Category Archives: Projects

First Looks: Variable Speed AC Fan for DIY Stir Plate or Kegerator Circulation

img_img_7320Fan with included AC Wiring and Variable Speed Control.

I picked this cooling fan up primarily to put together a Stir Plate design that works with it.  I chose this model because… 1. It’s a good size (4.7″ square), 2. Is already wired for AC and, 3. Includes a variable speed function.

AC Infinity AI-120SCX Speed Control Fan Kit for Cabinet Cooling, Single 120mm

Here’s a first look…

DIY Homebrew Yeast Stir PlateFront of the Fan

DIY Homebrew Yeast Stir PlateBack of the fan.  This side actually rotates.  If you were looking to put together a stir plate, this is the side you’d put the magnet on.

DIY Homebrew Yeast Stir PlateHere’s where the AC wire plugs in.

DIY Homebrew Yeast Stir PlateThis shows the AC wire plugged in.

DIY Homebrew Yeast Stir PlateThe specs say this is 4.7″ square.  From side to side, I get 4 11/16″.  As you’ll see it’s large enough to hold a 5 Liter Erlenmeyer.

DIY Homebrew Yeast Stir PlateI’d call this just a hair under 1″ thick

DIY Homebrew Yeast Stir PlateFor size reference, with a 2L Erlenmeyer in the background.

DIY Homebrew Yeast Stir PlateWith a 2L Erlenmeyer on Top.

DIY Homebrew Yeast Stir PlateThis thing is all but begging to become a stir plate.  I put four of these rubber bumpers in the four corners (to hold the erlenmeyer in place and give it a little bit of clearance) and then put four of these magnets in the center.  Those just stuck on there with magnetic force and they ended up deciding to stack themselves two high.  It’s kind of hard to tell with this photo, but this is a 5L Erlenmeyer Flask with 2L of water with a vortex using that setup.  I’m not suggesting this as a final design.  I’m only that this fan is a great candidate for conversion.

DIY Homebrew Yeast Stir PlateThis photo shows the magnet/rubber bumper setup

I use a similar fan for recirculating air in my kegerator.  See: Kegerator Beer Line Temperatures & Reducing Foam with a Recirculating Fan

AC Infinity AI-120SCX Speed Control Fan Kit for Cabinet Cooling, Single 120mm

SEOH 2L Narrow Mouth Erlenmeyer Flask with Heavy Duty Rim 1/pk

Erlenmeyer Flask (5000 ml) Y450

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3D Printed Pub Style Tap Handle

75per_img_7266

I recently got an XYZprinting Da Vinci 3D Printer.  I think 3D Printing has a bunch of possible applications for homebrewing.  From tap handles to stir plates and on and on.

Here’s a look at a 3D printed Pub Style Tap Handle designed by “InfiniTTTy” and available on thingiverse.  A link to the STL files and project description can be found below.

3D Printed Tap HandleI printed this on my XYZprinting Da Vinci 1.0 3D Printer.  Here’s a look toward the beginning of the process.

3D Printed Tap HandleMaybe halfway through

3D Printed Tap HandleTa Da… Printed Thing!  I printed this on the Da Vinci’s Best Setting.  It took about 3 hours.

3D Printed Tap HandleThis also gets a decorative cap on the top.  You can, of course, print either of these pieces in your choice of colors.  The color is based on what color filament you’re using.

3D Printed Tap HandleFinished product.   The bottoms on these end up with a little extra material that needs trimmed.  I’ve been doing that with a utility knife.  The one thing I would change for this build would be… get a sharper utility knife.  Mine was too dull.  I could have ended up with cleaner lines with a sharper knife.  It’s amazing to me that I printed this.

