Keeping your fermenter cool

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by BattleBuddy, Jun 26, 2020.

  1. BattleBuddy

    BattleBuddy New Member

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    So how do folks keep their fermentation cool when they don't have a fridge they can place the bucket in?

    I have a smallish flat with a garden but no garage or out building, any thoughts?
     
  2. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Get a tub that your fermenter will fit in and deep enough that you can fill so the water level is about 2/3 of the way up to the liquid level in the fermenter. Set the fermenter in the tub and then add water to reach the proper level. Add frozen plastic water bottles as needed and exchange as they thaw, keeping a few extras in the freezer. A stick on thermometer strip just above the water level should work well for monitor the beer temperature with the least influence from the water temperature. The size and number of bottles will vary with the batch size and ambient temperature.
    Be aware that you'll need more frozen bottles during the more active fermentation stage. Try to keep the temperature as steady as possible and shoot for the middle of the ideal range for the yeast you're using.
     
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  3. ^Tony^

    ^Tony^ Active Member

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    You could also use a soft shell cooler instead of a tub as well, if you can find one big enough. It has nice insulation too.
     
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  4. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Yup. Just about anything with adequate dimensions will work.
     
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  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Even if you don't add ice, you can cool substantially with the same water bath and a t-shirt draped over the bucket/carboy and hanging into the water. Set a fan to blow across it and evaporation will cool the whole thing by several degrees below ambient. The water bath adds thermal mass and keeps temperature swings to a minimum as well.
     
  6. BattleBuddy

    BattleBuddy New Member

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    #6 BattleBuddy, Jun 26, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
    http://www.gotta-brew.com/products/cool-zone-cooling-jacket.html

    Cheers, i was googling and found this, might a good with a bucket of ice water and a pump connected to InkBird.

    Can't see it for sale here in UK and shipping will likely be the cost of the jacket again.

    Thinking i could build it myself with a sheet or neoprene, some flexible tubing and velcro.
     
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  7. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    If you're going to go the trouble of anything beyond a simple swamp cooler look into this:
    https://www.morebeer.com/products/b...MIyunRlPuf6gIVAdvACh1DIQUMEAQYAiABEgJlPvD_BwE
    I have a larger one in a 14 gallon stainless fermenter and it works extremely well.
    If you're willing to invest, there's nothing better for small-space brewing than one or two chiller-ready stainless conicals and a small glycol chiller. I've gone through every iteration of fermenter temperature control and would have been money ahead to invest up front.
     
  8. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    The so called "swamp cooler method" does work incredibly well and for basically nothing if you have a large enough container.
     
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  9. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Yup, that's what I used during the summer here for a few years. I have a working small fridge now but the swamp cooler method is simple and effective.
     
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  10. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Evaporation: the science behind cooling!
     
  11. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Evaporative cooling works great when the humidity is low, but the cooling decreases as humidity increases.
     
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  12. Rairch

    Rairch Member

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    Great thread this.
    Got a punk ipa clone on at the min and was wondering if I could use the swamp method if my fv has a tap on it?
     
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  13. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Just as long as you don't accidentally hit the tap causing it to open, break or otherwise leak. You should be sanitizing the tap prior to transferring or drawing a sample anyway, so the contact with water isn't a problem.
     
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  14. Rairch

    Rairch Member

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    Thanks for the quick reply
    I'll give this method a go. Easy enough eh. Cheers.
     
  15. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I don't trust submerging taps. The water and tee-shirt can get very dirty-dishrag from environmental microbiota. If you do so, make sure to use sanitizer instead of plain water for cooling liquid. That'll keep any funkiness from ruining your beer.
     
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  16. Rairch

    Rairch Member

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    I sure will Was thinking of using a star San mix.
     
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  17. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    That's not a bad idea.
     
  18. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Not a bad idea at all and not all that expensive to mix up! I wonder how long the acidity will keep if it is open to the air?
     
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  19. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I've kept a bucket of it in my garage for months without issue, so I'm guessing long enough.
     
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  20. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    If anything, the evaporation should make the solution more concentrated. I don't see any reason to worry about effective pH unless you're mixing with very alkaline water.
     
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