IceMaster Max - Adding Heat - Step by Step

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Beerwildered

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I recently received my IceMaster Max 4 glycol chiller. I upgraded from an older Ss Brewtech 1/5hp chiller for lots of reasons - not the least of which was the reservoir size, pre-installed pumps, higher HP, and the possibility of cleaning up a number of electrical cords from my brew space by utilizing the integrated temp controllers.

Morebeer is selling these chillers under the BrewBuilt name, but these bad boys are made by Kegland from Australia. In fact, the IceMaster Max 2 sold by Morebeer is the exact same product as the Kegland G20 - and the Max 4 is simply a larger version of the Max 2/G20.

The possibility that intrigued me more than anything about the Max 4 was the ability to use the dual-stage temp controllers to control both cooling and heating. Kegland has widely advertised this new feature, and they even have a video promoting it. However, when I look through any documentation on Morebeer's website, and all of the instructions that come with my chiller, nothing even remotely mentions this as a possibility.

The IceMaster Max 2 and Max 4 come with these 12v temp controllers from Kegland. As you can see, there are 12v relays installed for heating and cooling, and the manual from Kegland has a helpful section on how to wire this up. When you look at the back of the controller, you'll see several blades for power input. From what I can tell on my controllers, the blades are utilized as follows:

X1 - DC Negative
X2 - DC Positive to Cooling Relay
X3 - DC Positive from Cooling Relay
X4 - DC Positive to Heating Relay
X5 - DC Positive from Heating Relay

The X2 and X3 blades for cooling and the X4 and X5 blades for heating work like a light switch - you run your positive line through the relay/switch. When the relay is open, the circuit is interrupted and the light turns off. In this case, when the relay is open, current does not flow from X2 to X3 - or from X4 to X5. When the relay/switch is closed, the current flows and the pump or heater turns on.

kl19729_-_g20_-_display_temperature_controller_with_temperature_socket4.jpeg


This matches up with what's in my chiller - black wires are negative, red wires are positive. My system has daisy-chained the positive and negative to each successive controller (there are four total), which is why X1 and X2 have multiple wires on the blades.

IMG_4716.jpeg


The next thing we need to figure out is what our power requirements are. The IceMaster systems use a brushless 12v submersible pump - similar to the FTSs pumps - they don't draw more than about 1 amp each. The controllers themselves draw nearly nothing. I plan to use my Ss Brewtech 12v Silicone Heaters for my conical unitanks. Those draw about 5 amps each (12v x 60W). So, since the system is either heating or cooling, the max power draw will be 20-24amps - and adding the extra 20% for code, that'll be around 28amps needed.

Unfortunately, the IceMaster Max 4 has a AC/DC power converter that only pumps out 12v with 6.7amps. That's not going to be enough. The IceMaster Max 2 has a similar problem, with the AC/DC converter only supplying 2.5amps. Either way, we need more amperage to make this work.

IMG_4729.jpeg


Thankfully, AC/DC power converters are inexpensive - This 12v 30amp converter from Amazon is only $20. That'll be perfect. :)

510PRmDwwhL._AC_.jpg


Additionally, the FTSs pumps and heaters use a barrel connector size 5.5x2.1mm - I grabbed a pack of these from Amazon that will work well for running power connection outside of the box.

Lastly, we need some waterproof female spade connectors for 16-18awg wire, some butt connectors, and some additional 18awg wire in red and black.

Step 1: Remove the outer casing next to the power supply. This will allow you to access the power converter and run a new circuit of wire for the heaters.

IMG_4749.jpeg


Step 2: Disconnect the old/original power supply from the cooling pumps (RED AND BLACK wires), and from the main power (BROWN and BLUE wires) and remove it (it's attached by two tiny screws that you have to access from the inside of the panel it's connected to. I didn't take a pic of this step, but the power supply is connected to a small black box that protects the glycol temp controller and power switch. You have to unscrew the black box (two screws on the front of the case). Once removed, you'll see the two screws that hold on the original power supply)

Step 3: With the original power supply removed, connect the new power supply to the BROWN and BLUE wires - on my system, the BROWN wire was connected to L and the BLUE wire was connected to N. You'll note that the old power supply was not connected to GROUND... I recommend adding a wire to the GROUND connection on the power supply, and screwing it to the other ground wires that are attached to the case. It's just a good idea.

IMG_4749.jpeg


Step 4: At this point, before going too much further I plugged the IceMaster in and powered it up. I tested the voltage with a voltmeter to make sure that I was getting 12v on each of the connections (there are 3 available circuits). Everything worked. So, I turned off the IceMaster, unplugged it, and reattached the cooling pump circuits (original RED wire to the POSITIVE and original BLACK wire to the NEGATIVE). I plugged in the IceMaster, turned it on, and verified that the cooling pumps work. (If I'm going to void the warranty on this thing, I want to make sure it works before moving forward)

Step 5: Run a line of 18awg BLACK and RED from the bottom compartment (where the converter lives) to the top compartment (where the temp controllers live). I gave myself about 18-24" of wire, just to make sure I had enough slack to make changes.

