when we downsized from our big ol’ 1920’s craftsman farmhouse/bungalow into a little townhouse, I lost my coalroom/cellar–60-64 degrees in summer, 48-52 in winter.
Suddenly I can’t make a non-phenolic beer to save my a**. (after ten years of clean fermentations) It stays around 72 everywhere in the house (78 in the too-cramped-anyway master BR closet, and about 80 in the utility/laundry room which also houses the hot water heater)
Add ten degrees for the height of fermentation, and phenolic, fusel-y beer is no mystery.
My wife is skeptical about the old laundry tub/towel/fan method of evaporative cooling in either our bedroom or the guest bedroom or living room (all carpeted, and she remembers when the plastic tub cracked in our old basement one time when I was using (successfully, that is before The Flood, anyway) the evap cooling method for primary LAGER fermentation in the SUMMER (man I miss that cellar!), getting the fermenter down to ~ 51-52 F in the then ambient 60F coal room.
By “My wife is skeptical” I mean, it ain’t gonna happen.
Only two bathtubs in the new place and 1 is in a bathroom which is off limits to me at all times (women are really funny about what normal human beings (men) recognize as a humorous if earthy part of everyday life, ie farts) so I have to shower in the other…so I can’t leave a carboy in that tub for an extended period of time.
So–anybody ever use, say, some construction of those chemical cold packs and, say, duct tape, to engineer a sort of cooling belt around a glass carboy? At least in the first three-four days of vigorous fementation? And did it work? I thought if I could strap eight or ten of em in a circle around the thing it might bring the temp down almost as much as the evaporative method. Maybe change em out 2x a day? I could drape a damp towel over them if it was wrung out pretty good, just no tubs full of water per above Rules of the House…