Author Topic: Aquarium Chiller for Fermentation Temp Control  (Read 1906 times)

Offline BittCloud

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Aquarium Chiller for Fermentation Temp Control
« on: November 07, 2019, 12:15:52 am »
I have been looking to move on from my mini fridge as a temp control and stumbled onto Aquarium Chillers.  Which look like there might just be able to handle the temperature range and are cheaper than the available glycol chillers.

link to the chillerhttps://www.amazon.com/EcoPlus-Chiller-1-10-HP/dp/B000W4S45C/ref=sr_1_44?keywords=chiller&qid=1573084797&sr=8-44

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Aquarium Chiller for Fermentation Temp Control
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2019, 11:21:38 am »
I’ve been looking at this alternative, too.  It should work fine, but chills only to 37F, so it limits the bottom end cold crash a bit....
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Offline BittCloud

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Re: Aquarium Chiller for Fermentation Temp Control
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2019, 03:29:52 pm »
I’ve been looking at this alternative, too.  It should work fine, but chills only to 37F, so it limits the bottom end cold crash a bit....
you could always do a second cold crash in your keg and just pitch the first pint.  That is usually what i do anyways.

Online chinaski

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Re: Aquarium Chiller for Fermentation Temp Control
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2019, 10:13:02 pm »
Looks like a pretty cheap aquarium chiller- not sure how long it would last.  Better aquarium chillers cost twice as much; the only real difference between them and glycol chillers is the liquid that circulates through it, and it requires a pump to circulate the liquid.

Offline BeerTooth

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Re: Aquarium Chiller for Fermentation Temp Control
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2019, 03:47:39 pm »
I'm looking for a cheap alternative temp controller too.  I don't want to clutter the basement with yet another fridge (I already have a kegerator in an upright fridge, plus a chest freezer for food)

I figure I brew ~10 times a years, and I only need to control temperature for the first ~4 days of fermentation, so I only need control 10% of the year; the other 90% of the year it would just be taking up space.

I was thinking of setting up temporary controller, possibly using thermoelectrics and a liquid loop.  In my basement I need both heating and cooling (ambient from 50-70F and fermentation target from 50-100F for various yeast strains).

I was looking at this little aquarium heater/cooler. 
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32897654231.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.20ab1c766crfqT&algo_pvid=6ddd9090-8e69-4f7d-a450-dc2fcedd8032&algo_expid=6ddd9090-8e69-4f7d-a450-dc2fcedd8032-57&btsid=25165375-356b-43b2-8019-db0873f66718&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_6,searchweb201603_52

I assume it is a solid-state thermoelectric with a simple current-controller connected to a thermistor in the water plate.  Could I rig up a simple "poor man's glycol jacket"?  I ferment in kegs (8 gallon split batch).  I could wrap a simple liquid loop around the tow kegs and surround them with a sleeping bag.  Set the aquarium heater/cooler to my target fermentation temperature, and run a simple pond pump to circulate water for the first few days of fermentation, then tear it down and put it away until next brew day.

What do you all think of that idea?

Offline denny

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Re: Aquarium Chiller for Fermentation Temp Control
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2019, 05:00:30 pm »
For years I put then fermenter in a tub of water and put an aquarium heater in the water.  Worked well.
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Offline Drewch

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Re: Aquarium Chiller for Fermentation Temp Control
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2021, 11:56:00 am »
I'd just caution you to beware of false economies.  Sometimes it's better to buy the thing that's designed to do what you need even if the upfront cost is higher.  Make sure you account for the total cost of ownership for both options.
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