Conical Cooling

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Conical Cooling

Postby BillyBock » Wed Apr 03, 2002 9:47 pm

In my never-ending quest to make the perfect brew, my next project will be some sort of fermenting chamber for my Minibrew 12 gal conical. Here's the problem...this bad boy stands about 4.5 ft tall with the roller stand I made for it. Secondly, 10-12 gals of wort will probably weigh 100+ lbs. So due to the dimensions and the weight, sticking this into a fridge is out of the question. I have considered making an insulated plywood enclosure to roll the conical into. A small apartment fridge would then butt up to an opening on the side of the enclosure. The fridge would then be connected to a temp. controller with the probe by the conical. It seems this would work. Has anybody else tried this? Is there an easier/cheaper way? Am I insane?
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my idea was... someone elses is...

Postby Fraoch » Thu Apr 04, 2002 1:33 am

The same idea that you are talking about can be seen on www3.sympatico.ca/harroscott/fridge.html

seems to be a really good idea if you have the room. I thought that if you got a copper coil wrapped around the conical next to your fridge you could then run an aquarium pump from inside a 1 or 2 gal container of anti freeze which sits in the freezer compartment. The ice cold anti freeze is then pumped around the outside of your conical maintaining a very cool temp for fermenting out. I bet that you wouldnt have to run it constantly as it would be too efficient, after all your beer only warms up due to outside ambient temp. I havent tried it, it is just one of those ideas that sit in your head until such a day, that day is fast approaching so if you try it before i do and it doesnt work/ too much hassle let me know and i'll save myself the bother.

Cheers Fraoch
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Cooling jacket

Postby andytv » Thu Apr 04, 2002 6:10 pm

I recall seeing "cooling jackets" for fermentors at some brewing supply sites. It seems to me that a whole lot of tubing, a "water heater blanket" , a recirculating pump, a copper coil, and a fridge could be mangled into a working cooling jacket. I have seen the "fridge & wooden box" design but would be afraid that increasing the cu ft by that factor may overload the fridge inner workings, or at least cost $$$ to run. just a thought...I wonder what would happen if you made a custom fit insulated box and installed a very small window AC??

Let me know how you make out, I only brew lagers in the winter, but would love to do it year round.

Andy
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Thanks for the Ideas

Postby BillyBock » Fri Apr 05, 2002 6:13 pm

Fraoch & Andytv: Thanks much for the alternative ideas. I see I'll have to spend a little bit more time thinking. I'd hate to have to cut into my cold storage fridge. But it'll be the next project. In the meantime, I've gotta get my next batch going...a Munich Dark Lager made with Wyeast 2112. It should be tasty and malty. Remind me to post the recipe if it turns out good (if you're interested).
Cheers!
v/r
Bill
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Glycol revisited

Postby Freon12 » Sun Apr 07, 2002 11:29 am

Sorry I'm the last to chime in. I made a glycol(food grade antifreeze) system to cool fermenters at a cost less than a typical window a/c. I'm a professional refrigeration mechcanic by trade. I took the pump and bucket idea and added a heat exchanger akin to the wort chiller, and used a 115volt condensing unit (1/4hp for 5gal. 3/4hp for 20gal.) The refrigerant enters the heat exchanger via an exspansion valve sized to the unit and back out to the unit. The pump runs the glycol from the coil on the tank back to the bucket. Parts were about $300.00us but I used new componants and used componants can easily be used. Aused commercial ice maker would be ideal.
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sundry conical cooling thoughts

Postby entguy » Thu Apr 11, 2002 10:38 am

I'm looking to re-start my brewery with a 2 bbl CCFV -- I plan to use PLASTIC tubing to form a cooling jacket with water as the cooling medium, figuring that it will be much much easier to get the plastic to conform to the geometry of the fermenter (as compared to copper tubing). There's no need for glycol if the cooling medium is > 32 deg F, eh? Planning to put a 5 gal resevoir in the brewhouse 'fridge with a small submersible pump on thermostatic control. All of my favorite refrigerators have holes in 'em!!

In a past 1 bl fermenter, I simply put two holes in the side which corresponded to the diameter of my wort chiller coils. Left the wort chiller in the final few minutes of the boil to sterilize it, then put it straight into the FV after it had done its job chilling the wort. Ran aforementioned pump out of a cooler full of water which contained a gallon jug of ice. I rotated two gallon jugs in & out of the freezer, putting in new ice every morning, and manually monitoring the temp of the fermenter. Not digital, but it worked pretty well. After all, you're not going to drop the temp of 30 gal of vermenting wort TOO quickly.

I noted a possible misconception in the 2nd response on this thread -- chilling does not only have to accommodate fluctuations/increases due to ambiant temperature, it also must counteract heat gained due to yeast metabolism.
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