3D Printed Tap HandleI attached the top piece on with Gorilla‘s Gorilla Super Glue.  Gorilla makes some stellar products including Gorilla Duct Tape.  I don’t consider it patched when using that.. I consider it permanently fixed… :)

75per_img_7266For size comparison.  From left to right Dry Erase Board Tap Handle, 3d Printed Pub Style Handle, Standard Black Faucet Handle

3D Printed Tap Handle WeightUpdate:  Google+ Friend Ray asked about material cost.  Great question.  I pulled out my AWS-100 Digital Gram Scale - Review – and weighed it up.  It came out to 26.34 grams.  At the current cost for filament (as of 1-15-15) this figures out to about $1.23 in filament.

75per_img_7300Installed.  Just served a RiteBrew Oatmeal Stout

75per_img_7286

This is a nice little tap handle.  I did some pulling and bending on it and it held together just fine.  One of the commenters on the thingiverse page indicates that they have been using it for two years.  Other styles of tap handles are available on thingiverse.  Of course, if you don’t find what you like you can always… make it.

XYZprinting Da Vinci 1.0 3D Printer - Filament

Pub Style Tap Handle by InfiniTTTy on thingiverse

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Cooling Fan (for DIY Stir Plate or Kegerator Circulation) + 3D Printed Stir Plate?

Antec TriCool 92mm Cooling Fan with 3-Speed Switch

Antec TriCool 92 mm Cooling Fan.  3 Speed Settings via 3 speed switch.  Use for DIY Stir Plate or Kegerator Recirculation Fan.  See: Kegerator Beer Line Temperatures & Reducing Foam with a Recirculating Fan.

Antec TriCool 92mm Cooling Fan with 3-Speed Switch

Also: 3D Printed Stir Plate?..

AC Infinity AI-120SCX Speed Control Fan Kit for Cabinet Cooling, Single 120mm

If you’re a close reader of Homebrew Finds you’ll know that I’ve been playing around with a couple of rapid prototyping-related products for use with homebrewing.  One is littlebits, the other is a XYZPrinting Da Vinci 3D Printer.  Related to the latter, I’ve printed out a few interesting things including multiple tap handle designs and a fair number of… chip clips :).  I think the technology has a lot of potential.

Anywho… there are a number of stir plate STL designs already out there.  Existing Stir Plate STL projects (at least that I’ve found) tend to use “the fan I had laying around”.  I plan to source this specific cooling fan and put together a Stir Plate design that works with it.  I like this model because… 1. It’s a good size (4.7″ square), 2. Is already wired for AC and, 3. Includes a variable speed function.   If you’re experienced designer and want to help, I’d be happy to work on this with you.  Just Email Us and we’ll get rolling.

AC Infinity AI-120SCX Speed Control Fan Kit for Cabinet Cooling, Single 120mm

XYZprinting Da Vinci 1.0 3D Printer

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Reader Tip: DIY Water Filter via BYO Magazine

Thanks to HBF Reader Brandon for this tip!

Culligan WHR-140

Culligan WHR-140 Replacement Shower Filter Cartridge for WSH-C125, HSH-C135, ISH-100 Shower Units

Brandon Says:  I think that the 140 filter is the one people sometimes use to make water filters out of PVC couplers.  There was a DIY build from byo https://byo.com/stories/item/399-build-your-own-water-filter-projects

Do you subscribe to BYO Magazine?  If not, you can get a free trial issue – Here

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Reader Tip: Krups BeerTender… $39.99 + Conversion Guide

Thanks to HBF Reader Casey for this tip!

7a2e2901-0cc2-402a-8c8b-a4133f424f94

Woot has Krups BeerTeender counter top tap system on sale for… $39.99.  These are factory reconditioned units.  Check it out – Here.  Some have converted these for homebrew use.  Here is an Instructable detailing one homebrewer’s conversion.

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Update: Building a Recirculating Draft Line Cleaning Pump

Recirculating Kegerator Draft Line Cleaning Pump

The directions on most line cleaners call for recirculating the cleaner for some period of time.  Most cleaning kits that are out there include a hand pump operating one of these for 15 to 30 minutes, for each faucet, doesn’t sound fun.

