Controling Fermentation temps

Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:25 am

So, I built a bad assed fermentation chamber over the spring to house my Brewhemoth 22 gal fermenter. Now Brewhemoth has come out with a SS immersion chiller that fits down inside. My question is, does anyone use an aquarium chiller to control their fermentation?
One similar to this: Image
http://www.reefgeek.com/110-hp-max-chill-titanium-aquarium-chiller-with-controller-aes0003.html

My thinking is, I could get some glycol, fill the immersion chiller, hook the hoses up to this thing, and control temps that way, instead of having an A/C unit controlling the temps of the entire chamber.

Any reason why this wouldn't work??? Discuss.........


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Whitebeard_Brewer
 
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Re: Controling Fermentation temps

Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:49 am

I'm not sure how cold that will go, the info didn't say if there is a lower temp cutoff. I have a pair of brewhemoths with the original chillers (1/4" od) and I'm only able to get about 40 degrees below ambient and even with the ambient being around 50 now I can't get much below 40, I think the tubing size is too small for the old chiller, maybe the newer version is better.

For that price you can often find used beer line chillers that are designed for cooling and pumping glycol. Lookup chillers like Micromatic Powerpak
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Re: Controling Fermentation temps

Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:02 am

I looked into doing this and one of the key problems with the aquarium chillers is that they measure temperature in-line, so you're going to be regulating the coolant temperature, not the beer temperature. If the chiller automatically turns on and starts cooling, you could use it together with an external thermostat. The aquarium chillers and laboratory heating/cooling circulators tend to be much more expensive than fridges or chest freezers. Why not just use a fridge for temperature control?
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Re: Controling Fermentation temps

Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:13 am

At that price, you're better off constructing your own glycol recirc unit. Dale (one of the Brewhemoth guys) made one by cannabalizing a window AC unit, he has some instructions on his blog: http://penrosepicobrewery.blogspot.com/ ... -post.html
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Re: Controling Fermentation temps

Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:15 am

siwelwerd wrote:At that price, you're better off constructing your own glycol recirc unit. Dale (one of the Brewhemoth guys) made one by cannabalizing a window AC unit, he has some instructions on his blog: http://penrosepicobrewery.blogspot.com/ ... -post.html


I saw that in use at NHC, was pretty cool, just not sure I want to tear up an A/C unit for it!


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Re: Controling Fermentation temps

Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:17 am

maxwell wrote:I looked into doing this and one of the key problems with the aquarium chillers is that they measure temperature in-line, so you're going to be regulating the coolant temperature, not the beer temperature. If the chiller automatically turns on and starts cooling, you could use it together with an external thermostat. The aquarium chillers and laboratory heating/cooling circulators tend to be much more expensive than fridges or chest freezers. Why not just use a fridge for temperature control?


Ever tried fitting a 22 gal conical into a fridge?? I did, once.. :shock: ..that's why I built the chamber. 8)


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Re: Controling Fermentation temps

Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:30 am

I've never tried to put a 22 gal conical inside a fridge, but I believe you that it's not easy.
Another good option might be to take the guts out of a mini fridge and add them to your chamber setup.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/my-kege ... ge-263926/
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