Electric Brewing Supply 30A BCS Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Immersion Chiller - best practices?
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-23-2013, 07:11 PM   #1
glacious
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 41
Liked 12 Times on 10 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default Immersion Chiller - best practices?

I've been using a 25' 3/8" copper immersion chiller for a couple years now with varying results and was looking to get any feedback/input from people who have had great success with them. 5-gal batches, 11gal SS kettle.

I am in the northeast, so warm summers/cold winters, ground water is anywhere from 40F-65F, so usually nice and cold. Toss chiller in at the last 10-15mins of the boil, connect up the hose, and turn it on at flame-out. Water is on the out side of the chiller, then starts to get cooler within the first minute. I swirl the chiller around in the pot to create a slow whirlpool, water is very hot for another minute or two, then warm. So this process has to be repeated over and over across 20-25 minutes to get it from 212F to 70F.

I can swirl it 25 times for a few seconds but it's getting old... and all the cold break gets kicked up each time, then when it comes time to put it into the fermenter much of it goes in with the wort (I try to keep the thicker sludge in the kettle at the end).


So, a few questions, and hopefully some simple (and cheap) answers:

- Any way to get less cold break into the fermenter, I can use a funnel screen, or let it sit in the kettle after it gets to 70F for 5 mins but want to avoid keeping it in open air. I was also under the impression that you want some of this in your fermenter (ie hop particles etc).

- I recently started using a pond pump in a large ice bath for the last 10 mins. The water goes through much slower (300-500gph pump, but the coil puts a lot of resistance on it), but its also much colder. Would using a 2nd coil in the ice bath be better? (hose --> ice bath coil --> wort coil)

- It seems like a whirlpool in the kettle is the biggest time saver here (thus better for the beer to get it into the fermenter quicker). Besides swirling the coil in the kettle every couple minutes, would my only other option be a recirculating pump?

$75-100 for another coil (I'd go 50' 1/2" probably), $150-200 for a March recirc pump, or find a good plate chiller. Pump might be a better long-term investment as I move to all-grain and can re-circ wort to create the whirlpool.

Thanks for any advice you can give here!

__________________
glacious is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-23-2013, 07:49 PM   #2
MichaelBrock
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
MichaelBrock's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Alachua, FL
Posts: 454
Liked 22 Times on 20 Posts
Likes Given: 28

Default

I was in the same boat as you, doing the very same technique, right down to recirculating with the pond pump. I ended up taking two steps to improve my cooling. I first bought a chugger pump (cheaper than a March, but you can get a March for less than $150) and added a valve to my boil kettle. I now use that pump to recirculate/whirlpool. It didn't necessarily speed things up but it did free me up from having to stand over the kettle swirling the IC. The other thing I did was to buy a 20' length of 3/8 copper coil and add that to my 25' IC to get a total length of 45'. The 20' tubing was less than $20 at Lowes. I simply cut off one of the ends of the IC, down near the bottom of the coil, and brazed the new coil to that, inter-meshed with the old IC. I shortened the bit I cut off (to which the hose adapter was attached) and brazed that to the end of the new coil. The extra length has shortened my cooling step considerably. I'm now thinking about buying a more powerful pump for re-circulating the ice water. My current pump barely gets a drizzle through it.

__________________
MichaelBrock is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-23-2013, 08:12 PM   #3
Bensiff
Mind Your Business
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Bensiff's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: , Washington, the state
Posts: 4,489
Liked 305 Times on 245 Posts
Likes Given: 53

Default

Here is my IC process:

Turn water on and swirl the wort, when it slows down I give it another swirl. This is not to whirlpool it is to speed up the cooling process. When I hit temp, I turn off the water, disconnect the IC, let gravity siphon off the remaining water in the coil, pull the coil out, then I whirlpool.

You are trying to whirlpool while cooling, I don't do that. I keep them two separate processes because its a pain for me to get a good whirlpool motion with the coil in the kettle. You don't need a lot of wort movement to keep a good heat exchange going so I wouldn't try adding another coil to the ice bath; but I would definitely go with a 50'x1/2" IC because that is where you really need the surface area to get rapid cooling.

A pump is an extremely useful tool, one that I would not do all grain without. However, using it for a whirlpool (unless you have a tangential inlet) is complete overkill. Honestly, it is overkill even if you do have a tangential inlet...as I will explain below.

Whirlpooling:

Here is what I have learned from reading up over at probrewer and from brewing a few times on a 7 barrel system. There are two secrets to a whirlpool. Keep it gentle and don't waste your time. I don't beat the wort to death getting a massive funneling whirlpool, just enough to get the wort circulating around the center point of the kettle at a nice steady pace. Then put the lid on and walk away for 20-30 minutes. Many a micro-brewery have discovered that on 5, 7, even 10 barrel systems that it is easier to use a mash paddle (or an oar) than deal with pumps to whirlpool.

