Originally Posted by mister704
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.