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JonyMac's Fermenter Chiller Build
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jonymac




Joined: 18 Dec 2014
Posts: 145



PostLink    Posted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 7:40 pm    Post subject: JonyMac's Fermenter Chiller Build Reply with quote


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For my fermenters, I used 3 SS Brewtech conicals. Using these conicals was one of things I was looking forward to the most in my new brewery. I have to say combining these with a floor drain and moving beer under CO2 pressure has been a brewing life changer for me. No more difficult to clean and move glass carboys. The thing I love the most about the conicals is I can dump the yeast from the bottom in a couple minutes and harvest it, and BANG I am in Secondary! I find that I do not need to wash my yeast after harvesting because I get so little trub coming from the Electric Brewery design. I just harvest the yeast into a sanitized bowl with a pouring lip and then split it between two sanitized glass jars (mason jars will do) and store them in my conditioning cooler.

When I got the conicals, I also bought their FTSS system that contained a pump, tubing, lid with cooling coil and thermowell, neoprene jacket for the conicals and a controller. I broke into the metal case that SS Brewtech used to house the controller, pulled it out and mounted it into my own controller box. I put all three pumps in the same keg inside my keezer and ran the cooling and return lines through the front of the collar. I ran the 3 wires for the three pumps plus my keezer temperature sensor through the same hole through the side of keezer collar. Future upgrades will include quick disconnects for the posts coming out of the top of the fermenter lid, insulating the vinyl lines, and creating an insulated disk to sit on top of the fermenter for getting to lagering temps more easily.

Parts Needed:

- SS Brewtech Conicals (or some other brand/type)
- SS Brewtech FTSS system (or some other controller, chilling coil or other some such system)
- Aquarium pump
- 3/8" vinyl tubing
- Sharkbite connectors
- hard sharkbite tubing for going through collar
- keg or some other reservoir
- water/a bit of glycol and a cap full of star san as the cooling fluid (so far in 4 months, I have had no crud growing in my lines)
- keezer or some other way of chilling cooling fluid mix to 39º

Now for some pics:


SS Brewtech conical with stock FTSS system installed.


Pic of the chilling coil that sits in the beer.

pump by jonymac, on Flickr
This is the pump that comes with the FTSS system.

IMG_8860 by jonymac, on Flickr
My sketch showing how the bits and pieces fit together.

IMG_8888 by jonymac, on Flickr
This shows the vinyl tubing coming out of the keg in the corner through the collar and out to the fermenters.

IMG_8885 by jonymac, on Flickr
You can see the keg with the tubing and pumps in the right front corner. In the right back corner is the half keg sitting on the compressor bump used for the tap cooling reservoir with its hot and cold tubing.

IMG_9857 by jonymac, on Flickr
Here you can see the tubing going into the top of the fermenters. I put shutoff valves at the end of the tubes so I don't spill cooling fluid all over when connecting and disconnecting the cooling system from the lids.

Fermenter 1 on the left has Ballast Point's Sculpin Ale fermenting set at 65º. Fermenter 2 in the middle has Kal's Electric IPA finishing up its fermentation at 68º. The third fermenter to the right has a hard cider holding until it's ready to be kegged. You can also see the room temperature is at 79º that day as we were hooking up a vent in the room to the HVAC system and had just turned the heat on - I had forgotten to close the vent after it was installed and hadn't regulated how much air was going to the brewery with the HVAC damper.

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JonyMac's Stillwater Home Brewery Build
http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=314470#314470


Last edited by jonymac on Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:13 pm; edited 5 times in total
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fseider




Joined: 10 May 2013
Posts: 156
Location: Two Naked Frogs Brewery; Reading, PA (USA); Interests: Beer, Frogs, Steampunk, Being Naked


PostLink    Posted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a similar set of equipment - 2 14 gal and 1 7 gal fermenter, with full FTSS (including heating option, all from SS Brew Tech). I have a side by side fridge on the other side of the wall - total distance is about 3 feet from fermenter to fridge. I've been doing some testing with water only at the moment. the three pumps sit in a 5 gal bucket in the fridge. Problem is I can't get the fermenters (with water only in them) to drop below 67 F. I can shut off the FTSS, let the bucket drop back to 42 F, turn the system on, and in a few hours or so the bucket water is back to 66 F, (fridge is still at 42 F) and the fermentors again are at around 67 F.

