The instructions called for 1″ styrofoam, typically used to insulate garage doors…which I also happened to have just enough on hand. So far, no additional costs…looking good! I laid it all out, traced the cooler and began cutting. I cut out the middle to fit right over the rounded top of the carboy, then added 3 more layers, changing the hold size as it got taller.
Now it was time to test, so I filled the carboy with water, put a water bottle with thermometer next to it, and let it sit. My goal was to maintain a constant temperature, regardless of the temp inside my garage. It succeeded for the most part and without adding any cooling I was at 75 deg, so my next thought was how do I cool it a little more. Considering, when the wort is fermenting, it is actually heating up – I knew this would result it me being more proactive and possibly adding frozen water bottles each day. I really did not want to haved to do that.
Sitting in my garage, thinking, my eyes spotted this other ice chest I had that plugged into the car to keep sodas cold. Gears-a-moving, I thought again, can you guess where I’m going with this? I disassembled the cooler and found the cooling device (peltier cooling part) was attached to the aluminum casing. Since the Cube was plastic, I went and bought a strip of aluminum with the intent of attaching it to the peltier and some how sticking it inside the cube to cool.
My design came out really cool (no pun intended), and after getting the right power cord to convert ac/dc, I ran it for several days, starting out with 90 degree water. It finally cooled it all down to 75, however that wasn’t good enough.