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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: belsolar on November 02, 2010, 07:49:07 PM

Title: Can anyone Identify the make/model of this ferminter?
Post by: belsolar on November 02, 2010, 07:49:07 PM
I just recently purchased a conical ferminter.  It comes with a lot of strange fittings and guages that I have no idea what they are for.  This is not a brand new ferminter out of a magazine.  This is a second hand ferminter.

I can't figure out how to attach pictures to this post.  So if anyone can help educate me as to how to upload pic's to this forum, i'll gladly show you all what it looks like so that I can get some idea's as to what these various fittings are for ....or just maybe....I can find out who made this product.

I have scoured the outside of the ferminter and can find no name, model # or another sign of the manufacturer.

Your help woudl be greatly appreciated.
Title: Re: Can anyone Identify the make/model of this ferminter?
Post by: theDarkSide on November 02, 2010, 07:53:35 PM
Upload your photos to a site like flikr or photobucket, then use the image link and put the link to that photo in between the placeholders.
Title: Re: Can anyone Identify the make/model of this ferminter?
Post by: belsolar on November 02, 2010, 09:17:05 PM
http://www.flickr.com/photos/39695979@N03/sets/

Here's a link to my flickr page that shows a bunch of different pictures of the fermintor.  There is a whole lot about this fermintor that I don't understand.

1) What's the thermistate on the outside suppose to be used for?
2) What are the 2 copper fittings on the side of the fermintor suppose to be for?
3) What are the 2 fittings on the top of the lid suppose to be used for?

I'm use to a 5 gallon plastic bucket.  These addtional fittings seem a little foreign to me.  I'm curious to see what you all think before I speculate further on their purpose.

Thanks in advance for all your idea's.  I'm eager to use it, but I have to figure out what all these are for to insure I'm not missing out on something.
Title: Re: Can anyone Identify the make/model of this ferminter?
Post by: jeffy on November 02, 2010, 09:28:25 PM
1) It looks like a Johnson temp controller to control the temp of the fermentation
2) It sort of looks like a heat sink - are the two fittings in and out for glycol?
3) Is that a gas in port and a pressure gauge?  I imagine you can carbonate beer in it like in a bright tank.

It's pretty fancy.  Looks like it might be galvanized steel though.  That's odd.  What's the volume?
Title: Re: Can anyone Identify the make/model of this ferminter?
Post by: denny on November 02, 2010, 09:54:44 PM
Does look a bit like galvanized, but I can't believe anyone would make a fermenter like that!
Title: Re: Can anyone Identify the make/model of this ferminter?
Post by: tschmidlin on November 02, 2010, 10:02:49 PM
In pic #4, that's a pressure relief valve in the back, and a ball lock fitting in the front.

And in the last pic that's just a fitting and a pipe to attach to the bottom.  You can dump your spent yeast that way.

It's hard to see in some of them, too blurry.  #5 looks like a pressure gauge.
Title: Re: Can anyone Identify the make/model of this ferminter?
Post by: corkybstewart on November 02, 2010, 11:21:00 PM
Does look a bit like galvanized, but I can't believe anyone would make a fermenter like that!
Or just filthy, it may be covered with poorly rinsed PBW or something similar.  Or it could be a galvanized steel jacket with a stainless fermenter inside.
Title: Re: Can anyone Identify the make/model of this ferminter?
Post by: jaybeerman on November 02, 2010, 11:22:03 PM
Nice find, looks like someone had a little pilot system or yeast propagator.  I assume it's stainless inside, yes?  It definitely has a glycol jacket that's what the two side ports are going into the bump out area (which is the jacket).  That controller would typically control a solenoid valve to allow or not allow glycol to flow through the jacket.  All the other parts have been named correctly by the previous posts.  Buy new gaskets (just the clamp gaskets which are called triclamps in case you didnt know and it wasn't pointed out already) before you use that thing (gw kent, st pats of texas or a local dairy equipment supply company).  Have fun with it and let me know if you decide you don't want the hassle of setting it up (don’t throw it away or anything :) )
Title: Re: Can anyone Identify the make/model of this ferminter?
Post by: belsolar on November 03, 2010, 04:49:36 PM
first of all....thanks so much for your comments.  I do appreciate all your knowledge and experience with brewing to help me figure out what all this fermintor can do.  I'll try and address each of your replies to my post below.  I did add the additional pictures to the following flickr web link:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/39695979@N03/sets/72157625180094849/

1) Yes the fermintor is alluminum.  It's very dirty.  I was told it sat in a garage for over a year.  No galvanized steel.  It's pure alluminum.

2) The Thermostate is puzzeling.  I have no idea how this is suppose to work.  There doens't appear to be any type of electrical plug for it to be powered.  I don't understnad why there is a dial for temperature if there is no power or refridgeration or heat solution that would help the thermostate control the temp.  I took a few more pic's (CIMG0148, CIMG0150, CIMG0151, CIMG0152) to highlight the thermostate, the external connectors and the internal probe inside the fermintor.

3)  Pitures CIMGO153 and CIMGO154 are the two copper fixtures that come out of the side of the fermentor.  This appears to be some type of heat exchange system.  I did not get any type of heat exchanger with the fermintor.  Does anyone have any links or information about what type of heat exchanger should be used with these fittings?

