conical fermenter heater/cooler

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kshuler

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Wow- Great find! If you happen to build this, please let us know how it works. I have one of those fermentors and have been putting off buying a refrigerator for temp control due to space constraints... this would have a much smaller footprint.

Klaus
 
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Banjoman002

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Got all the parts...just waiting until beer's out of the conical. Will post pic's of the build. One thing I've learned already...don't put power to a Peltier cooler to test it unless the hot side is on a heat sink. New one on order.
 

kshuler

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I am always looking for new projects. Bought a bunch of stuff for this yesterday. Are you planning on putting thermal grease between the cold plates and the fermentor? I will use it only for chilling, however, and will control it with a programmable auber PID that I have lying around. I do wish the author of the instructions would post some result to see how well it works. For me it is about space. A very nice display fridge was on craigslist yesterday for only about 400 dollars, which is an ideal fermentor, but I just don't have any space for it.
 
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Banjoman002

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Yep, Gonna use thermal grease on both sides of the Peltier. Encountered another problem due to poor planning (mine)... my aluminum heat sinks are 4 inches wide and the screw holes on the computer fans I got are 4 inches apart...oops. Thinking of epoxying on "ears" for the screws to go into. Good luck on your project.
 

kshuler

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I am still designing at this time, but my plan is to include a switch to reverse the polarity to the peltier coolers so I can switch it to heating mode, as well. This would be a simple switch controlling a DPDT contractor for the actual polarity reversal, and the PID would have to be switched from heating mode to cooling mode. I am doing this because I have a programable ramp and soak step PID that will allow me to do more complex automatic temperature profiles for fermentation. The whole project will be housed in an aluminum project box that will bolt onto the upright of the frame. Here is a diagram. Won't even get all the stuff needed for several weeks, then it will take me a long time to string it all together.




Klaus
 
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Banjoman002

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Diagram didn't come thru but that sounds like a great idea, I've already got a fermwrap I'm using for heating so I'm sticking pretty much to the original document...I also have a Ranco controller to plug everything into. Going out today to see if I can find a shop with CNC machine to mill my aluminum.

Rich
 

DHdriver

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What size of peltier coolers are/have people used for this on what size of conical?
 

kshuler

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I was planning on using 10 amp peltiers (TEC-12710), but scaled it back, as my power supply is rated for 20 watts continuous. I will run 9 amp pelters and use the same power supply to drive the fans-- don't want to overdo it. The conical is a 7.3 gal Stout Kettles and Tanks conical. It is approx 12 inches around.
 

JohnnyBe

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I'm planning on doing the same thing with a 30 gallon conical and have enlisted the help of another forum member to help me size everything correctly. I currently plan to use two 177.1 watt TEC's on two aluminum cooling plates.

My main concern right now is sizing the heatsink correctly to remove the heat produced by the TEC's. I currently plan to use two large heatsinks (6"X12") and place two 120mm fans on each heatsink capable of 97.5cfm each for a total of 195cfm per cooling block. However I'm debating if I'd be better off using a smaller computer heatsink/fan combo. And another concern I have is finding a 24 v DC power supply(s) that is relatively inexpensive.

I will then use a heat wrap for heating and a BCS-462 controller to control fermentation temperature. By using the BCS I'll be able to log into the controller remotely and monitor/adjust fermentation settings as needed. This is the same controller that I will be using to control my all electric brewery.

I will also plan to wrap the conical in the same material Morebeer uses for theirs which I believe is armaflex.
 

fastev

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Building two of these now. Marcb and I are basing ours off his 14 and 27-gallon Morebeer Ultimates, but the OP's link is basically the same thing. I just had the aluminum block made. I'll get the Peltier pads and heatsinks mounted to the blocks once I get my new milling machine set up.
 

Iansir

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Anyone know what size / how many peltiers the morebeer conical uses? I see 2 pretty big fans in their photos.
 

jCOSbrew

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I was thinking about a low cost, low tech version of this using a corney keg as the vessel to allow laggering of beer or for use as a portable keggerator. The temp controller could be an STC-1000 or similar.

Is the large AL block required between the peltier and the vessel? Another other options to facilitate good thermal transfer on the cooling side?
 

kshuler

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I will be using a Jetstream JTPS31MB variable power supply. Don't have it yet. Can do 25 amps continuous. Got it used an relatively inexpensive on ebay. If you have an old computer, you can probably just use the PSU from it. Otherwise there are power supplies on ebay. An example would be use a megawatt 33amp (s-350-12) 12v power supply, that can give you 30 amps continuous. Can't vouch for quality, though.
 
