During my adventure into learning how to brew beer, I have to improvise…a lot. My apartment is small and space is coveted. I constantly test the patience of my fiance with the assortment of cabinets and closet space that my beloved beer brewing requires. I previously used a cabinet in my kitchen to store my fermenters. However, one night after cooking I checked my fermenter and panic set in.
The temperature had risen to 86°F due to the proximity of the fermenter to my oven. This was bad news for my poor little hefeweizen yeast. After that, I started looking into ways to keep my fermenter cool and came across the Cool Brewing Fermentation Cooler.
The Cool Brewing system is actually really simple. At the most basic level, it’s an insulated, waterproof bag that can keep your fermenter at a low temperature. It’s also easy to clean if your yeast decides to go bananas (not the good hefeweizen kind) and blow the lid off your fermenter. There was some spillage in my case but a few wipes is all it took for the blow off to be cleaned up.
How It Works
In my experience, the Cool Brewing cooler had two main purposes: Protect and Cool.
Protect: by containing my fermenter inside of a sealed cooler, it prevents spillage in the event of a blow off. I also like to keep my bottles in there as well so that I can contain the occasional bottle bomb (when a bottle explodes from temperature, active yeast or continued fermentation).
Cool: I stuck a few frozen water bottles in the cooler alongside my fermenter. It stayed between 62°F and 65°F which is much better than my usual mid 70’s. Plus, it’s extremely cost effective and low maintenance. I can rotate out the frozen water bottles every 12 hours and they’ll keep the insulated cooler at a low temperature while I’m away from home.
Here are the biggest pros and cons I found for my style of homebrewing:
- The waterproof, sealed aspect of the cooler makes a huge difference in cleaning up any drips, spillage or blow offs that may occur during the first and most vigorous days of fermentation. I brew a lot of wheat beers and they tend to have very aggressive fermentations. The cooler kept my fermentation closet nice and clean so I would never have to worry about cleaning something like this up:
- In order to view the fermentation and check temperatures, you must unzip the top. This might let out some of the cold trapped inside. It would be pretty rad if you there was a window or some sort of ability to check temperatures and view the fermenter from the outside. You can get an external temperature gauge Digital temperature meter with remote temp sensor to solve the problem.
Overall, I really enjoy my Cool Brewing cooler. It keeps all my brewing gear contained and I don’t need to worry about any blow offs or bottle bombs. It is very low maintenance and keeps my fermenter at a steady low temperature. What more could you ask for? If you want to check them out, the coolers are available online here.
Disclaimer: I was sent one of these coolers for the purpose of reviewing. I am not a seller of these coolers nor do I receive any affiliate bonus associated with this company. I made every effort to review as impartially as I am able to.