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Spike Conical- observations and best practices

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Dem Castles

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The sight glass will hold more psi than the PRV will permit. I’ve put 40 PSI on my sight glass to move a plug of pellet hops back up into the tank.
Oh wow, okay that's great to know. I was afraid of it shattering but I will only use about 5 PSI on it and release all the pressure in the fermenter.

I am not sure if releasing all pressure in the fermenter is okay to do? I have heard of creating a vaccum if you do not add co2 during the cold crash. But once the temp is established, is it necessary to keep co2 in the vessel at all times?
 

eric19312

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Oh wow, okay that's great to know. I was afraid of it shattering but I will only use about 5 PSI on it and release all the pressure in the fermenter.

I am not sure if releasing all pressure in the fermenter is okay to do? I have heard of creating a vaccum if you do not add co2 during the cold crash. But once the temp is established, is it necessary to keep co2 in the vessel at all times?
once I start cold crashing I make sure to maintain at least a little bit of head pressure. Instead of keeping a tank on all the time I will just top up pressure to about 5 PSI as needed. It's mainly insurance against getting into a negative pressure situation.
 

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once I start cold crashing I make sure to maintain at least a little bit of head pressure. Instead of keeping a tank on all the time I will just top up pressure to about 5 PSI as needed. It's mainly insurance against getting into a negative pressure situation.
This is what I do as well, plus it partially carbonates your beer and saves you time on the conditioning end
 

Dem Castles

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This is what I do as well, plus it partially carbonates your beer and saves you time on the conditioning end
Right, that's what I've done on my last 2 brews.

This will be my first attempt at dry hopping under pressure (and dry hopping at all) and I'm a little gun shy about opening the butterfly valve to drop the hops out of the sight glass around 6 or 8 PSI while the fermenter is at 3 PSI. I've never done this method before, so I hope I'm being overly cautious about nothing lol
 

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Right, that's what I've done on my last 2 brews.

This will be my first attempt at dry hopping under pressure (and dry hopping at all) and I'm a little gun shy about opening the butterfly valve to drop the hops out of the sight glass around 6 or 8 PSI while the fermenter is at 3 PSI. I've never done this method before, so I hope I'm being overly cautious about nothing lol
Oh yeah, I've had my entire fermenter up to the max of 15, sight glass and all - it creaked a bit, which was a little spooky haha, but no issues.

My sight glass said it's rated up to like 120 PSI I think. If something is going to fail, it probably won't be that.
 

Dem Castles

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Oh yeah, I've had my entire fermenter up to the max of 15, sight glass and all - it creaked a bit, which was a little spooky haha, but no issues.

My sight glass said it's rated up to like 120 PSI I think. If something is going to fail, it probably won't be that.
Oh sweet! Looks like it should work out okay then. Thanks so much for the help
🤙🏼
 

mcmeador

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Here’s a question: If I cold crash in the fermenter and first add 5 PSI to the fermenter and disconnect gas to prevent a vacuum from forming, will enough CO2 be absorbed into the beer during the cold crash to cause foaming problems when doing a closed pressure transfer to the keg? I would not be using a spunding valve. The keg would be at atmospheric pressure.
 

Tom R

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You'll be fine. I partially carbonate in the conical, did several kegs this way before I bought a spunding valve.

Cool the keg before you transfer, start off with keg at conical pressure, then connect the two. Pull the PRV on the keg to start and maintain the flow.

If the conical pressure runs too low, add CO2 as required.
Piece of cake.
 

Dem Castles

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You'll be fine. I partially carbonate in the conical, did several kegs this way before I bought a spunding valve.

Cool the keg before you transfer, start off with keg at conical pressure, then connect the two. Pull the PRV on the keg to start and maintain the flow.

