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> Another use for an Ice Cube Cooler (60 qt), keeping fermentation temps under control
Given2fly
post Sep 19 2005, 06:03 AM
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Recently a member posted that they used a cooler to keep fermentation temps down. And although I've been happy using a swamp bucket up until now and have been successful keeping my temps under control, I had a few things that I didn't like about the swamp bucket method. So here is my solution:

60 qt Ice Cube Cooler with thermometer:

(IMG:http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/given2flybrewing/EmptyCooler.jpg)

Cooler with 6 Gallon Carboy and 2 Ice bottles (can add more):
(IMG:http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/given2flybrewing/IceBottlesadded.jpg)

Cooler closed up with top of Carboy sticking out:
(IMG:http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/given2flybrewing/CarboyinIceCube.jpg)


What's nice about a fermentation cooler is 1) No more carrying around heavy carboys because the 60qt Ice Cube Cooler is on wheels; 2) There is a spigot at the bottom, so if you need to fill the cooler with cold water to cool things down, it is easy to drain (no more picking up the swamp bucket to dump); and most important 3) The cooler is insulated so it should keep temps down without any problems.

I tested the temps and with one bottle of ice in the cooler (nothing else) I was able to keep temps below 70 in the southern heat (after a full day, there was ice still in the bottle). I am planning to brew my pumpkin ale today and will use the cooler for the first time this afternoon with a full batch, and will let everyone know how it works!


(IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/cheers.gif)

G2Fly
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Tuc
post Sep 19 2005, 06:11 AM
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that is a pretty niffty idea you got there G2Fly!! I keep mine in a cabinet in the kitchen.
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Sampler
post Sep 19 2005, 08:28 AM
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Awesome idea (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/smile.gif)
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hiddendragonet
post Sep 19 2005, 08:52 AM
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What about lagering? Think you could fill it up with ice cubes and it would stay cold for a good while?
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Given2fly
post Sep 19 2005, 08:56 AM
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QUOTE(hiddendragonet @ Sep 19 2005, 08:53 AM)
What about lagering?  Think you could fill it up with ice cubes and it would stay cold for a good while?
*


I'm not sure about lagering at this point, today will be the first time that I use it for a full ferment. The picture has a carboy in it with an ESB that was already near finished. I'm guessing though, with 3-4 ice jugs (or a bag or 2 of ice) with water up to the top of the carboy, you could maintain fairly low temps. Just haven't tried it yet (but I will eventually). Today's brew is a pumpkin ale using the Burton ale yeast (68-73 temps) so I won't be trying to get the temps that low. (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/biggrin.gif)

G2Fly
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dagomike
post Sep 19 2005, 05:55 PM
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I'm intrigued by this idea... The hot days have pretty much left Michigan, so my main thing is just stabilizing the temps from warm days and cool nights in my basement. The big tub of water does a good job of buffering these temps.

I'm thinking that might just work for larger temps, especially if the ambient is already around 70. You could probably dump in some frozen bottles in the morning and evening and keep it there. Might need some more insulation around the lid though. That's just plastic up there. I use the 48qt for my mash-tun. I should fill it up with water and frozen bottles to see what happens.

Given2fly, did you just cut that out with a box cutter or something?
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pgroove
post Sep 19 2005, 06:27 PM
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that is brilliant....absolutley brilliant. What size carboy are you fitting in there? Can it hold a 6 gallon?
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Godsmaq
post Sep 19 2005, 07:09 PM
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very cool idea - like a mini beer cave
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litmoontime
post Sep 19 2005, 07:09 PM
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I'd also be interested if this would work for lagering.
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mga
post Sep 19 2005, 07:11 PM
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Same question? Can it hold a 6 1/2 gallon Carboy? (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/smile.gif)
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DJ in KC
post Sep 19 2005, 07:54 PM
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Very slick

dj
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huleoo
post Sep 19 2005, 08:15 PM
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It would also seem fairly easy to make some sort of a ring to put around the neck of the carboy and help to close off the hole that is cuy in the lid.

That is a great idea though!!
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Given2fly
post Sep 19 2005, 08:43 PM
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That is a 6 gallon carboy in the pictures, but I don't see why a 6.5 gallon wouldn't work as well (the holes would just be slightly larger). As for cutting it, I just used my dremel. I cut the holes small at first, and then kept trimming them until the carboy fit and the cooler closed completely. It really only took me an hour or so, and that was just because I kept trimming a little at a time, so that I would get a good fit. Right now my pumpkin ale is in it and I actually had to take the ice bottles out of it because the temps dropped too rapidly, so lagering could be possible in the fall/winter months (with ice etc...). (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/biggrin.gif)

G2fly
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Given2fly
post Sep 19 2005, 08:44 PM
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As for the ring around the top of the carboy, I'm actually thinking of picking up some sort of PVC piping to surround the top of the carboy, but need to think more about this.

G2Fly
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GeorgeInNePa
post Sep 19 2005, 09:03 PM
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QUOTE(Given2fly @ Sep 19 2005, 09:45 PM)
As for the ring around the top of the carboy, I'm actually thinking of picking up some sort of PVC piping to surround the top of the carboy, but need to think more about this.

G2Fly
*


Get some 1" or 1.5" pink or blue insulation board from HD or Lowes. Cut a piece to fit the top of the cooler and cut a hole just big enough for the neck of the carboy. Then cut the piece in half. A few pieces of Velcro will hold it in place.
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