Author Topic: Chilling plastic conical fermenter  (Read 2931 times)

Offline james

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Re: Chilling plastic conical fermenter
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2014, 03:42:57 PM »
Glycol... So just get some antifreeze at autozone or walmart.

I would'nt do that. If you have a leak, it could kill you.

Don't over look the obvious. I had a plastic conical that fit in a used upright freezer I got for a few bucks at a used appliance store.

Agreed, if anything buy rv antifreeze that is used for the water systems.  It is made of propylene glycol vs ethylene glycol

Offline euge

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Re: Chilling plastic conical fermenter
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2014, 04:46:44 PM »
One should be more careful about casually using the term glycol and be more specific.

Even with a conical plastic or stainless I'd never submerge the chiller coils but wrap them around the fermenter. So a leak from the SS and thereby an appreciable absorption through the plastic? I think one would see signs of a leak first.
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Offline Jeff M

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Re: Chilling plastic conical fermenter
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2014, 04:50:26 PM »
One should be more careful about casually using the term glycol and be more specific.

Even with a conical plastic or stainless I'd never submerge the chiller coils but wrap them around the fermenter. So a leak from the SS and thereby an appreciable absorption through the plastic? I think one would see signs of a leak first.

Leos submerges his chiller coils inside the conical and gets great results.  I wouldnt wrap a coil around the outside because youll get bad heat/cold transfer and have about 1/10th of the coil contact that you would otherwise.
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Offline euge

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Re: Chilling plastic conical fermenter
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2014, 05:05:00 PM »
I don't doubt it.

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Online troybinso

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Re: Chilling plastic conical fermenter
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2014, 06:24:54 PM »
Propylene glycol is food grade and can be found in foods as an additive. You wouldn't necessarily want it to be in your beer, but if a little bit did get there, it wouldn't be dangerous. Ethylene glycol has no place in the brewery - at least in a situation where it could come in contact with beer. It is dangerous to ingest. The term "anitfreeze" implies ethylene glycol, whereas the term "glycol" implies propylene glycol, at least in the context of a homebrew forum.

I have tested and retested my chilling coils connections and I would be confident adding glycol to the reservoir to bring the temperature down. I suppose I could move my bottle and yeast collection for a few days during the time when I would want to crash cool the beer so that the freezer could get the coolant in the mid-20's.

My next question is how to get that damn lid to seal better. I have tried a couple of different kinds weatherstripping, but I can't get it to work. I guess that is better off in a new thread.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Chilling plastic conical fermenter
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2014, 06:35:09 PM »
One should be more careful about casually using the term glycol and be more specific.

Even with a conical plastic or stainless I'd never submerge the chiller coils but wrap them around the fermenter. So a leak from the SS and thereby an appreciable absorption through the plastic? I think one would see signs of a leak first.

Leos submerges his chiller coils inside the conical and gets great results.  I wouldnt wrap a coil around the outside because youll get bad heat/cold transfer and have about 1/10th of the coil contact that you would otherwise.

I did too for a while, in fact held 10 bbls (310 gallons) at fermentation temp in 100+ degree brewery. But we used food grade glycol, not anti freeze.

Yeah, if you could wrap the coils "maybe" fine, but doubt highly that would work with plastic.

My vote still goes for the up right freezer!!!
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Offline euge

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Re: Chilling plastic conical fermenter
« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2014, 06:52:16 PM »
I went and searched the term "glycol" on four homebrewing wiki's and got nothing. I get your point though. A fridge is better. :)
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Online troybinso

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Re: Chilling plastic conical fermenter
« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2014, 07:07:06 PM »
Yeah, a fridge would be nice, but I don't have one the fermenter would fit in. I guess a cold room would be nice, too, maybe some casters on the bottom of the frame to wheel it in there. To dream...

Offline AmandaK

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Re: Chilling plastic conical fermenter
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2014, 07:14:25 PM »


A fridge is easy peasy. I lurked craigslist for 4 months and found a True Commercial fridge for $300, a bit cheaper than what you'd spend in rigging a stop gap solution only to find out it only kinda works.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Chilling plastic conical fermenter
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2014, 08:03:22 PM »
Yeah, a fridge would be nice, but I don't have one the fermenter would fit in. I guess a cold room would be nice, too, maybe some casters on the bottom of the frame to wheel it in there. To dream...

How big we talking? I put a 42 gallon bling$mann conical in an unpright no problem. Bigger than that a cold room or submersed stainless coils probably the only solution.
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Re: Chilling plastic conical fermenter
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2014, 08:04:22 PM »


A fridge is easy peasy. I lurked craigslist for 4 months and found a True Commercial fridge for $300, a bit cheaper than what you'd spend in rigging a stop gap solution only to find out it only kinda works.

That's very nice!  8)
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Online troybinso

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Re: Chilling plastic conical fermenter
« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2014, 08:07:42 PM »
I guess I have been kind of skirting this issue, but the fermenter I have is a little larger than normal, and won't fit in a fridge or upright freezer. This is why I have been trying to macgyver/rube goldberg a solution.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Chilling plastic conical fermenter
« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2014, 08:23:59 PM »
Ahhhh.... I see. If you are going bigger than can fit in an upright then don't skimp too much. That's a lot of beer and, more importantly, a lot of work you have the potential of wasting.

There are some small glycol chillers that come with their own pump that have a reservoir large enough to cool a 10-15 bbl fermentor that cost about $1200. In fact, if rigger right you could probably chill 2 with 1.

Small price to pay to make it work.
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Chilling plastic conical fermenter
« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2014, 08:41:39 PM »
Check the Micromatic web site. These chillers are used in draught systems.
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Re: Chilling plastic conical fermenter
« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2014, 08:46:15 PM »
Check the Micromatic web site. These chillers are used in draught systems.

That's what I was missing.
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