4) on the top of fermintor lid there are two additional fittings (refer to CIMG0148, CIMG0147) to see these more clearly than previous shots.  I can't tell if these are pressure relief valves or not.  How do they work?  Does a "bubbler" need to be put on one of them, or do they just releas pressure at a certain value?  I'm rather puzzled by the use of them.


Thanks again for all the help and suggestions.  I knew I could count on the brewing community to point m in the right direction.
Title: Re: Can anyone Identify the make/model of this ferminter?
Post by: jeffy on November 03, 2010, 05:07:54 PM
The heat exchanger is much clearer in the new pictures.  You can attach hoses to the two brass fittings and run glycol through the thing with an external pump.  A friend of mine keeps glycol in a small freezer with another temp controller and pumps it to the fermentor from there.
The temperature controller has a probe going into a thermo-well in the cone of the fermentor to regulate the temp of the wort.  Yes, there's got to be a wire or a plug somewhere on the controller.  Have you looked from the bottom of the johnson controller or taken the cover off yet?
The quick disconnect on the lid is a gas-in port to be used for carbonating beer after it has finished fermenting or to pressurize the vessel for whatever other reason.
The brass thing in the lid is indeed a pressure relief valve so too much CO2 pressure won't rupture the thing.

It's pretty fancy.  Nice find.
Title: Re: Can anyone Identify the make/model of this ferminter?
Post by: denny on November 03, 2010, 05:08:16 PM
1) Yes the fermintor is alluminum.  It's very dirty.  I was told it sat in a garage for over a year.  No galvanized steel.  It's pure alluminum.

I'm no metallurgist, but I don't think AL is good either.  Can anybody confirm this or correct me?
Title: Re: Can anyone Identify the make/model of this ferminter?
Post by: corkybstewart on November 03, 2010, 06:10:26 PM
Is it aluminum on the inside also?  If so I'd be hesitant to use it, but I still think it's probaly just the outside jacket that's Al.
You'll need to attach a cord with a plug to the controller.  It's simple, I wired mine but I don't remember how exactly.  It's a pretty common homebrewing device so you shouldn't have any problem getting help with that.
Title: Re: Can anyone Identify the make/model of this ferminter?
Post by: belsolar on November 03, 2010, 06:36:53 PM
I must be drunk off of drinking my own home brew.  I meant to say the fermintor is all stainless steel....not aluminum.

Can anyone point me to a web link for a heat exchanger that might hook up to this type of solution?

A couple of other questions.....

1)  is a bubbler not required for this type of fermintor? 
2)  What's the best way to release the trub from the fermintor during brewing?......or just leave it well alone for week or week(s) that it takes to fully fermint 15 gallons of beer
Title: Re: Can anyone Identify the make/model of this ferminter?
Post by: denny on November 03, 2010, 06:38:27 PM
I must be drunk off of drinking my own home brew.  I meant to say the fermintor is all stainless steel....not aluminum.

That's great to know!
Title: Re: Can anyone Identify the make/model of this ferminter?
Post by: bluesman on November 03, 2010, 06:49:07 PM
I was wondering about the "aluminum" material.  If you look closely at the welds around the thermowells it has the cosmetic appearance of a SS alloy by the way the beads are formed around the fittings.

Title: Re: Can anyone Identify the make/model of this ferminter?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on November 03, 2010, 09:50:56 PM
I'm no metallurgist, but I don't think AL is good either.  Can anybody confirm this or correct me?

I am an engineer, but not a metalurgical engineer.  My 1947 copy of the "Practical Brewer" covers the use of wood, glass lined steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and concrete fermenters.  There are pictures of the wood, aluminum and concrete fermenters.  Cleaning aluminum was covered, and cautions given for acid and alkaline cleaners.  Beerstone removal in aluminum was to be with 15-20% nitric acid which can be dangerous (quote).

Title: Re: Can anyone Identify the make/model of this ferminter?
Post by: jaybeerman on November 03, 2010, 11:07:01 PM
Your best bet is to make friends with one of your local pro-brewers.  I imagine that you could find one willing to help you hook this thing up, if you offer some incentive.  The glycol system is moderately difficult to set-up and from the sound of it, you're going to need a bit of help.  I suppose you could use the fermenter without using the glycol jacket (the thing you've been refering to as a heat exchange) but that seems like a waste.

2&3)  im fairly sure that the wiring diagram for the controller is on the back of the cover.  you'll need a new power cord and new control wiring.  like i said, you'll also need a selenoid valve, a pump, a glycol manifold and a way to chill the glycol. Hypothetically, you could use an aquarium chiller to chill water (or glycol) and run it through the glycol jacket (see pic 154) but I've not seen this actually work yet.  If you don't know what I'm talking about when I say to hook up the control wiring to a selenoid valve then you need to find a local pro-brewer to help you.  FYI, there are multiple youtube videos that show DIY glycol systems for homebrewers.

4) hook a blow off tube up to (pic 158)
Title: Re: Can anyone Identify the make/model of this ferminter?
Post by: dhacker on November 04, 2010, 11:22:40 AM
As far as make or model, looks like a one-of-a-kind custom built by someone with a passion for tinkering. Perhaps a TMS hopper with a lot of add on goodies.

 http://www.toledometalspinning.com/products/hoppers/priceList.asp
Title: Re: Can anyone Identify the make/model of this ferminter?
Post by: belsolar on November 05, 2010, 03:30:51 AM
Anyone suggest a good brew store around the Longmont, CO area that may have some knowledge about parts, accessoreis and etc. to help me with this fermenter?