View Full Version : Chill Pills?

11-30-2009, 04:49 PM
Does anyone out there have any experience with "chill pills"? As I understand they are stainless "pill" looking things that sit inside the fermenter and act as a heat exchanger for use with a glycol system. What I am trying to determine is what size glycol unit would one need to sufficiently cool a 2 BBL fermenter with one of these? Also, what type of additional hardware (thermocouplers, etc) is needed to properly regulate the temperature inside the tank? Thanks for any insight.

11-30-2009, 05:02 PM
Is your fermenter jacketed? If not ambient temp. will have a large effect on overall temp. It isn't hard to maintain fermentation temperature with a pill as long as there isn't a large differential between ambient and ferm. temp. I think it would be quite hard to chill the beer and hold it down unless your tank is insulated or in a cool room. It requires more careful cleaning than just cip.

12-01-2009, 10:56 AM
Danny's questions are key to determining the actual cooling load on the 2 Bbl fermenter. Should be pretty small, likely something that could be handled by a small "tapline chiller system" in the 1 HP size range. (smaller than anything we manufacture)

I'm not familiar with the these immersion "chill pills", we've seen immersion stainless or copper tubing coils, and stainless steel template coils,- but not pill shaped items tied into a glycol system (have heard of wineries actually freezing water in plastic containers and immersing to control temp). The immersion coils are used to control and chill fermenters in both the winery and brewery markets.

Automated control of temperature would be the same as a jacketed fermenter control. Require a solenoid valve controlling the flow of glycol through the immersion coil. A T-stat would monitor your beer temperature and open and close the glycol solenoid valve based on cooling load.

Perhaps someone on the forum has, or is, a source for these immersion coils and can provide you additional information.

Good Luck!

Pro Refrigeration Inc.

12-01-2009, 12:46 PM
I actually used 2 7bbl singlewall fermenters in the early 90s that had the pills in them. They came from Stainless Steel Specialists in Montreal. They were rigidly mounted through the wall with 3/4" npt stainless pipe. Very simple design and easy to adapt controls to it.

05-03-2010, 02:00 PM
Thanks for the responses, sorry for the delay in getting back onto the boards but things got hectic. We've opted out of the glycol unit and have another idea which will operate on the same principles. The pills have been used in the past when needed by running water through the system to get the temp down. This has proven to be wasteful and not very precise. The thought we are having now is to chill a 15 gallon reservoir of glycol in the freezer (which is right next to the fermenter in question and then pump it through the system to bring the temps down when needed. There's a small investment in trying so we are going to see how it goes. What method could I use to control this set up with regards to temp.? There is an available tri-clover port, can/where I buy a temp probe that would fit in there? Would I need to have one welded into the fermenter? Where would I find compatible parts such as the actual thermostat? Thanks again for the direction.