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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Carboy Fermenting Chilling and Warming Extra Cheap Method?
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:58 PM   #1
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Default Carboy Fermenting Chilling and Warming Extra Cheap Method?

What do you all think of this? I am thinking since I don't have much room in the garage that I can use and inflatable cool with the inflatable lid to help keep the carboy down in lager temps of 45F-50F or less. Just add some ice and water and seal the lid and let it roll. That should easily keep the temp down.

After this brew, my next is a Belgian Strong Golden Ale which will require the temps to change over time. Thinking of using a fish tank warmer to increase its temperature gradually.

The cooler is 20x20x26 which will easy fit the carboy and airlock.

http://www.amazon.com/Inflatable-Bev...latable+cooler



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Old 02-11-2014, 05:26 PM   #2
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Interesting idea. I'd be a little afraid of it deflating in the middle of a ferment or the fish tank heater getting stuck to it and melting a hole in the thin vinyl.
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:30 PM   #3
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Why don't you try this? www.cool-brewing.com

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Old 02-11-2014, 08:01 PM   #4
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Why don't you try this? www.cool-brewing.com
For the price of that insulated sleeve with freight ($65), he could spend just a few more dollars and have a used Craigslist fermenter freezer or fridge with an STC-1000 controller and be able to precisely control temps (even for lagers).
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:07 PM   #5
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60qt cube ($25) n some spray insulation($3). Cut a hole in the lid to stick the airlock out the top. For a 6gal carboy, you cut a bigger hole on the bottom of the lid and smaller on the top n some of the carboy sticks out. Fill said lid with insulation spray foam. I cover the exposed carboy with a towel to keep light out.

Fill the cooler with the carboy inside up to the beer level in the carboy so it won't float. Place a digital thermometer probe in there, check it daily. Keep cool with 3/4 full bottled water which you can freeze. Even during active fermentation, I keep my tub within 2*F (i.e. 64-66*F at all times) and change my bottle (one bottle only usually) once a day AT MOST. After 5 days or so, I do a bottle maybe once every other day. After 8 days or so, I don't worry about it anymore, primary fermentation and yeast growth has been over. You measure the water temp since water transfers heat much better than air, you can be certain the temp difference between the beer and water is negligible.

To heat the beer, instead of frozen bottles, use your aquarium heater. Same method, less hassle.

http://www.academy.com/webapp/wcs/st...FeRi7Aodi3EAPg

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Old 02-11-2014, 09:24 PM   #6
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^^6 Just saw this on another thread. What about this technique for lagers? Will this stay at a respectful 45-50 degrees?

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Old 02-11-2014, 09:29 PM   #7
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For the price of that insulated sleeve with freight ($65), he could spend just a few more dollars and have a used Craigslist fermenter freezer or fridge with an STC-1000 controller and be able to precisely control temps (even for lagers).
I think this is what I am going to do. So it can just be one and done.
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:34 PM   #8
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^^6 Just saw this on another thread. What about this technique for lagers? Will this stay at a respectful 45-50 degrees?
I've not tried it yet, but I don't see why not. The unit holds temp quite well, however, with the bigger temp difference, you'll just go through more frozen bottles.

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I think this is what I am going to do. So it can just be one and done.
And that way is obviously the most widely accepted on here given you have the resources. However, your mobility may be a little more limited and you're forced to keep it plugged in, pulling power (read $$$, although not much), etc. With the cooler, I can throw it in a closet when not using it (I don't have a dedicated beer room yet) and use it anywhere in the house. And my cooler can't crap out on me and break.

But if you're looking to frequently lager, this probably would be the least hassle and most reliable method, unless of course you stay home all day for 10 days of fermentation, lol.
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:41 PM   #9
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Thanks. The mobility is key for me so I might just do that. I am on the secondary and it is roughly 46F in the garage which is just not low enough so I am going to see if i can pick this up today.

What about ice cubes and water like if you were actually putting beers in a cooler. I know that always is cooler.

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Old 02-11-2014, 09:55 PM   #10
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Thanks. The mobility is key for me so I might just do that. I am on the secondary and it is roughly 46F in the garage which is just not low enough so I am going to see if i can pick this up today.

What about ice cubes and water like if you were actually putting beers in a cooler. I know that always is cooler.
The bottle actually helps regulate a bit the speed at which the ice melts, which is a good thing as I see it. You don't want dramatic temperature swings if you can help it. You'll notice if you toss in ice cubes, they melt pretty quick. If you throw in a frozen bottle, you'll see the melted water in the bottle sort of buffers the temp difference between the ice in the bottle and the cooler. By no means is this way better or anything than ice cubes, but you can see the difference.

And nice thing about bottles is you learn how much a difference adding one bottle makes. For me, its usually 1-2*F. So if I want to go from 68 to 66, I add one bottle.

Also, bottles can be refrozen. I keep about 6-8 bottles in the freezer (I have 2 of these chambers) so its not like its a continuous cost to use this method.

Having said all that, ice cubes directly thrown in will definitely get the desired result of lowering the temperature should you not want to freeze bottles and/or you have to do this tonight as it sounds and don't have the luxury of having time to freeze water bottles.

I did notice you're in secondary. Are you lagering or doing an ale? If its an ale, fermentation is over by secondary and I wouldn't sweat temperature control. Sitting at anything reasonably close to room temperature, in my experience, I don't get any undesirable flavors in my ales. Off flavors develop primarily during the early and active stages of fermentation. After 8 or 10 days fermentation is usually over or slowing and precise temp has little effect on flavor in my experience.

One last thing, being it's cold, I had issues back in November when I bought mine, getting these coolers in stores. I ordered site-to-store at Walmart.
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