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sabres032

Using an Igloo water cooler as fermentation vessel.

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just curious. Has anyone ever use an igloo water cooler as a fermentation vessel? I'm sure it "could" be used if someone had a creative way to control temperatures.

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I placed one of my LBKs into a cooler. I read a post about using hot and cold water bottles to regulate the temperature as needed.

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I talking about using an igloo water cooler like one would use an LBK or carboy.

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Buckets and carboys are cheaper...but this is a hobby so anything goes I guess. Plus due to the insulation properties of the cooler how would you practically cool it?

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I figured that might be what you meant. I don't think it would be practical. If you are talking the 2 gallon igloo water coolers, the have a spout in the lid that could be a contamination point. Also I'm not sure that the plastic is food grade 

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I figured that might be what you meant. I don't think it would be practical. If you are talking the 2 gallon igloo water coolers, the have a spout in the lid that could be a contamination point. Also I'm not sure that the plastic is food grade 

The LBK and other fermentation vessels have spouts as well and are not a contamination point per say unless it is used to check for a hydrometer reading in which case you would have to sanatize after. In either case ANY spout could be a contamination point. The igloo coolers are made of food grade plastic other wise people would not use them for mashing and alike....

 

 

**"Hard-side coolers: The exterior body of most Igloo hard-side coolers is made of high-density polyethylene, while the interior liner is made of FDA-grade polypropylene. The insulation is made of Ultratherm™ - a proprietary blend of polyurethane foam."

 

**Igloo website under FAQs

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I'm not talking about the side spigot.The one that exist on the lid of the of the cooler serves two purposes:

 

A: to allow air in, when using the side spigot to dispense liquid

B: Also used to dispense liquids.

 

I'm sure it's air tight when closed. Aside from the spigots though is the concern that the plastic used in making the cooler is not food grade. Coolers are meant as temporary storage only. Even when used as Grain Tuns, there use is short. I'm not an expert, but based on past experiences of having to try and clean a cooler out after Boys Scouts have left all kinds of various fluids in them is not pleasant. Most times we tossed the coolers and bought new ones. There are just some things that love to grow in an environment not meant for long term storage. But by all means experiment and let us know how it works. But again I raise the health concern warning

 

The same question has been posted to The Home Brew Forums. I'm posting the link as a reference. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=228229

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The original fermentation vessels from the dawn of brewing were pretty crude.  I'm pretty sure anything that can hold a liquid safely could work and yet 5 gallon brew buckets are so cheap why take a chance.

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The original fermentation vessels from the dawn of brewing were pretty crude. I'm pretty sure anything that can hold a liquid safely could work and yet 5 gallon brew buckets are so cheap why take a chance.

Agreed. You can pickup a white 5 gallon food grade bucket at the local Home Depot for less than $2.00. I also found a lid that fits the bucket that has a screw down air tight lid. I bought 2, made one a primary fermentation bucket and the other a bottling bucket. I'm using it for batches that are ~4 gallons.

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I'm not talking about the side spigot.The one that exist on the lid of the of the cooler serves two purposes:

 

A: to allow air in, when using the side spigot to dispense liquid

B: Also used to dispense liquids.

 

I'm sure it's air tight when closed. Aside from the spigots though is the concern that the plastic used in making the cooler is not food grade. Coolers are meant as temporary storage only. Even when used as Grain Tuns, there use is short. I'm not an expert, but based on past experiences of having to try and clean a cooler out after Boys Scouts have left all kinds of various fluids in them is not pleasant. Most times we tossed the coolers and bought new ones. There are just some things that love to grow in an environment not meant for long term storage. But by all means experiment and let us know how it works. But again I raise the health concern warning

 

The same question has been posted to The Home Brew Forums. I'm posting the link as a reference. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=228229

The LBK is considered an "open" fermentor as it does not have a air lock so I still don't see how that is a concern. People who use buckets often check on their brew and find the lid has blown off a little. As far as the plastic you should worry about scratches, cleaning and sanitizing.

