Author Topic: Swamp Cooler Lagering  (Read 2018 times)

Offline erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6185
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • The Hop WHisperer
Swamp Cooler Lagering
« on: July 30, 2012, 04:14:10 AM »
I just took a hydro sample today of my "Hoptoberfest" and I am really happy with what it tastes like so far. I am using WY2633 (Ofest blend) and I simply have my carboy in a 18-gallon bucket swamp cooler for temp control. I just swap out two frozen 3-liter soda bottles filled with water twice a day. Water temps in the swamp cooler have gone as low as 48 and as high as 58, but for the most part I've been able to keep it between 50 and 55. I'm pretty sure the glass carboy does a decent enough job as an insulator to keep the actual temp swings inside the fermenter even smaller than that.

I know I still have a ways before the final beer is ready (and I'll be sure to share my results when it is), but so far I am shocked at how clean and "lagery" the beer tastes so far. I just thought I'd share so if anyone else out there is afraid to pull the trigger on brewing a lager because they don't have a fridge for temperature control, give it a shot.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline tygo

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2622
  • Sterling, VA
    • View Profile
Re: Swamp Cooler Lagering
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2012, 12:41:12 PM »
I did my first lager in a bathtub with frozen water bottles.  Like you said, it works, but it's a pain to have to keep swapping the bottles out.
Wort Hogs

Offline mcdanis

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 35
  • Chattanooga, TN
    • View Profile
Re: Swamp Cooler Lagering
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2012, 12:42:32 PM »
Thanks for posting this.  I have recently made a swamp cooler part of my summer process for ales and it's made me wonder about using it for lagering. 

I have a fridge for this purpose, but between finished kegs, cold crashing, etc. it's been a constraint to have it at tied up at lager fermentation temps for an extended period of time. 

Using the swamp cooler for ales was surprisingly easy and consistent so now I am looking forward giving it a shot with my next lager.

Offline weithman5

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1681
  • naperville, il
    • View Profile
Re: Swamp Cooler Lagering
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2012, 01:37:03 PM »
i do something similar. but is easy for me because of the small batches.  i have a very thick walled large styrofoam cooler, used for shipping vaccines.  i then use the foam ice bricks that come with these.  i just change these out every day or so, and vary how many based on temperature.  i keep this in my garage and even with the outdoor temp pushing 100, i can keep this at 50 degrees if i am diligent. 
Don AHA member