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Glycol chilling FastFerment?

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mattym5

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I recently completed a DIY glycol chiller build with an air conditioner and cooler. I did this because I had pretty much all the parts lying around, minus the glycol. My intent is to get rid of my full sized fridge that I use for fermentation/cold crashing because it's huge and is on the fritz.

My question is, how do you suggest utilizing a glycol chiller to chill the FastFerment? I can't justify dropping the cash for a new conical right at this moment so I'm looking for something to get me through for now.

I have the insulated jacket/bag for the FastFerment and use this for heating with great success. My thought would be to simply run tubing from the glycol pump into the insulated bag and maybe wrap around the fermenter as best as possible and then return back to the chiller. Obviously this wouldn't be the most efficient because the tubing wouldn't be submerged in the wort like SS chiller coil would be, but I wouldn't have to buy a chiller coil and wouldn't have to figure out how to make that work in the FastFerment. Do you think this setup would work well enough? What kind of tubing would I use to get the most heat/cold transfer?

Thanks!
 

shaky6

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Basically make a glycol refrigerator to put the fast ferment in. Build a box lined with glycol lines and a small circulation fan in it. Then add your temp controller and wa lah.
 

augiedoggy

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I tried with no sucess myself.. the shape of the fermenter and the material do not help with any type of external wrap.. need a fridge.
 
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mattym5

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I tried with no sucess myself.. the shape of the fermenter and the material do not help with any type of external wrap.. need a fridge.
I've had good success with a seedling mat heater for heat. I have the insulated enclosure for it. I'm basically trying to make the insulated enclosure into a fridge of sorts. I wonder if I took baseboard heater with the copper tubing and heat exchange fins and ran the glycol lines through that if that would give off enough cold to cool the enclosure enough?
 
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mattym5

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Yeah I used a heat strip on mine successfully as well.
I'm thinking maybe taking some 3/8" flexible copper tubing and wrapping it around the fermenter and securing it with adhesive zip ties so it's semi-permanantly mounted. Then run the glycol lines to the copper tubing on the outside of the fermenter and hopefully achieve enough heat transfer to cool the wort...? We'll see i guess...
 

augiedoggy

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I'm thinking maybe taking some 3/8" flexible copper tubing and wrapping it around the fermenter and securing it with adhesive zip ties so it's semi-permanantly mounted. Then run the glycol lines to the copper tubing on the outside of the fermenter and hopefully achieve enough heat transfer to cool the wort...? We'll see i guess...
I tried surgical tubing g since I had great luck with larger blue discharge hose wrapped around my stainless conicals.. the plastic wall doesnt conduct well so it wouldnt work very well on plastic. Tried the blue hose on some 110g plastic conicals at my brewpub.. ineffective. ended up installing a stainless coil inside. Ymmv.
 
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mattym5

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I tried surgical tubing g since I had great luck with larger blue discharge hose wrapped around my stainless conicals.. the plastic wall doesnt conduct well so it wouldnt work very well on plastic. Tried the blue hose on some 110g plastic conicals at my brewpub.. ineffective. ended up installing a stainless coil inside. Ymmv.
Hmmm, ok. You dont think the copper would have better results. Copper has significantly higher conductivity than plastic hose. Just thinking.
 
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mattym5

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You would have to drill a hole in the lid to use a #9 or #10 stopper, but I use this in my fermenter and it works very well with ice water. I can do lagers and ales no issue. With glycol, you could probably even cold crash to the low to mid 30's F.

https://www.ballandkeg.com/temperature-control-loop.php

Hmm...thats a decent option. I was also considering just getting a spike temp coil since eventually I hope to buy one of their conicals and I could just re-purpose it. The problem is that in order to dry hop I'd have to remove the entire lid and coil which would be a pain...
 

augiedoggy

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Hmmm, ok. You dont think the copper would have better results. Copper has significantly higher conductivity than plastic hose. Just thinking.
I get frost on the inside of my stainless conicals with the blue hose... way more surface contact than with copper tubing.. the plastic just insulates too much.
 

yowzers

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Hmm...thats a decent option. I was also considering just getting a spike temp coil since eventually I hope to buy one of their conicals and I could just re-purpose it. The problem is that in order to dry hop I'd have to remove the entire lid and coil which would be a pain...
Yes, this coil is easy to remove since it comes with a stopper. You can dry hop right through that way.
 

Shack01

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I am a 'no-chill' BIAB brewer.
I live in WI, on the western shore of Lake Michigan.
In summer, my basement - where I ferment my beer - is about 70deg.
In winter, about 60deg.
NEARLY ideal for ale fermentation...
Somebody, smarter than me, said fermentation temps are key.

