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-   -   Temperature control... on a budget (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/temperature-control-budget-77158/)

Saccharomyces 08-20-2008 10:10 PM

Temperature control... on a budget
So, folks seem to like my solution, so I thought it was worthy of a post.

Meet the redneck illegitimate child of fermentation chiller:


(HBT logo not a requirement ;))

* 32 gallon can $12
* Box fan $12
* Old T-shirt free
* Re-usable ice blocks (soda bottles filled with water to 1" from the cap) free.

With the fan on low, and ambient temp 72-74 it stays 66-67 in there, a solid 6-7 degree drop from evaporative cooling. Adding two 24oz soda bottles twice a day drops the temp down to 62-63.

I figure if I wanted to get REALLY fancy I could nest this can in a 55 gallon can and stuff the gap with blankets for insulation, then I could do lagers in it if I used enough ice. But I digress, since the whole point is really cheap, easy temperature control for ales. No more excuses for fusels and fruity stouts...

The liquid pool is old Star-san, I threw the contents of my homer bucket in there when I mixed up a fresh batch of Star-san so the blowoff tube could go right into the "moat". No worries about slime.

Messy blowoff from barleywine not included. :D

A4J 08-20-2008 11:51 PM

Using the box fan is a great idea! Do you get any kind of condensation at all?

Saccharomyces 08-21-2008 05:07 PM

No, because of the air conditioning... otherwise it would be quite damp since the outside dew point is about 72 this time of year.

brewmastercontrols 12-10-2008 02:50 PM

Supercharged Cooler!
Was setting here looking at your ferm cooler. Nice....

If you wanted to let things get just a bit cooler without adding more ice etc you could increase evaporation by punching some 1 inch holes just above your water line, then place the fan blowing up and out of the can. You will get a jet of air rushing in over the water and crashing into the ferm. Evaporation will go up, temps will go down.

If you make this upgrade I request you find a turbo, or supercharged sticker and put on your setup.


Calico Jack 12-10-2008 04:36 PM

That's a pretty cheep and efficient method. Love the blow-off idea!

terrazza 12-12-2008 11:18 PM

looks like beer fermenting in a sess pool.

mandoman 12-13-2008 01:48 PM

word to the ghetto style

wendelgee2 12-13-2008 02:46 PM

Must be a mess getting that carboy out of there.

Jack 12-13-2008 04:46 PM

Great idea! If SWMBO will get onboard, I may make one of these.

You could even wrap insulation around the sides of the garbage can to improve its performance.

And add a rack to the bottom so the carboy will be exposed to cool water.

And add a nozzle to the side making it easier to drain the water out.

carl spakler 12-13-2008 05:54 PM

Dumping the blow off back into the cooling liquid looks nasty. Interesting concept, but IMO, too sloppy for practical usage.

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