ICEMASTER MAX 2

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ale_man

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I kept the barbs at the chiller and cut a short piece of stainless tubing the same diameter as my Spike+ fermenters' cooling coils. It does not leak anything when you disconnect and hook to ss tube. Just keep it lifted up. The previous owner of the Spikes had some ball valves but they were way to clumsy for my tastes.
 

Unicorn_Platypus

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I stuck with PVC hose instead of going to the (smaller?) EVA barrier hose.

I'm using some QD's I got from Morebeer: Plastic QD. Mine have check valves on the male side, so female on the coil and male on the hose. Prevents glycol siphoning and allows me to change direction of flow in the coil. I used the barbed fittings on the chiller end of the hose.

I think morebeer is out of stock. Having a shut off for when you are disconnecting is a great feature so no glycol is spilled. I like that idea!

On a quick google search, I came across these. Seems like they will work.

The more I think about it...the duotights & eva barrier are not the best way to go as they will restrict flow. Using 3/8" ID insulated PVC like what spike sells seems better.


 

Iowa Brewer

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i use the barbs at the machine and have duotight on my coil. the barbs are threaded in so maybe duotight has something that can be added. you can use a piece of silicone tubing on the barb, insert (cut off two pieces of an old steel racking cane) and attach that way.

Ha! Yeah, I thought of that silicone idea after I crammed my Spike temp-system's connectors on. Had a panic when they were leaking and I couldn't get them off. Was about to take a nut-cracker to the things (which aren't cheep!). Went for broke and really shoved them onto my icemaster and the leaking stopped. What a relief! Been working great for a month or so, now.

Moral of the story, Unicorn_Platypus: take Wesbrew's advice on the silicone 😂
 

Chorgey

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I received my IceMaster Max 2 this past week and wanted to test it out with tap water for leaks.

Once the test has been completed, how do I drain the chiller? The instructions say to remove the bottom tee of the sight glass to drain the water used for testing.

What is the trick for removing the bottom tee? It's in there pretty good and I don't want to cause any damage.
 

dwalsh27

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I received my IceMaster Max 2 this past week and wanted to test it out with tap water for leaks.

Once the test has been completed, how do I drain the chiller? The instructions say to remove the bottom tee of the sight glass to drain the water used for testing.

What is the trick for removing the bottom tee? It's in there pretty good and I don't want to cause any damage.
Use a small flat top screwdriver to move the inside plastic ring outwards from the tee. This unlocks it and it should slide right off.
 

Chorgey

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Use a small flat top screwdriver to move the inside plastic ring outwards from the tee. This unlocks it and it should slide right off.
Would that be the part that looks like a white cap that is on the outside of the tee or is it the part where it’s closer to the chiller?
 
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WesBrew

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I think its a duotight fitting or similar. you're looking to loosen/pullback the inner part that is closest to the chiller and it should slide off. a fingernail might do it or as Dwalsh said, a small flathead screwdriver would do it. its only a slight movement, then the whole thing slides off.
 

Chorgey

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I think its a duotight fitting or similar. you're looking to loosen/pullback the inner part that is closest to the chiller and it should slide off. a fingernail might do it or as Dwalsh said, a small flathead screwdriver would do it. its only a slight movement, then the whole thing comes off.
Thanks @dwalsh27 and @WESBREW
Much appreciated! Looking forward to trying this out.
 
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I've been using my new Icemaster Max 2 since last winter to regulate temperature of my two Spike CF10 conical fermenters that have attached heaters. I made the mods to power the heating pads directly using the Icemaster's internal power supply with spliced wires from internal extension cords connected to the relays. I only have the female ends of the extension cords sticking out of the unit, so it's a pretty clean look and works pretty well.

I've been able to maintain pretty tight temperature regulation of about +/- 1F, with occasional negative temp deviations, as measured and recorded by my Tilts floating on top of the liquid. I noticed that now that the weather is getting warmer, I've been getting more of the of the negative temp blips so the total temp swings are +/- 2F from the set point (as shown in the chart with the batch that is now fermenting). As some others have noted in this forum, I think that the chiller is cooling the liquid in the fermenter faster than the probe in the thermowell can react to, so the temperature undershoots before the coil pumps turn off. During the cooler months, I guess my fermenters were cooling naturally from the lower ambient temperatures, and just cycling the heating pads to maintain the temp around the set point and maintain a tighter regulation.

To tighten up the regulation, recently I've tried to increase the reservoir temperature to reduce the cooling differential, but it didn't help too much.

I'm considering to try a longer thermowell, one that comes closer to the coils than the 4 inch ones that I'm using now, so that the Icemaster's controller can react faster to turn off the coil pump. Has anyone else tried this? I can live with the temp swings that I'm getting now, but would be happier if they were tighter.
 

