Maxi110 cooler meets Grainfather Conical Fermenter

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Re: Maxi110 cooler meets Grainfather Conical Fermenter

Post by guypettigrew » Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:20 pm

No worries about changing the schematic, Jef, play away!

The concern I had about using the python pump in the way you have was because of my (perhaps erroneous) belief it needed to be on all the time to stop the ice bath completely freezing up into a solid block.

Hence using the coil in the ice bath to supply the cold water to the coil in the FV. This left the python pump permanently on, with the output and input pipes from it looped together.

Plus I didn't have much appetite for getting inside the Maxi, especially as I already had a submersible pump as part of the cooling system I was using before the Maxi. A cool box full of iced water!

Guy

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Re: Maxi110 cooler meets Grainfather Conical Fermenter

Post by PeeBee » Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:33 pm

On a similar (near identical) vein I did a similar hack. But cheated a little by investing in the lead from GF for interfacing with their hyper-expensive glycol cooler. It then uses the GF's own controller to do the temperature control. It needs a 12V relay to switch the shelf cooler on and off (mine isn't a Maxi 110, but one of the many clones). The relay needs building into the cooler when I get around to it, it's just mounted hazardously on a bit of board for now. Part list was that GF cable, the 12V relay, and the connecting wires and 12V connectors.

This is it managing yesterday's brew (it's on the go now):
20200618_171057_WEB.jpg
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Re: Maxi110 cooler meets Grainfather Conical Fermenter

Post by PeeBee » Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:03 pm

guypettigrew wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:20 pm
No worries about changing the schematic, Jef, play away!

The concern I had about using the python pump in the way you have was because of my (perhaps erroneous) belief it needed to be on all the time to stop the ice bath completely freezing up into a solid block.

Hence using the coil in the ice bath to supply the cold water to the coil in the FV. This left the python pump permanently on, with the output and input pipes from it looped together.

Plus I didn't have much appetite for getting inside the Maxi, especially as I already had a submersible pump as part of the cooling system I was using before the Maxi. A cool box full of iced water!

Guy
I think (I hope!) that was erroneous. The shelf cooler switches off the compressor when it thinks it is cold enough. However, mine's a clone, what a Maxi gets up to might be different.

I thought the agitator and pump was the same thing? Seems to be on mine (a Maxi 410 that is), using a very inefficient propeller instead of the impeller found in some other pumps.

And Guy, here's that same brew piccied above being monitored by a "Tilt" you might have had something to do with (TiltPi screen)!
CaptureII.JPG
CaptureII.JPG (40.31 KiB) Viewed 542 times
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Re: Maxi110 cooler meets Grainfather Conical Fermenter

Post by guypettigrew » Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:16 pm

PeeBee wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:03 pm

I think (I hope!) that was erroneous. The shelf cooler switches off the compressor when it thinks it is cold enough. However, mine's a clone, what a Maxi gets up to might be different.

I thought the agitator and pump was the same thing? Seems to be on mine (a Maxi 410 that is), using a very inefficient propeller instead of the impeller found in some other pumps.

And Guy, here's that same brew piccied above being monitored by a "Tilt" you might have had something to do with (TiltPi screen)!
CaptureII.JPG
Yeah, I think the agitator and pump are the same thing. It's a propeller, not an impeller? Actually I've no idea what I'm talking about there! Enlighten me, please.

Yes, the compressor goes off when the ice bath is cold enough. But if there isn't any movement in the water (propeller/impeller/pump) then what's to stop it freezing to a solid block of ice?

Nice Tilt piccie. You won't be surprised to know I'm still watching the bubbles from the blow off tube and checking the brix when it seems 1/4 gravity might have been reached!

No nuts in your last photos. Changed your diet?!!!

Guy

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Re: Maxi110 cooler meets Grainfather Conical Fermenter

Post by PeeBee » Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:23 am

guypettigrew wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:16 pm
... Yeah, I think the agitator and pump are the same thing. It's a propeller, not an impeller? Actually I've no idea what I'm talking about there! Enlighten me, please. …
This is written off top of me 'ead (damn, where did I leave the "top of me 'ead" …), not off Wikipedia as I usually do. So it is subject to being wrong (well Wikipedia can be too). I'm sure some of it is from childhood memories of BBC Blue Peter.

A propeller pulls, an impeller pushes (think paddle steamer). A propeller is based on an Archimedes' Screw ('screw' is often used to mean "propeller"), the clever bit was figuring they only needs 1/3 of a turn to be effective. They did start propelling aircraft with the same Archimedes' Screw, but quickly figured air (gases) has the extra dimension of pressure and aerodynamics came to be (and pneumatics instead of hydraulics). The terms "propeller" and "screw" stuck though.

Liquid isn't compressible but hydraulics has it's quirks of "water hammer" and "cavitation" instead.

Impellers work best in channels hence aren't great for pushing boats. Because impellers push and not pull (suck) they can't self-prime as pumps.

