Trying Different Method For Cooling Fermenter

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Newts

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Hi all,

I've only just started brewing over the last 2 months and my last 3 brews have all had a really bitter aftertaste. It almost tastes like the beer is "burnt". I'm assuming this is because it has now hit summer in our area with high temps of 40+ degrees Celcius. It is very difficult to keep the temperature below 30 in my fermenters without some form of cooling.

As such I'm looking at a self sufficient method of cooling my fermenter. The method I'm looking at is drilling 2 holes in my freezer and running a long hose into the freezer compartment. With the length of the line I'm aiming to cool the water as I pump it at a slow rate through the freezer. Hopefully this will simulate an ice bath in a large container I can sit my fermenters in. Just wanted to ask any experienced brewers opinions on this one. The only problems I can foresee are freezing the water line or still having temperature fluctuations due to the ambient temperate of the container that are outside brewing temp.

Ultimately I'd like to get another fridge but I just got one to keep my kegs in and can't afford another for the time being.

Any feedback is appreciated.

Cheers,

Newts
 

Guysmiley54

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Ultimately I'd like to get another fridge but I just got one to keep my kegs in and can't afford another for the time being.
Just in case you hadn't thought to look, check out Gumtree you should be able to find an old bar fridge for $50 (give or take). Much cleaner, easier and not particularly expensive.

:icon_cheers:
 

carniebrew

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I picked up my fermenting fridge from ebay for $25, so if you can find one at that price it's hardly worth the hassle of running pipes through your freezer, although that's some bloody inventive thinking.

Have you tried the simple options of draping a towel over your fermenter, with the ends of the towel sitting in water, and a sub $20 box fan from Woolies blowing on it? The fans at Woolies even have a 2 hour timer on them if you don't want it running all night, just long enough to keep it cool while the temps drop.

Or have you thought of brewing a Saison? I've been reading recently about blokes on this site having great results with 30 degree fermentations with saison yeast, like the Wyeast 3724.

Tony's BullsHead Summer Saison could be turned into a kit recipe using something like this:

1 can of Coopers European Lager (or even their Australian Pale Ale, or Coopers Draught if you can't get the lager)
Can of Coopers wheat LME (or light LME would do)

Fill that up to only 20 litres in your fermenter at anything up to around 30 degrees, and use the 3724 Wyeast. Should come out at about 5%. If you want something more akin to Tony's lawnmower abv, do 23 litres in your fermenter for around 4.4% (abv numbers are post bottle conditioning).
 

booargy

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The method I'm looking at is drilling 2 holes in my freezer and running a long hose into the freezer compartment. With the length of the line I'm aiming to cool the water as I pump it at a slow rate through the freezer.
I did this the other day. had 60l of water in the freezer @ 0c. pumped 80L wort to fermenter was 28c when it hit fermenter. started pump to circulate cooling water within 2hrs freezer water was at 18c. freezer ran constantly for 36hrs to hit 18c then another 12hrs to get coolant down to 0c again. turn coolant pump back on under 1hr it goes back to 18c. now I need a glycol chiller.
Short answer it doesn't really work.
 

Punkal

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Ebay and gum-tree are you friend here... Any diy solution will cost more than a cheap fridge, some people even get lucky and pick up a free one from time to time.
 

m3taL

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i advertised on my estates FB page and got it for free, 7 year old few mods and she is the ducks!!!

got freezer sitting on -1 and fridge on 1c atm cold conditioning while i ferment up some nappisan for a couple of days


usually i control the temp inside the fridge while its fermenting at 18-20c by just turning it on and off as need be usually a few hours after work brings it too 18 then it might be at 20 by the next night.....
 

grantsglutenfreehomebrew

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I just wet two towels and throw them in the fridge. When they are cold enough wrap one around the fermenter. Swap every 8 hours or so. Make sure your fermentor is on a tiled or concrete floor in a dark spot. That'll keep the temp down. To get the hot wort down to pitching temp try replacing some water with pre boiled ice. I use two two litre ice cream containers. Place in ferment or before adding hot wort. By the time you've added cold water and aerated your Wort should be about 21 degrees.
 

glaab

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a wet towel with a fan on it will keep it down a bit but not if youre expecting 40C+.
put your location in your profile. i'm trying to unload a fridge [got a new keezer] but you could be in Kookamunga for all I know
 

flaggycreek

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I was in a similar position. Bought a really good nick chest freezer for $100 on gum tree (heaps of cheaper ones). Got a stc 1000 controller on eBay for $21 plus another 20 in bits. Attach the probe to outside of fermenter and hold any brewing temp you want. Good thing about chests is cold air stays in bottom and they are well insulated freezer hardly uses much power due to this.Andrew
 

jakethesnake559

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Before I had my fermenting fridge, I had a large storage tub filled with water.
Freeze a few 1.25 bottles of water and add them to the water to get it a few degrees below your ferm temp.
Put the fermenter in with the water and keep replacing the frozen water bottles every morning.

I found I could generally keep the water temp down to about 20C with it stored on my kitchen bench.
Didn't win me too many points my girlfriend though :rolleyes: !!
 

Don Runk

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incase OP is still watching -

firstly. A fridge is better. yes

but if you don't have the space,money etc. to go that route what you suggested should work fine.

IF --- you use a closed loop system filled with antifreeze ie. hose into freezer and out, around fermenter through a pump and back to the freezer.

what would work better (on that system) is a temp controller on the pump, then when it's too warm pump kicks in and cycles cold water around your fermenter until the set temp is reached then cuts off.

a dedicated fridge is great, but i really dont see what would be wrong with this setup.

oh and insulate the lines that go between the freezer and the fermenter, and also wrap a blanket or two around the fermenter to protect it from the heat. (yes blankets work against warmth too!)
 

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