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Old 10-17-2008, 05:07 PM   #1
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Default Some interesting advice from a brew shop...use a trash can for temp control?

Hi guys, I just wanted to check with you guys on some info that was passed to me by my local brew suppy store. They told me that when I'm done boiling the wort to go ahead and put the concoction into the fermented with the rest of the steralized water and place the whole thing in a trash can full of water. When the fermenter cools down then add the yeast. He then says to keep it in the trash can with frozen water bottles to cool it untill you are ready to put it in the carboy. Now, being new to this I don't know what to think. Does this sound weird to anyone? Thanks for your help!

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Old 10-17-2008, 05:13 PM   #2
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There is a lot on temperature control on this forum. Way to much to list, but a search on this site for it will bring up a plethora of information. The guy is right though for one way to control temperature during your fermentation. I see you are very new to the forum, welcome! seriously though, you will have a whole days worth of reading about ideas with a search. I spend most of my day reading threads from even the simplest questions I have. I love this place.

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Old 10-17-2008, 05:16 PM   #3
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its called a Swamp Cooler.

i use plastic beverage tubs, the ones with rope handles you use for beach barbeques. Fill with cool water right up to the wort line in the fermenter. place a t-shirt over the fermenter, with the airlock through the neck. wet the t-shirt, and then rotate bottles of frozen water from your freezer to the bucket. depending on how many water bottles and how quickly you rotate them, you can keep the fermenter's temps in the 60s even in 80 degree weather.

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Old 10-17-2008, 05:23 PM   #4
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excellent, this exactly the info I as looking for! Thanks a lot

Yes I am very new, I started brewing my first batch on Sunday and found this forum on Monday. Needless to say I've been doing a lot of reading since then. I can't wait to brew my next batch and to see how the current one turns out!

Also, please forgive any typos. My work blocks this site so I'm feverishly typing this on a cell phone

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Old 10-17-2008, 05:25 PM   #5
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The problem with that idea, though, is it won't quickly cool your wort initially after the boil. It'll work great for keeping fermentation temperatures in the mid-60s. (I use an Igloo Ice cube cooler, with a new stryfoam lid, sort of the same way).

You have to cool your wort in an ice bath in the sink first (to under 90 degrees), THEN add some cool water to top up to five gallons, THEN put the fermenter in the swamp cooler and pitch the yeast. That should take about 20 minutes, total.

This will allow you to have a good "cold break" (causing proteins that cause haze to drop out) and prevent chance of infection from wort sitting out too long at a warm temperature without pitching the yeast.

And, Welcome to HBt!

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Old 10-17-2008, 05:30 PM   #6
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Most ale fermentations need to be about 68º (plus or minus a couple of degrees). That can be hard to maintain, especially since fermenting wort generates heat. So even if your ambient temperature is about right, your wort can be too warm. A large volume of water makes for a great heat brake. I use a buss tub (one of those large plastic bins used for clearing dishes in restaurants), but a clean trash can would work about the same way. You can adjust and maintain the temperature of the water by putting frozen 1L water bottles in it at regular intervals. See if your homebrew shop has a stick-on thermometer. Put it about halfway up your pale or carboy, but don't let the waterline in your tub or trashcan go over the strip. That will give you an immediate indication of your fermentation temperature without having to open your fermenter.

Welcome to HBT!

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Old 10-17-2008, 06:08 PM   #7
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I figured this out also on my first batch when I realized I couldn't get the temperature in my house down to 68 degrees without running the AC 24/7 and sucking all the electricity out of the local grid. Not to mention it would have probably ended up being a $500 batch of beer. I'm in Houston and it was pretty hot at the time (5 weeks ago). I put the fermentation bucket in a beverage tub and filled the tub with water up to the 5 gal mark. I added frozen ice blocks every morning before work and every evening when I got home and I kept a small fan running on it. The temp stayed nicely in the 70 degree range. I think that the water and the fan alone do a great job of dissipating the heat and the ice blocks are easy to cycle in and out of the freezer.

I didn't figure this out until about day 2 though so I don't know if the beer will ultimately be damaged. I had additional problems in that Hurricane Ike blew in on day 7 and I was without electricity for 17 days, so I couldn't make my own ice. It'll be interesting to see how it turns out.

I learned a lot on this first batch and a lot of what I learned came from this site. It's a great site. I suggest just reading posts in your spare time. You'll learn a lot of things you never dreamed you would need to know.

Dennis

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Old 10-17-2008, 06:15 PM   #8
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I went from trash cans to Ice Cube coolers to a mini fridge with temp control. But the trash cans did ok for when I needed them.

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