After reading a bunch of posts about using different methods to keep fermenting products cool, I decided to use a few things I had around the garage and make a cooling tub for less than $20. Note, cost will be more if you do not have the plastic tubs.
One more thing, I took these pictures after I built the cooler. Of course I was not thinking about step by step pictures as I was making it.
I took 2 of the empty plastic tubs and stacked them together. I figured that having 2 tubs would keep the isulation from getting wet from any condensation. I know I live in New Mexico with a relative humidity below 20% all the time, but I figured better safe than soggy.
Here is a pic of the tub I am talking about. Please forgive me about the BGE on cinderblocks, working on building a table, just taking longer than I thought..
I wrapped the tub with some of that pink insulation. I got the roll at Home Depot for about $13. I used duck tape to fasten it to the tub.
I grabbed a partial sheet of foam insulation at HD for $5 and cut it out to make a lid. I cut a single hole in the lid to let my airlock poke through.
So, total cost was $18 because I had 2 plastic tubs in the garage allready.
Fill with cool water until your carboy almost wants to float and add your ice bottles. My water temp from the hose is about 83 degrees. It did take about 8, 20-ounce ice bottles to cool below 70 degrees. After the initial cooling, I only use 2 or 3 ice bottles a day n ow.
Here is the final product: