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Old 12-20-2005, 01:22 AM   #1
terfmop
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Default My home made cooler

I am new to brewing and I wanted to find a way to keep my fermenting brew cool. I experimented by taking a cardboard box measuring 32"H X 21.5"D X 16.5"W, went to Menards and boutght 1.5" foam housing insulation, cut the foam insulation to fit the dimensions inside the box. I cut away on side of the box so I can access my cooling elements and beer easily. I fashioned a handle out of packing tape. The inside of the box is large enough to fit both my primary fermenter (a 6 gal. Better Bottle) , my secondary (5 gal glass carboy), and my plastic, water-filled containers (frozen) which I use as a cooling element. I exchange the cooling elements in the moring and in the evening. I was surprised to see that as I was replacing the cooling elements, they were still partially frozen.

Surprisingly enough, the box stays pretty cool(so far, it reliably stays in the low to mid 50's). I think I could get the box even cooler if I use a salt/water mix and freeze my plastic cooling elements in my deep freezer and then use multiple cooling elements in the box with the fermenting brew.

I am using a Northern Brewer extract kit for a Kolsch, and I plan to follow the fermenting schedule from a post on the NB forums...

>>>Primary (1 week) and Secondary (2 weeks) at that hi 50s temp and then drop it to upper 30s-40 degree range for 4-6 weeks (cold condition). If I hit my gravity in the primary before moving to the secondary -- I go straight to the cold conditioning. Then bottle it at 70 degrees and leave at 70 for 3 weeks. Then put the bottled brew back in the fridge at 33-40 degrees for at least 2 weeks, but preferably longer if you can stand it.<<<<

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Old 12-20-2005, 01:31 AM   #2
El Pistolero
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That's pretty cool.

Seriously tho...a cooler out of a cardboard box...that's a pretty good idea. Sounds a lot easier than a fermentation cooler, and cheaper too.

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Old 12-21-2005, 01:38 AM   #3
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MacGyver...get a second fridge...most people are trying to give those things away! !

PREMIERE DATE:September 1985
NETWORK:ABC

SHOW DESCRIPTION:Richard Dean Anderson stars as MacGyver, an agent for the Phoenix Foundation, a progressive agency devoted to righting the wrongs of the world. Even more progressive is the near-genius MacGyver who never carries a gun and always thwarts the enemy with his vast scientific knowledge, sometimes with little more than a paper clip and the duct tape in his pocket.

Good for you...seems like a lot of work, though.

Cheers!
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Old 12-22-2005, 11:29 AM   #4
usmcruz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terfmop
I am new to brewing and I wanted to find a way to keep my fermenting brew cool. I experimented by taking a cardboard box measuring 32"H X 21.5"D X 16.5"W, went to Menards and boutght 1.5" foam housing insulation, cut the foam insulation to fit the dimensions inside the box. I cut away on side of the box so I can access my cooling elements and beer easily. I fashioned a handle out of packing tape. The inside of the box is large enough to fit both my primary fermenter (a 6 gal. Better Bottle) , my secondary (5 gal glass carboy), and my plastic, water-filled containers (frozen) which I use as a cooling element. I exchange the cooling elements in the moring and in the evening. I was surprised to see that as I was replacing the cooling elements, they were still partially frozen.
Surprisingly enough, the box stays pretty cool(so far, it reliably stays in the low to mid 50's). I think I could get the box even cooler if I use a salt/water mix and freeze my plastic cooling elements in my deep freezer and then use multiple cooling elements in the box with the fermenting brew.
I am using a Northern Brewer extract kit for a Kolsch, and I plan to follow the fermenting schedule from a post on the NB forums...
>>>Primary (1 week) and Secondary (2 weeks) at that hi 50s temp and then drop it to upper 30s-40 degree range for 4-6 weeks (cold condition). If I hit my gravity in the primary before moving to the secondary -- I go straight to the cold conditioning. Then bottle it at 70 degrees and leave at 70 for 3 weeks. Then put the bottled brew back in the fridge at 33-40 degrees for at least 2 weeks, but preferably longer if you can stand it.<<<<

I like your inginuity, but a small fridge with a thermostat is wonderful. you plug the fridge into the thermostat, plug the thermostat into the wall and put the probe in the fridge. Tadaaaa your done, and no temperature fluctuation like the ones your getting by exchanging the elements out. If it works for you then use it, and happy brewing
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