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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Uk
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    Craft beer: fermenter temp control

    Hello!
    I brew ale at home, and have always wanted to temp control the fermenter. There's 2 routes - cheapest is putting the fermenter in a fridge with a temp controller, expensive option is a glycol chiller, circulating through a stainless steel coil in the fermenter.
    These rigs are expensive - $250 usd for the coil, pump and fittings (see http://www.ssbrewtech.com/products/f...cket-chronical), $999 usd for a 1/3hp glycol chiller (see http://www.ssbrewtech.com/collection...roducts/glycol).

    Anyhow, I already had a 5 meter 3/8 stainless steel coil used for chilling beer (10, thank you eBay), a stc 1000 temp controller (11, thank you China) and compression fittings to fit the coil to the fermenter lid. I also have a 4m head pump (same spec as the commercial one).

    So far so good.

    To the point: I saw and purchased a water chiller unit from eBay that had been salvaged from a vending machine. It accepts mains water, and chills it down to 7 degrees c. I've uploaded pics of the unit.
    $_3.JPG$_3 (1).JPG$_3 (3).JPG$_3 (2).JPG

    My plan is to add a reservoir of water and use this to maintain temp during fermentation.

    I'm only looking to bring 25l down from 21c to 19c, and, be prepared for summer weather (when brewing during a heat wave is a risk of getting to warm - more than 22c)

    Anyhow, does anyone see an issue with the plan?
    Can you suggest a reservoir capacity suitable for the task? As I'll be re circulating the water, rather than just cooling tap water, is there any risk the heat exchange could freeze? I'm not using the chiller for its intended purpose and understand that is why a glycol mix could be useful due to the lower freezing point.

    I welcome any thoughts, concerns or suggestions.

    Thank you

    EDIT: Also wondering if anyone knows anything about the unit. Googling the model and make (dart dar011) was not fruitful. I know nothing about refrigeration hence posting here. Kinda hoping this will work as it will be a kick ass setup for a fraction of the price of new...
    Last edited by Bilf; 27-09-2016 at 08:12 PM. Reason: More questions

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