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Old 05-26-2011, 07:34 AM   #1
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Default Carboy Ice Water Jacket

I have been playing around with the idea of cooling my carboy by creating an ice water jacket. I would use fleece or an old sweatshirt to make a jacket for the carboy and sew in a long length of vinyl tubing run back and forth to contact the carboy. Then, cold water would be pumped through the tube as needed to cool the carboy.

The simplest version could use a thermostat to control a pump, with the pump forcing ice water from my 10 gallon igloo MLT through the jacket. The thermostat would have to have the temperature sensor extended to tape it to the carboy and would probably have to drive a relay or FET switch to handle the current for the water pump (I have a 12 volt liquid pump).

If the basic idea works there are many ways to get fancy such as better insulation, or other sources of cool liquid, or adding a heating feature. What I like about the basic idea however is that it is not very expensive and requires virtually no extra space to store it when not in use.

Will this work? Has this been tried before?

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Old 05-26-2011, 07:38 AM   #2
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Sounds like a great idea! Please keep us updated! I'm always looking for ways to keep my carboys cool in the summer with out using my keezer.

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Old 08-28-2013, 04:34 AM   #3
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Default Any update on the carboy cooling jacket?

Hello Aphid.

Wondering if you ever gave your cooling jacket idea a chance? Would be interested to hear about it. Success or not.

Thanks.

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Old 08-29-2013, 05:24 AM   #4
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I did run an experiment. I was able to cool 5 gallons of water to 50 degrees with six wraps of vinyl tubing, a pump controlled by a house thermostat, a lot of ice water and time, and a down comforter. The thermal conductivity of vinyl hose to glass to beer is not very good and the contraption might struggle to keep up with hungry yeast generating heat. It is better than nothing but a water bath works better. I scored a free fridge that uses TECs to cool (no hump for a compressor taking up space) that is just big enough to use as a ferm chamber, so I don't have to mess with ice. I have to admit that I did enjoy playing with the ice water pump ideas.

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Old 08-29-2013, 06:26 AM   #5
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Yea i would assume that with the vinyl hose, if you made some sort of copper wrap around it could work reasonably well.

But then your spending $50 on copper you could have just spent on one of those Brewing lager jacket things that people say work really well.

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Old 08-29-2013, 03:55 PM   #6
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How cold are you trying to get it? If it is just for ale temps have you thought of a keg bucket with frozen water bottles floating in it? Or a keg bucket full of water that you are pushing through your MLT with a pump submerged in the keg bucket?

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Old 08-30-2013, 02:46 PM   #7
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thanks for the update aphid

i have no room for a fridge in my apartment (for just beer / brewing)

the water bucket approach is lacking in precision to say the least. temp's are reduced, but very poor control of how much or for how long

what is the "brewing lager jacket thing" you are referring to?

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Old 08-31-2013, 01:30 AM   #8
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There was a great post here somewhere I can't find right now that described a water bath system controlled by a thermostat using a bucket of ice water as a cold source. I did this once too. The idea is basically the same as the jacket but you pump ice water in and out of a tub of water or some such that your carboy is sitting in. If you already have a cooler (for ice water), a pump that can be controlled with a controller or thermostat, and a bucket or tub (bath tub would be big but might work) big enough to hold your carboy water (the more the water comes up the carboy the better), then you are in business. I can detail what I did if you are interested.

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Old 08-31-2013, 01:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronlws View Post
thanks for the update aphid

i have no room for a fridge in my apartment (for just beer / brewing)

the water bucket approach is lacking in precision to say the least. temp's are reduced, but very poor control of how much or for how long

what is the "brewing lager jacket thing" you are referring to?
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f41/new-...cooler-296052/

Basically a giant waterproof insulated bag, kind of spendy but with some frozen water bottles can keep you 10-15F below ambient pretty easily supposedly.
Your not going to lager in them, but you can do all sorts of Ales easily without having to keep a giant rubbermaid tub of water around as a water bath chiller.
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