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Old 09-17-2006, 01:40 PM   #1
andylegate
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Default Got the Wort Chiller made.....

Got to thinking seriously about this the other day. I've done 4 batches so far, either partial grain, or all extract and so far each has turned out great with no problems.
The last 2 batches that are done are my American Pilsner and Carmel Cream Ale. Both came out clear as glass. Now I do get a slight chill haze with the Carmel Cream when I put it in the fridge, but the pilsner stays clear as glass. Both of these batches I cooled them down by putting the brew kettel into a cold water bath, and then added 2 gallons of cold water. The water that comes out of my well is COLD, even during the hottest summer months. The wort in both cases cooled down to below 80 F in about 30 minutes.
So getting or building a wort chiller was decided since I don't like carring a boiling hot kettle from the kitchen to our bathroom with a 4 year old that is courious as hell.
He asked me last night as I started my fifth batch, "Got Beer?" LOL!!!!!
Prices for the wort chillers seemed to range from $59 and up, plus shipping and handling.
I went to Home Depot and found 20' of 3/8" OD copper tubbing for $39 and change.
10' clear vinal tubing 3/8" ID at 3 bucks.
Garden hose swivel attachement with spur at 2 bucks.
And 3 hose clamps at 81 cents a piece.
Total came to just over $46. Still cheaper than buying it online or at my LHBS.
Took about 10 minutes to bend and put together, so no sweat there of course.
Now I started my 5th batch last night, and partial grain recipe that I call Honey Red Ale. The moment the wort was done boiling, I poured into the fermentor, added my 2 gallons and started the wort chiller. Temp droped down from 205 F to 160 F when I added the 2 gallons of cold water. Then in 10 minutes went from 160 to 80 F in just under 10 minutes! Yippy!
I let it run another 5 minutes and had the mixture down to 72 F when I stopped the chiller and pulled it, then pitched my yeast. So I'm really happy with it.

Of course if I ever go to all grain and make bigger batches, it's obvious I'll have to make a bigger chiller, but for now I'm happy.

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Old 09-17-2006, 02:06 PM   #2
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You're lucky to have such cold water. Mine is 80 degrees out of the cold tap this time of year.

If I understood you right, you boiled the wort, then drained it to your fermenter and added your new wort chiller? If so, I assume you are using a bucket as primary fermenter. There are two issues I see with that method.

First, you'll be draining very hot wort into you bucket, and you might aerate it in the process. Generally, you want to avoid aeration when the wort is very hot because it does "bad things" to your wort. Sorry, I'm still a newbie and I can't remember what exactly those bad things are, but I've been given to understand that you want to avoid aerating hot wort.

Second, unless you boiled it in your wort kettle and simply didn't mention it, it sounds like you are putting a septic hunk of metal in your now rapidly cooling wort. You should put the chiller in the wort kettle during the last 15 minutes of the boil to kill any nasty buggers that might be on it. By putting it into your plastic fermentation bucket full of wort drained from your kettle, you aren't providing sufficient opportunity to kill whatever bugs might be present.

Sorry if I misunderstood.

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Old 09-17-2006, 03:52 PM   #3
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Wort chiller first!!! Right into the kettle. Sanitize it with boiling wort. Start your chiller then add bottled water after its ran for awhile. The chiller will do the most at knocking the temp out fast. Why waste the energy-transfer cooling wort with additional water mass? When you add cold bottled water last it should be close to a pitching temp.

In my understanding aeration of green wort is extremely disirable!!! The more aeration the faster the yeast will take off. I believe aeration is an early phase yeast goes through like growth, prior to consuming sugars.

I usually like to aerate the wort inside the fermenter. Lid on, swirl the whole fermeter with a circular motion. Let it slosh enough that a froth will form.

Aeration is definately undesirable after it started fermatation. Bottling and racking is where you want to avoid it all costs. You'll get a carboard like taste to the beer.

Brew On!!

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Old 09-17-2006, 08:23 PM   #4
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Okay first:

Getting oxygen into the wort (hot OR cold) BEFORE you pitch the yeast is VERY important. Most of the oxygen has been boiled out of the water while being boiled, and the yeast needs the oxygen put back in the water when it first starts out. Some people even use pumps like for you fish tank and run it for an hour to get oxygen back into the water.
After fermintation has started, you want to avoid airiating the batch too much, because it can cause oxydation of the liquid, and give you off flavors.

