Author Topic: Temp control options in Florida garage  (Read 4839 times)

Online FLbrewer

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Temp control options in Florida garage
« on: April 23, 2013, 03:53:47 AM »
My last hurdle to getting into brewing is going to be a way to keep my carboys cool. I think the swamp cooler may be too difficult to pull off since temps are already climbing into the upper 80's (garage is much warmer), and the house is never lower than 70.

I think I will have to get either a wine fridge, mini, etc. or possibly a cheap full size. Anyone using a full size that fits a 6.5 with airlock and still allows room for food?
How about a surefire (without lots of mods) mini that fits a 6.5 with airlock?

Thanks folks!

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Re: Temp control options in Florida garage
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2013, 04:31:35 AM »
The more I think about this, maybe an indoor swamp cooler is best for now.

Offline donsmitty

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Re: Temp control options in Florida garage
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2013, 05:16:46 AM »
IMHO, buy a used refrigerator and add a thermostat.  Thermostats run between $50 - $80.  That will give you more time to sit and sip a brew instead of making ice and tending to your swamp cooler. 

Offline jeffy

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Re: Temp control options in Florida garage
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2013, 06:48:06 AM »
IMHO, buy a used refrigerator and add a thermostat.  Thermostats run between $50 - $80.  That will give you more time to sit and sip a brew instead of making ice and tending to your swamp cooler.

I agree.  I have two chest freezers, one for actual food (!), one for kegs, and three beer-related refrigerators,  one for fermentation, one for conditioning and one for more beer.  I think I may have paid a total of $150 for the three used refrigerators.
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Online blatz

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Re: Temp control options in Florida garage
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2013, 06:50:02 AM »
when you are ready, an upright chest freezer is the way to go, in my opinion (pictured in this thread; http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=14134.0)

before i got conicals, i had built a shelf inside and was able to fit 4 carboys or buckets in the fermentor at a time which was perfect.

but before that, for years I used a swamp cooler - 2 frozen gatorade bottles in the morning before work, 2 at night a little before bed and I was able to maintain 63-66 fairly consistent. 

where in J-ville you at?  i grew up in the Avondale/Riverside area.

good luck!
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Online FLbrewer

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Temp control options in Florida garage
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2013, 06:57:21 AM »
when you are ready, an upright chest freezer is the way to go, in my opinion (pictured in this thread; http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=14134.0)

before i got conicals, i had built a shelf inside and was able to fit 4 carboys or buckets in the fermentor at a time which was perfect.

but before that, for years I used a swamp cooler - 2 frozen gatorade bottles in the morning before work, 2 at night a little before bed and I was able to maintain 63-66 fairly consistent. 

where in J-ville you at?  i grew up in the Avondale/Riverside area.

good luck!

Are people using swamp coolers indoors with all of those ice exchanges? Or is it primarily used in a garage? I wouldn't think I would need much maintenance with ice inside.
Mandarin, the suburbs!

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Re: Temp control options in Florida garage
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2013, 07:01:16 AM »
when you are ready, an upright chest freezer is the way to go, in my opinion (pictured in this thread; http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=14134.0)

before i got conicals, i had built a shelf inside and was able to fit 4 carboys or buckets in the fermentor at a time which was perfect.

but before that, for years I used a swamp cooler - 2 frozen gatorade bottles in the morning before work, 2 at night a little before bed and I was able to maintain 63-66 fairly consistent. 

where in J-ville you at?  i grew up in the Avondale/Riverside area.

good luck!

Are people using swamp coolers indoors with all of those ice exchanges? Or is it primarily used in a garage? I wouldn't think I would need much maintenance with ice inside.
Mandarin, the suburbs!

yeah - I kept the carboys in rubbermaid tubs and placed them in my guest bathroom tub.  you need to keep the temperature as constant as possible - spikes are the enemy.
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

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Offline dean_palmer

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Re: Temp control options in Florida garage
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2013, 10:28:54 AM »
Upright fridge or freezer with controller is the way to go. With Florida heat everything else is just too much work and has too much variance for me. I also ferment in a garage and deal with Florida heat.

Keep in mind with an upright fridge or upright "frost-free" freezer, they use an air recirculation system that is a lot more efficient than chest freezers and have much more ability to control temps quickly. They also have less lifting to get the fermenters in and out.

Online blatz

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Re: Temp control options in Florida garage
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2013, 10:35:24 AM »
not to mention smaller footprint relative to volume/capacity.
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Temp control options in Florida garage
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2013, 10:39:07 AM »
I would think an inside cooler or water bath etc would stay fairly constant inside. The fridge outside doesn't seem too bad but I read things about mold here and it seems a waste. Additionally I think the fridge would get vetoed in congress.

Offline thatgeekguy

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Re: Temp control options in Florida garage
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2013, 10:51:24 AM »
Check out the Cool Brewing bag, I used one on my first half-dozen batches. I kept it in a spare bedroom with a few frozen bottles and it worked great, no water needed.

https://www.cool-brewing.com/Home.aspx
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Temp control options in Florida garage
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2013, 04:29:27 PM »
I bought a 14 cf chest freezer at home depot and got a Ranco two stage controller from more beer. I use a heat pad for the warm side. Best investment in my brewery yet. You could probably get by with a single stage controller and skip the heater since mom nature will take care of that for you.

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