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ICEMASTER MAX 2

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WESBREW

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The Brewbuilt Icemaster Max2 Glycol Chiller has been on pre-order for a while now. I ordered mine in April and its been sitting somewhere since May. I talked with Morebeer earlier this week, they said they were expecting the units to arrive in their facility first week of August and would be shipping out soon. Today, I got a shipping notification!
this might just be the pre-orders, Not sure if they will have inventory

*website now says "in stock" so probably get shipped right after pre-orders.
 
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BrewGinner

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@WESBREW I’m very interested in hearing your thoughts of this once you’ve had a chance to checking things out. I just discovered this unit over the weekend, and it seems to hit all my requirements at a somewhat lower price point.
 
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WESBREW

WESBREW

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@WESBREW I’m very interested in hearing your thoughts of this once you’ve had a chance to checking things out. I just discovered this unit over the weekend, and it seems to hit all my requirements at a somewhat lower price point.
Thats the conclusion I came to. I can't imagine needing any more than this.
 

BrewGinner

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It was either this of the Stasis, but I haven’t seen the greatest reviews on the Stasis. Unfortunately, the Max 2 is a bit too new to see any reviews. Hopefully this works out for you.
 
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WESBREW

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It was either this of the Stasis, but I haven’t seen the greatest reviews on the Stasis. Unfortunately, the Max 2 is a bit too new to see any reviews. Hopefully this works out for you.
I almost ordered that one but bailed out. Lucky for me. Shortly after the reviews came in that its noisy, not cooling to advertised temps and runs constantly. then we heard it only had a .75 gallon reservoir? no wonder it runs all the time. Not to say it doesn't work but thats not great. I think max 2 is 4.5 gallons and same internals as the 4. delivery got pushed back to Monday. Wanted to get a test run on a tank of water over weekend
 
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Bent-Brewer

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According to KegLand, the Icemaster G20 (looks to be the exact same as the Max 2) uses the same internals as the Icemaster 100. So while it is new, I think the only significant differences are the smaller reservoir volume, smaller enclosure, and added pumps. Just ordered one and it should be coming in a couple days.
 

BarleyAndApple

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I almost ordered that one but bailed out. Lucky for me. Shortly after the reviews came in that its noisy, not cooling to advertised temps and runs constantly. then we heard it only had a .75 gallon reservoir? no wonder it runs all the time. Not to say it doesn't work but thats not great. I think max 2 is 4.5 gallons and same internals as the 4. delivery got pushed back to Monday. Wanted to get a test run on a tank of water over weekend
I'm on the same boat. Was on the verge of ordering Stasis until I heard about the reservoir and noise issue.

Does anyone have the data on the noise of Max 2?
 
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WESBREW

WESBREW

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Just arrived. Couldn’t wait to open It. Abandoned work as soon as I heard the fedex truck . Looks great. Here are some pics...it sitting next to my 15 gallon kettle.
 

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stealthfixr

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Mine arrived as well, exactly like WESBREW's above. Filling it up and plugging in for the first time later today...brewing a stout this weekend, so first glycol chilled brew session coming right up. Looking forward to seeing a *real* cold crash, and transferring to a keg at/near serving temperatures.
 
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WESBREW

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I found online instructions for the max 2, attached here. mine didn't come with anything for initial setup. I'm assuming liquids are going down the Hole under the lid, pictured above. the other side is a fan and electronics. The online instructions gave glycol/water ratio but did not give the volume.

### I deleted instructions because they are useless for this chiller. see post #28 for better instructions.
 
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stealthfixr

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I found the instructions to be awful, omitting needed info a few times and flat out incorrect a couple times. I wrote MoreBeer with the details for corrections. Here are the tips for new owners not in the instructions:
- The picture in the instructions for the glycol tank is not the same as the Max 2--the correct place to fill the glycol tank is a 2" hole under the swing lid in the front (from the two controllers and drain ports). Instructions say to unscrew the lid, but the only side of it screwed down is the wrong one.
- Instructions say to fill glycol tank without mentioning the upper and lower drain ports are wide open. See next item.
- As shipped, loose Inside the unit is a line with duotight fittings on each end, and this is for the glycol tank drains (on front, top and bottom). Do not just push on the drain ports...it will leak. Take of the blue locks (needle-nose pliers) for each duotight fittings, push on until fully seated, pull back slightly to seat, then reinsert locks. I didn’t take off the locks on the first try and it leaked. Once installed and not leaking, this is a nice way to check the tank level--a kind of sight glass like on a kettle.
- Instructions say to turn on the unit and then plug in the probes. Do Not Yet! First, the alarm for turning it on without the probes is LOUD. Second, once it is on and the probes are in, glycol water will then shoot with force out of the seemingly plugged Out ports for each of the two controllers. I fab'd a closed line for each, with TIGHT hose clamps.
All of the above can be seen on the video below.

Maybe these are all no brainer, obvious things to others. This is my first glycol chiller and the setup was a pain, cleaning up three, large dumps on the floor. MoreBeer technical support was no help in figuring this out--they referred me to some Kegland videos.