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Mr. Vern

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I'm considering to try a longer thermowell

I don't have a chiller but I did stay at a holiday inn one time....

We make refrigerated chillers at my work, your temp swings described appear to have everything to do with the immersion coil and glycol temp. If heating with a band heater or other external heater was no problem, and cooling with an internal coil is giving you larger Temp. Differential then I would guess the cooling system/control is the variable. I wonder if you would have the same pattern in winter by heating the glycol and not using pads/belts. I was thinking about adding an aquarium heater to the storage tank if it can keep up (I'll be building my own chiller one day)

Keep in mind that even when the pump stops you still have a coil of cold glycol sitting in the beer, that stored energy will continue to transfer heat. Our machines drift 1-2 degrees colder when we shut off the refrigeration simply due to the cold heat exchanger. To remedy this we simply cut-out sooner.. not the best approach if you want a super tight T.D.

IMHO a 2 degree swing is pretty darn good for a submerged coil design. The chart does not look bad to me. How high did you raise the chiller storage temp?
 
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I don't have a chiller but I did stay at a holiday inn one time....

We make refrigerated chillers at my work, your temp swings described appear to have everything to do with the immersion coil and glycol temp. If heating with a band heater or other external heater was no problem, and cooling with an internal coil is giving you larger Temp. Differential then I would guess the cooling system/control is the variable. I wonder if you would have the same pattern in winter by heating the glycol and not using pads/belts. I was thinking about adding an aquarium heater to the storage tank if it can keep up (I'll be building my own chiller one day)

Keep in mind that even when the pump stops you still have a coil of cold glycol sitting in the beer, that stored energy will continue to transfer heat. Our machines drift 1-2 degrees colder when we shut off the refrigeration simply due to the cold heat exchanger. To remedy this we simply cut-out sooner.. not the best approach if you want a super tight T.D.

IMHO a 2 degree swing is pretty darn good for a submerged coil design. The chart does not look bad to me. How high did you raise the chiller storage temp?
Ha ha, thanks for sharing your Holiday Inns super powers and your work experience! I raised the chiller storage temp recently to 50F and it seemed to help some with the T.D., but I moved it back to 28F since I've been soft crashing and getting ready to cold crash my other fermenter. The chart shows the performance with the 28F chiller storage temp.

Good point about the stored energy from the coil. Before messing with the thermowell, I'll try to have it cut-out sooner by reducing the cooling hysteresis setting.
 

Chorgey

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My IceMaster Max 2 is setup with 1 gallon of glycol and 3 gallons of distilled water.

I have it set to 4c (39f) but after 48 hours, the conical won't go below 6.1c (43f). The ambient temp is 17.1 (63f) and the reservoir is set to -2.7c (27f). The pump is constantly running but the compressor cycles normally. Why won't this go down to 39f? What could be the issue?
 

Fidelity101

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sorry, just reread your statement. I had a similar problem when I set my reservoir temperature to low and it froze the beer inside but I’m not sure you have that problem. All I could suggest is lowering your set temperature, but if it never stops running, then I don’t know.
 
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My IceMaster Max 2 is setup with 1 gallon of glycol and 3 gallons of distilled water.

I have it set to 4c (39f) but after 48 hours, the conical won't go below 6.1c (43f). The ambient temp is 17.1 (63f) and the reservoir is set to -2.7c (27f). The pump is constantly running but the compressor cycles normally. Why won't this go down to 39f? What could be the issue?
Are your hoses touching the ground or other obstacles by any chance, that could warm them? Also, did you consider "temperature inversion" and try changing the orientation of the coil connection so the fluid goes to the bottom of the coil then circulates back up (to keep the coldest liquid on the bottom?
 

TLaffey

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My IceMaster Max 2 is setup with 1 gallon of glycol and 3 gallons of distilled water.

I have it set to 4c (39f) but after 48 hours, the conical won't go below 6.1c (43f). The ambient temp is 17.1 (63f) and the reservoir is set to -2.7c (27f). The pump is constantly running but the compressor cycles normally. Why won't this go down to 39f? What could be the issue?
I usually run the chiller 10*C below the set temp for the beer. There has to be a decent temperature difference for the heat transfer rate to be adequate. Given that you want your fermenter at 4*C, try setting the chiller around -5*C. Your glycol shouldn't freeze until -9*C, so that leaves a few degrees of margin.

It can also help to put a blanket around your fermenter.
 

