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Old 07-09-2008, 08:55 PM   #1
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Default Cooling Down Your Fermenter...On the Cheap

My brewshop is now hovering around 72 degrees. Still an okay range for most of my light beers, but pushing the envelope a bit for any big brews coming up. I'm planning a Belgian Dark Strong Ale and want to avoid any hot alcohol from too high a fermentation temp.

I'd planned on using a large basin I have with the the t-shirt, fan trick, but today I was wandering through Sears Hardware and came across this idea instead.

This was in the automotive section and is a drip pan for changing your oil. $11.00.

fermenter_cooler1.jpg

I suspected it looked to be the right size and was correct.
fermenter_cooler2.jpg

A quick couple of passes with the blade (my saws all was out on loan...) And now we have a nice shallow holding vessel for the carboy. With a spout and a handle, moving it to the sink and draining it will be a breeze. Plus, since I ferment on a high counter, this shallower vessel makes loading a full carboy easier than my deep basin.
fermenter_cooler3.jpg

In goes a gallon or two of water...on goes an old t-shirt and my box fan in the brew shop goes on medium. I should get a good 6-9 degree drop in the wort temp from this.
fermenter_cooler4.jpg

The concept of using evaporation to cool a fermenter is not new...but I thought this was a pretty cool little tub to make the job easier. Almost looks like it was meant for this job.

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Old 07-09-2008, 09:07 PM   #2
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I have a small apt and I'm looking for something small just like this to do the trick. I dont have enough room for a ferm chamber. So this is going to do the trick just fine! You've always got such great ideas! Thanks.

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Old 07-10-2008, 12:41 AM   #3
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Hehehe! That's soo sick I use that pan to change my oil. But hey, it's amazing how often simple solutions work really well.

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Old 07-10-2008, 12:52 AM   #4
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Should we address the issue of the case of Bud Light in the back?

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Old 07-10-2008, 01:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay075j View Post
Should we address the issue of the case of Bud Light in the back?


My friends know I won't drink the stuff...but I'll always take their empty cases for storage.
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Old 07-10-2008, 01:34 AM   #6
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They actually make oil drip trays just like that with the center out already. Check out AutoZone. Very clever idea that I will definitely try on my next batch.

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Old 07-10-2008, 03:04 AM   #7
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Great idea, BM. I happen to have an extra one of these in the garage! Brand new waiting for a 'cool' use. Guess it now has a new home.

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Old 07-10-2008, 12:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMuncher View Post


My friends know I won't drink the stuff...but I'll always take their empty cases for storage.
All right....you're excused....
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Old 07-10-2008, 12:30 PM   #9
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Great idea!

I bet you could fit ice down in the base and when it melts, remove the cap to start over with fresh ice.

Nice job!

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Old 07-10-2008, 01:37 PM   #10
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I had to resort to a water bath for the first time on my batch last weekend. I put one carboy in a cooler and the other in the laundry sink. I started by adding 2 20oz bottles of frozen water in each bath. I noticed that the water bottles in the sink were melting much quicker. So I started putting 3 frozen bottles in the sink and one in the cooler and they both maintained 68 degrees (with a t-shirt over them and a fan on them).

So I guess my point is that a cooler maintains the cooler temperatures much better. So it might be better to pick up a 70 qt cooler from walmart for $35 (http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=8187713). I used a 48qt cooler and could only fit 1 6.5gal carboy, but I think 2 should fit in the 70 qt cooler.

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