Author Topic: Will this work?  (Read 1217 times)

Offline rbowers

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Will this work?
« on: December 10, 2011, 11:54:31 AM »
So I need a vessel for lagering as my interest has grown in making these beers.  The keezer is full of beer that I prefer not to chill down to 32F for long periods of time but I figure it can serve as the vessel for primary fermentation and some initial chilling to 38 or so.  My efforts at obtaining another freezer/fridge for the garage (this would be #3) have been met with strong opposition by my wife.  So here is my plan:
I am going to get a large heavy duty garbage can, cut some thick long strips of insulation (construction grade stuff) and line the entire inside (sides/bottom/lid) of the can then fill in the gaps with the spray foam insulation (maybe cover it all for good measure).  A small faucet or ball valve will be installed.
This will be filled with ice water into which my carboy of future lager will be submerged and left for 4-6 weeks. 
Obviously changes in ice will be required with draining off water but hopefully not too often ( ambient temps in winter around here are 40F- garage currently sits at 60F but hopefully will be chilling further as winter progresses).
Has anyone tried this?
How often do you think the ice will have to be changed?- I'm hoping that once the carboy is chilled down the cold thermal mass will hold pretty stable with minimal intervention.
Thoughts and suggestions appreciated.

Offline euge

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Re: Will this work?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2011, 12:02:26 PM »
I think it will work well, and is similar to how I did my ales for years- except not at such low temps. ;) Give it a shot necessity is the mother of invention as they say...

Just have a temp probe or something so you can follow how fast it cools/warms or stays stable.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline rbowers

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Re: Will this work?
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2011, 12:03:47 PM »
yeah I was thinking of making another hole for a thermometer probe

Offline tygo

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Re: Will this work?
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2011, 12:05:42 PM »
I lager in my serving fridge at ~38F.  I'd like my beers to be served warmer and my lagers to lager colder but it's a decent compromise.  

What you're proposing will work but it'll take a lot of ice and would be too much of a hassle for me.
Clint
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On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline punatic

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Re: Will this work?
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2011, 12:31:00 PM »
You could build one of these.  I did.  It worked great.  

Son of Fermentation Chiller
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Offline euge

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Re: Will this work?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2011, 12:42:17 PM »
You could build one of these.  I did.  It worked great.  

Son of Fermentation Chiller

That's about the same footprint as a small chest freezer. Which is the optimum way to go.

Quote
My efforts at obtaining another freezer/fridge for the garage (this would be #3) have been met with strong opposition by my wife.

My small freezer is 28" by 21" for footprint which isn't much more than a large or 50 gallon trashcan. Maybe more "reasoning" with SWMBO will bear fruit?
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline punatic

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Re: Will this work?
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2011, 01:00:22 PM »
Is that a chest freezer or an "under the counter" refrigerator euge?

I moved to UTC friges when I moved to Hawaii.  I inherited a couple and found a great deal on a multiple lot of Johnson controllers on eBay.  I modified the friges by removing the inside panel on the doors (with the butter tray slot and such) and replaced them with flat stock. There is plenty of room for a 7 gal glass carboy and blow-off tube (or airlock on top).

I use these for lagers.  Everything else is fermented in a converted bathroom with a window shaker AC installed. aka "The Fermentorium."
« Last Edit: December 10, 2011, 01:48:10 PM by punatic »
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Offline euge

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Re: Will this work?
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2011, 01:33:17 PM »
No it's a Holiday chest freezer from Lowes.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman