Author Topic: Swamp Cooler Temp. Control  (Read 709 times)

Offline flbrewer

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Swamp Cooler Temp. Control
« on: January 19, 2015, 09:31:13 PM »
I use a big Coleman cooler with water and sometimes ice to keep my beer within normal range while fermenting (Speidel 30L fermenter).

For those doing the same, how cool are you keeping the surrounding water compared to the beer temperature?

After the bulk of fermentation is done, I can keep the water and beer the same.  The first few days are tougher as the beer is really ramping up.

Cheers!

Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: Swamp Cooler Temp. Control
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2015, 10:35:39 PM »
I use a big Coleman cooler with water and sometimes ice to keep my beer within normal range while fermenting (Speidel 30L fermenter).

For those doing the same, how cool are you keeping the surrounding water compared to the beer temperature?

After the bulk of fermentation is done, I can keep the water and beer the same.  The first few days are tougher as the beer is really ramping up.



Cheers!

Yes, I think so. after the yeast is done and settles into dormancy, the temperature inside the fermenter will equalize with the ambient temperature whether that is the air temperature of the room or the temperature of the swamp cooler. I find that once primary fermentation is done, I don't have to add any more ice. Of course, it depends on the ambient temperature of the room/area.

I'm not aware of any rules of thumb regarding how many degrees over the wort/beer temperature will do the trick. I would just say to add ice until your fermenting wort is at optimal temperature and then remove or add ice to keep it where you want it.

Hope that helps.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2015, 10:54:11 PM by Frankenbrew »
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Swamp Cooler Temp. Control
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2015, 10:53:05 PM »
I did this for years. I would pitch a couple degrees below target, and swap frozen water bottles at least twice a day.  I found the temp of the water in my tub was pretty reliably within a degree or so of the fermometer reading. As you've noticed, the trick is to change those frozen bottles for the first 3 days or so to try to keep the water at your target temp. After 3 or 4 days (average strength ales), I took the fermenter out of the water and allowed to warm up to room temp until I reached FG, to help the yeast attenuate and clean up. It takes a commitment those first few days, but I got good results.
Jon H.

Offline denny

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Re: Swamp Cooler Temp. Control
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2015, 11:11:50 PM »
I have no idea what my water temp was.  It didn't matter.  I adjusted water temp based on the fermometer on my fermenter.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Swamp Cooler Temp. Control
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2015, 11:18:55 PM »
Yeah, when I started I didn't know whether to have confidence in the fermometer strips or not, Denny.  But after a while it was obvious that the readings were pretty much in step with each other.
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Offline duboman

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Re: Swamp Cooler Temp. Control
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2015, 11:29:38 PM »
I did this for years. I would pitch a couple degrees below target, and swap frozen water bottles at least twice a day.  I found the temp of the water in my tub was pretty reliably within a degree or so of the fermometer reading. As you've noticed, the trick is to change those frozen bottles for the first 3 days or so to try to keep the water at your target temp. After 3 or 4 days (average strength ales), I took the fermenter out of the water and allowed to warm up to room temp until I reached FG, to help the yeast attenuate and clean up. It takes a commitment those first few days, but I got good results.
+1,
This is how I did it as well and it works really well!
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Swamp Cooler Temp. Control
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2015, 11:37:50 PM »
Yeah, when I started I didn't know whether to have confidence in the fermometer strips or not, Denny.  But after a while it was obvious that the readings were pretty much in step with each other.
While using old school technology, those things are pretty accurate. I have blown a few out when using a bucket for sparge water.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Swamp Cooler Temp. Control
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2015, 11:53:01 PM »
Yeah, when I started I didn't know whether to have confidence in the fermometer strips or not, Denny.  But after a while it was obvious that the readings were pretty much in step with each other.
While using old school technology, those things are pretty accurate. I have blown a few out when using a bucket for sparge water.

Yeah, they're surprisingly accurate. I don't think I've ever blown one out with hot water, though.
Jon H.