Homebrew fermentation temperature conundrum. Help!

I am a man of many skills. However, control electronics are not one of them and I’m after some help.

I need to brew a hell of a lot of beer for August as I have somewhat foolishly shot my mouth off and said I’ll make all the beer for my wedding. This means making ~200l on my little homebrewing kit. I’ve ordered a 60l fermenter so that I can double brew and speed things up a bit. However a 60l fermenter is a right pain to lug in and out of a fridge to try and control the fermentation temperature and, to crash chill.

What I want to do is to be able to submerge a stainless cooling coil which I already have, in the fermenting beer and connect it to the cold water recirc of a Maxi 210 chiller that I also already have. However I am going to need some sort of PLC unit and a temperature probe to to talk to each other so that I can set a high and low value for the temperature and some sort of switch that I can wire into the recirc pump’s power supply to turn it on and off.

Anyone built anything similar or have a cheaper, easier, more elegant way of doing it? Below is a rough sketch of what I want it to do….

WP_20150602_002

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One thought on “Homebrew fermentation temperature conundrum. Help!

  1. Rather than going to the trouble of switching a pump / dicking about w/ mains voltages, you could just switch a (cheap) solenoid valve (like this? http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/solenoid-valves/0342023/). You can pick up a temp controller (+ probe) for a few quid off ebay. If you’re bothered about running the recirc pump against a closed valve, get two valves & make sure your controller has a double throw output (i.e. make an opposite sense bypass valve) Do it all at 12v. Safer. You’ve probably got a surplus 12v power supply in a drawer somewhere.

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