Here is a video of the unit chilling full tilt. It sounds louder on this video than it actually is—the sound emitted is not bad at all.
 
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jkctax

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I just got mine as well and the instructions make completely no sense relative to the product actually shipped. Any idea how to work the front controls to set the temperature or toggle between C/F? There is no C/F button like on the Max 4 or on the Max 2 pictures on the website. I called Morebeer and customer service agent did not know and submitted a ticket which has gone unanswered so far. I have a whole Porter that I have made and am ready to chill! ugh......
 
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WESBREW

WESBREW

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[/QUOTE]
I found the instructions to be awful..
THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS ! these instructions are absurd. Even the one I posted from morebeer for this product is terrible. this is my first chiller too and I guarantee, every single thing that happened to you, would have happened to me. thanks for saving me a couple of expletive explosions.
-what is the total volume? they don't say so I don't see how we can get the correct 20% mix.
 
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jkctax

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I found some instructions online for the Icemaster G20.1 but still not identical to the Max 2. Frustrating that apparent can't convert between celsius and farenheit nor does it have two readings on front (set temp and current temp). I am sure that I will figure it out and get over it but geez something that costs $700 should be much better.
 

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The instructions said the tank volume was 4.25 gallons. However, the so called sight glass bridging the drain ports was filled at about 3.75 gallons. At 4 gallons, the tank looked full and I stopped adding water. I did 1 gallon Propylene Glycol to 3 gallons distilled water, so a 25% mix with a freezing point below 20F. Other chillers recommend a much higher mix ratio, so I don’t see 25% as a problem.
 

BarleyAndApple

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Here is a video of the unit chilling full tilt. It sounds louder on this video than it actually is—the sound emitted is not bad at all.
Thanks, the unit is lot bigger than I had assumed.

I know I'm asking a big favor, but would you be so kind to measure the dB with free NIOSH sound meter?
 

stealthfixr

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My first reaction was also that it was larger than I expected, but it fits in my fermenting area just fine. Maybe the same floor space as two 5 gallon buckets, maybe a little less.

Yes, I measured the sound from about the same distance as the video was taken from, about head high (for me). Of note, the unit started with room temp (~78F) solution about three hours ago and the tank temp was set for 0C. When I went to measure the sound, none was being made, as it was already at 0C! I reset it down to -3.9C, or about 25F and took this screenshot. The instantaneous measurements bounced between 56-59 dB in terms of range.

Do know my fermenting area is aka as the laundry room, so kinda echoey on a good day (tile floor). The sound it makes cannot be heard outside the room, so not objectionable in my view at all.

Also attached is a Excel conversion from whole Farenheit numbers to Celsius, which is easier for me to use with this unit than the ones I found on the Internet.
 

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WESBREW

WESBREW

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got mine up and running. nice and smooth. Fan can be heard in the brew room but not outside. No one should have a noise problem with this. Morebeer website says controller can read in Fahrenheit but I can't figure out how, if it doesn't they are going to hear about it. I was able to turn pumps off. pushing both buttons brings up some sort of f functions. not idea what they are. 4.1 gallons in at 26.5c. running just under 50 minutes it is already down to 9.3. temp actually seems to be dropping faster now that its been on a while.
 

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That’s awesome - if either of you guys is willing to pull a decibel reading for me, I’d be grateful. PM me your address and I’ll have Amazon ship you a meter.

I’m hoping for something in the 42-46 dB range - the Blichmann was mid-50s, so much quieter than the Stasis but still too loud for my apartment.

Edit: somehow I managed to miss @stealthfixr ‘s post entirely just now. 56 sounds about right — that’s much quieter than the Stasis but in line with the Blichmann. Good, but sounds like it would still be too loud for me. Boo.

Still - the offer stands if either of you guys want to check the reading.
 
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WESBREW

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you might have to use the cooler of ice/controller/pump method to get quieter. They all make some noise, but it won’t be running constantly
 

BarleyAndApple

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My first reaction was also that it was larger than I expected, but it fits in my fermenting area just fine. Maybe the same floor space as two 5 gallon buckets, maybe a little less.

Yes, I measured the sound from about the same distance as the video was taken from, about head high (for me). Of note, the unit started with room temp (~78F) solution about three hours ago and the tank temp was set for 0C. When I went to measure the sound, none was being made, as it was already at 0C! I reset it down to -3.9C, or about 25F and took this screenshot. The instantaneous measurements bounced between 56-59 dB in terms of range.

Do know my fermenting area is aka as the laundry room, so kinda echoey on a good day (tile floor). The sound it makes cannot be heard outside the room, so not objectionable in my view at all.

Also attached is a Excel conversion from whole Farenheit numbers to Celsius, which is easier for me to use with this unit than the ones I found on the Internet.
Thnx!
 

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The MB icemaster line looks to be a re-branded version of the Australian KegLand line (the Max 2 appears to be the same as the G20). In the KegLand video, they say it uses the same guts as the icemaster 100, so I'd assume it'll be around the same volume. Roughly 57dB from the Stasis thread. I don't think you'll find anything in the 40dB range unless you go thermoelectric, but that would be a huge draw.
Not confirmed, but common belief is that blichmann is a re-branded icemaster as well.