Chorgey

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Are your hoses touching the ground or other obstacles by any chance, that could warm them? Also, did you consider "temperature inversion" and try changing the orientation of the coil connection so the fluid goes to the bottom of the coil then circulates back up (to keep the coldest liquid on the bottom?
The hoses are insulated. The ones that Spike sells. I have them draped around the fermenter. The coil used is BrewBuilt’s Coolstix. Do you think that temperature inversion is possible with the Coolstix?
 
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Chorgey

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I usually run the chiller 10*C below the set temp for the beer. There has to be a decent temperature difference for the heat transfer rate to be adequate. Given that you want your fermenter at 4*C, try setting the chiller around -5*C. Your glycol shouldn't freeze until -9*C, so that leaves a few degrees of margin.

It can also help to put a blanket around your fermenter.
I was thinking of lowering the reservoir temp but BrewBuilt suggests not to go below -2C. I do have a neoprene jacket around the fermenter and towels on top. So, the 3:1 glycol solution won’t freeze at -5C? It’s a 25% glycol solution. I reached out to MoreBeer, they suggest that I go with a 40% glycol solution
 
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The hoses are insulated. The ones that Spike sells. I have them draped around the fermenter. The coil used is BrewBuilt’s Coolstix. Do you think that temperature inversion is possible with them?
I'm not familiar with the Coolsticks construction or if you can reverse the polarities. I use the Spike temp coil. I attached their instructions that describe the inversion effect on the last page. I have noticed a difference by reversing the coil polarities. I'll usually cool in 2 steps, first to 40-45F with the regular polarity and then reverse the hoses and cold crash to mid 30's temps. I also have the Spike insulated hose and noticed issues before when my hoses touched the ground and seemed to be warming up some. I let them pretty much free hang in the air now. I considered cutting them a bit shorter and may eventually do that at some point.

Is the Coolstick long enough to reach deep enough into your wort? Another thing you could check is your reading accuracy / thermowell. I pack mine with thermal grease which made a few degrees difference when compared to the Tilt reading temperature.
 

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Chorgey

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I did a little more researching and the issue appears to be the CoolStix. The manual that came with the fermenter says "NOTE that CoolStix™ are designed to help regulate fermentation temperatures but will not lower your beer to cold crash temperatures (below 40°F) in all situations"

So the issue isn't the IceMaster Max 2

Thanks for everyone's help!
 

TLaffey

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I was thinking of lowering the reservoir temp but BrewBuilt suggests not to go below -2C. I do have a neoprene jacket around the fermenter and towels on top. So, the 3:1 glycol solution won’t freeze at -5C? It’s a 25% glycol solution. I reached out to MoreBeer, they suggest that I go with a 40% glycol solution
There are tables online for freezing temperature vs glycol concentration. Here's one: Glycol-Freeze-Point. From that, it looks like your 30% solution is good to about -13*C (8*F).

AFAIK, there is are a couple of tradeoffs to glycol ratio: 1) glycol is more viscous than water, so makes the pumps work harder, and 2) water holds more heat (or cold if you prefer) than does pure glycol. Both lead to wanting to use the minimum ratio that gets to your required temperature.

The Icemaster has a little window under the cover where you can shine a flashlight and see if you have accumulated any ice on the evaporator coils. So long as you have no ice, you're good to go. (That's been my practice anyway.)

The coolstix might work with cold enough glycol and enough insulation around the fermenter. -2C seems arbitrary (unless there's a pump limitation?), so with 30% glycol I'd go colder (any maybe double up on a blanket) before doing anything else.
 

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I got my new Icemaster Max 2 last week and I am pleased to say they seemed to have revised the newer front temp controllers to display Fahrenheit. The STC1000 on the back still seems to only display in Celsius but since that one rarely if ever gets adjusted that's not a big deal.

20221205_084212.jpg


I also followed this video to wire mine for heat and I am very pleased with the result.

 

bionicbelly

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I got my new Icemaster Max 2 last week and I am pleased to say they seemed to have revised the newer front temp controllers to display Fahrenheit. The STC1000 on the back still seems to only display in Celsius but since that one rarely if ever gets adjusted that's not a big deal.

View attachment 807189

I also followed this video to wire mine for heat and I am very pleased with the result.


You don't need those loops that go from inlet to outlet when you are not using one of the sides. Just hold the down arrow till the controller turns off.
 

hockeylove

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I got my new Icemaster Max 2 last week and I am pleased to say they seemed to have revised the newer front temp controllers to display Fahrenheit. The STC1000 on the back still seems to only display in Celsius but since that one rarely if ever gets adjusted that's not a big deal.

View attachment 807189

I also followed this video to wire mine for heat and I am very pleased with the result.


Where did you purchase your Chiller? Was it Morebeer?
 

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