, but I do have a robo brew, and also a grainfather sparge water heater! I'm going to try one!
 

verboten

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I have my sparge water heater set at 45°C, and the temp jumped right up to 73°F after a few minutes. The heat pad was holding it around 68° F and could not get it any higher with the inside temp at 31, and the covered area at 39. I'm expecting both temps to rise a bit with the big Mass of warm water in there. It works, it will take some time to equalize, but once it is, I think it will maintain just fine.
IMG_20191219_195438.jpg
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