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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Using a 5 or 10 Gal. Beverage Cooler as Fermenter

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Old 07-14-2012, 05:41 PM   #11
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I used to ferment wine in one of those coolers. Worked fine and folks seemed to like the wine I made.

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Old 07-15-2012, 01:30 AM   #12
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cool.. good to know... I think wine however doesnt use up the headspace that beer does. I've had many of airlocks gooped up with krausen from a angry yeast. Nothing a blowoff wouldnt solve though.

I have an extra 5 gal. laying around from my portable kegerator build i'm thinking I may give it a go on my next 3 gal. batch or barley wine..

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Old 09-10-2012, 03:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneHands View Post
The only thing I'd be concerned about is internal heat generated by the yeast. Assuming you pitch at or below your fermentation temperature, since yeast are exothermic, how are you going to keep the heat from getting out of control? Granted, you're not going to create fusion worthy heat, but I bet it gets too hot in there with no way to cool it down since they're insulated.
Thought about this a little more.. as I had come into a few of the 10gal. units for free... and am going to try this out on my next batch.

Going on the Yeast and Heat.. would yeast actually produce a higher heat than is with in the "style" or average fermenting temps?... in other words would they overheat themselves? or die would they give up trying? I know it probably be tougher to keep the fermentation at a "desirable" temp but would they actually heat up passed the point of their own fermetation temp?
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:25 PM   #14
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I don't think they could create enough heat to "kill themselves" but off-flavors would be a problem

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Old 09-10-2012, 05:27 PM   #15
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fermentation creates a good deal of heat. i don't see any benefit to using a cooler, but i do see a huge downside. there is no way to cool it down once it gets warm in there. beer frequently ferments 5 or so degrees warmer than ambient temperature, and thats in a fermenter with really thin walls. once your beer starts fermenting it is going to get warmer, not have anywhere at all to spread that heat, and then the yeast will ferment even faster (generating even more heat compared to if it was in a bucket), and the heat will all be trapped.

also you can't see whats going on, you won't be able to have an airlock (you will have to make sure enough air can get out, but none can get in), the potential threat of it leaking through the ball valve, and uncertainty as to the sanitization. milled grains harbor a lot of bacteria, so if you are using it as a mash tun and then fermenter you need to be very very careful.

sounds like a ton of problems just to have the better handles.

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Old 09-11-2012, 12:55 PM   #16
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An insulated fermenter sounds like a bad idea IMO. People go to great lengths to provide cooling to dissipate the heat of fermentation. Trapping all the heat will piss off the yeast and result in a fast a furious ferment.

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Old 09-13-2012, 08:38 PM   #17
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All good points... i think what i'll do with these is make a few mashtuns and i've wanted to move to 10 gal. batches anyway.. i just need a new brew kettle or keggle setup.

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