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Old 01-29-2013, 04:43 PM   #1
Jan 2013
Posts: 56
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I was looking at some photos of swamp coolers, and it leaves me with one concern.

If you're putting ice directly touching your fermenter (or close), aren't you temporarily exposing some of the yeast to undesirable low temps? (32+ degrees F) Especially the yeast that is in suspension along the edge of the fermenter?

Is it important to give space between the ice and fermenter? Maybe i'm over analyzing.

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Old 01-29-2013, 04:47 PM   #2
Sep 2012
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Posts: 2,553
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You're overanalysing. The bucket is a good enough insulator that you aren't going to freeze any yeast. No worries.

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Old 01-29-2013, 04:49 PM   #3
Jan 2013
Posts: 11

The worst that I heard about keeping your beer cold while it's fermenting is that it will take longer to ferment.

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Old 01-29-2013, 04:50 PM   #4
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Oct 2012
Malden, MA
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It would be interesting to look at the temperature gradient inside a fermentor in contact with ice, but I would suspect that it isn't too bad. Water conducts heat fairly well and also has convection currents. My guess would be that the yeast aren't seeing too much of an extreme. The problem I have when using ice is that it melts quickly and the rapid drop in temperature sends the yeast into dormancy.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:17 PM   #5
Jun 2012
Posts: 310
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I use a plastic fermenter and a swamp cooler. I also use big blocks of ice, like bricks, to keep the swamp water in the low sixties. I haven't had a problem with stuck or dormant fermentation, except the dreaded 1.020 fg extract problem a few times, which I was getting before I started using a swamp cooler.

Just brewed a pale ale, went from 1.045 to 1.010 in a week, so I guess it worked. No clue what the internal temp was though...

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