Homebrew Related Uses for Ice Packs

Pictured: Cooler Shock Ice Packs via Amazon

  • The first and most obvious use for these… use them in your cooler to keep your homebrew, favorite craft beer and more cold.  I went to ice packs instead of ice after watching a segment on packing your cooler properly on “Good Eats”.  Thanks to Alton Brown I have been ice free since and haven’t looked back.
  • Traveling someplace to brew – put your yeast and hops in a small cooler with an ice pack.
  • I like to keep an ice pack next to yeast in my fridge to help temp stabilize it.
  • If you’re using an ice bath to help keep fermentation temperatures down, you can use ice packs instead of ice.  This method saves you needing to drain water from the bath like you would have if you had added more ice, adding more gel packs doesn’t add any additional water to the mix.  If you’re in the practice of purchasing bags of ice for this, this method will also save you money in the long run.
  • If you have warm ground water temps, set up your system with a pre-chiller and use ice packs to help chill down your ground water.

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Cooler Shock Performance Chart via their 3 x Large Offering on Amazon

Some Ice Packs to Consider:

  • Cooler Shock Gel Packs – affiliate link, note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link. In my opinion… these are amazing.  The are made of thick mylar and come in several sizes and configurations.  Some are pre-made and others are DIY.  For the DIY versions you add the water to finish them off.
  • Nordic Ice NOR1006 Reusable Long-Lasting 24 Oz Gel Pack – smaller size, handy for temp stabilizing yeast in the fridge.

Frozen water in gallon jugs and 2L bottles can also be used for some of these tasks.  Although their pound for pound performance may trail behind something like a Cooler Shock Ice Pack, they are an economical option.  I would lean more toward using 2L bottles are they are generally more rugged than gallon jugs.

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