Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Styro-Igloo for Windowsill Lagering

While most people complain and grow weary of our frigid Chicago Winter weather, I am quite pleased. I'll begin to strike up a boring conversation about how my lagers depend on the weather they despise, and how cool my styro-igloo is. Luckily this year has been consistently cold, and it has worked out marvelously.

A space heater thermostat is utilized to control primary fermentation temps in an unheated porch. After the first batch of lager beer is racked into lagering stage, I need a way to control two temperatures in the same space...primary (40's) and lagering (30's-40). The setup for primary temp, basically fills the whole porch with 40°F ambient air. But then I've built a box out of large styro-foam panels (previously packaging material for shelving units) to surround 1 to 3 carboys on a windowsill. Two carboys get a trapezoidal shaped box, and 1 or 3 carboys get a triangular shaped box.

This box is the styro-igloo for lagering beer on a windowsill. One wall of this box is the window. Light guarded carboys rest half-way on the windowsill, and half-way on a section of kitchen cabinet & counter-top. The styro-foam panels are simply held together by light weights like boxes of empty bottles, or books or whatever (not shown in photos) It really works well and keeps consistent lower temperatures.




Take a look at an old post about my first lager to see a picture of the 10-gallon mashtun cooler converted into a lagering icebox.

3 comments:

mike vw said...

I guess Chicago winter's are good for something after all. No offense but I can't wait for this one to be over with.

Ted Danyluk said...

At this point, when lagering comes to an end, I too look forward to warmer days. Then on those warmer days, I get to pop open a nice cold home brewed lager beer, and everything is good in that moment. Thanks mike for sharing your thoughts.

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