Looking for most economical solution to summer brewing

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

creole_hops

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
68
Reaction score
0
Location
Atlanta Ga
I dont want to put my new hobby/obsession on hold during the warm weather months. What is the most economical and space conscious way to continue brewing this summer? I dont have the room for another full sized freezer. I have had a hard time finding a mini fridge that is large enough for my fermenter.
 

ArcaneXor

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2007
Messages
4,502
Reaction score
127
I ferment in Igloo coolers with self-made styrofoam lids, which don't take up much space and double as picnic coolers for trips to the beach, etc.

I got the idea from here: (OFFLINE) Board Offline
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,940
Reaction score
12,874
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Here's my solution:



That's one of those "5 day" coolers. I made a new lid out of three layers of styrofoam sheeting, and fill it 3/4 full of water. I add frozen water bottles to the water as needed, to keep the fermenter under 70 degrees. I have a floating thermometer in the water, so I can easily see the temperature when I check it. I keep about 4 water bottles in the freezer, and rotate them as needed. This also keeps the temperature stable at this time of year, when it's warm during the day, but cold at night. It takes a long time for the 5 gallons of beer and the 5 gallons (or so) of water to change temperature!

Now, I don't live in the south, so you may find that you have to give it some more attention like adding more frozen water bottles. But it works ok, and it was supercheap. The cooler was on sale for $20, and I kept the original lid so I can even use it as a cooler when I need to!

There are lots more pictures in my gallery, showing the handles, and the set up.
 

RC0032

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2008
Messages
1,124
Reaction score
17
Location
Chicago
^ I do the same thing and use ice packs/ frozen water bottles. You end up swapping them out 2-3 times per day.
 

TwoHeadsBrewing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2008
Messages
3,949
Reaction score
53
Location
Chico, CA
Mine is a bit more permanent, but it uses a mini fridge to cool a chamber large enough for 3-4 carboys. You could also build a simple collar on a mini fridge so that it would fit one carboy at a time. I did that for a while as well.

Current setup:


Single carboy chamber:
 

carnevoodoo

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 17, 2007
Messages
4,258
Reaction score
25
Location
San Diego, CA
I have a Sanyo fridge that has no freezer and the shelves knocked out of it. I am thinking it is the discontinued one that people used for kegerators, but it fits a snog 6.5 gallon carboy no problem.

Of course, now I have a chest freezer too, so I'm thinking the fridge will just be for more beer.
 

ohiobrewtus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
7,762
Reaction score
74
Location
Ohio
I guess I'm fortunate that I have a basement. It stays about 64F all summer, perfect for fermenting most ales.
 
Top