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Old 09-26-2013, 12:34 AM   #1
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Default 2.5 Gallon Bratches - Best Chilling Methods?

What are some good methods to chill 2.5 gallon batches of beer?

I started my brewing days with 5 gallon extract kits. Over the last 3 years my friend I have scaled our brewing operations up to two to three 10gallon batches in a brew day (35gal. is the most we have ever done total in one day). However, I am I looking at starting to regress and do a few 2.5 gallon batches. I want to use minimal equipment and keep it as simple as possible. My main purpose is just to be able to do a small batch where I can test a recipe/style before scaling it up. I think everything will be easy, and I already have the equipment for it except I don't know about the chilling. Using my current chiller is way to big and bulky for me wanting to deal with it on these micro brews. From what I have read, an ice bath will take a good hour or two for 2.5 gallon batch. I would like some faster chilling methods. Anybody have any tricks up their sleeve for this?

Thanks!

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Old 09-26-2013, 12:36 AM   #2
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A simple 25' immersion chiller would be your best bet I'd say. Or get one of those plate chillers and gravity feed it down to the fermenter

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Old 09-26-2013, 12:41 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by 241 View Post
A simple 25' immersion chiller would be your best bet I'd say. Or get one of those plate chillers and gravity feed it down to the fermenter
While I agree with the suggestion of using an immersion chiller, but during the summer months of warm tap water, you will need to introduce ice anyways, for this reason I think it is easier to just chill a small batch in the sink or a large tub with water and ice. Frozen 2 liter soda bottles work well. Perhaps not as fast as an IC...but it is hands off and easy. You can walk away can come back in a few hours rather than baby sitting a chiller for 30-40 minutes...then also have to ice bath in the warm months to get down to mid low sixties...JMO,
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:43 AM   #4
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DIY your own immersion chiller. Copper tubing wrapped in a tighter coil to fit your boil equipment.

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Old 09-26-2013, 03:50 AM   #5
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I chill 2.5-3 gallon extract batches in an ice bath in my sink in 30 minutes. Just keep plenty of ice in. I freeze water/coke bottles and milk jugs filled with water and use those instead of buying ice.

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Old 09-28-2013, 01:06 AM   #6
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Thanks for the advice! I think I will just try a simple ice bath first. I'm trying to make this as simple as possible and use the least amount of equipment. Thanks!

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Old 09-29-2013, 03:12 PM   #7
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Also, if you slowly stir the wort as it's chilling in the ice bath, you can get it down faster. By doing this, you are exchanging hot wort in the center of the pot for the cooled wort on the sides of the pot. I'd say 30 mins is the upper end of how long this should take with a half batch.

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Old 09-30-2013, 04:17 AM   #8
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If I'm doing a 2.5 - 3 gallon batch in the kitchen, I just chill my pot in the sink. We have a 2 compartment sink so I alternate between compartments a few times with cold tap water and then usually on the 4th "bath" is when I add some ice and an ice pack (to the sink, not the wort). The alternating method and stirring with a sanitized brew spoon gets me down near pitching temps in about 20 minutes. By the time I transfer to fermenter and transport to the square cooler filled with water in the basement I'm either there or real close.

If I'm brewing in the backyard, I use my chiller and water the garden.

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