Author Topic: Aquarium Chiller for Fermentation Temp Control  (Read 467 times)

Offline BittCloud

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
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

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3564
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....
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline BittCloud

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
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.

Offline chinaski

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 209
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

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 2
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

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 22320
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
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.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell