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Old 10-01-2013, 02:13 AM   #1
403Brewer
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Default Temperature control in small apartment

So I'm about 10 batches into my home brewing life, doing All Grain now and its come out well 9/10 times but I'm fermenting at too high of a temperature so I'm sure it could be better. Issue is I live in a 1 bdrm apartment so I don't have a cellar or space for another fridge. Are there any thoughts on how to keep temps down on a carboy w/o buying a fridge or maintaining a non-stop ice bath for a few weeks? It's pretty hard to drop the temps in my apartment below 25 deg C (77 F). Thanks for the input!

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Old 10-01-2013, 02:17 AM   #2
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Search HBT for "swamp cooler" and "frozen water bottles".

If you have room for a dorm fridge, some of them can be modded to fit a single fermenter bucket and outfitted with an STC-1000.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:19 AM   #3
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Bucket of cold water that your fermenter sits in. You swap out frozen water bottles twice a day. But you DON'T do it for weeks. First few days are the most important. After 3-4, it shouldn't matter nearly as much.

Otherwise (and this is somewhat climate-dependent) you could drape a cotton towel or t-shirt over the fermenter to wick up water from the water bath. A fan increases the rate of evaporation. Evaporation causes cooling. Works best where it is low humidity.

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Old 10-01-2013, 02:40 AM   #4
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Another tidbit on swamp coolers, use the sanitized water you were using on brew day as your swamp cooler water. Helps keep the nasties from growing in the bucket.

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Old 10-01-2013, 05:18 AM   #5
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Use the t-shirt trick. Find a bucket that your carboy will fit in plus a couple inches around. A bucket that comes up about half way is ideal as that helps with evaporation.

Put your carboy in the bucket and fill the bucket with water to around 3/4 full. Soak at t-shirt in water and slightly wring it out. The t-shirt should be wet but not dripping. Drape the t-shirt over the carboy.

If you can, place it where there is some air circulation (in a bathroom with the bath fan on or in any room with a ceiling fan or small fan to circulate air).

I've dropped the temperature of my fermenter 10-12*F below the ambient temperature in my place. But this is dependent on your relative humidity (humidity here is usually around 30-40%). The more humid it is the less effective the t-shirt trick is. Moving air through the room (an open window with a fan to draw air out) helps with high humidity environments.

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