If you want a comparison between common units, search "dB at 3" and it should come up. Think it was around post 260-280 where people talk about the stasis, icemaster, blichmann, and penguin.
 
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WESBREW

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I'm going to do a water tank test tonight too. its working great so far. on all night at 0c. fit and finish is very good. some noise from fan while compressor is running is expected but no louder than a microwave. its also worth noting, there is NO vibration.
Not happy about the pump controller display.
 

stealthfixr

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OI I think the instructions for the G20.1 are more applicable.
Yes, these are the correct instructions! Well done.

Looks like Fahrenheit is not an option listed. Not a big deal for me, but unexpected. Disappointed that MoreBeer was not more in front of these issues.

In terms of performance, my conical spent the night very stable at 58F, and is currently cold crashing to 38F. So, the G20.1/Max 2 seems to work very well, is not too loud and with the correct instructions provided will prove to be easy to setup. And, it is still at least $100 cheaper than competitors of equal specs.
 
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performance looking good on tank of water test. 6.5 gallons in an anvil fermenting bucket with the rudimentary 3/16id chilling rod & no insulation on tubing. dropped from 80.1 down to 66.8 in an hour. chiller bath went up 1.8c but is now starting to creep back down.
I did manage to shoot gly/water all over the wall and floor on two separate mishaps. FYI: Pump in/out will pour water out even when the pump is off. lesson learned
 

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Got my Spike Conical with just the neoprene insulation jacket down to 37F, from 68F, in a few hours. Seemed to be running full time, or nearly so. WIth some better insulation I am sure lagering long term will not be a problem.
 

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Yeah, I do wish the barbs were out of the top of the unit instead of the front. Gonna have to get some elbow connectors so my lines don't stick into the walkway.
 

stealthfixr

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Having some problems and hoping for suggestions to address.

Using the Icemaster Max 2 for the first time with an also new Spike CF5 (prefer not to add two, new things at once, but it is what it is). Batch is a 5gal Imperial Stout using WLP004 Irish yeast (65-70F). The wort into the fermenter was at 78F, so I selected 65F on the chiller and let it go. After a few hours, the Tilt reported temp was stable at 69F...not 65F (verified by calibrated thermometer). The G20 reported 65F, but it was actually 4F off. Thinking that this was a G20 probe calibration issue, I biased a few degree C down in the probe temps. I woke up the next morning to the fermenter at 59F (and a stalled fermentation)! After taking the probe bias down to 0.5C 'up', temps finally sync'd up, but I still cannot explain the initial discrepancy that lasted for hours. This is my first time fermenting with a glycol chiller.

Beyond this, I am finding temp stability to be poor. According to the G20.1 instructions, the cooling differential is set to 0.5C. So, I think that means that if the probe temp rises 0.5C above the set point, the pump kicks in to cool it down. In actuality, I am seeing (via my Tilt hydrometer/thermo) temps drop 1-2C after the pump kicks in. Once it dropped 5F degrees before shutting off--no idea why it was so much greater than the rest! So, the temps over time look like a roller coaster, constantly up and down in a 2 degree C range. Is this normal? The G20 probe is in a 3" thermowell inside the CF5 conical, so I think it is in a great location to measure fermentation temps. I did use a thermal paste on the end of the probe--not much--just enough to 'connect' the probe with the thermowell.

Seems I could raise the holding tank temperature so the cooling effect is not so great (currently set to 28F). It's just darned inconvenient to have the holding tank controller on the opposite side from the two output controllers. There's also a hysteresis custom function on the output controllers (F6?) that I have not messed with.

Anyone seeing better temp stability with different settings?
 
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WESBREW

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Having some problems and hoping for suggestions to addres
Anyone seeing better temp stability with different settings?
couldn't explain the initial difference but with 30 degree coolant in the coil, it might continue to drop slightly even when the pumps turn off. I'd expect a little variance there. can't speak to the other functions as I haven't used them.
 

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Im having the same issues with the max4, another member, @Advance , made a remedy for this with some delay timers that im going to implement soon. But the flipside is that on the second fermenter i have going, everything is running perfectly. I mean im getting 2F shifts as opposed to the 5 i was getting with the one connected to the first fermenter. Really odd but im thinking of just switching out the probes and seeing if that is the problem, but will implement the above members fix for this, pretty genius idea and even helped with how to best wire it up.
 

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After a few hours, the Tilt reported temp was stable at 69F...not 65F (verified by calibrated thermometer). The G20 reported 65F, but it was actually 4F off.
I have a Spike Flex+ and a CF5, both with cooling coils chilled via glycol. I've noticed that at the start of fermentation, there is a 4-5F difference between my thermowell and the Tilt floating on the surface. Once the lag phase has ended and fermentation actually starts and the wort starts to churn, the temperatures equalize. When fermentation slows, the temperature difference returns. It's simple physics. Heat rises. That large temperature drop might have happened without your chiller pump even running.
 
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