If the conical pressure runs too low, add CO2 as required.
Piece of cake.
Interesting, all I've done for my past two closed pressure transfers is keep the co2 hooked up at 5 PSI, purge the sanitized keg multiple times and start the transfer until my fermenter is still pushing out clear beer
 

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I just read through this entire thread. A lot of great info from all. I finally bought a CF 15 and had a few questions on best practices and procedures. I'm not trying to invent the wheel here, just would like some feedback:

I have had my cf5 for about 5 months and about to finish fermenting my 6th batch with it. I stopped using the elbow after the 2nd batch. I don’t think an elbow is needed on the homebrew scale because 2-3 feet of 1/2 inch tubing functions as well for me. I use the sight glass differently depending on if I plan on dry hopping. After seeing all my dry hops stuck in the sight glass with little contact with the beer, I stopped using the sight glass for dry hopped beers. This is where I am at currently but still a newbie with this.

For dry hopped beers:
Fermenter>valve>sight>TC barb & tubing
I transfer wort from kettle through the bottom and leave connected with valve open and wait for trub to settle. Then I close valve trapping trub in sight glass and remove sight glass for good. Pitch yeast and let fermentation finish. Swap blow off for gas manifold and purge with co2 a couple times to 10psi. Drop temp to ~50 degrees for 24 hours while under pressure then slowly dump yeast/trub under pressure using TC barb & tubing. Then add dry hops and let free rise to ~60 and maintain for 3-5 days. Dump hops slowly until consistency changes. Wait 12-24 hours and repeat. Then rotate racking arm up and rack to keg under pressure.

For non-dry hopped beers:
Fermenter>sight>valve>TC barb & tubing
I transfer wort from kettle through the bottom and close valve. Then wait for trub to settle. Open valve below sight then close once sight is clear. Pitch yeast. Let fermentation finish and cold crash. If I can’t see beer in top of sight I dump yeast until beer is visible. Leave racking arm down and transfer to keg under pressure.
1. As JRG laid out above for dry hopped beers, I have been wondering about attaching the 2" butterfly valve directly to the cone to avoid pellets sinking in the plumbing. I saw where @eric19312 has been blowing CO2 through the bottom port to rouse the hops which is a great idea as well but I worry about not being able to fully mix? But I'm thinking cone>valve>sightglass>elbow>valve. Where you empty the trub and yeast and then once dry hopped close the valve attached to the cone? Which would theoretically keep the pellets in more contact with the beer. Then if you want to rouse, simply hook up one of these to the valve. Has anyone else done this or does this? Or does this not follow best practices? I don't want to overthink dry hopped beers.

2. Similar to 1 above, there seems to be some debate when using the sight glass on the cone as to how to place the valve. If using the 2" sightglass do people find it best to have the butterfly valve after the elbow? As in cone>sight glass>elbow>valve? Or even minus the elbow if you have leg extensions (which I will probably be getting the shorty extensions with extended bracing shelf). I would be harvesting yeast and dumping trub along the way, cold crashing, etc to get the clearest [carbonated] beer out of the conical.

3. How are people liking having the carb stone attached to where the sample valve would be (during the whole process) and putting the sample valve on the racking port? I saw @Blazinlow86 keeps his on the sample valve port. I figured that would be the easiest for mitigating clogs on the sample port (will have racking arm on the packing port) and not allowing any O2 when attaching the stone. Only issue would be potential clogging of the stone?

I'll be buying some accessories and I don't want to over-buy/under-buy. Not sure if Spike ever runs sales on their accessories either (considering waiting for black friday/holiday times to buy - google search has not shown past sales but third party retailers possible?). But as for 1-2 above, I'll be getting the leg extensions with extended bracing shelf, TC sight glass, and racking arm as a minimum (already have Temp control, carb stone, and pressure manifold). Just not sure on the need for two 2-in butterfly valves.

Thanks in advance and to all those who have contributed their knowledge so far.
 

BoilerInSoCal

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Hi All,
New CF10 owner here about to take my maiden voyage. I saw a similar question a number of pages back, but I don't think I saw any responses. When are you all harvesting yeast? I am particularly interested in techniques being used on beers with large dry hop additions, and in particular, NEIPAs that call for dry hopping in the middle of fermentation. I find building starters to be a pain, so I have predominantly used dry yeasts. But it seems like NEIPAs really benefit from using 1318 and the like, so it seems like harvesting a big slurry for future use(s) would be a huge benefit for me. But I think that would be difficult (if not impossible) if you have a bunch of hops added on day 2 or 3.

