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Tips on keeping wort cool?

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Hi all.  I just finished brewing Midwest's Liberty Cream Ale (my second batch).  The brew's been in the primary for 2 days now, hovering at temps between 68-72 degrees (still no bubbles in the airlock, even though the lid has been replaced - although I can see krausen).  I'd like to keep the temperature under 70 degrees if at all possible.  I have the bucket sitting in the bathtub in my spare bathroom.  The bathtub is filled to about 4 inches with water.  I will replace the water every couple of days.  I also take a large ziploc bag filled with ice and will place it right up against the bucket every 2 days.

I used this method with my first batch, Midwest's Smooth Nut Brown Ale.  It seemed to have worked pretty well - I think the warmest the bucket got was probably 72 degrees.  However, spring/summer is upon us and it gets pretty hot out here in California.

Do any of you have any tips on keeping your fermenter cool?  Please share - I'd love to hear them!

Thank you,

I think you're on the right track.  I've used a plastic tub partially filled with water and frozen gel packs.  You can also put a t shirt over the carbon and blow a fan over it.  The shirt will wick the water up and cool the fermenter.  Could also set up a temp controlled chamber. . .

I use large plastic totes rather than a tub and use ice packs.  I'm not sure why you put the ice in a ziplock rather than directly in the water.  You are probably changing the water to avoid it getting funky.  I  put in a little bleach instead because of it is easier to keep the bath water stable without changing the water.   

 I use the carboy in a tub method as well.
I fill the tub with water up to the level of the beer in the fermentor. And use frozen water bottles to "try" and keep the temps. where I want them.
I think having the water level the same as the beer keeps the fermnetor temps. more stable.

Another vote for the plastic tub method. The advantage over a bathtub is that you can fill it fuller -- I'd recommend keeping it just an inch or two below your beer level, so you can maximize heat transfer from the beer to the water in the tub and minimize temperature fluctuations. (Also, those liquid crystal stick-on thermometers don't really like being submerged. If you mount it high and horizontal, you can avoid that.)  I found that even without adding ice, the temperature stayed 2-3F below room temperature just due to evaporation.  Since RT in my house is about 67-68F, that drops it to about where I want to ferment an ale.

All that said, I love my new fermentation chamber. I think I will love it even more now that I have a dehumidifier for it so it doesn't turn into a mold factory.


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