DIY SS Brewtech Standard Chronical Mount FTSS Chiller Coil Inside

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johnwpowell

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I wanted to add temperature control to my standard chronical but was invested in the dome lid, having purchased a blow off cane and pressure transfer fitting. If you didn't know, the FTSS for the standard chronical comes with a flat lid with the coil attached. I understand why they chose to do it this way because you can't expect the average person to be drilling holes.

I contacted SS Brewtech to see if I could get the FTSS parts without the lid, but it wasn't an option. I found this article on how to make the standard like the BME by putting the chiller coil inside: https://ssbrewtech.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/206476993-How-to-mount-FTSs-coils-INSIDE-the-fermenter-and-retain-your-domed-lid.

Before getting started, watch this video see what you're getting into except you have to drill the holes for the chiller:

First, the easiest part: install the longer thermowell. Use a 7/8" wrench to remove the old thermowell. If you have another fermenter like me, you can use it on that. Optional: carefully remove the oring (don't roll it) and put some keg lube on it before putting it back on (note the oring goes on the inside). When you are done, it should look something like this:
20170409_190658050_iOS_zpssiimvlbu.jpg


Determine where you want the coil installed. Here's a picture of a BME with the coil installed. You can see it is to the right of the marking and centered on the 6.5 gallon mark:
20170409_181629000_iOS_zpsvgzmwz1c.jpg


I plan to purchase a second Chronical (BME this time), and they will share a glycol chiller, so I decided to install mine to the left of the markings so the inlets of the 2 chronicals will face towards each other.

Put the chill coil on a straight edge and mark the centers on it. You will then transfer the markings from the straight edge to the chronical. You can see in this pic I am centered between the handles and have used a Sharpie to transfer the marks:
20170409_191432619_iOS_zpskcxxn9ji.jpg

Don't drill the holes too low, as the coil will end up sitting on the thermowell. I would recommend an inch or so down from the top.

Next I would recommend using a center punch or if you don't have done, carefully use a small drill bit to get the hole started. This will prevent the big drill bit from wandering and keep it centered. You are going to want the get the 17MM drill bit from SS Brewtech. It looks like this:
20170409_193914200_iOS_zpskkcfmgib.jpg


Make sure you have a firm grasp on the fermenter as well as on the drill. As it goes through, it may grab and you could hurt yourself. It's hard metal and it takes awhile. Here's the holes drilled.

20170409_192519230_iOS_zpstrqro37v.jpg


Now you need to de-bur those holes because they are dangerously sharp and they could also damage the orings. Some of the SS Brewtech articles mention using a razor blade to cut off the metal, but don't even try it. I would recommend a rattail file and/or some emery cloth to finish it off. You can run a paper towel across the hole and if it catches any thing, you need to work on the hole some more. Don't cut yourself!!!
20170409_192639729_iOS_zpsoopeozoc.jpg


Once your holes are cleaned up, you can optionally put some keg lube on your orings and install the chiller using a 7/8" wrench (note: oring goes on the inside):
20170409_193851758_iOS_zpskvzxdemw.jpg


Now you have successfully and fully voided the warranty and it should look something like this:
20170409_193905329_iOS_zpsy9ymhbqj.jpg


Next, water test it. Note in mine you can see some oil film on the top. This is why you should use TSP on your SS equipment before use. You don't want that crap in your brew!
20170409_194755461_iOS_zpseqzltdvz.jpg


Dump the water and flip that chronical upside down so you can install the heater pad. There's a good video here:

Be careful when putting the neoprene jacket over the fermenter as there are no holes yet for the chiller coil. If you have casters installed, you should remove them to make it easier. Once you work the jacket on, it will look like this:
20170409_201548877_iOS_zps5ddgrpt1.jpg


Make sure you have the hole right where you want it and just barely nick the neoprene with a razor:
20170409_201351640_iOS_zpsiiuibhj5.jpg


Repeat. It should end up looking like this:
20170409_201530399_iOS_zpszd2xuwov.jpg


That's it! Now you can keep your domed lid and have the coil inside!

Cheers!
 
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This is awesome!

I've gone back and fourth on whether or not the chiller on top or the side is better. I like the top because it's easy to clean the conical, downside is the top coil is a pain since you really can't CIP.

One things for sure, if you're on a budget and somewhat handy, over time, the Brew Master Edition is within reach for even the standard conical buyer [emoji482]
 
Definitely useful, kicking my cheap self for not just buying the BME to start with.....
 
Definitely useful, kicking my cheap self for not just buying the BME to start with.....
Yeah. I didn’t have the approved budget all at once so this is how it worked out for me. If I had to do it all over today, I’d get the unitank. Always something better
 
Why did you change the original thermowell for a longer one?

I received the longer thermowell with the lid that comes with the FTSS which is longer because of the lid. I actually went back to the regular thermowell realizing that it made no sense to have the longer one.
 
Nice write-up. I was just looking at the FTSs stuff today for my 7G brew bucket, but was turned off by the flat lid. I have the 3in TC domed lid and a bunch of fittings for blow off and pressure transfers so the flat lid was a no-go.
 
If I was going to do this now, I'd invest in a punch rather than drilling. Just so much cleaner and safer
 
Nice write-up. I was just looking at the FTSs stuff today for my 7G brew bucket, but was turned off by the flat lid. I have the 3in TC domed lid and a bunch of fittings for blow off and pressure transfers so the flat lid was a no-go.
I did the same thing to my brew bucket :)
 
I received the longer thermowell with the lid that comes with the FTSS which is longer because of the lid. I actually went back to the regular thermowell realizing that it made no sense to have the longer one.
Ok, perfect, I was puzzled, but now all is good. Thanks :)
 
Just fhinished mine. Thanks for the writeup. On a side note, on the SS Brewtech link they say to drill the bottom hole 1 inch from the top of the cone. I think 1'1/2 is more accurate. This is what I've done and I don't see it possible at 1 inch.

Cheers!
 
Bit of a late follow-up here, but what did you end up buying from SS Brewtech to get the chiller coil, thermowell, etc?

I see they have a chiller kit for the mini brew bucket, wondering if that's what you used or is there used to be a larger size as well?

Great write-up, by the way, I'll be copying your approach if I can find the right coil (ideally without spending $300-400 for the full FTS kit). Cheers!
 
Bit of a late follow-up here, but what did you end up buying from SS Brewtech to get the chiller coil, thermowell, etc?

I see they have a chiller kit for the mini brew bucket, wondering if that's what you used or is there used to be a larger size as well?

Great write-up, by the way, I'll be copying your approach if I can find the right coil (ideally without spending $300-400 for the full FTS kit). Cheers!
I bought the FTSS which comes with the coil on the lid. I removed the coil and installed on the side. I don’t think they will just sell the coil but you can see if they will.
 
Great, thank you! I don't see the 7 gal legacy FTSS on their site anymore, but will ping them a note and see where I get to. Cheers!
 
Great, thank you! I don't see the 7 gal legacy FTSS on their site anymore, but will ping them a note and see where I get to. Cheers!
I had a look as well and I could only find the 3 gallon version. They’ve changed the coil design.
 
Thanks for taking a look, that was kind of you! I guess I'll find out if the 3 gal coil is big enough for a 5 gal fementer - not ideal, but here we are.

If you still have the 17mm hole saw and are interested in selling it, let me know :)
 
Thanks for taking a look, that was kind of you! I guess I'll find out if the 3 gal coil is big enough for a 5 gal fementer - not ideal, but here we are.

If you still have the 17mm hole saw and are interested in selling it, let me know :)
Cover postage and I’ll mail it to you for free
 

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