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Old 06-24-2009, 04:58 PM   #1
sdbrew1024
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Default Fermentation temp control

I have a closet that stays at ~68-70 year round. This is usually sufficient for fermenting my ales, however lately I have had several batches that reached up to 78 degrees despite the 70 degree ambient temperature. I have a fridge however it's always full of lager, and getting another fridge is not an option.

I was considering getting some sort of container that is slightly larger than a 6.5gal carboy and using a water bath (bathtub not an option), however I don't know of any common,cheap containers that I could get. Any other suggestion on controlling temperature for ale fermentations without buying another fridge?

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Old 06-24-2009, 05:05 PM   #2
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Many people use the ICE cube coolers and add water / ice bottles to maintain temps.

The lids pop off easily. You can cut a Styrofoam lid with a hole to fit your carboy / bucket or even a corny keg.

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Old 06-24-2009, 05:09 PM   #3
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I just got one of the big party tubs with the rope handles you throw ice in to cool cans and bottles, or for sticking a keg in. It's just slightly taller than my ale pail so it works great. I fill it about 1/3 of the way with water and swap out frozen water bottles.

Though I like the cube coolers with the sheet of foam that some folks use. Cut a small hole so the neck of your carboy fits out the foam on top and you have a nice little chamber.

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Old 06-24-2009, 05:14 PM   #4
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+1 on the rope tubs. I picked up some at lowe's for 2$ each they were on clearance seems they do that every few months .

just throw a t-shirt some ice and your good to go

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Old 06-24-2009, 05:14 PM   #5
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Yep, here's mine:



The cooler was on sale for $20, and I made the lid out of a sheet of foam insulation (like for a house). It's three layers of foam with a hole cut out to fit. That fits a 5 gallon carboy (I made it for lagering) but you can make a hole to fit a 6.5 gallon carboy, too. I popped off the old lid, and still use it as a cooler just by popping the old lid back on. It's nice, because it has wheels, and it makes it easy to fill/empty that way.

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Old 06-24-2009, 05:16 PM   #6
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The cooler could double on brew day as a second mash tun etc... or I guess you could put bottles of beer in it and some ice to take some where.

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Old 06-24-2009, 05:19 PM   #7
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I might have to try the best of both worlds and make a foam lid for my party tub. If I use two sheets of foam, cut one to rest on top and one that just fits inside, then glue them together, I should make a lid that'll stay put and insulate well. I'll post pics if I do it.

Yoop-
You say that's three layers. I assume the other two were cut smaller and fit just inside like I'm thinking?

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Old 06-24-2009, 05:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChshreCat View Post
I might have to try the best of both worlds and make a foam lid for my party tub. If I use two sheets of foam, cut one to rest on top and one that just fits inside, then glue them together, I should make a lid that'll stay put and insulate well. I'll post pics if I do it.

Yoop-
You say that's three layers. I assume the other two were cut smaller and fit just inside like I'm thinking?
Haha- I lied. It's four, I think. Here's a look from underneath:



They actually fit inside the cooler, with the top layer just overhanging the top to insulate it. The little pieces of wood are for the rope handles.
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:37 PM   #9
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I might see if I can get a sheet of foam to try this with a tub. Of course the tub isn't insulated (evidenced by the condensation I get on the outside from the cold water) but I'll see if my ice bottles last any longer with a lid or not. Good for an experiment, at least.

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Old 06-26-2009, 02:32 AM   #10
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interesting ideas. i'm still a newb but i've heard that its best to keep the fermentation at a constant temperature cause the yeast will do better. seems like it would be much easier to keep a steady temp by just setting the thermostat in your house since it should be around the right temp for an ale. but i'm curious, how easy is it to keep a steady temp in these contraptions? i would think that there would be several degrees of fluctuation, cause you'll add ice and it will cool down. the ice will start to melt and the temp will rise, so you add more ice and the temp drops again. am i wrong?

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