I just brewed up my second batch and I think I've run into an issue. My kit was a Brewer's Best English Brown Ale. Everything went great through the brew day, fermentation jumped in about 18 hours later. I noticed that the temps are a bit high, though. I checked the temp this morning and it is reading 76F which I know is too high. Unfortunately there was nothing I could do at the time so I'm just gonna not worry about it and work on a solution going forward.
I don't have an extra fridge or space in the main one to keep ferm cool. I also don't want to deal with a swamp cooler as I'll end up with fluctuating temps and all kinds of condensation because I can't possibly keep a routine with exchanging ice bottles and such.
Has anyone ever tried to do a continuous exchange water bath? I'm thinking one of the 18g plastic totes with rope handles would work great as a modification to the swamp cooler concept. I could put the carboy in there on the counter, run a hose from the faucet into the tote, and leave the water on a slow flow. In order to drain, I could put a bulkhead in the side of the tote and a standpipe inside the tote so that the water level stays high. This would serve to keep a water volume that is slowly replacing water so it should keep a constant temp of around 66 (depending on tap water temps).
Water is cheap here and I use a LOT of it already for my aquariums so a bit more won't be a problem. Assuming I use 1 gallon per hour, I can keep the flow running for an entire month and would only see a few dollars increase on my water bill. I'd only use it during the first few days of active ferm and would pull out of the bath afterwards and let everything continue at room temp (68F - 70F).
Does this sound crazy? It's a pretty easy solution in the short term. I'll dedicate more equipment as I go so I can get into lagering but I don't have the funding right now. Thoughts?