I invested in a BrewJacket for my Fastferment...
I don't have the time to micromanage my fermentation...and this gadget keeps my fermentation temps where I want them!
 

yowzers

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I am a 'no-chill' BIAB brewer.
I live in WI, on the western shore of Lake Michigan.
In summer, my basement - where I ferment my beer - is about 70deg.
In winter, about 60deg.
NEARLY ideal for ale fermentation...
Somebody, smarter than me, said fermentation temps are key.

I invested in a BrewJacket for my Fastferment...
I don't have the time to micromanage my fermentation...and this gadget keeps my fermentation temps where I want them!
Wow, just looked at the Brewjacket and that is really expensive. You could get a fermentation fridge with controller for that and do two carboys at the same time...
 

Shack01

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Wow, just looked at the Brewjacket and that is really expensive. You could get a fermentation fridge with controller for that and do two carboys at the same time...
True enough. Keep in mind that this is for a 7 gallon Fastferment, and not a glass/HDPE carboy. I was in the process of collecting up the hardware to build a fermentation cabinet which, for all intents and purposes, would have been a small closet. I wanted something tall enough that when fermentation was complete; I could set a keg underneath the FastFerment, open the valve, and voila, full keg. As I was working up plans for the cabinet, I stumbled across an ad in BYO for the BrewJacket. This checked all the boxes (heat and cooling), in a footprint not much larger than the FastFerment on the conical iron stand. Now, instead of a 'closet' taking up space (that I really don't have) in my basement, I set the whole works on top of an old kitchen counter. When it's done, I slide it over to the edge of the counter, attach a hose to the valve, drain into a keg and done.

Expensive? Yes. But for me, it is worth it

20170119_144053_HDR-25%HBT.jpg
 

burnzy2191

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So i'm looking at doing something really similar. I want to get a small mini fridge cut 2 holes in the side and put a cheap 50' ft garden hose in it. Then use basic plastic hose from the fridge to the top of the fast ferment and that is where I got stuck. I know I want stainless steel inside the fermentor. The ball and keg, temp control loop that yowzers posted looks like the best option i have seen. I have the fermentation jacket. The pump and a reptile heating mat will be controlled with Inkbird Itc-308.

Could there be any issue with a bung in the plastic lid? Most of the beer i brew is high gravity and can have some aggressive fermentation. Would I be better with a reservoir in the fridge? Any issues I'm not considering let me know.
 

yowzers

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So i'm looking at doing something really similar. I want to get a small mini fridge cut 2 holes in the side and put a cheap 50' ft garden hose in it. Then use basic plastic hose from the fridge to the top of the fast ferment and that is where I got stuck. I know I want stainless steel inside the fermentor. The ball and keg, temp control loop that yowzers posted looks like the best option i have seen. I have the fermentation jacket. The pump and a reptile heating mat will be controlled with Inkbird Itc-308.

Could there be any issue with a bung in the plastic lid? Most of the beer i brew is high gravity and can have some aggressive fermentation. Would I be better with a reservoir in the fridge? Any issues I'm not considering let me know.
The coil from ballandkeg comes with a blow off tube included so you are set for high gravity brews. You could pull it out and put in an airlock if you want, but I've had no need to do that. If you can put a reservoir in a fridge, it would keep you from having to change out ice jugs, although I only have to do that once per day for ales. Better yet, if you put your pump reservoir in the freezer section of the fridge, you could use glycol in the water to achieve lower temps and do true cold crashes.
 

augiedoggy

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The coil from ballandkeg comes with a blow off tube included so you are set for high gravity brews. You could pull it out and put in an airlock if you want, but I've had no need to do that. If you can put a reservoir in a fridge, it would keep you from having to change out ice jugs, although I only have to do that once per day for ales. Better yet, if you put your pump reservoir in the freezer section of the fridge, you could use glycol in the water to achieve lower temps and do true cold crashes.
You wont get it down low enough for cold crashing this way..much better to pick up a used window ac unit and make a chiller window ac units are super cheap this time of year. Ive even seen free ones
 

Liam569

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I've had good success with a seedling mat heater for heat. I have the insulated enclosure for it. I'm basically trying to make the insulated enclosure into a fridge of sorts. I wonder if I took baseboard heater with the copper tubing and heat exchange fins and ran the glycol lines through that if that would give off enough cold to cool the enclosure enough?
I know it's an old message, but have you been able to figure it out or not? I'm going to do the same with one of these models, I think it doesn't matter which one to modify, but if you advise a better option, I'll be glad.
 
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