Second:
I SANATIZED my chiller before I dropped it into the wort! It is not hard to do. Again, it might have to do where some of you guys live, heck I live out here in the country in South Carolina, and you'd think there would be bacteria galore out here, but the fact is: Y'all treat your batches like they are china dolls. That if you even look at it cross eyed that it'll get infected. You'd be HORRIFIED at how our forefathers made beer a couple of hundred years ago. We had a disscussion about this over in the beginners forum. It is understandable to take as much precations as possible since we all paid good money for our ingredients. But at the same time, if the batch could become infected with something that easily, it'd be too hard to homebrew. Remember, no bacteria can survive even a second at 180 F, that's why you have to cook your meat to that temp.

Third:
I don't need to chill the water first before adding it. Remember? A temp reading of my well water is 37 to 45 F right out of the tap! It's already chilled! And I'm NOT boiling my good well water first! That'd kill a lot of the flavor as far as I'm concerened. One of the reasons that I think all my batches have tasted so well is because my water taste darn good right out of the tap!
I add my water to the wort first before chilling because with the laws of thermal dynamics, heat will transfer to the cool water, in doing so it will bring the overall temp down, yes, but it is also heating that new water up, and helps all the sugars that are now infused in the original 3 gallons be infused in the extra 2 gallons of water. Like a cup of coffee. If you drink you coffee with powedered creamer, but then cool it with an ice cube, try pitching the ice cube in first, and then adding the powdered creamer, it doesn't desolve into the coffee very well since you've cooled the liquid down and cause the molecules to contract. When I add my cool water right at the end of the boil first, the molecules of the wort will contract (that's what we're shooting for to get clear beer), but also, since I'm adding less cool water than the heated water, the cool new water will have it's molecules expanded, and the malt sugars will infuse into it better.
However: I've done it both ways and you know what? Both batches came out great anyways!

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Planned Batches:
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Past Batches:
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Cherry Wheat Ale #1
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Old 09-17-2006, 11:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andylegate
Okay first:

Getting oxygen into the wort (hot OR cold) BEFORE you pitch the yeast is VERY important. Most of the oxygen has been boiled out of the water while being boiled, and the yeast needs the oxygen put back in the water when it first starts out. Some people even use pumps like for you fish tank and run it for an hour to get oxygen back into the water.
After fermintation has started, you want to avoid airiating the batch too much, because it can cause oxydation of the liquid, and give you off flavors.

Second:
I SANATIZED my chiller before I dropped it into the wort! It is not hard to do. Again, it might have to do where some of you guys live, heck I live out here in the country in South Carolina, and you'd think there would be bacteria galore out here, but the fact is: Y'all treat your batches like they are china dolls. That if you even look at it cross eyed that it'll get infected. You'd be HORRIFIED at how our forefathers made beer a couple of hundred years ago. We had a disscussion about this over in the beginners forum. It is understandable to take as much precations as possible since we all paid good money for our ingredients. But at the same time, if the batch could become infected with something that easily, it'd be too hard to homebrew. Remember, no bacteria can survive even a second at 180 F, that's why you have to cook your meat to that temp.

Third:
I don't need to chill the water first before adding it. Remember? A temp reading of my well water is 37 to 45 F right out of the tap! It's already chilled! And I'm NOT boiling my good well water first! That'd kill a lot of the flavor as far as I'm concerened. One of the reasons that I think all my batches have tasted so well is because my water taste darn good right out of the tap!
I add my water to the wort first before chilling because with the laws of thermal dynamics, heat will transfer to the cool water, in doing so it will bring the overall temp down, yes, but it is also heating that new water up, and helps all the sugars that are now infused in the original 3 gallons be infused in the extra 2 gallons of water. Like a cup of coffee. If you drink you coffee with powedered creamer, but then cool it with an ice cube, try pitching the ice cube in first, and then adding the powdered creamer, it doesn't desolve into the coffee very well since you've cooled the liquid down and cause the molecules to contract. When I add my cool water right at the end of the boil first, the molecules of the wort will contract (that's what we're shooting for to get clear beer), but also, since I'm adding less cool water than the heated water, the cool new water will have it's molecules expanded, and the malt sugars will infuse into it better.
However: I've done it both ways and you know what? Both batches came out great anyways!
Not to burst any bubbles, but 180 degrees is NOT hot enough to kill all bacteria. If it was, hospitals wouldn't waste all the money to use pressurized steam to sterilize instruments. 180 degrees may be enough to kill many bacteria, but it by no means kills ALL.
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Old 09-18-2006, 05:08 AM   #6
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sounds like you have it all dialed in. you just gotta love this stuff!!!
JJ

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Old 09-18-2006, 08:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andylegate
Okay first:

Getting oxygen into the wort (hot OR cold) BEFORE you pitch the yeast is VERY important.

