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Old 05-27-2011, 07:21 PM   #1
theWilly
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Default Garbage Can Fermentation Chamber

FYI - the 20 gallon Rubbermaid "Roughneck" trashcan makes a great little chamber for holding a carboy. It holds my 6 gallon glass and the airlock still fits with the lid on. I think there is probably less than an inch of clearance between the airlock and the top of the lid....so it fits perfectly.

I live in TX and don't like to pay for a lot of AC run time while I'm not home, so I need some cooling method. This works great if you're looking to do something on the cheap. I set the carboy in the trashcan and fill the can with water to just above the beer level. I have a thermometer in the beer and another in the water. If the temps are getting much over 70F I drop in some ice packs (usually i'll put some in in the morning, then again in the evening. I've got 2 sets of ice packs so one is in the freezer while the other is in the can.) There is enough water in there that temperatures are fairly stable and don't swing dramatically.

I use my sanitized water to fill up the can when I'm done brewing...don't want nasty stagnate water growing who knows what surrounding the precious beer

Another advantage, if you have a real intense fermentation and pop the top you'll have less mess to deal with, you're water will be stinky, but at least it won't be on your floor....It would have to be a pretty explosive brew for the airlock to knock off the trashcan lid.

The trash cans cost $13 and change around here. I found them in the garden center at the home depot (they weren't in the main store).

I'm looking around for a used chest freezer to convert, but until then this got me started cheaply.

I also set the whole thing on top of a cooler, so that when its time to rack out you have the elevation differential to siphon well. Pulling a full carboy out of there and carrying it to a table top is a disaster waiting to happen. While racking your bottle will begin to float after a while, which could disturb the trub....I recommend either siphoning out water first or being ready with a small bucket...sticking a valve at the bottom of the can would work great too if you can keep it from leaking

I'd consider wrapping it in insulation, but I think I've got my mind set on the chest freezer, so no sense in spending the cash on a soon to be obsolete tool....

I hope this info helps someone thinking about cooling solutions....and if you've got something to add I'd love to hear it!

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Old 05-27-2011, 07:27 PM   #2
BenjaminBier
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I thought this thread was going to be about open fermentation in garbage pails, which I assume is what we'll all be doing after the apocalypse.

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Old 05-27-2011, 07:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenjaminBier
I thought this thread was going to be about open fermentation in garbage pails, which I assume is what we'll all be doing after the apocalypse.
I will get cracking on new beer styles, I believe the first one shall be stinkbier.

Edit: brilliant idea OP, I would use it but I have a chest freezer and lovin every minute of it.
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Maybe if your boil kettle was a sheet pan, and your heat source was satan's a**hole, then you could possibly boil off 60 percent of your batch in an hour.
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Old 05-27-2011, 07:33 PM   #4
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yeah....derrrr....i got to thinking about that after i posted....not a real wise choice in thread header.....

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Old 05-27-2011, 07:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenjaminBier View Post
I thought this thread was going to be about open fermentation in garbage pails, which I assume is what we'll all be doing after the apocalypse.
Why wait? Rubbermaid's are NSF/USDA Approved for food contact and NSF tested/certified.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...cStoreNum=6175
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Old 05-27-2011, 07:45 PM   #6
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Most people call what your are doing a swamp cooler, but I think the garbage can idea is great, especially for potentially violent blowoffs.

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Old 05-27-2011, 07:56 PM   #7
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Great idea. I'd heard of people using coolers or bins to keep their carboy in, but I'm glad to get info on a can that will be a good size. I'm going to have to try this out in the Vegas summer.

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Old 05-27-2011, 08:06 PM   #8
theWilly
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Originally Posted by kpr121 View Post
Most people call what your are doing a swamp cooler, but I think the garbage can idea is great, especially for potentially violent blowoffs.
nah, its a swamp cooler if you blow a fan over it for evaporative cooling...but i'm not...evaporative cooling would just add more latent load to my poor little apartment air handler, which is already undersized half a ton...so, no thanks...besides, the commercial grade kegerator is already blowing plenty of sensible heat to deal with....

hhmmm...crazy idea....dismantle a water cooler and stick the chiller plate under the can? i dunno exactly how those things work, but i'll bet ya macguiver could figure it out....think i'll just stick to the chest freezer plan though, holds more carboys then keep the trash can around in case i want to do some lagering in the freezer.....

in any case, thank you for the kind comment on my setup...i'm pretty pleased with how its working out, simple, cheap, and effective. i'm happy to help
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:48 PM   #9
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yeah....derrrr....i got to thinking about that after i posted....not a real wise choice in thread header.....
don't get me wrong, i think it sounds awesome
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Old 07-13-2012, 06:56 AM   #10
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Old post but just what I was looking for (title says it all!). I had the same idea and to get double use out of my 32 gallon can, I use it to hold 2 corny kegs or 1 sank for serving cold beer at parties. Just add lots of ice! I cut a hole in the bottom part of the can and installed a ball valve to let water out. I drain some of melted ice water in water bowls to keeps my dogs hydrated too We all win

Happy DIY

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