8ECC36E2-952D-4AD3-ABB4-CD72A3315B77_1_105_c.jpeg


Step 6: Cut four pieces of RED wire long enough to reach every controller - about 12". These will be pigtails to run to each of the controllers. After stripping about 1/2" of bare copper on each end of the pigtails, connect four pigtails to the RED line with a wire nut. You should have 5 wires connected here.

615CDB6C-9B97-4190-BB9D-0A13467F6128_1_105_c.jpeg


Step 7: Attach a female spade connector to the remaining end of each pigtail. Plug each of these spade connectors to the X4 blades on each controller.

3219953E-67B3-4025-BF30-64B613B8F695_1_105_c.jpeg


Step 8: Find an appropriate place to drill 4 holes into the upper compartment of the exterior casing of your chiller. This will be for our barrel connectors. Once you've drilled these holes insert your barrel connectors and secure them. Pro tip: I thought it would be a good idea to drill my holes on the back of my unit. It looks great, wires about be out of the way, etc... BUT, if you do this on the Max 4, you will block the access to the glycol tank... don't do that. I already did, I'm committed, but I wish I hadn't. Oh well... it looks good, at least.

3716C047-56EC-455E-BBD1-40620A7726DC_1_105_c.jpeg


CONTINUED in next post...
 

maxr

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The built-in controller can be used to switch a 120V circuit. I bought two extension cords for $7, cut one wire on each, and attached spade connectors. I can see that this solution is better if you must use the 12V FTSS heaters, but it is just as easy and possibly a lot cheaper to use 120V heaters. If you want to buy something beer-specific, the Spike heating wrap works well. I previously used a silicone heating pad designed for car batteries and it worked just as well and cost $20 instead of $85.
 
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Beerwildered

Beerwildered

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Step 9: The barrel connectors I'm using are pre-wired. Connect the RED wire of each of the barrel connectors to the X5 blade on each controller. I had to use a butt connector to make a longer wire to reach. You might also want to label the barrel connectors and the controller that it's connected to so that later, when you've connected a heater you can know which controller turns on/off which heater.

D933F766-81DE-4B6F-BCF4-72B4C5B6B1BA_1_105_c.jpeg


Step 10: Now we need to connect each of the BLACK wires from the barrel connectors to the BLACK feed wire coming from the bottom compartment. Connect them all with a wire nut. No pic of this... but you should have 4 BLACK coming from the barrel connectors connected to the BLACK wire coming from the power supply with a wire nut.

At this point, you've got four completed heating circuits. Good job. You've voided your warranty. :)

Test the everything before you put the case back together. Make sure that your heaters actually heat up. Make sure that the pumps still work. Make sure that the compressor comes on and that the glycol chiller still chills.

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the last thing I did was to peel the big B sticker off the front. This thing is mine now.
 
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Beerwildered

Beerwildered

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The built-in controller can be used to switch a 120V circuit. I bought two extension cords for $7, cut one wire on each, and attached spade connectors. I can see that this solution is better if you must use the 12V FTSS heaters, but it is just as easy and possibly a lot cheaper to use 120V heaters. If you want to buy something beer-specific, the Spike heating wrap works well. I previously used a silicone heating pad designed for car batteries and it worked just as well and cost $20 instead of $85.

Totally true. I already have 4 FTSs heaters... so I wanted to use those. If you don't already have FTSs heaters or any other 12v heater, it's definitely cheaper to buy something else.

Either way, it won't look as sexy as this. :)
 
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Beerwildered

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The built-in controller can be used to switch a 120V circuit. I bought two extension cords for $7, cut one wire on each, and attached spade connectors. I can see that this solution is better if you must use the 12V FTSS heaters, but it is just as easy and possibly a lot cheaper to use 120V heaters. If you want to buy something beer-specific, the Spike heating wrap works well. I previously used a silicone heating pad designed for car batteries and it worked just as well and cost $20 instead of $85.

This cost me all of $25 ... I couldn't have purchased four 120v heaters for that.
 

maxr

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Fair enough - definitely cheaper if you already have the FTSs heaters. I was put off from this option because the heaters cost $140 a piece and aren't sold separately from the controllers.
 
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Beerwildered

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Fair enough - definitely cheaper if you already have the FTSs heaters. I was put off from this option because the heaters cost $140 a piece and aren't sold separately from the controllers.

I wish they would change that. The conical silicone heaters are very effective. People would buy them.
 

maxr

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This does look really professional. I am thinking about putting panel-mount 120V sockets on mine and routing the wiring internally but haven’t had time yet.
 
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Beerwildered

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That would be pretty easy to do... even easier, would be to use the existing 120 circuit in the box, and run a splice into that with internal plugs - you would never see them, and it cut down on the number of outlets you need. You *could* probably take a surge protector and wire it in and just run the whole thing from that.
 

maxr

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BTW: which 120v heaters do you have?
I was using this battery heater for a while. It works well and never gets very hot as long as it's in contact with the conical.

