I'm getting ready to brew again and I'm wondering about trying to use a swamp cooler to obtain a cooler fermentation temp, but since I'm away from the house up to 16 hours some days I'm not sure I can change the ice often enough to maintain a stable temp.
First some background. I live in a ranch style house (no basement or cellar) in the Ohio River Valley where August temperatures outside are usually 93 F plus ( above 100 F also happens sometimes) with very high humidity. Since I spend some time outside tending a vegetable garden, I like to keep the thermostat set at 73 F inside the house just to moderate the"themal shock" you can get when you step outside.
I've brewed several different ales in a spectrum from amber to stout using safale US-05 dry yeast and fermenting at 73F in the warmer months of the year. To my taste, they turn out to be quite drinkable.
First, how important is it to maintain a stable temperature to keep "happy" yeast when you are fermenting?
How hard his it to maintain a stable temp with a swamp cooler? How often do you need to change the ice etc.? I live by myself and I am away from the house for 8-10 hours most days and sometimes more.