Originally Posted by cenla
AG or extract does not affect whether to use a swamp cooler or not.
Agree. Use it unless you know your ferm temps stay within range and are stable over the ferm time.
I used a swamp cooler quite a bit earlier this year. My problem was that I travel a lot for my company, so I had to build a collar for a mini-fridge becuase I wasn't around to rotate ice in and out. Aside for being out of the house so much, the swamp cooler worked great to keep temps within desired ranges. It does take some practice to figure out how much ice, and the frequency of rotation, you need in your particular swamp cooler application. Depends on how much water you have in the cooler and the water temp, your ambient air temps, how frequently you rotate ice packs, and how vigorous your fermentation is.
Note that I had to rotate ice packs more frequently during the first few days of primary fermenation. Those days are much more rigorous and more exothermic reactions are occuring. Hence the need for more ice to keep temps down. After fermenation slowed, and during secondary fermentation (optional step), I was able to let it ride longer without swapping out ice packs.