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I was just thinking out loud on DIY alternatives to a 2.13 gallon LBK. I'm on a limited budget but would like to brew more than a case at a time. The LHBS has 5 gallon brew buckets available but they are charging almost $25.00 for the bucket, lid and air lock. Add extra for the siphon, and bottling bucket. That's almost the cost of an igloo water cooler.

All I'm trying to accomplish is to maximize the amount of beer I can ferment at one time with available funds.

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Keystone sells a 6.5 bucket with lid for $13

http://www.keystonehomebrew.com/shop/beer/equipment/fermenters-accessories/bucket-ferm-w-dr-lid-6-5-gal.html

You need to buy the airlock separately.

 

Uline sells 5 gallon "FDA compliant" buckets for $5 a bucket but you have to buy 5 of them and lids are sold separate.

http://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/S-7914W/Pails/Plastic-Pail-5-Gallon-White?pricode=WY706&gadtype=pla&id=S-7914WQ4&gclid=CPHcp9eK_8UCFU-PHwodwaIAog&gclsrc=aw.ds

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So in reality I'd spend almost as much as purchasing a complete brew bucket, siphon and bottling bucket at my LHBS???

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How would you control temps as the fermentation heated up? Put the cooler in a frig? Don't think that would work well.

How to brew 5 gals? Buy another LBK for $10. Problem solved.

Want to brew 10 gals? 3 more LBKs, $30.

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How would you control temps as the fermentation heated up? Put the cooler in a frig? Don't think that would work well.

How to brew 5 gals? Buy another LBK for $10. Problem solved.

Want to brew 10 gals? 3 more LBKs, $30.

If you search Flea Markets and Garage Sales, sooner or later you find a Mr. Beer kit or just the LBK for under $10. You can find them on eBay as well, but at that point, like RickBeer said, you might as well by a new one from the online store.

 

Home Depot Solution - 5 gallon bucket and the Screw Down Lid. just drill the lid to fit a grommet and an Air Lock = Fermentation Bucket. Buy a second set, don't drill the lid. Pick up a Spigot and drill a 3/4" hole about an 1 1/2 from the bottom and you have a bottling bucket. You'll still need an auto siphon to transfer the beer from the fermenter to the bottling bucket.

 

 

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Where is everyone keeping their fermentation vessels? I don't have a basement and can't figure out a good way to ferment more that 1 or 2 brews at a time. Hard to keep the house around 66 and SWMBO probably wouldn't like that. Currently using a shelf and wet towels/fan to lower the temp.

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Large coolers with rotating frozen water bottles or a frig/freezer with temp controller.

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Yep - I have an Igloo cooler my LBK fits in, with room enough for 2 large or 3 small water bottles that are frozen.

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I've been playing around with making ice bottles that last longer than straight frozen water.  So far adding salt to the water seems to make it last longer (lowering the freezing temp).  I've added up to 3 tables spoons of table salt per 20 oz bottle.  I think I can put more in but I haven't gotten around to it.  I also added some water absorbing crystals, the type used to keep houseplants moist longer, to a bottle.  I'm not sure the crystals provide any benefit.

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Where is everyone keeping their fermentation vessels? I don't have a basement and can't figure out a good way to ferment more that 1 or 2 brews at a time. Hard to keep the house around 66 and SWMBO probably wouldn't like that. Currently using a shelf and wet towels/fan to lower the temp.

http://community.mrbeer.com/topic/33706-warm-weather-brewing/?p=416827

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Hey thanks guys I'll keep looking for a good set up. Everyone keep their fingers crossed in the meantime. If I win the lottery I'll make myself a huge fermentation chamber and create the pipeline I've always wanted... I'll supply the world with homebrew

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My cellar is a constant 60 degrees in the summer and can drop as low as 43 in the winter. I have been putting my LBKs into a plastic bins lined with Reflectix insulation. I have just started keeping them on the main floor (constant 68 deg) in a sealed been. The bin is to keep the dogs and sun light away from the beer. I have an air tight aluminum shipping box that I lined with foam mats. My first batch went in there. A super active fermentation left beer all over the inside.

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