Do you guys dump/pull yeast just before dry hoping on day 2 or 3? Is there anything there (or enough)? Or do you simply forego biotransformation and hold the DH until after fermentation is done? I have never added the DH during fermentation. Rather, I wait for fermentation to complete, soft crash to 55 or so, and then DH (sometimes I will warm it back up to 65 or 70 first, sometimes not...although I have noticed that if I do not warm back up, the pellets shoot straight to the bottom...if I do warm back up, they seem to float for a bit). But that of course misses biotransformation and misses the benefit of the remaining fermentation assiting with removal of any oxygen ingress (I do not have the Mongoose hop dropper...yet, that is!). Any thoughts/best practices?
 

eric19312

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1. As JRG laid out above for dry hopped beers, I have been wondering about attaching the 2" butterfly valve directly to the cone to avoid pellets sinking in the plumbing. I saw where @eric19312 has been blowing CO2 through the bottom port to rouse the hops which is a great idea as well but I worry about not being able to fully mix? But I'm thinking cone>valve>sightglass>elbow>valve. Where you empty the trub and yeast and then once dry hopped close the valve attached to the cone? Which would theoretically keep the pellets in more contact with the beer. Then if you want to rouse, simply hook up one of these to the valve. Has anyone else done this or does this? Or does this not follow best practices? I don't want to overthink dry hopped beers.
I like the idea but you would need another 2" butterfly. I'm now using cone>sight glass>elbow>valve and I do use that brewhardware TC ball lock gas post on the valve for hop rousing. I'm happy with where I am on hop rousing at this point listened to Scott Janish on a few podcasts recently recommending burping with CO2 commercially.

2. Similar to 1 above, there seems to be some debate when using the sight glass on the cone as to how to place the valve. If using the 2" sightglass do people find it best to have the butterfly valve after the elbow? As in cone>sight glass>elbow>valve? Or even minus the elbow if you have leg extensions (which I will probably be getting the shorty extensions with extended bracing shelf). I would be harvesting yeast and dumping trub along the way, cold crashing, etc to get the clearest [carbonated] beer out of the conical.
I find the elbow useful as I am fermenting in a freezer so it moves the valve to easier access point.

3. How are people liking having the carb stone attached to where the sample valve would be (during the whole process) and putting the sample valve on the racking port? I saw @Blazinlow86 keeps his on the sample valve port. I figured that would be the easiest for mitigating clogs on the sample port (will have racking arm on the packing port) and not allowing any O2 when attaching the stone. Only issue would be potential clogging of the stone?
I tried it that way and am back to using it on the racking arm. I hook the stone up to the racking port loosely and then push CO2 through the stone for a bit before opening the valve.

I'll be buying some accessories and I don't want to over-buy/under-buy. Not sure if Spike ever runs sales on their accessories either (considering waiting for black friday/holiday times to buy - google search has not shown past sales but third party retailers possible?). But as for 1-2 above, I'll be getting the leg extensions with extended bracing shelf, TC sight glass, and racking arm as a minimum (already have Temp control, carb stone, and pressure manifold). Just not sure on the need for two 2-in butterfly valves.
Thanks in advance and to all those who have contributed their knowledge so far.
I'm doing ok without the second valve as mentioned above. I can see the potential application but I'd be a bit concerned about possibility of trapping a large air bubble between the two valves that might be able to make it into the fermentor.
 

eric19312

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Hi All,
New CF10 owner here about to take my maiden voyage. I saw a similar question a number of pages back, but I don't think I saw any responses. When are you all harvesting yeast? I am particularly interested in techniques being used on beers with large dry hop additions, and in particular, NEIPAs that call for dry hopping in the middle of fermentation. I find building starters to be a pain, so I have predominantly used dry yeasts. But it seems like NEIPAs really benefit from using 1318 and the like, so it seems like harvesting a big slurry for future use(s) would be a huge benefit for me. But I think that would be difficult (if not impossible) if you have a bunch of hops added on day 2 or 3.

