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Modified Son of Fermentation Chiller

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matt-tastic

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I saw the design for this a while back and thought it would be a good beginner project to allow me to brew in the summer (NC is already 80). The design is great and clearly works, but I wanted something a little thinner that wouldn't have as big of a footprint, and I wanted something sturdier to last as long as possible.

I moved the fans and cooling chamber to the top, assuming that cold air falls and should push the warm air towards the top of the chamber, allowing it to get exchanged more efficiently.

The second is obvious, i put the entire chiller in a wooden box. I wired it up to a basic mechanical thermostat, and put the thermostat in the furthest corner from the cold air inlet.

Let me know what you think! :rockin:

 

Martin30R

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Seem like good ideas to me ... let us know how it works out!
 
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matt-tastic

matt-tastic

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I'm testing (no brewing at the moment) and in 2 hours, the box went from 74 degrees in the room to 60.9. it has now stabilized to a more reasonable 64.3, which should make most ale yeast happy.
 

dannedry

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Love seeing these things. I have a dual SOFC, and pretty easily maintains 15 degrees below ambient... so your's being half the size of mine, should be able to do more than that. Looks good!

:mug:
 
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matt-tastic

matt-tastic

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I realize my one design flaw was not having an exhaust vent in the chamber. the pressure of the fans wants to push the front door off!

I think, with enough attention to ice bottles, I could lager in this thing. I got it down to 60 for a few hours with 1 frozen bottle yesterday.
 
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matt-tastic

matt-tastic

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OK, so... UPDATE!

I put a Kolsch in the chamber on saturday, and got the thing down to 65 degrees ambient temp with 1 2-liter bottle at a time, swapping every 8 or so hours. Ferm temp was hovering between 72-70. However, last night, i put 3 20-oz frozen water bottles (the cheap ones you get by the case) and it has been consistently 65 degrees for the last 12 hours with no exchange. I've been right next to it (its in my office) all morning, and haven't heard the fans kick on once. I opened it up to verify the temp was right and my thermostat didn't die, and the ferm temp is solidly down to 68!

So, this is a success for Ales in my book. i'm much less worried about camping this weekend and not being able to keep an eye on it.
 

mariojr

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So, think this idea would work without the fan?
Without the fan there is no way to control the temps since the fan is used to circulate cold air from the ice chamber through the carboy chamber.

But in theory I'm sure it would provide some level of temp control without the fan, just not as precise.
 
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matt-tastic

matt-tastic

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So, think this idea would work without the fan?
Yes. It would work without the fan. Cold air falls, so by putting the bottles at the top, the colder air will fall (slowly) into the chamber.

The issue would be that it would be very inconsistent and have little to no control. I've found that I use the fans as a notice when I need to change bottles. When the fans kick in, the bottles aren't frozen anymore, and the temp is too high. after replacement, the fans turn back off in about 5 mins.

There are plenty of these things made without fans or temp regulation (thinking of adding a heat lamp for winter brewing), and they do the job, just not as efficiently.
 
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