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Old 05-21-2012, 07:17 PM   #1
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I'm sure I'm not the first to think of this. I'm posting this in case someone is looking for an easy way to cool a primary now that warmer months are here.

I can't get a ferm chamber, so I've been trying the wet wrap and fan trick. My temps were staying around 72 in a basement that is currently 74. I have two bar towels wrapped around the primary, held in place by two long rubber bands. I had tried adding ice under the towels, but it became a puddle too fast. Light bulb moment!

We have a few of those refreezable ice blocks, the ones that are about 1x3x5. I stuffed 3 of those under the towels, evenly spaced, and rewet the towels. After about one hour, the fermometer is showing 68!

Since I have several of these, I'll just keep rotating them. What would be cool is some kind if belt with pockets to hold them. Hmm...



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Old 05-21-2012, 07:29 PM   #2
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Try placing the fermenter in a tub and filling the tub with water. then put ice or ice packs in the water. The thermal mass of the water will help keep temps more stable.



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Old 05-21-2012, 07:48 PM   #3
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A lot of people do this in the form of freezing 2L soda bottles.

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Old 05-21-2012, 07:54 PM   #4
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Menards has tubs on sale for 4.99..... Just put my primary in one to drop it down in temperature this exact way

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Old 05-21-2012, 08:01 PM   #5
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Yeah the "swamp cooler" way is the cheap way I like to do it as well. Can keep it way down with the temp in the house being set on 74. I checked on a batch I had going yesterday and it was down to 59. Little less changing of my ice bottles it seems!

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Old 05-21-2012, 08:07 PM   #6
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My cooling chamber is "fancy" I guess, compared to a fan and wet towel, but here it is:



I took off the regular lid (which is hollow) so I can still use it as a wheeled cooler if I want, and made a new lid out of foam insulation, four layers thick, that fits the cooler. I just cut it with a dremel. I put water in it, up to the level of the beer, and then change out frozen water bottles as needed. I keep a floating thermometer in the water bath to check the temperature as needed. The water/ice bath works great, and I only change the bottles out every couple of days in my 80ish degree house in the summer.

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Old 05-21-2012, 10:08 PM   #7
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I'm using ported Better Bottles, so I'm reluctant to do the submersion in a tub. Perhaps submerged in Star San is the compromise.

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Old 05-22-2012, 02:59 PM   #8
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I submerge mine in water in one of those rope handle tubs. I have a large stash of frozen 20 oz water bottles, change two out several times a day and it keeps my temps around 65-68.

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Old 05-22-2012, 03:10 PM   #9
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1 gallon batches so a mop bucket does wonders...plus my basement rarely gets above 65, even in the summer.

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Old 05-22-2012, 03:12 PM   #10
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I simply set the fermenter in a tub in my basement and half fill w/ water, I simply add about a pound of ice from the kitchen icemaker as needed to keep the temps out of the 70's. Easier for me than adding and removing and refreezing bottles. I also only do this for the first several days until fermentation is almost complete and the kreusen has dropped.

It doesn't take much effort to knock the temp down 5-8 degrees, and with 8 gallons of beer and about five gallons in the tub the temps remain rather stable.

During hot weather, I use the same tub to chill the wort the last 10-20 degrees by adding the whole bin from the kitchen icemaker, or if I'm thinking ahead, I will bag up the kitchen ice a day or two ahead of brewing, so I will have two batches or bags of ice so the wort can easily be dropped the last 20-30 degrees prior to pitching yeast. I find this ghetto method easier than pumping ice water through a chiller.



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