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Old 03-17-2008, 09:39 AM   #1
Cop Shoot Cop
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Default Ice bath vs Submersion chiller

Im considering to build a submersion chiller from copper tubing. I´m not sure what the advantages over an ice bath is though?

I did some calculations on the area of an 25' copper tubing and my aluminum kettle. Turns out the kettle has a bit larger contact area. I still get the feeling an immersion chiller will be faster?

Oh and one more thing, i have easy access to snow most of the year. I live pretty far up north. Any good reason to spend on an immersion chiller?



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Old 03-17-2008, 10:42 AM   #2
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Both!

The immersion chiller drops the wort temps down to about 100 degrees rapidly. I use the ice bath to help pull it down the last few degrees. Though, I am prb going to switch over to a recirculated system w/reusable ice blocks to replace the ice bath.


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Old 03-17-2008, 11:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cop Shoot Cop

Any good reason to spend on an immersion chiller?
Yeah. Ice baths are a big PITA.
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Old 03-17-2008, 12:27 PM   #4
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Your biggest problem with liquid cooling is developing local hot/cool spots. In either case, you have to keep the wort moving to keep hot wort in contact with the pot/chiller. With an ice bath, for good efficiency you would likely need to be agitating the chilling water as well to keep from having a hot spot around the pot. With an IC, you don't have to worry about a similar problem because the cooling water is moving constantly through the tubing already.

And of course, that's to say nothing about the fact that ice baths are in fact a PITA compared to an immersion chiller.

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Old 03-19-2008, 02:03 PM   #5
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Due to the cold wet winter weather, I brewed my last two batches in my basement. Rather than purchasing the sink to hose fitting or running a garden hose in through the basement window, I simply placed my 11 gal kettle w/ 7.5 gallons of wort in the bathtub and filled the tub w/ 50 degree tap water. Sure it worked, probably took a little longer. I stirred the kettle and also stirred the cooling water in the tub. Changed out the water in the tub and let it sit for 4-5 hours or so till I was in the mid sixties.


Yea I agree w/ the above posters, Ice baths are a PITA especially done indoors w/ bagged ice etc. etc. However if I was brewing outside next to a snowbank and a kiddie pool full of ice water, I'm not sure I would bother w/ my I/C.
You will need a BIG tub and plenty of snow/water slush mix. With a smaller tub you will need to change out the cooling mixture often. Stir both inside the kettle and the cooling water outside of the kettle w/ different spoons of course.

It will absolutely work. An immersion chiller is probably more convenient but they are not labor free either.

If you want to try it go for it!

Oh also...If I had to bet money, i would venture that the snow / water bath would be faster than an immersion chiller as long as you keep agitating. An immersion chiller is using tap water at say 50 degrees versus the bath at 30 something. In an ideal world I wish I had a cold mountain stream running through my brewery, I would just set my kettle in and wouldn't have to hassle w/ my I/C.

Mike

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Old 03-19-2008, 04:49 PM   #6
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Water quantity! To cool 5 gallons of 212F water to 80F, you'd need 20+ gallons of 50F water in a bath (or somewhat less, considering the cooler water is denser), or 10+ gallons of 20F ice. Why? The water won't rise above 80F unless you change the water. With an immersion chiller, the coolant water rises almost to the temperature of the wort, allowing you to use considerably less.

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Old 03-19-2008, 04:55 PM   #7
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I have been using an Ice bath ever since I started. I didn't want to pay the money to buy a chiller but since every batch I have made has extreme chill haze from the lack of temp drop, I have decided to buy one at the end of march.

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Old 03-19-2008, 09:14 PM   #8
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I take all of the tupperware containers I have and fill them with water and throw them in the freezer the night before I brew. I also empty my ice maker into a walmart bag and set it inside the freezer, so it can make more. Then while brewing, I throw the ice in the containers, the ice in the bag, and the ice that was just made in the ice maker into the tub and fill with water. I have no problem cooling down 3 gallons from boiling to 80F in less than half an hour. How is that a PITA?

With the cost of copper now, I can't justify spending over 50 bucks for materials to build a chiller.

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Old 03-19-2008, 09:25 PM   #9
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If you have 2.5 or 3 gallons a ice bath really does just fine. If you plan to go all grain this is a must. I started with a 25 ft copper... that would work in half the time as a ice bath; and now I use the 25ft as a pre-chiller to my 50 ft and can go from 200 to 75 in about 15 minutes..so to answer..yes it works much faster and better. To really make things quick a plate chiller or a pump to pump ice water into your chiller is the next step. Im happy with 10 to 15 minutes.

I think if you are happy with 20 to 40 minutes for 3 gallons than great..but try that with 5.5 to 6 gallons for all grain users..we are looking at an hour to do the job and much more ice..for all grain it is as important as a large kettle and burner IMO.



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Old 03-19-2008, 11:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdanprice
I take all of the tupperware containers I have and fill them with water and throw them in the freezer the night before I brew. I also empty my ice maker into a walmart bag and set it inside the freezer, so it can make more. Then while brewing, I throw the ice in the containers, the ice in the bag, and the ice that was just made in the ice maker into the tub and fill with water. I have no problem cooling down 3 gallons from boiling to 80F in less than half an hour. How is that a PITA?
If you really find that whole process painless enough to stick with it, then more power to you. Personally that sounds like a big PITA to me, but it's obviously a matter of opinion - plus, living in an apartment with a typically packed freezer, making several gallons of ice each time I brew isn't feasible. With an immersion chiller it's as simple as dropping it in 15 mins before the end of the boil, then hooking it up to the sink/hose and letting it rip - no advance preparation, hardly any effort. And, even with my dinky 25'x3/8" IC I can chill 5 gallons to pitching temp in a half hour or less, especially if I recirculate.


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