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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Fermenters > evaporative fermentation cooler
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Old 05-02-2007, 04:00 PM   #1
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Default evaporative fermentation cooler

Wondered? Since people put wet shirts and towels over their carboys sometimes to get a few degrees below ambient, would the same hold true for a large terra cotta pot with a carboy in it?

I was thinking that if it would hold true, my pottery friend could help me make a really nice looking cylindroconical. I imagine a double walled vessel with the inside of the fermentor glazed like a sink/tub, and the remainder of the project unglazed terra cotta or other earthen slip. The inside between the two would have supports connecting the two walls together and strengthening the vessel. At the top would be a seperatley fired lid with glazed interior side. I think I could find a nice fitting to connect a ball/butterfly valve in the opening at the bottom of the fermentor. The outside of the vessel would have design molded into it (barley,grapes,wheat,etc..)

It sounds pretty elaborate, but my friend tells me it is more than just possible. He says even on the scale I would like to build at (16.5 gallon) that it is doable, "If we can find a big enough kiln," so the man says lol. The thing both of us don't know is if it will cool like the terra cotta water coolers and filtering units we have seen advertised. They claim 10-14 F degrees below room temperature on a 5 gallon system. This is the only reason I have imagined doing this in the first place, so if you know anything please comment because it would really help in my project.

Whatcha think???????????
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Old 05-02-2007, 04:21 PM   #2
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Default

This is an effective way to cool in some conditions. It is being widely used in desert areas to keep vegetables and food cool.

Just like an evaporative cooler, their effectiveness wanes as the dewpoint approaches 55°F.

It really depends on the ambient temperature and the humidity level.

It would be pretty heavy, adding to an already heavy full glass carboy.

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Old 05-02-2007, 04:36 PM   #3
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Default Well

The test carboy in terra cotta flower pot would be filled in place and you remove the carboy when done then dump the water, so not so heavy. The big project will be heavy, real heavy. Even at 5 gallons the thing will have some weight to it, and when I build the really big one, whoa. I thought about a drain plug for the cooling water when you are done with it. I invision a piece of kitchen or wherever furniture. Setting in the corner looking all artistic with a nice wooden holder would be a nice addition. I agree, even empty would be heavy, but you could always clean something that big in-place after using. I am thinking of machining a coke bottle thread adapter for my ball/butterly valve at the bottom and swapping out to remove trub and then harvest yeast as I ferment. This is another project though, so I won't go into that. I will deffinitely build it to purge the new collection bottle with CO2 before I open the valve everytime. I just hope in an a/c kitchen that stays at 72-74F this will work. I proabably should have stated the temps I was looking at, huh? I don't remember everything to say when I am saying it, lol. Thanks for the feedback though, hope there is lots more.

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Old 05-03-2007, 04:45 PM   #4
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Default Arrgh

I can't wait to see if Yuri is going to get his TEC cooled fermentor to work. It is making me think right this second that a carboy in a tub wrapped with a wet towel and fan would be better than peltiers. That being said I am even more excited about this project. I would like to read the TEC works though for Yuri, it would give me a backup plan for my ideas. Lol, hey maybe a combination of the two. A jacketed fermentor that is naturally cooling, and a rod of coldness from a peltier TEC on the top going down through the lid cooling from the inside, lol. Now I am getting really wacky ideas.

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