Do you guys dump/pull yeast just before dry hoping on day 2 or 3? Is there anything there (or enough)? Or do you simply forego biotransformation and hold the DH until after fermentation is done? I have never added the DH during fermentation. Rather, I wait for fermentation to complete, soft crash to 55 or so, and then DH (sometimes I will warm it back up to 65 or 70 first, sometimes not...although I have noticed that if I do not warm back up, the pellets shoot straight to the bottom...if I do warm back up, they seem to float for a bit). But that of course misses biotransformation and misses the benefit of the remaining fermentation assiting with removal of any oxygen ingress (I do not have the Mongoose hop dropper...yet, that is!). Any thoughts/best practices?
I'm forgoing biotransformation and getting rid of the yeast before adding dry hops. From what I can see in my sight glass there is nothing to harvest from after yeast gets active until it starts to floc out which I think would be too late. If I wanted to brew NEIPA and wanted biotransformation to be part of the recipe I'd just go ahead and harvest the yeast after it drops and accept that my yeast has some carryover dry hop trub. I know this is frowned on in yeast washing circles but I really never had a problem doing this before I had a conical. Just use a bit more to account for a higher percentage of trub in the harvested yeast. I would try to get all the yeast and the biotransformation hops out of the fermentor before adding post fermentation dry hops.

I'm doing the same soft crash technique you mention. Soft crash. Harvest yeast. Dry hop. I've tried dry hopping with the Norcal brink but not a fan so far. Tonight I'm dry hopping a batch and will just hook CO2 up to the manifold at 3-4 PSI and open the 4" TC and dump them in there. I'll come back and burp CO2 from the bottom two hours later then again in the morning and evening tomorrow before cold crashing to 29F to drop them out.
 

mcmeador

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2. Similar to 1 above, there seems to be some debate when using the sight glass on the cone as to how to place the valve. If using the 2" sightglass do people find it best to have the butterfly valve after the elbow? As in cone>sight glass>elbow>valve? Or even minus the elbow if you have leg extensions (which I will probably be getting the shorty extensions with extended bracing shelf). I would be harvesting yeast and dumping trub along the way, cold crashing, etc to get the clearest [carbonated] beer out of the conical.
I’ll qualify this response by first stating that I have never used a sight glass or a conical before, but it would seem to make more sense to me to have the sight glass between the elbow and valve. That way you’re seeing what’s actually at the bottom of your fermenter and right behind the valve as opposed to what’s right behind the elbow with blind space between there and the valve. Maybe someone else with experience could explain why it would be better between the cone and elbow.
 

BoilerInSoCal

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I'm forgoing biotransformation and getting rid of the yeast before adding dry hops. From what I can see in my sight glass there is nothing to harvest from after yeast gets active until it starts to floc out which I think would be too late. If I wanted to brew NEIPA and wanted biotransformation to be part of the recipe I'd just go ahead and harvest the yeast after it drops and accept that my yeast has some carryover dry hop trub. I know this is frowned on in yeast washing circles but I really never had a problem doing this before I had a conical. Just use a bit more to account for a higher percentage of trub in the harvested yeast. I would try to get all the yeast and the biotransformation hops out of the fermentor before adding post fermentation dry hops.

I'm doing the same soft crash technique you mention. Soft crash. Harvest yeast. Dry hop. I've tried dry hopping with the Norcal brink but not a fan so far. Tonight I'm dry hopping a batch and will just hook CO2 up to the manifold at 3-4 PSI and open the 4" TC and dump them in there. I'll come back and burp CO2 from the bottom two hours later then again in the morning and evening tomorrow before cold crashing to 29F to drop them out.
Thanks, Eric. I suppose I could do the soft crash technique first on a batch simply to get a good amount of yeast for multiple future batches and then if I want the biotransformation, I just don't reharvest the yeast on that batch. And thank you for the all the CO2 hop rousing discussion/updates. I think that may be the way I go.
 

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One other quick question: is anyone using thermal grease in their thermowell with their glycol chiller temp probes?
 