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Banjoman002

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Got my aluminum cold blocks milled...cost me 80 bucks...thought that was a bit much but at least it's done. I'm using 9 amp Peltiers and an old Dell PSU. Got it all hooked up and with the cold blocks laying on a rubber mat with temp sensor inserted in the curvature (not touching metal) temp dropped from 68F to 40F in about 15 minutes.
 

kshuler

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I still haven't milled the blocks, but everything has arrived now, other than a few odds and ends. I am now mostly done with the control panel- only have a few holes to put in for the power, RTD, mounting hardware, ventilation fan and the switchcraft power connectors that I will use to connect the controller to the cooling units. Still have to get those things milled, however. I will include a few pictures.





The whole thing is 8x4x14".

Klaus
 

rvklein

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Looks good. I'm going more ghetto as a proof of concept. I've got the ATX power supply hacked and the CPU cooling fans. Waiting on the TECs & aluminum.
 

rvklein

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Looks good! I have the 15 gallon fermenter. Will be we curious to see if 2 peltiers will be enough to crash cool. Aluminum just came in.
 

JohnnyBe

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Klaus

Can you post the link to where you bought the aluminum enclosure from? I just spent an hour or so searching for one that is greater than 10X5X3 and couldn't find anything. The DC power supply I will be getting is 11X5X2.5 so the box you used should be perfect for it since my controller will be in another box and I just need one for the DC power supply.

Thanks
 

kshuler

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I bought it off ebay, from a seller named gkphotonics. His ebay store doesn't seem to list all that he has, so you can also go to http://gkphotonics.com/gk8.html which is his web page linking to the box I bought. I will say that the interior of the box has lots of grooves and ridges, and I ended up milling a bunch of that away. The link to the closest box to it on ebay is http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230936064235#ht_569wt_1037

I bought an endmill and xy table for my drill press to do some very light duty milling for a different project, but it has come in handy for this, as the ridges have gotten in the way. Milling them away has made it much better for my purposes.

Klaus
 

StMarcos

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I'd make sure you check the temp at a couple levels in the conical while crash cooling. Without fermentation convection, stratification is significant. When I was using the brewhemoth internal chiller, the temps at the bottom were more than 10degF lower than the top. No joke. Cold beer literally flows off the coil and pools up in the bottom.
 

rvklein

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I am having zero luck finding someone to mill my blanks. Three places I talked to either can't do it or wont do it. The fourth wants $500.
 
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Banjoman002

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Wow, that sucks...I thought it was bad when only one shop refused me and the other charged me 80 bucks,:)...keep trying.
 

NTabb

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How hard is it to clean the conical after adding these parts? I have two of the stout conicals and very interested in this?
 

JohnnyBe

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@NTabb

If your conicals have ports on the top clean in place just like you would at a brewery. A pump, spray ball and tank is all you need then.
 

marcb

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fastev said:
Building two of these now. Marcb and I are basing ours off his 14 and 27-gallon Morebeer Ultimates, but the OP's link is basically the same thing. I just had the aluminum block made. I'll get the Peltier pads and heatsinks mounted to the blocks once I get my new milling machine set up.
Here it's Jerry rigged up to help with a beertastrophe last night ; )

image-2429103166.jpg


image-1408605034.jpg
 
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Banjoman002

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Ran tests yesterday. Starting with 85 F water it took 4 hours to cool to 67 F. I raised the temp up to 71 F with fermwrap heater (took about 40 min), turned on cooling again and 7 hours later I terminated the test at 60 F. Don't think I'll be lagering but at least It will give me some control.

Rich
 

JohnnyBe

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If you insulated it that would help a lot. Also what size peltier device are you using and is your cooling fan large enough?
 

kshuler

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Starting with 85 F water it took 4 hours to cool to 67 F. I raised the temp up to 71 F with fermwrap heater (took about 40 min), turned on cooling again and 7 hours later I terminated the test at 60 F.

Rich
Out of curiosity, what was the ambient temp during your test? I don't need lagering, but in summer the basement where I ferment gets up occasionally to the mid 70s on a hot day. All I need is about 10-15 degrees of cooling. 60 degrees would be FANTASTIC is I can get it to work that well. My controller box is now done other than final testing, and now I have to mill the aluminum plates and assemble the business end of the thing.

Klaus
 
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Banjoman002

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Ambient temp was approx 68 F
Fermenter is insulated
Using TEC1-12709 Peltiers, 9 amp....bigger ones probably would work better but then would have to size up fans and power supply.
True story on the heat of fermentation.

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.
 

rvklein

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Can someone point me in the direction of companies that will mill these blocks for a reasonable price? I'm having no luck at all.

thanks.
 

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