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Old 09-10-2008, 03:22 AM   #1
JoMarky
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Default Need someone with brains to solve my dilemma

So after brewing the whole summer at 75* I decided to convert my omaha steaks styrofoam cooler into a fermentation chamber. Cut a hole in the lid for the carboy to pop out of and BAM, i was done. So after testing it all day today 1 frozen 24oz bottle keeps it at 55* for about 5 hours. I have a bavarian weizen in there now that i'd rather have in the 60's to get some more esters out of the yeast. Any thoughts on how to maintain a higher temp?

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Old 09-10-2008, 03:25 AM   #2
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Less Ice in each bottle! or let each bottle thaw for a bit before it goes in the water.

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Old 09-10-2008, 03:25 AM   #3
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My initial thought is that empty it's at 55 degrees, but it takes alot of time to cool a fermenter full of 68 degree (or higher) wort. So, the temperature in the chamber maybe 55 degrees, but the temperature of cooling and then fermenting wort would be higher.

Do you want to try it with a carboy of 70 degree water, with a thermometer strip on the carboy? You don't care so much about the ambient temperature- you care about the temperature of the wort.

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Old 09-10-2008, 03:25 AM   #4
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Take the bottle out and add warmer water.

Yooper brings up a great point. Are you measuring the temp on the carboy or the temp of the water? Fermentation temp in the carboy will be 5-10 degrees higher than ambient because of the heat produced from the act of fermentation.

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Old 09-10-2008, 03:25 AM   #5
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12oz frozen bottle? Don't fill the bottle all the way?

Edit: Wow 3 posts in one minute, impressive!

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Old 09-10-2008, 03:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
My initial thought is that empty it's at 55 degrees, but it takes alot of time to cool a fermenter full of 68 degree (or higher) wort. So, the temperature in the chamber maybe 55 degrees, but the temperature of cooling and then fermenting wort would be higher.

Do you want to try it with a carboy of 70 degree water, with a thermometer strip on the carboy? You don't care so much about the ambient temperature- you care about the temperature of the wort.
Thats with a full carboy in it! lol, the hefe is my test subject I guess.

Yah I was thinking smaller bottles too, I was just resistant to the idea because ive already got 8- 24oz frozen and on reserve! But i cant go through them fast enough anyways so might as well switch to a smaller bottle and see how that goes

edit: to measure I have two large cups filled with water with a floating thermometer in each, one near the frozen bottle, one on the opposite side of the cooler. Both read the same temp. I tried filling the cooler with water at first...apparently cheap styrofoam leaks!
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Old 09-10-2008, 03:41 AM   #7
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I came up with the same idea for using an Omaha Steaks cooler! It was working pretty well, but then it started leaking water all over my basement. It seemed like it was just seeping out. Is yours staying water-tight?

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Old 09-10-2008, 03:45 AM   #8
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I use an igloo cooler, with a styrofoam lid that has a hole punched out for the airlock. I fill it with water, and then add an ice bottle to that if needed. Maybe a similar principle could work for you.

I think a smaller amount of ice would be the first thing to try, though. At least, it would be the easiest!

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Old 09-10-2008, 03:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I came up with the same idea for using an Omaha Steaks cooler! It was working pretty well, but then it started leaking water all over my basement. It seemed like it was just seeping out. Is yours staying water-tight?
NOPE! haha after a few hours mine had a big puddle under it. It looked like it was sweating but it was just leaking out the cracks i guess! I drained the water and just left the bottles in their standing upright. Its working just as well as when it was full of water
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:21 PM   #10
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I switched to using a regular ice chest, with water and bottles of ice, and re-used the styrofoam cooler the make a lid to cover my carboy. With that, I can keep temps in the 40s to lager. You just have to keep up with swapping out the 2 liter bottles of ice.

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