Spin711

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I like the idea but you would need another 2" butterfly. I'm now using cone>sight glass>elbow>valve and I do use that brewhardware TC ball lock gas post on the valve for hop rousing. I'm happy with where I am on hop rousing at this point listened to Scott Janish on a few podcasts recently recommending burping with CO2 commercially.
Ok I just worried about pellets sinking straight into the plumbing. Typically I dry hop at colder temperatures which probably increases the likelihood of pellets dropping down first without expanding. Perhaps I'll take a look at slightly crushing the pellets in the bag to avoid this. I saw where you had used a blender with your yeast brink.

I find the elbow useful as I am fermenting in a freezer so it moves the valve to easier access point.
I will be using glycol so it's hard for me to know if the elbow is necessary with leg extensions. Perhaps I'll try with and without and see what works best. It seems as though the majority are using the elbow regardless of clearance considerations.

I tried it that way and am back to using it on the racking arm. I hook the stone up to the racking port loosely and then push CO2 through the stone for a bit before opening the valve.
Did you ever run into an issue of the stone clogging? That would be my method if I used the stone on the racking port instead.

I'm doing ok without the second valve as mentioned above. I can see the potential application but I'd be a bit concerned about possibility of trapping a large air bubble between the two valves that might be able to make it into the fermentor.
I worried about this to but if you start with the last valve slightly open would it blow out the air bubble without it going back into the positive pressure conical? My thought is that it air would escape through the last valve. I would only be using this on dry hopped beers. I think what I'm going to do is try your method first of just one butterfly valve (after the elbow) with rousing and incorporate what @JRG does on the next batch if I run into issues. I will be using @mongoose33 method of dry hopping.
 
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One other quick question: is anyone using thermal grease in their thermowell with their glycol chiller temp probes?
I would suggest that the thermal grease is going to be a mess to clean back out. With fermentation getting instantaneous readings isn't critical. Getting the average temp, over say 5 minutes, is plenty fast enough for a fermenter. The only real thing the grease is doing is speeding up the heat transfer.

If you wanted to be really anal, you could seal up the end of the thermowell so ambient air temp doesn't get in there and skew your reading, but that again is probably overkill unless you have some strange thermowell/probe setup.
 

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I would suggest that the thermal grease is going to be a mess to clean back out. With fermentation getting instantaneous readings isn't critical.
Except when the glycol starts flowing through the coil. When actively cooling any delay in temperature readings is going to cause/make worse issues with temperature over/undershoot.
 

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If you wanted to be really anal, you could seal up the end of the thermowell so ambient air temp doesn't get in there and skew your reading, but that again is probably overkill unless you have some strange thermowell/probe setup.
I jam a small piece of balled up aluminum foil into mine. Never thought to use thermal grease.
 
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Except when the glycol starts flowing through the coil. When actively cooling any delay in temperature readings is going to cause/make worse issues with temperature over/undershoot.
I'm sure theoretically that is true. In practice the thermal mass of the wort compared to the temp probe sleeve is going to be minimal.
 

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It's not the thermal mass but the conductivity that matters. If you have air, one of the best insulators after vacuum, separating the probe from the sleeve it's going to take time for the probe itself to register temperature changes and this can cause over/undershoot issues.
 

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Am I missing something with this temperature control? The outlets are not spaced far enough apart to plug both the pump and the heat belt up securely. I did stay up until 2:30 in the morning brewing/cleaning up, so maybe I’m just brain dead right now. I guess it’s plugged in “enough,” but I don’t like having plug exposed.
 

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The lack of spacing is annoying, but I would never be using both anyways. Temperature overshoots if they happened could cause heating and cooling to compete unnecessarily.
 

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The lack of spacing is annoying, but I would never be using both anyways. Temperature overshoots if they happened could cause heating and cooling to compete unnecessarily.
Yeah, I believe Spike says the same thing, but we are in an in-between season. Had a warm day yesterday and then a big temp drop last night and cool day today. I have the temp said at 66 and came in this afternoon and noticed the actual temp was about 64, so I plugged up the heater because I wasn’t sure if it was an overshoot or just due to the room cooling off with the weather.
 

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I would suggest that the thermal grease is going to be a mess to clean back out. With fermentation getting instantaneous readings isn't critical. Getting the average temp, over say 5 minutes, is plenty fast enough for a fermenter. The only real thing the grease is doing is speeding up the heat transfer.