Other pumps will have seals or wipers and probably some sort of reciprocating (back and fro) drive - like hand-pumps, diaphragm pumps, bicycle pumps, etc. which have much more power and will shift gases effectively too.



I think that's a reasonable essay for this time in the morning? I think I miss school. Marks out of ten?
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Re: Maxi110 cooler meets Grainfather Conical Fermenter

Post by barneey » Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:52 am

Image

Here is my set up, lead from controller to Chiller unit via the DC plug in, relay in the chiller, separate switch to control either the chiller in the usual factory manner or click it over to enable control from the GFFV.

The chiller will switch on when the GFFV supplies a voltage.

The other way it could be wired if you wanted a "ready" ice bath of liquid ready would be to leave the chiiler in the ON state, wire it to the python pump to switch that, have another agitator in bath (if needed). I have an agitator & python pump / STC controlling the temp etc, in another chiller unit build which I believe is on JBK somewhere.

I took the approach as pictured above for the GFFV as I wasn't too worried about any lag in providing coolant to the GFFV.

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Re: Maxi110 cooler meets Grainfather Conical Fermenter

Post by guypettigrew » Fri Jun 19, 2020 6:36 pm

PeeBee wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:23 am

This is written off top of me 'ead (damn, where did I leave the "top of me 'ead" …), not off Wikipedia as I usually do. So it is subject to being wrong (well Wikipedia can be too). I'm sure some of it is from childhood memories of BBC Blue Peter.

A propeller pulls, an impeller pushes
Thanks PeeBee. Great effort for so early in the morning! Push/pull? Surely it depends which side of the thing you're standing?!

Anyway, you forgot the most important part of my post. Where are the nuts!!!!

Guy

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Re: Maxi110 cooler meets Grainfather Conical Fermenter

Post by PeeBee » Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:04 pm

guypettigrew wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 6:36 pm
... Anyway, you forgot the most important part of my post. Where are the nuts!!!!

Guy
Ah ... okay. Is that better?
20200620_160816_WEB.jpg
'Tis worrying though, I'm down to my last 1/2 cwt. And I don't get another subscription delivery for 3 or 4 weeks.

Anyway. Keeping the thread on track, the beer is "Centennial Melyn" (blonde) brewed two months ago in a GF and GF Conical with a Maxi110 (clone) attached.
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Re: Maxi110 cooler meets Grainfather Conical Fermenter

Post by PeeBee » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:34 pm

PeeBee wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:33 pm
… The relay needs building into the cooler when I get around to it …
Crumbs, appears I don't "get around to it" for ages (and ages, and … hell, I'm getting older!).

But I do eventually "get around to it". This is a Maxi 110 "clone" (actually a Maxi 210 clone, with two product coils):
20200915_181847_WEB.jpg
And this is it with 12V sockets for cooler "trigger" (i.e. "switch on") signal with GF glycol cooler cable attached (you can get these without forking out for a glycol cooler). The GF glycol cooler cable also comes with a submersible 12V pump which has been incorporated into the cooler to provide another "python" circuit so a second fermenter can be independently controlled (the shelf cooler should be on timer if the original python is not cooling a fermenter to keep the ice bath cold). The thermometer is invaluable when having an independently controlled python line, so that you can see whether the ice bath is keeping cold enough:
20200920_155904_WEB.jpg
And a schematic (when it comes to these projects, I'm guided by being a right tart!):
Brewery 2.jpg
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Re: Maxi110 cooler meets Grainfather Conical Fermenter

Post by SimonO » Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:06 am

[quote=PeeBee post_id=852871 time=1600788897 user_id=16274]
[quote=PeeBee post_id=851562 time=1592498003 user_id=16274]… The relay needs building into the cooler when I get around to it … [/quote]
Crumbs, appears I don't "get around to it" for ages (and ages, and … hell, I'm getting older!).

But I do eventually "get around to it". This is a Maxi 110 "clone" (actually a Maxi 210 clone, with two product coils):

20200915_181847_WEB.jpg

And this is it with 12V sockets for cooler "trigger" (i.e. "switch on") signal with GF glycol cooler cable attached (you can get these without forking out for a glycol cooler). The GF glycol cooler cable also comes with a submersible 12V pump which has been incorporated into the cooler to provide another "python" circuit so a second fermenter can be independently controlled (the shelf cooler should be on timer if the original python is not cooling a fermenter to keep the ice bath cold). The thermometer is invaluable when having an independently controlled python line, so that you can see whether the ice bath is keeping cold enough:

20200920_155904_WEB.jpg

And a schematic (when it comes to these projects, I'm guided by being a right tart!):

Brewery 2.jpg
[/quote]

