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Old 01-29-2013, 06:46 PM   #11
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I kept my lager at a steady 50/52 with an ambient temperature ~70. I froze five 3 liter Poland Spring bottles, put four in, and each morning and afternoon I replaced a watery one with a frozen one.

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Old 02-02-2013, 09:42 PM   #12
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But to lager you need to get down to say 32*. Can you do that in a swamp cooler?

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Old 02-02-2013, 10:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C-Rider View Post
But to lager you need to get down to say 32*. Can you do that in a swamp cooler?
Sure, just ad more ice. Your ice will be colder than 32*, and you can even get the water to lower than 30* by adding salt to the ice/water bath. (not that you would want to.)

I use one of those sticky thermometers that they sell at the brew shop, the ones like those used on fish tanks. Just adjust the amount of ice you ad to maintain the temp. that you want!
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:17 PM   #14
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But can your freezer make enough ice to keep the water cold enough to keep the beer cold enough? Or do you make daily trips to the convenience store for ice?

I made a cooler/box out of 2" extruded polystyrene a la Son of Fermentation chiller. I bet a 2 liter ice bottle once a day will hold to mid thirties with ambient around 60. I caulked the edges to get it to work that well.

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Old 02-08-2013, 01:06 AM   #15
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I use a plain old uninsulated rubber maid tote. I put 4, 1/2 gallon jugs, 1 in each corner, and change them twice a day! Freezer, an upright, keeps up and water stays in the mid 30's. I've only ever used it to cold crash, but it worked great

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Old 02-08-2013, 04:01 PM   #16
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My freezer won't do that. This time of year I get some help from the weather, but the box I built is a huge help.

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Old 02-08-2013, 04:11 PM   #17
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I swapped out ice bottles a couple times a day for a long time, but I have since bought a cheap aquarium chiller on craigslist and use that instead, combined with a cheapo 3/4" submersible pump I got off amazon. It maintains my target fermentation temps right on the money, and I currently have a chest cooler with 3 fermenters in there all at lager temps, which I will subsequently turn down to low 30's to lager in another couple of weeks.


So far as monitoring the temperature, so long as the temperature isn't rapidly changing (e.g. you are in the act of cooling it down) the temp of the water outside the fermenter ought to be within a degree of the temp on the inside. This is based on experimental data that I gathered when I first started using the water-filled swamp cooler method to manage fermentation temps.

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Old 02-09-2013, 01:16 AM   #18
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I have lagered three beers in an Igloo ice cube cooler (~$24). If you cut a hole in the center of the top you can close it snug around a five gallon carboy and it holds temp really well (insulating the top would be helpful as well but I never went that far).

I would usually lager around 40'F for three weeks, swapping out four 20 oz bottles in the morning and after work, plus a chunk of ice that I would recycle from the swamp cooler water each time. Did a pilsner and Oktoberfest and a light vienna lager. Worked great for all three.

If you have the motivation to swap bottles twice a day go for it. Don't let the lazy bastards with their chest freezers dissuade you.

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Old 02-09-2013, 04:01 AM   #19
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/data/1/4189-DSCF0002.JPG.

Yooper has a nice set up I'm about to try. The cooler will keep it colder than a Rubbermaid bin for the lagering time.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangemen5 View Post
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/data/1/4189-DSCF0002.JPG.

Yooper has a nice set up I'm about to try. The cooler will keep it colder than a Rubbermaid bin for the lagering time.
That is basically what my set up was. You will gain about 3-5 degrees every twelve hours depending on the ambient
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