If you have a tote or bin that is larger fill that with cool water and place your bucket in that. Then take a towel, wet it in the water and wrap around the bucket. If you have a small fan you can aim it at the bucket to increase evaporation. Swamp
cooling works by evaporation so you’ll only be able to cool the fermenter down to the wet bulb temp which is between the dew point and dry bulb temperature of the air the fermenter is in.
I use a swamp cooler for almost every fermentation. Got a large 'muck bucket' from Tractor Supply, put the fermenter in that and add a water bath. The temp in the fermenter will equilibrate to the temp of the water bath, and help keep it steady. I do take the temp of the water bath twice daily and adjust it by adding 1/2 gallon ice bottles to cool if necessary and add an aquarium heater if needed to warm. With this setup I regularly do lagers in the fall/winter and ales the rest of the year.
Shoot, just realized this was in the mead section. Principle still applies. But dare I say that temp control doesn't seem to be as much of an issue with mead? Are the typical yeasts used for meads and wines more heat tolerant in general?
@JimRausch Yep- Same principle for temp control and like beer Temperature, pH, water and your ingredients are important for yeast health. Stressed yeast throw some terrible off flavors. Mead needs additional nutrients as honey is generally nutrient deficient.
As far as heat tolerant yeast specific to Mead... like most ale yeasts they have a given temp range they prefer. I use an Ale yeast (Kviek) with a higher temp tolerance on occasion for Session Meads <11% ABV (Target 8%).
Typically though Wine or Champaign yeasts are preferred for a more traditional mead and are not only selected for the temperature range but more so for the alcohol tolerance. As more traditional meads tend to be in the 11 - 16% ABV range. Ale yeasts generally don't get there.