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Building a box to keep a 55 gallon drum cool

My apologies if you already saw this at homebrewtalk… but I did build it for sake after all, I hope you don’t mind me posting it here too!

I’m scaling up my sake batches. I don’t have the luxury of a nice cold winter to keep the moromi chilled, so I built this:

I have a short writeup of the build here:

The box took an empty drum from ambient (about 80 degrees) down to 36 degrees fahrenheit in a day. I then filled the drum half-full with 78 degree water and it took about 5 days to cool that down to 48 degrees.

Up next: building a rice steamer that can handle 50-lbs of rice.

Hi Chuck,

Just wanted to compliment you on your ‘climate-control’ sake-brewing box. Very neatly done I must say! I can see (from your blog entries) you’ve put it together large enough to enclose a 55gal drum. Sheesh! ~ That’s a lot o’ Sake my friend! :shock:
But then I take it from your stated intention to set up a brewery in Carlsbad that you’re thinking on a larger scale than most of us ordinarily might.

I have a couple questions though…just outta’ curiosity. :?

  • After your primary brew period… how do you plan on racking off to your secondaries (and then dealing with the lees)? ~ Just scooping out the contents of the drum with some kind of large pot or perhaps a huge ladle? – or what? – And then into what type of container(s)?

*And lastly, where in the world did you find a giant spoon big enough to stir it all with? :mrgreen:


A very good question! A drum half-full will weigh about 250 lbs and I don’t have a crane set up. As I see it I have three options for transferring the moromi to bags for pressing:

  1. pumps
  2. suction
  3. pressure

And I have a couple of vacuum pumps at my disposal so I’ll try option 2. I haven’t worked out the details yet. I’ll post a picture when I get to that stage! Big paddles aren’t hard to come by… check out your local REI, and look in the canoing/kayack section.

Cheers… I mean, Kampai!

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