The Cool Brewing Fermentation Cooler has also received and new and improved design. It now features thicker insulation which stands up and performs even better. The new design also includes a a dual zipper on top of the cooler, easily allowing you to use 1/2 barrel kegs and any tap system. A handy plastic window has been added on to store an index card to easily label your beer. It is also 100% waterproof and folds easily for storage.
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The Cooler does keep the fermentation cold, but it takes awhile to cool the beer down to the proper temperature. Be careful about putting sharp objects – thermometers – in the Cooler as it might puncture the bottom.
I have long been searching for a way to control fermentation temps better. Here in Houston, unless you spend a lot of $$, it's a bit below 80 degrees inside the house for half the year. But I didn't want an energy- and space-sucking fridge. I tried this. After NOT VERY MUCH experimentation, I was able to find the combination of ice (in old plastic bottles) to keep the fermenter between 62-65 degrees, replacing the bottles once a day. The result was a very nice pale ale (I was aiming at an M-43 clone with lots of Mitra hops, and got very close). NOT much work, NOT much energy waste, NOT much space waste!
I used this for about a year before I got my fermentation chest. It's pretty good if you have no other options, it can fit 2 carboys (I'd recommend only plastic because they're going to touch, also a 6 gallon plastic carboy is about the max height you're going to get). From there you can somewhat regulate the temperature from frozen ice bottles. I used 2 liter coke bottles so I could put as many as needed to get the temperature down (1-4 bottles depending on how low I wanted the temperature). It does require much more work though because you're going to have to monitor the temperature a few times a day to adjust the number of frozen bottles and then they have to be changed out ever 12 -24 hours. Still if you don't have other options, this is way better than nothing.
So far I am happy with this cooler. I was able to keep my fermentation temp between 62-65 degrees with this cooler.
As the title stated, this thing is solid!! Holds temps fairly well with the use of four icepacks or 2 frozen gallon jugs. Even if you're deciding to swap cool it holds water without any leaks. You do have to constantly swap out the frozen packs maybe 2x per day. It fits my 7gal carboy with the airlock on top and still has about 2in of space above. Tip: when arrived I placed inside of my freezer over night then filled with ice packs and it kept my temp at 64-67F for the first 24hrs of use.