To really clean your draft lines, you need to keep solution flowing for a length of time, not just fill and wait.  Initially I tried to clean my system by pushing line cleaner out of a keg.  This was a waste of CO2.  I also found it tough to keep solution running slowly enough to get enough contact time.  It’s easy to quickly push a cleaning or sanitizing solution through your system under CO2 pressure, but I found it to be a pain to try to do so slowly.  This also requires quite a bit of cleaning solution versus a recirculating pump.

I decided to put together a recirculating draft line cleaning pump setup.

First I needed a pump.  I have a utility pump that I use for various tasks around brewery.  I decided that that pump was too powerful.  I didn’t want to deal with foaming issues that I thought may be caused by the high flow this pump would produce.  I wanted something with less power that could slowly circulate liquid through draft lines.

After looking around, I settled on the EcoPlus-132 Submersible Pump.

EcoPlus Submersible Pump - 132 gph - 4.3 ft. max - 9W - 3/8 in. ID

It’s variable speed, submersible and it has a number of included barb sizes including a 3/8″.

EcoPlus Submersible Pump – 132 gph – 4.3 ft. max – 9W – 3/8 in. ID

Note that the current picture shows a slightly different pump from the one I have.  My guess is that that this is a stock image issue and that the current pump looks just like my pump.  Either way it doesn’t really matter as long as it functions the same way and has the same specs.

I picked up the rest of the fittings from Midwest Supplies.

Liquid Post
Standard liquid post to attach the pump to your draft line quick disconnects.  You may already have an extra one of these around.

Cornelius Plug Adapter – 1/4″ MPT - unavailable as of this revision – alternate source
The liquid post screws into this.

3/8″ Barbed to 1/4″ FPT Elbow
Put some teflon tape on the MPT side of the Cornelius plug adapter and attach this FPT elbow to it.  Note the design has changed on this just slightly since I put mine together.  Just a slightly different look.

This basically gives you a Corny keg quick disconnect post to 3/8″ barb converter.

Now you’ll attach a length of 3/8″ ID tubing to this followed by the included 3/8″ pump adapter.  As far as sizing the length of 3/8″, use enough tubing to allow your draft lines to reach the bottom of a bucket you will use for reservoir liquid.

Assembled

The only thing that’s left is routing the faucet discharge back to the recirculation bucket. I’ve found 1/2″ ID Silicone tubing works great for this. The size is perfect and the silicone is stretchy enough to easily fit on the faucet. It is a bit pricey, but you really only need a few feet of it, just enough to get from the faucet down to the reservoir bucket. I’m guessing any 1/2″ ID tubing would also work for this, but I can’t attest to it from experience.

This design cleans your whole draft system:
This design cleans the faucet, the shank, the quick disconnect and the tubing.  Some designs that I’ve seen have you removing the beer nut and placing the hand pump apparatus directly on the shank.  That’s some work disassembling and reassembling and it also skips the line and quick disconnect.

BLC solution after cleaning all of my faucets.  Umm… they needed cleaned I guess.  I recirculated for 15 to 20 minutes per faucet.

 Recirculating rinse water

Recirculating Star San

Pump and connection assembly

Flow Rate:
As I stated I wanted a slow, steady flow of solution.  Here’s a video illustrating what kind of flow I’m getting with 7′ of draft line.  The 132 gallon per hour pump is working great for me.

If you want a higher flow rate, I suggest moving up to next largest pump in this line.

EcoPlus 185 Submersible Pump, 185 GPH

According to the specs on that pump, that pump also has an included 3/8″ barb.

Also consider picking up some Beer Line Cleaner (BLC)….

BLC Line Cleaner

BLC Beer Line Cleaner 32 OZ – $10.99

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toppost:draftrecirpump

Cooling Fan – 99 Cents [After Rebate] – DIY Stir Plate or Fermentation/Draft Circulation


PC Case cooling fan for 99 cents delivered (EDIT:Shipping is an additional charge) after rebate.  Check it out – Here


You could use this for a DIY Stir Plate or, possibly, to circulate air for consistent fermentation or draft temps.

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