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100 joints on Canada Day

When it came time to design a heating and cooling system for our fermenters, we were fortunate to be connected with Kevin who works at the NRC. Whereas I was thinking we would need a chiller to cool the fermenters, Kevin suggested we start by using city water then see what our actual cooling requirements are in production. He designed a series of valves to regulate the flow of hot and cold water flowing through the fermenter jackets. The valves were controlled by a Siemens PLC that Kevin programmed.  Using digital thermometers, the PLC can measure the temperature of the fermenter and adjust the electric valves to maintain a set temperature.  Kevin came up with the design but said we should get a plumber to do the piping. Being a decent solderer, I thought I could do it in a couple of hours.  Hours quickly became days and I found myself trying to finish the work over the Canada Day weekend.  As I discovered later, my propane torch didn't have the power to heat the 1.5" copper pipes. But I struggled through it and finished the job with a couple leaks (well perhaps more than a couple).




1 comment

  • Very great blog, i’m at the same stage trying to figure out how i’m going to cool my fermenters off. I was going to use a series of STC-1000s to control glycol solenoids, but maybe the PLC is a better option? Would love to know how to configure the PLC for this purpose.
    I’m building my distillery east of Belleville so I’d love to come visit sometime since i’m not too far away.
    Best Regards!


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