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Topics - ddcurtis69

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Pimp My System / Peltier Cooled Conical
« on: February 26, 2014, 09:15:09 AM »
When purchasing my conical fermenter a few years ago, I just couldn't swallow the extra cost for a cooled unit.  I purchased the un-cooled version and lived with it for a year or so.  However, as my geek nature wasn't happy with lack of temperature control, my creative juices started flowing.  Attached are pictures of the peltier cooling and heating (with block heater) setup I built for my 14 gallon conical fermenter.  It is working great and has been able to get 14 gallons down to 33F with an ambient temperature of 67F.  I am loving this thing and now moving into lagers with my newfound temperature control.  I also fitted my 7 gallon conical with the same setup, except only 2 peltier chips instead of 4.  I have way less in this build than buying a pre-made peltier cooled fermenter.  Cheers!

COOLING BLOCK WITH PELTIER CHIPS AND HEAT SINKS MOUNTED

FERMENTER SHOWING ONE OF TWO BLOCKS INSTALLED


FERMENTER MOSTLY INSULATED


CONTROLLER&POWER SUPPLY OUTSIDE BREWERY


BULLET PLUGS INSIDE BREWERY TO "PLUG IN" FERMENTER


ICE ON ALUMINUM BLOCK


ICE ON INSIDE OF FERMENTER

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Homebrewer Bios / Brewer Bio: Dan Curtis
« on: February 08, 2013, 08:13:28 AM »

Home Town (City, State): Parkersburg, WV
Homebrew Club: Infamous Parkersburg Alers (IPA's)
I've been a homebrewer since: 2009
Do you have a homebrewing disaster you'd like to share?I would have to say the time I blew the airlock off of my conical fermenter.  I was new to brewing, and very new to high gravity beers.  I had brewed a 1.08OG beer and added yeast nutrient when I loaded it into the fermenter.  I was fermenting in a small finished room off of our kitchen to control temperature at the time.  When I left for work everything looked fine.  However, when I returned, I knew I was in trouble.  The krausen had plugged the airlock and I had blown it and about a quart of brown "crap" all over the floor, walls, and ceiling.  I spend hours cleaning this one up, needless to say without any help.  My wife was not too happy.  A good lesson on blowoff tubes, high gravity brewing, and yeast nutrient.  Just wish I could have learned a little easier.

What is your favorite style(s) to brew?I love brewing stouts and IPA's.  The complexity of a stout and toying with hopping on IPA's is quite enjoyable.

What style(s) will you never brew?I can't say there is a style I will NEVER brew.  I will try anything once!

What was the first beer you ever brewed?  How did it turn out?
I started out with an India Brown Ale.  I think it turned out like intended.  Threre were no real issues with it, just didn't really fit my taste.

Have you ever had a homebrew mistake that turned out great?I guess it would be forgetting to add rice hulls to my oatmeal stout mash.  I did this once and will never forget again.  I had to dump the mash tun into buckets, clean out the false bottom, and start again.  For this batch, I had to do this twice during the mash.  I was sure I would not hit my gravity and have flavor issues with all of the temperature swings and manipulation of the wort but to my surprise, I hit the gravity right on and the beer tasted great.

What is your favorite beer recipe?
For now I would have to say my oatmeal stout.  The grain bill is complex and the addition of oak chips in the secondary makes this a fun beer to brew.

Are you a BJCP Judge? Not Yet! But hopefully soon.

Do you have a favorite homebrew trick or gadget that you've found to make your beer better/brewing easier, etc?
I  rigged up a screen filter to remove hops from my beer when transferring from the conical fermenter to either a bottling bucket or keg.  It works great, is easy to clean and sterilize, and gets all the hops out for a clean brew.

Describe your brew system.
I love my system!  I brewed with gas and coolers for a few years and then took the plunge!  I now have a 99% Kal clone from the electricbrewery.com.  I love this system.  Temperature control, efficiency, and batch repeatability are so improved.  I have three 20 gallon Blichmann's for my HLT, Mash Tun, and Boil Kettle.  The HLT and Boil Kettle are heated with 5500W ultra low density heating elements.  I use two March 809 pumps with 3/4" center inlet and 1/2" outlet and polysulfone heads (not stainless like Kal's sytem).  I just added a 14 gallon Morebeer! conical fermenter to my system and have to say I love this fermenter!  As you can probably tell, I could talk about my baby for hours and share a photo album of pictures from her birth through today. UPDATE:  I recently built peltier cooling for my 7 and 14 gallon conical fermenters.  Now I can lager in them as well.

How frequently do you brew (times/month or /year)?
Roughly twice per month.  Sometimes more, sometimes less.

What is your favorite malt?  I really like the flavor and aroma of Belgian Aromatic.  This malt makes my mouth water just huffing the bag of grains.

What is your favorite hop? So far, it would be Amarillo.  This hop has a unique aroma and flavor.  I enjoy seeing how I can fit it in to any recipe.

Do you have a favorite or house yeast? What qualities do you like about that yeast?
I use Safale US-05 a lot for IPA's, ambers,etc...  I have had great results from this yeast and it is easy to clean up and re-use.  I also like Wyeast Pacman for stouts.  This yeast has provided me with great results.

Do you have a good homebrew club story you'd like to share? Not yet! Club is pretty new.  I'm sure someone will slip up at some point and give me a great story to share.

If you could serve your homebrew to someone famous, who would it be and what would you give her/him?
Boy, this is a hard one.  I guess it would have to be Bar Rafaeli.  I would give her my chocolate stout and hope the aphrodesiac qualities of chocolate are not a myth!

What's the most unusual ingredient you've ever used in a brew? Habanero Peppers.

Do you have any pets or kids named after beer styles or ingredients?
Not yet but you have now given me inspiration.  I may have to get a new pet. Have enough kids.

How many medals have you won from homebrew competitions?
So far I have only entered one competition.  I got fist place on the two beers I entered.  I was quite proud and happy of the results.

Do you brew alone, with friends or with someone you live with?
I mostly brew alone.  My 2yr old grandson loves to help and is frequently my assistant brewer.  Sometimes we will have a club brew at my place.

Are you an indoor or outdoor brewer? Indoor, thanks to Kal!

List some of the names you've given your beers.
Hot for Teacher habanero amber, Hull&Oats oatmeal stout, Jack Head pumpkin ale.  These are fun beers with fun names.

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