I'd like to know a bit more detail on your system to understand why my results seem to be way off. Anything else you can provide will be appreciated!

Thanks,
Fred

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Fred Seider
Two Naked Frogs Brewery, Winery, & Meadery
Reading, PA
"What's in your goblet?!"
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jonymac




Joined: 18 Dec 2014
Posts: 145



PostLink    Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fseider - I usually run one pump at a time - not 3, I can't fill my fermenters that fast. I have actually had 3 running before, but all at ale temps. I use water glycol mix with a little star san in there and can get the fermenters to 52º. I keep my keezer at 34º. I have another half keg sized reservoir in the keezer that connects to a copper line in my freezer kept at 14º - if I want to lager, I move my aquarium pump into that reservoir and can get the conical to 48º - 50º. I also have heat seaters under the neoprene for the conicals - maybe they add a bit more insulation.

Another method for lagering, is set the temp to 60º - let it acclimate until the pump isn't running so much which gives the keezer reservoir time to keep dropping in temp - then set it to 55º and wait for the same - then 50º - this step down method shouldn't take but a couple of hours. Once it has reached a stable temp, it should have no problem keeping it there.

Are you trying to lager or reach the lower range of ale fermentation?

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fseider




Joined: 10 May 2013
Posts: 156
Location: Two Naked Frogs Brewery; Reading, PA (USA); Interests: Beer, Frogs, Steampunk, Being Naked


PostLink    Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jonymac wrote:


Are you trying to lager or reach the lower range of ale fermentation?


Right now just experimenting to see how far I can go with a setup. Been meaning to run this through to the freezer section of the fridge and use a bit of glycol. Have been a bit tied up at the moment to run the tests. And still just considering going with a glycol unit to be done with it, but the extra grand is keep me at bay for the moment. I know that for beer making I would rarely have more that 2 going at a time, but for wine making I would have them all full as that is a more seasonal activity.

Fred

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Fred Seider
Two Naked Frogs Brewery, Winery, & Meadery
Reading, PA
"What's in your goblet?!"
---
Model 30A; SN 0130
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jonymac




Joined: 18 Dec 2014
Posts: 145



PostLink    Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah for 3 fermenters of wine (assuming white), I would just put a bucket of glycol/water mix in the freezer vs. the keezer and run your pump from there.
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daboyce67




Joined: 15 Aug 2014
Posts: 43
Location: Hayward, Wisconsin


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am building a similar setup, but on a smaller degree - smaller in that for the time being I will only be utilizing one 14 gallon/10 gallon batch fermenter at a time. I have built the keezer much along the lines of yours. I was planning on having a keg in the keezer dedicated to pumping coolant (either just water or a glycol mixture) to the coils in the SS Brewtech fermenter. So my question is, since I am mainly looking to brew lagers, am I going to be able to maintain lager fermenting temps with this setup? I I am also keeping kegs of beer in the keezer lagering, will I be able to run the keezer at 34-38 degrees and still keep the fermenter cool enough to ferment lagers?
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jonymac




Joined: 18 Dec 2014
Posts: 145



PostLink    Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daboyce67 - I lager as well - during the fermentation stage, I can get to 50º without issue - haven't tried going lower - although, you could probably add some ice to that chilling keg and see where it goes. I wrap a blanket or two around my conical and use a full keg of water/glycol/starsan mixture and run it to the coils in the conical. The full keg gives plenty of chilled fluid to keep the conical cold. Also, invest in the coil extenders from SS Brewtech (if that's the brand you are using) it gets the coil down deep into the beer - and are typically used for 5 gallon batches in a 14 gallon conical. This has worked well. Post fermentation, I rack to my kegs and put them in my conditioning fridge at 34º and hold them for a month and then move them to my keezer to carb and tap.

