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fifis101

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So my brew fridge has gone and died on me and due to the tight space I have it in I'm stuggling to find another fridge that's big eneough for my fermenter but small enough for the space. I'm looking into other options of chilling down my brews like the Temp Twister but was keen to hear about other options out there. I have seen cooling blankets but theres very few options out there. I would prefer this option as it's not another thing I have to keep clean like the Temp Twister.

The picture on the left shows I did try hooking up a fan between my keg freezer and the brew fridge but the keg freezer system just could keep up and my kegs were getting warm. The picture on the right is something I was considering trying by just wrapping some hose around the fermenter and run cold water or even glycol through it.
Water Chiller.png
 

Swannie

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I've been contemplating something similar myself. A few observations from my research:

* Most likely the compressor in the fridge/freezer is not powerful enough to do its job as well as this.
* If you insulated the air transfer tubing well, then that's basically proven the point.
* If you do this, you probably want to use glycol. The freezer would likely get to -18ºc if it is cooler outside. You could maybe get away with brine, which bottoms out around -21, but I wouldn't want to test that out. Glycol is not that cheap.
* In the freezer, the heat exchange between the water/glycol bath and ultimately the freezer's radiator goes: water/glcol -> air -> coils -> compressor -> radiator. Air is a good insulator, and poor at transferring heat. The coolant will just heat up, and take a fair amount of time with the compressor running to cool it. (In most glycol chillers, it goes water/glycol -> coils with fins -> compressor, which is a lot more efficient).
* In the freezer, there is no fan to circulate the air - the movement of air and turbulence improves the ability for air to transfer the heat. If you want to try this, I'd suggest a fan in the freezer.
* When I looked at this, I was thinking about making a cheap DIY radiator made of stainless steel to stick out of the glycol bath to increase the surface area of the air available.
* At the other end, plain old garden hose wrapped around the outside won't transfer heat well at all either. Jacketed fermenters are built from metal, which conducts heat well between the liquid and the fermenter. Here you're talking beer <-> plastic fermenter <-> plastic hose <-> water. In my view, you'd really want to go with a stainless steel coil inside the fermenter like the Temp Twister.

By the time that you've put in something that almost works, you'll have spent a lot of time and $. I am seriously considering trying a Temp Twister, pond pump, my esky full of either home frozen 2l ice blocks, or ice from the servo, and as little water as I can get away with. Effectively a wort cooling set up, but with a temp controller on the pump.

What you benefit from with ice is the significant heat absorption of melting. You don't get the phase change with glycol solution, so the glycol isn't able to absorb as much heat as a big block of ice.
 

fifis101

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A great bit of detail in all that. Thank you Swannie.
I have considered most of what you have said already. I was merely keeping my expanation as simple as possible to see what everyone else woudl come up with. I will more than likely get another fridge but I just wanted to see if there's something easy for me to implement in the meantime.
 

golfandbrew

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Have you looked into this unit. Seems like it would be perfect for what you are needing.
 

MashBasher

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By the time that you've put in something that almost works, you'll have spent a lot of time and $. I am seriously considering trying a Temp Twister, pond pump, my esky full of either home frozen 2l ice blocks, or ice from the servo, and as little water as I can get away with. Effectively a wort cooling set up, but with a temp controller on the pump.

The original cheap-ass aquarium cooler solution lives here.
 

fifis101

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That Thermentor King is great little unit. So compact and sounds like it has great cooling capacity. Far too much $$$ for what I need. I'll most likely just keep searching for a fridge.
 

duncbrewer

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@fifis101

Asked above but will ask again.

What dimensions are you looking to fit your fridge into?
and what are you putting in it Fermentasaurus etc!
 

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