I did end up buying a Spike CF5 heater and it works just as well. Both of these heaters have enough power to keep 6 gal of beer at Ale temperatures during the coldest part of winter (very mild here in the Central Valley of California - only a handful of below-freezing nights per year).
 

Danny-e

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Very interesting stuff. I’m on a similar situation. I’d like to utilize the silicon heat pad from SS and I ordered the icemaster max 2. How doing the opposite? Would it be much difficult to run the integrated pump through the SSBT controller on its cooling relay? If the current it draws is similar to the pump that comes with the FTS pumps, it would be only a matter os wiring it to the SSbrewtech controller, right?
 
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I was using this battery heater for a while. It works well and never gets very hot as long as it's in contact with the conical.

I did end up buying a Spike CF5 heater and it works just as well. Both of these heaters have enough power to keep 6 gal of beer at Ale temperatures during the coldest part of winter (very mild here in the Central Valley of California - only a handful of below-freezing nights per year).
Do you have any pictures of how you hooked this up? I just got the Max2 and have the spike heaters.
 

maxr

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Do you have any pictures of how you hooked this up? I just got the Max2 and have the spike heaters.

The location of the heating relay pins is shown earlier in this thread and in the kegland manual linked from the first post. How you wire it is up to you. I cut apart an extension cord for each controller and wired it such that the relay switches the hot side of the extension cord. Beerwildered's solution looks much cleaner but mine did not require any cutting of the metal enclosure. I may wire in some 120V panel mount sockets eventually but so far this hasn't risen to the top of the to do list.
 
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The location of the heating relay pins is shown earlier in this thread and in the kegland manual linked from the first post. How you wire it is up to you. I cut apart an extension cord for each controller and wired it such that the relay switches the hot side of the extension cord. Beerwildered's solution looks much cleaner but mine did not require any cutting of the metal enclosure. I may wire in some 120V panel mount sockets eventually but so far this hasn't risen to the top of the to do list.
Thanks for the info! To verify, the controllers can be connected directly to the 120v power from a plug? I just want to make sure so I don't fry anything! I saw the directions from Kegland but they didn't explicitly mention this.
 

maxr

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Thanks for the info! To verify, the controllers can be connected directly to the 120v power from a plug? I just want to make sure so I don't fry anything! I saw the directions from Kegland but they didn't explicitly mention this.

I've done it for the past year without issue, and I did it based on information in the other thread (about the Max 4). You should contact the manufacturer if you want a definitive answer. If you're concerned about it, you could add a solid state relay to switch the 120V circuit.
 
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I've done it for the past year without issue, and I did it based on information in the other thread (about the Max 4). You should contact the manufacturer if you want a definitive answer. If you're concerned about it, you could add a solid state relay to switch the 120V circuit.
I went for it, with the assistance of this blog as well.
I used jumpers and took power directly from the switch. I haven't cut holes but I got panel mount plugs that I will add to the lid.
 

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Iowa Brewer

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The built-in controller can be used to switch a 120V circuit. I bought two extension cords for $7, cut one wire on each, and attached spade connectors. I can see that this solution is better if you must use the 12V FTSS heaters, but it is just as easy and possibly a lot cheaper to use 120V heaters. If you want to buy something beer-specific, the Spike heating wrap works well. I previously used a silicone heating pad designed for car batteries and it worked just as well and cost $20 instead of $85.

Hey maxr, with the Spike conical heater, did you need to us a power adapter, so was the Icemaster's power sufficient? Can't find power specs anywhere for my CF10's heater. Thanks!

Great thread Beerwildered!
 

Iowa Brewer

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I went for it, with the assistance of this blog as well.
I used jumpers and took power directly from the switch. I haven't cut holes but I got panel mount plugs that I will add to the lid.

Very nice, TrevorBarton12
Would you mind uploading a pic of where those wires connect to the Icemaster? Cheers!
 

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Hey maxr, with the Spike conical heater, did you need to us a power adapter, so was the Icemaster's power sufficient? Can't find power specs anywhere for my CF10's heater. Thanks!

Great thread Beerwildered!

I am switching the hot side of an extension cord with the icemaster. I am not taking power from the Icemaster's power supply. My recollection is that the CF5 heater is around 80W and that the larger fermenter heaters put out higher wattage. Honestly 80W is probably overkill unless you're fermenting with kveik in a subzero garage.
 

Iowa Brewer

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I am switching the hot side of an extension cord with the icemaster. I am not taking power from the Icemaster's power supply. My recollection is that the CF5 heater is around 80W and that the larger fermenter heaters put out higher wattage. Honestly 80W is probably overkill unless you're fermenting with kveik in a subzero garage.

Do you think the CF10 will be okay to draw the power from the Icemaster? (not using Kveik), and thanks!
 

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Just got my icemaster 4 this week and looking to do some mods. Like the heating addition! Question for the group, I can't seem to find any information about turning off unused pumps/ displays. Thinking of adding some switches to do just that as I'll most likely only be using 2 or three at a given time and having to have the temp probe attached and the led on is a pain. Is there any way to turn off individual pumps / led's?
 
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