Also see one of my above posts about using a reservoir in the freezer if you want lower temps...

I have an Oktoberfest and Helles lager on the board for late August/September. Post pics of your setup!

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JonyMac's Stillwater Home Brewery Build
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daboyce67




Joined: 15 Aug 2014
Posts: 43
Location: Hayward, Wisconsin


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jonymac - Thanks for the info. I've used your setup as sort of an inspiration/guide for mine. Certainly not to the level of yours, but sort of as a template. With that said, two more questions, 1) where did you get the barb couplings that you use to run your coolant lines through your keeper collar and, 2) what ratio glycol to water do you have (exclusive of the starsan) for your coolant?

Thanks in advance for any update.
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jonymac




Joined: 18 Dec 2014
Posts: 145



PostLink    Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you see in my professional drawing above - I used 3/8" pex barbs - believe the brand was Sharkbite - Amazon, Home Depot... I used them to pass through the collar. As far as the mix of water to glycol - don't quite remember - I think there is a chart on the bottle - will have to check. I'm sure you can find it online. I added starsan just to keep the lines from getting funky.
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daboyce67




Joined: 15 Aug 2014
Posts: 43
Location: Hayward, Wisconsin


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jonymac - ignore the question about the couplings, got that.

As to the coil extenders. I do have those but was going to utilize the coil that mounts to the side of the fermenter rather than the one mounted to the lid. Looks to get down equally as far and appears to come in contact with just as much of the liquid, though I could be wrong on that.
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jonymac




Joined: 18 Dec 2014
Posts: 145



PostLink    Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What brand conicals?
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daboyce67




Joined: 15 Aug 2014
Posts: 43
Location: Hayward, Wisconsin


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, we appear to be crossing messages at the same time. So, as I said, I saw above where you referenced the Sharkbite couplings and, yes, they are readily available from Home Depot, et al. Thanks for the quick response, I appreciate it.
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daboyce67




Joined: 15 Aug 2014
Posts: 43
Location: Hayward, Wisconsin


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the SS Brewtech 14 gallon Brewmaster Edition conical. Came with the side mounted coil, appears to extend about 6 inches below the 8 gallon etching on the side of the conical. I'll run a test before my first batch to confirm its efficiency.
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andrewshb




Joined: 27 Jul 2017
Posts: 1



PostLink    Posted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome setup! I used this as an example to cool my ss conical. Did you ever end up adding quick connects? If so can you post a picture?

Cheers!
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jonymac




Joined: 18 Dec 2014
Posts: 145



PostLink    Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't added them yet - just use a bit of hose to connect the two barbs - works fine - low priority.
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mattybrass




Joined: 19 Jul 2012
Posts: 8
Location: Wakefield, Ma


PostLink    Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

most of the pics seem to not show anymore for me, am i the only one?
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kal
Forum Administrator



Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10998
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter


PostLink    Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The pictures are hosted at dropbox. Trying to access them gives the following error: "Sorry, that file doesn’t live here anymore. It might have been moved or made private."

Kal

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jonymac




Joined: 18 Dec 2014
Posts: 145



PostLink    Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No - they are there on Dropbox - I just checked them - looks like all pics on Dropbox aren't working right now.
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Rhino17




Joined: 08 Dec 2014
Posts: 3



PostLink    Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe as of August/17, dropbox has discontinued Public folders, so your images are no longer visible to the outside world.
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jonymac




Joined: 18 Dec 2014
Posts: 145



PostLink    Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah - that sucks - haven't had time to fix the pics - will work on it this week - have to move and relink all the pics on Flikr.
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