$15 carboy cooler

If you need to cool your beer about 10 degrees below ambient, here are two great ideas. The first is the age-old “pot-in-pot” method, where you put the carboy inside a large unglazed terra-cotta pot, and fill the pot either with water, or a mixture of water and sand. Then blow a fan on the pot and the evaporation can cool the carboy down at least 10 deg. I couldn’t find any pots big enough for my Better Bottle, but while wandering through the garden section at Lowes, I did find an EnduraCool towel ($15) which is a thin, synthetic towel that is extremely efficient at evaporating. It wraps perfectly around the 6-gal Better Bottle. I secured it with two paper clips and put the carboy in a shallow tub that I feed with a slow trickle of water. Blowing a fan on it has cooled it down ten deg below ambient. Many brewers call this a “swamp cooler” and use a wet t-shirt; I tried this but it only gave me 3 deg drop. I’ve included a pic below.  I believe this would be even more efficient if I were doing it in a small room with a dehumidifier also running.
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1 comment

  1. Having read your post – we wanted to introduce ourselves and present a project that we currently have up on Kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/671413639/beertherm-fermentation-temperature-control-made-si ). We, Sachin Pannuri and Murthy Tata, are both Chemical Engineers who have been friends for over 30 years. We both have a background in fermentation and love brewing. During our adventures in home-brewing we ran into technical problems that we sought to fix – and having done so had our first product for home-brewers worthwhile to be on the market. We have developed a system to control the temperature of the beer fermentation to within 0.2F of the target. This allows home-brewers to test new recipes and also explore the temperature ranges accurately for any current recipes to enhance them.
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