If you wanted to be really anal, you could seal up the end of the thermowell so ambient air temp doesn't get in there and skew your reading, but that again is probably overkill unless you have some strange thermowell/probe setup.
I use thermal grease in mine. It is indeed a mess, but why clean it out? I just add more thermal grease when it gets tacky and the only thing that ever goes into the thermowell is the temp probe, so a mess of thermal grease isn't hurting anything. you just have to wipe the smears of grease off the outside of the thermowell opening if you get really messy
 

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I use thermal grease in mine. It is indeed a mess, but why clean it out? I just add more thermal grease when it gets tacky and the only thing that ever goes into the thermowell is the temp probe, so a mess of thermal grease isn't hurting anything. you just have to wipe the smears of grease off the outside of the thermowell opening if you get really messy
As an update, on my maiden voyage I used a small wad of paper towel. It seems to be working just fine. I have not had any wild or apparent delayed swings (I have the Icemaster Max 2 set 20 degrees below my fermentation temp). I am still tempted to use grease (since I have it) to see if there is any difference, so I may do that next time. But I am noticing that the probe itself is pretty short, so getting it all the way down the thermowell with the grease might require something additional to push it down.

In any event, I am loving my new toy. The sample valve is so convenient. I'm down to just a couple of points left, so now the fun with the manifold will start. Heck, even just watching all the action in the sight glass makes it worth it!
 

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Has anyone ever experienced this? My chiller coil turned the beer into an ice block so I lost a good amount of brew. I'm not sure what I did wrong. Chilling fluid was set at 12F and the beer was chilled to 35F. The temperature sensor (Tilt and temp probe) reported 40F so I guess the chiller just kept chilling. I'm going to guess that the chilling fluid was set too low...I think I did 18F in previous brews.

I had almost 6 gallons in the fermenter to start and transferred 35 pounds of beer into the keg so I'm guessing it's about 85% full...I lost a decent amount of beer from the freeze and I'm guessing it changed the flavor of the beer. Of course this was my first batch of New School Kicks from morebeer so I'll have to brew it again to compare.
 

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mcmeador

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Has anyone ever experienced this? My chiller coil turned the beer into an ice block so I lost a good amount of brew. I'm not sure what I did wrong. Chilling fluid was set at 12F and the beer was chilled to 35F. The temperature sensor (Tilt and temp probe) reported 40F so I guess the chiller just kept chilling. I'm going to guess that the chilling fluid was set too low...I think I did 18F in previous brews.

I had almost 6 gallons in the fermenter to start and transferred 35 pounds of beer into the keg so I'm guessing it's about 85% full...I lost a decent amount of beer from the freeze and I'm guessing it changed the flavor of the beer. Of course this was my first batch of New School Kicks from morebeer so I'll have to brew it again to compare.
Yes, your guess would be correct. I believe both Penguin and Spike recommend a temperature of 28 degrees. By setting too low, the coils froze up and were no longer chilling the surrounding beer, thus your temp probe only read 40 degrees.

You can probably expect your alcohol content of what you were able to transfer to be higher than expected. You just freeze-distilled it. At least it will be better than Bud Ice!
 

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Has anyone ever experienced this? My chiller coil turned the beer into an ice block so I lost a good amount of brew. I'm not sure what I did wrong. Chilling fluid was set at 12F and the beer was chilled to 35F. The temperature sensor (Tilt and temp probe) reported 40F so I guess the chiller just kept chilling. I'm going to guess that the chilling fluid was set too low...I think I did 18F in previous brews.

I had almost 6 gallons in the fermenter to start and transferred 35 pounds of beer into the keg so I'm guessing it's about 85% full...I lost a decent amount of beer from the freeze and I'm guessing it changed the flavor of the beer. Of course this was my first batch of New School Kicks from morebeer so I'll have to brew it again to compare.

Yeah what mcmeader said above is accurate. Your glycol temp is way too low, so it formed ice on your chilling coils. Ice actually insulates your coils and reduces the rate of heat removal from your beer, so it kept the temp of your beer above your set point of 35, and the chiller kept running trying to compensate creating more ice. You made a feedback loop of problems here.

