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Temperature Control Problem

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oms1981

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My girl and I just moved into a new apartment. At the old place we had a spare bedroom that had basically become my computer/ xbox / brewery room. It was great because I had tons of room for my brewing and I could easily regulate the temperature in the room.

Now we have moved to a much nicer neighborhood and couldn't afford the second bedroom. She totally supports my brewing 100% and has agreed to let me use one of the closets as my brew closet. It is big enough to fit 2 fermenters and all of my supplies so its perfect, except for 1 thing.

Our apartment is on the 6th floor and its an old building where the heat is regulated by the building. I went into the closet this morning with my digital instant thermometer and to my dismay, it is 76 degrees in there. We can close the heating vents to cool it, but she likes it at 70ish since we dont pay for it, and without a thermostat its impossible to closely regulate. If I try to keep it cool in the place she will bitch about it. She's already given a lot of support in my hobby so I can't push too far.

I guess I dont really know what to do. I could put the fermenters in our storage room in the basement where it is cooler, but that would be a major pain and its kinda dusty down there. I would also have absolutely no temp control down there at all as there is no place to plug in a warmer if its too chilly.

Does anyone have any advice for me? I have all of my gear unpacked and my last batch of brew is nearly gone so I wanna get rolling asap. I would appreciate any ideas you may have.
 

discgolfin

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Get a large bucket..or 2 like they sell for keeping kegs cool in for partys..put 65 degree water in it and than put the carboy in it and cover with a wet towel..The water will not change temps much..if the water gets too warm than add some ice or freeze a water bottle and throw it in..I like to keep my water a few degrees cooler than the fermentation temp I want..I have a basement so I only have this problem in July. hope this helps!!

I would say for most ales keep the water at about 65 to 68..or a bit cooler for a cleaner finish.

Jay
 

Evan!

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Not sure how big this closet is...but you could get one of those big tubs with the rope handles that are typically either for big kegs at frat parties/tailgates, or for keeping horse feed in. Put your fermenter in there. Fill the tub with some water (but keep it far below the top level of the wort so it doesn't float, and keep it below the level of your stick-on thermometer, because water will ruin them.)

Then take some empty water jugs or 2L coke bottles, etc., fill them most of the way with water, and freeze them. Make sure you freeze enough that you can rotate them in and out. Put half of your jugs into the water, and it will keep things cool. As soon as the ice in the jugs has melted, switch it out with a frozen one. You can add more jugs or take some out to regulate your temps.

This is what I do during the summer, works like a charm.
 
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oms1981

oms1981

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great plan guys, thanks a lot. Any idea where the best place to get one of those tubs would be?
 

Brett3rThanU

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In certain parts our townhouse gets up to 78F or so during the really hot days so what I did what was suggested above and put the carboy in a bucket of water and added ice as necessary. I'm able to keep the temp around 62-66F pretty easily depending on how often I add ice.
 

ranch

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I'd think that keeping your fermenter in a water bath should be standard practice: even if you don't need to keep the temp down with ice, at least the water has a higher specific heat that air so that the temperature fluctuations the fermenter feels throughout the day are minimized if not eliminated compared to leaving the fermenter in the open ambient air. That and I think it gives a better estimate of the temperature inside the fermenter--accounting for the heat the yeast creates during fermentation. Once I started doing this my beers have become much more consistent. Everyone should do it even in an environment with a good thermostat.
 

wilserbrewer

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+1 on the cooler idea, i looked a 50 qt. igloo at target just yesterday for 20 bucks. I use one of the large tubs down my basement that I already owned, but if I had to buy something I'd think a large square cooler would work well. Probably wouldn't take much ice to drop you the ten degrees you need either.

Now I want one too. Hell, throw a braid on it and it can do double duty as a mash tun.

Not sure if I would cut the top of the cooler, you could probably just wrap a towel around the top to keep the cool temps inside.
 
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oms1981

oms1981

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thanks for all the great input guys, I dunno what I would do without this forum
 

Beerthoven

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wilserbrewer said:
...Not sure if I would cut the top of the cooler, you could probably just wrap a towel around the top to keep the cool temps inside.
Here is another idea for a lid...from YooperBrew's gallery.




 

TerryM

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+1 on this. You can still use the cooler as a cooler by popping the original lid back on.

I also made a 3-layer lid with a corny-keg sized hole to use as my portable keg cooler.

tm
Beerthoven said:
Here is another idea for a lid...from YooperBrew's gallery.




 

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