Wow this is so impressive, Hi everyone I’m kinda new here been lurking and looking for a while, I’m desperately trying to come up with away of connecting a maxi(or clone) to my ssbrewtech conical fermenter, I have the heating and cooling kit but my only way of cooling at the moment is by dropping the submersible pump into a fan cooled cool box filled with water that I try as I might to get as cold as I can with ice packs/cubes/frozen water bottles it works but is almost impossible to keep a regulated temp without constant monitoring 😡 How I’d love to have the skills to modify a beer cooler as you guys have to run through my conical using the brewtech control to maintain/control with some degree of accuracy the temp for cold crashing or lagering! The extortionate price of home brew glycol chillers has me light headed to say the least

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Re: Maxi110 cooler meets Grainfather Conical Fermenter

Post by PeeBee » Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:02 pm

SimonO wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:06 am
… How I’d love to have the skills to modify a beer cooler as you guys have to run through my conical using the brewtech control to maintain/control with some degree of accuracy the temp …
It's not "skill". It's determination and tenacity. And a desire for it to be just right. I don't document this stuff to prove how clever I am (those that know me know I can't claim to be "clever"). I document it as a challenge: If I can do this, and you want it, what is stopping you doing it?

Look at the dates: Three months between saying I'll do it and actually doing it ("preparation"?) and that doesn't include the "breadboard" proof-of-concept arrangement I had three months ago; and five days between the time stamps on the build's start and finished photos in that last post of mine. Patience is also a very handy quality.

True, I have lots of useful aids like "Dremel tools" and so-forth. But those tools are paid for by a benefit designed to keep me supplied with such things (Personal Independence Payment!). I also save money for projects like this by not having to pay Council Tax, 'cos the council deem me as "Severely Mentally Impaired" (abominable label!). I've eight years getting used to TBI.

So you want it? What is stopping you having it?

[END OF USER ENABLEMENT LECTURE]
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Re: Maxi110 cooler meets Grainfather Conical Fermenter

Post by guypettigrew » Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:10 pm

SimonO wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:06 am
Wow this is so impressive, Hi everyone I’m kinda new here been lurking and looking for a while, I’m desperately trying to come up with away of connecting a maxi(or clone) to my ssbrewtech conical fermenter, I have the heating and cooling kit but my only way of cooling at the moment is by dropping the submersible pump into a fan cooled cool box filled with water that I try as I might to get as cold as I can with ice packs/cubes/frozen water bottles it works but is almost impossible to keep a regulated temp without constant monitoring 😡 How I’d love to have the skills to modify a beer cooler as you guys have to run through my conical using the brewtech control to maintain/control with some degree of accuracy the temp for cold crashing or lagering! The extortionate price of home brew glycol chillers has me light headed to say the least
Coupling a Maxi to a SS fermenter is fairly straightforward. I'm assuming you have all the bits. Here's the schematic of how I do it. Works a treat!

Brewing Cooling Setup.jpg
Guy

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Re: Maxi110 cooler meets Grainfather Conical Fermenter

Post by guypettigrew » Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:58 pm

You'll notice I posted this schematic back in June. Jef played with it, which was fine, but changed the way it works, a bit. He left out the bucket of water, which is important to enable you to get a closed system.

When setting it up I turn the pump on first with it under the water in the bucket. This pushes water through the coil in the Maxi, then the coil in the fermenter. Once all the air has been pushed out, the outlet from the coil in the FV is pushed onto the inlet on the pump. Hey presto, a closed system!

Guy

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Re: Maxi110 cooler meets Grainfather Conical Fermenter

Post by PeeBee » Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:23 pm

Just to pimp up Guy's reply a bit:

He's using the cooler's "product" coils (I think) whereas my arrangement uses the "python" lines. The advantage of Guy's approach is you do not need to adapt the cooler's electrics, and the cooler remains pristine (my arrangement hacks the cooler - and with it goes away any warranty and resale value). The disadvantage is you need another pump (not so much a disadvantage, given that the cooler's pump is naff and only just powerful enough to manage one fermenter reliably). I think you also need to power on the cooler now and again (timer switch?) to keep the ice bath cold?

I think the Brewtech uses internal cooling coils? Both my fermenters have external cooling arrangements. In which case using the "product" coils also provides more distance between beer and cooler's contents in case of leaks. The python lines pump the water in the cooler's filthy ice bath.

GUY: Is that right? Also please explain why the pump is in a separate bucket of water 'cos I couldn't figure that out (priming?). EDIT: Okay, I see you've answered that already - it's for priming.
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Re: Maxi110 cooler meets Grainfather Conical Fermenter

Post by guypettigrew » Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:37 pm

Yup, Mr PeeBee, priming the closed system.

The Maxi is constantly on so, when the thermostat registers the temperature in the FV has gone more than 0.5°C above the set temperature, the pump in the bucket comes on and ice cold water is immediately pumped round the system. Cools the brew down really fast.

The python bit is connected to itself so the internal impeller (I do learn!) pumps water through it constantly to avoid the Maxi ice bath becoming solid.

Guy

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