Turn your glycol temp up to 26-28 and that should solve your problem.
 

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Should the insulation on these glycol lines really prevent sweating? I just cold crashed mine for the first time and the insulation is soaked with condensation.
 

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Also, FYI, I just noticed my coil iced up with glycol temp set to 28 F and my temp control set to 38 F. I had no problem getting the temp down to 38 earlier, but later I noticed the glycol was pumping for a while and the temp wouldn’t go below 39.1 F. Turned off the temp control, released the CO2 in the conical and opened her up and pulled the coil out. The bottom of the coil was a block of ice.

I changed the temp of the glycol to 31 and now have the heat belt running to warm the fermenter up to 46 F to give it some time to thaw. Then I’ll try cold crashing again.

I wonder why it froze up on me...
 
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Also, FYI, I just noticed my coil iced up with glycol temp set to 28 F and my temp control set to 38 F. I had no problem getting the temp down to 38 earlier, but later I noticed the glycol was pumping for a while and the temp wouldn’t go below 39.1 F. Turned off the temp control, released the CO2 in the conical and opened her up and pulled the coil out. The bottom of the coil was a block of ice.

I changed the temp of the glycol to 31 and now have the heat belt running to warm the fermenter up to 46 F to give it some time to thaw. Then I’ll try cold crashing again.

I wonder why it froze up on me...
Because you got it too cold.
 
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Should the insulation on these glycol lines really prevent sweating? I just cold crashed mine for the first time and the insulation is soaked with condensation.
In order to prevent condensation you would need to have a complete moisture proof "jacket" around the outside of the insulation to prevent room moisture from getting into the insulation at the point within that condensation conditions exist. ie, certain temp and certain humidity level.

I presume you are using closed cell foam insulation? If properly taped up that will provide it's own vapor barrier, but you have to get the seam completely stuck together. You also need to tape and/or glue all the joints and ends.
 

mcmeador

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Because you got it too cold.
Well yes, apparently so, but since I had the glycol said to the recommended temp and didn’t have the fermenter temp control set too low, I’m surprised it froze up.

In order to prevent condensation you would need to have a complete moisture proof "jacket" around the outside of the insulation to prevent room moisture from getting into the insulation at the point within that condensation conditions exist. ie, certain temp and certain humidity level.

I presume you are using closed cell foam insulation? If properly taped up that will provide it's own vapor barrier, but you have to get the seam completely stuck together. You also need to tape and/or glue all the joints and ends.
I’m using the insulated lines that Spike provided with their TC-100 temp control kit, which are marketed as eliminating condensation.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 
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Well yes, apparently so, but since I had the glycol said to the recommended temp and didn’t have the fermenter temp control set too low, I’m surprised it froze up.



I’m using the insulated lines that Spike provided with their TC-100 temp control kit, which are marketed as eliminating condensation.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Within an insulated jacket of any sort that has a temp differential that falls within the condensation point, you need to be meticulous in preventing moisture from getting in there. It's simple physics. That insulation is "waterproof" so there is no harm done. You would just want to be careful not to let it get moldy or something.
 

Gozie Boy

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Within an insulated jacket of any sort that has a temp differential that falls within the condensation point, you need to be meticulous in preventing moisture from getting in there. It's simple physics. That insulation is "waterproof" so there is no harm done. You would just want to be careful not to let it get moldy or something.
My Spike insulated glycol lines weep more than a crushed school girl, esp. when the temp/humidity conditions are ripe for this. I am planning to apply another layer of closed cell insulation (e.g. K-Flex) around this. I also expect to get some better energy efficiency from my IceMaster glycol chiller, since the Spike insulation looks to have only a very modest R factor.

Because it is quite difficult to get any kind of seal between the two layers of insulation (e.g. the Spike insulation is "double-lobed", not round), I am wondering whether I need to first wrap the Spike insulation with some moisture barrier, then apply the supplemental (outer) insulation layer? I obviously want to avoid moisture build up between the two.
 
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