Chilling Fermenters

edited August 2019 in General

Hi all, I am new to the forum.

I am in the process of opening my distillery here in NJ and had a question about fermenters.

Because of the space I have I will be using (3) 100 gallon open top fermenters in a temperature controlled room.

My question is do you think I need to have a chilling mechanism or should I be fine due to the small volume.

Thank you guys


  • edited August 2019

    Once you start pushing above 50g, active cooling becomes beneficial.

    Ambient cooling begins to lose effectiveness, as the surface area, relative to volume, begins to decrease rapidly. This is the point to remember. It’s not about a hot or cool room - although that makes a difference, it’s about the tank losing the ability to lose heat due to the thermal mass. This is even a problem in large fermenters, as the jacket surface area becomes reduced, much lower coolant temps are required to maintain effectiveness.

    Keep in mind the BTU necessary to manage the heat generated due to fermentation is very small relative to the BTU necessary to crash cool mash.

  • Do you think hdpe plastic 55 gallon barrels would need chilling?

  • @rickthenewb said: Do you think hdpe plastic 55 gallon barrels would need chilling?

    I use them in the tropics all the time. Ambient temps range from 77-92 giving at 83f most of the time.

    They don’t need chilling normally beyond the occasional fan, but I do have to choose my yeast wisely.

  • Hi Fiji, do you use open top or covered?

  • Here in Florida, this time of year is is damn near impossible to keep the temps in a 55g barrel under 90F during a furious rum ferment.

    Might try Mike's recirc from bottom to the top idea.


  • I cover loosely to keep stuff out of it but it’s not airlocked.

    I dont do rum and my ferments are not so vigorous but occasionally I do think about cooling beyond a fan. Any larger than 300l and I think I’d be in trouble.

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