Remember, no bacteria can survive even a second at 180 F, that's why you have to cook your meat to that temp.
Whoa - getting oxygen into hot wort isn't cool - hot wort aeration is thought to cause some off flavors - aeration <100F is fine & necessary.

And if you think bacateria can't survive 180 I dare you to eat some improperly canned pork & take your chances w/botulism. (think of the bacteria that evolved around underwater volcanoes - pretty sure 180F doesn't faze 'em)
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Old 09-18-2006, 01:21 PM   #8
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Default Need for aeration.

Teedocious,

I'm not sure about the point you are trying to make, but aeration is good if not necessary for the yeast. Aeration helps the yeast during the respiration phase.

Read "The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing" by Charlie Papazian, pg 113
"4) Oxygen is extremely important.... ... Oxygen can be dissolved into the wort by splashing or agitatiing the wort as it goes into the fermenter....Lack of oxygen may result in stuck, sluggish or incomplete fermentation.

No arguement about the bacteria though. Although I used to work at a cannery as a canning cooker. (Delmonte in Dekalb - Ill) 230'F at 30 plus minutes. Kills the bacteria also forces a vacuum in the can so nothing can grow. I think the point earlier is that people are overly paranoid about bacterial infection.


Andylegate -

Sanitizing your chiller wouldn't be necessary if you add it to the wort during the boil, however it probably better that you do with the late addition and the cool water added.

Non-beer makers always ask about spoilage. Worry about being poisioned as if it was moonshine.

I tell them bad beer is like spoiled milk. "If it was bad you'd know it and would not drink it because it would be foul smelling and aweful tasting."

Do what works for you!

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Old 09-18-2006, 02:16 PM   #9
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It's the temperature at which you aerate that I was cautioning about. Aeration is good. Oxidation is not. From your description it's hard to tell whether your method of getting the beer from your boiler into your fermentation bucket would add oxygen to hot wort. Adding oxygen to hot wort will result in oxidation.

If you drain hot wort from your kettle through a tube that causes no splashing and where the exit from the tube is submerged in your fermentation bucket, that is probably fine. If you pour or drain with the wort falling through the air to splash into your bucket, that is not fine, based on my understanding from reading books and comments from others on this forum. See the John Palmer reference at the bottom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andylegate
The moment the wort was done boiling, I poured into the fermentor, added my 2 gallons and started the wort chiller. Temp droped down from 205 F to 160 F when I added the 2 gallons of cold water. Then in 10 minutes went from 160 to 80 F in just under 10 minutes!
I'm no expert, so pardon me if I've misunderstood you. Please read this from Palmer Aeration is Good, Oxidation is Bad to see where I got the idea that aerating hot wort is not good.
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Old 09-18-2006, 09:50 PM   #10
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Here ya guys go, a quote from one of my brewing sources:

"On the other hand, if oxygen is introduced while the wort is still hot, the oxygen will oxidize the wort and this is a problem. This will cause oxidation of the beer later which can manifest as a wet cardboard taste after several weeks. The key to preventing oxidation is to not aerate when the wort is above 80F. In addition, if oxygen is introduced after the fermentation has started, it may not be completely utilized by the yeast and will later cause off-flavors.

This is why it is important to cool the wort rapidly to below 80F, to prevent oxidation, and then aerate it to provide the dissolved oxygen that the yeast need to help growth and reproduction. Cooling rapidly between 90 and 130F is important because this region is ideal for bacterial growth to be established in the wort. See the Cooling The Wort section for suggested methods. "


Yeppers! Everywhere I looked it says the same thing "below 80 F", However I could have sworn you have to heat oxygen up a lot higher to atomically bond with other elements.
BUT! GOOD NEWS EVERYBODY!!!! Either I'm just one lucky SOB or This is another "Overyly Paranoid" thing, because all my batches have turned out just fine with the wort being aeriated while hot still.

An bacteria...... again, no problems, of course I'm not brewing near an underwater volcano nor in a pork processing plant!

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Primary:
Merlin's Ale
Secondary:

Bottled and Waiting:
Cherry Wheat Ale #2
Ready to Drink:

Pumpkin Spice Ale
Cheesefood's Carmel Cream Ale
Chocolate Cherry Ale

Planned Batches:
Maple Ale
Past Batches:
Brewnet Brown
American Pilsner
Cherry Wheat Ale #1
Honey Ale
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