I haven't done any brewing this summer because when I brewed some mead last summer, my apartment was very warm during the days, and I think this higher brewing temperature was related to some solvent-y flavours that some people detected in that batch.
I'd like to start a batch now to be ready later in the fall, but it's still rather warm (gets close to 30C indoors in the daytime) in my apartment. I don't have a budget for a temperature controlled fermenter. I make small batches (5 Litres) and the fermenting jar will fit nicely into a small picnic cooler. My plan was to put a few freezer-packs into an inch of water inside the picnic cooler to lower the temperature overnight and then put the fresh wort in the next day (in contact with the cold water at the bottom to keep it cooler). I imagine I'd have to change the freezer-packs twice a day.
Is this a good idea? I know that the process of fermentation itself will generate a little bit of heat and while I don't think it's enough to overwhelm the freezer-packs and overheat the inside of the cooler, I'm not 100% sure about that. Has anyone used this method before? Does it work (or sound like should work), or should I wait for cooler weather?