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-   -   Automated Stirring with IWC? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/automated-stirring-iwc-373741/)

Arrheinous 12-12-2012 03:50 PM

Automated Stirring with IWC?
With a bunch of nice SS valves on my pots and coolers I've taken a lot of the heavy work out of brew day. What stands for further optimization (work smart, not hard) is chilling the wort after all is said and down. This thing needs circulation to get the temperature down and so far I've just been beating the big SS spoon I've got into the side of the kettle like a drum while I stir.

What I have now is a 25' copper IWC from my LBHS. I've added an aquarium pump to circulate coolant water and it works very consistently.

1) I could adapt it into Jamil's whirlpooling IWC somehow though I don't want to put the investment into a food-safe liquid pump for now (unless they're cheaper than I expect). Can't think of a way to recirculate that much wort without a pump without breaking physics.

2) The other option would be some kind of stirplate I could straddle the kettle over and use a big old Teflon-coated stirbar like we use over in the lab. But the kettle's SS so maybe that will toy with the action of the magnetic stirring element.

3) I guess a third but more hands on approach would be to stir from above with some kind of drill-based dowel with baffles on it. The IWC doesn't leave a lot of room for something that large though unless I can prop the IWC up on the bazooka screen and get the baffles to rotate below the bottom of the coils.

4) Maybe this is crazy but if you strap a bunch of back massager units to the side of the kettle I assume there will be some sort of micro-agitation going on in the liquid. Ultrasonicators are used to stir up and dissolve samples in the lab I work at so maybe the principle would apply here in getting the wort moving.

What have other people done around here to automate circulation during wort chilling with an IWC?

I'd like to stick with the IWC rather than get a CFC or plate chiller because the ease of sterilization and operation are elegant. Just looking for an option that's less manual.

maida7 12-12-2012 06:25 PM

I use a pump to make a Jamil style whirlpool. The chugger pumps run about 140.00 plus you will need some silicone hoses, valves, cam lock quick disconnects, etc... I'd budget 180.00 and you'd have a very well built whirlpool.

I have a friend that uses a motor mounted to the lid of his pot that turns a stainless fan blade like thing inside the liquid. It's completely custom built. I have no idea what it costs.

Both methods work really really really good.

Arrheinous 12-12-2012 07:51 PM

The other method I'm considering is to fix the IWC and something like a fan blade to a second lid and just rotate the kettle on a lazy susan below it.

I'm probably going to cave and get the pump though (or the GreatBreweh at $70). Automation like that would speed things up and let me clean up while the machinery handles the heavy work. Still need to get a proper propane burner for full boils so that might come first.

maida7 12-12-2012 08:12 PM

The SQ14 is a nice burner for full boils

Arrheinous 12-12-2012 09:55 PM

Cool, I'll check it out. Looks like it comes bundled with a 32qt pot in some cases so I might go for that.

I just need to figure out a way to brew that doesn't look like I'm trying to cook crystal meth in my driveway. I live in a borderline sketchy part of the city.

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