__________________
Bensiff is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-24-2013, 04:28 AM   #4
TheZer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 155
Liked 29 Times on 9 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

My process.
1. Last 15 minutes of boil, put IC inside a 5 gallon paint stainer.
2. Drop the whole thing into BK.
3. Turn on march pump, recirculating wort through center of IC.
4. Turn on IC water supply to cool wort.
5. Once wort is cool, fill fermenter with wort.
6. Remove IC with paint strainer filled with trub.

__________________
TheZer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-24-2013, 04:42 AM   #5
glacious
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 41
Liked 12 Times on 10 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

When I mentioned whirlpool above, it was for the sole purpose of moving wort past the coils, not necessarily for moving/removing the trub. This I usually get rid of right after fermentation completes by racking to a secondary. If it is much more advisable to remove most of the trub before entering the primary, I can start to use a filter on my funnel.

From the advise given above, it seems like a larger IC (moving from 25' 3/8" to 50' 1/2") would be the biggest help in cooling things down. Getting a recirc pump will just make things easier (no need to stir the IC or use a paddle to move wort through the chiller coils for 20 mins).

If I find a good inexpensive 50' x 1/2" IC, I can always use my older 25' x 3/8" IC in the ice bath and run them both in parallel.

Thank you again for your help!

__________________
glacious is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-24-2013, 09:10 PM   #6
Bensiff
Mind Your Business
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Bensiff's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: , Washington, the state
Posts: 4,489
Liked 305 Times on 245 Posts
Likes Given: 53

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by glacious
When I mentioned whirlpool above, it was for the sole purpose of moving wort past the coils, not necessarily for moving/removing the trub. This I usually get rid of right after fermentation completes by racking to a secondary. If it is much more advisable to remove most of the trub before entering the primary, I can start to use a filter on my funnel. From the advise given above, it seems like a larger IC (moving from 25' 3/8" to 50' 1/2") would be the biggest help in cooling things down. Getting a recirc pump will just make things easier (no need to stir the IC or use a paddle to move wort through the chiller coils for 20 mins). If I find a good inexpensive 50' x 1/2" IC, I can always use my older 25' x 3/8" IC in the ice bath and run them both in parallel. Thank you again for your help!
Yes it is best to have as little break and hop material enter the fermenter. Trying to filter use a filter on a funnel likely won't work well. The best method is to let it settle at the bottom of the boil kettle before transferring. Whirl pooling is not required for that but it helps reduce wasted wort.
__________________

VOTE, n. The instrument and symbol of a freeman’s power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.

Bensiff is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-24-2013, 11:58 PM   #7
hillbillyjones
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 58
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 8

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheZer View Post
My process.
1. Last 15 minutes of boil, put IC inside a 5 gallon paint stainer.
2. Drop the whole thing into BK.
3. Turn on march pump, recirculating wort through center of IC.
4. Turn on IC water supply to cool wort.
5. Once wort is cool, fill fermenter with wort.
6. Remove IC with paint strainer filled with trub.
That's a pretty slick idea that I'm going to try out.
__________________
hillbillyjones is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-25-2013, 04:24 AM   #8
MrManifesto
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 433
Liked 10 Times on 10 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Step 1 - use IM to get under 100 degrees

Step 2 - put fermenter in chamber

Step 3 - pitch tomorrow morning when temp is right

Some of you work too hard.

__________________
MrManifesto is offline
bigmunchez Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-25-2013, 07:53 PM   #9
will_rouse
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 104
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmanifesto
step 1 - use im to get under 100 degrees step 2 - put fermenter in chamber step 3 - pitch tomorrow morning when temp is right some of you work too hard.
+1
__________________

“I don't think I've drunk enough beer to understand that.”
― Terry Pratchett, The Last Continent

will_rouse is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-25-2013, 11:23 PM   #10
eastoak
Senior Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: oakland, california
Posts: 3,226
Liked 149 Times on 140 Posts
Likes Given: 83

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by glacious View Post
I've been using a 25' 3/8" copper immersion chiller for a couple years now with varying results and was looking to get any feedback/input from people who have had great success with them. 5-gal batches, 11gal SS kettle.

I am in the northeast, so warm summers/cold winters, ground water is anywhere from 40F-65F, so usually nice and cold. Toss chiller in at the last 10-15mins of the boil, connect up the hose, and turn it on at flame-out. Water is on the out side of the chiller, then starts to get cooler within the first minute. I swirl the chiller around in the pot to create a slow whirlpool, water is very hot for another minute or two, then warm. So this process has to be repeated over and over across 20-25 minutes to get it from 212F to 70F.

I can swirl it 25 times for a few seconds but it's getting old... and all the cold break gets kicked up each time, then when it comes time to put it into the fermenter much of it goes in with the wort (I try to keep the thicker sludge in the kettle at the end).


So, a few questions, and hopefully some simple (and cheap) answers:

- Any way to get less cold break into the fermenter, I can use a funnel screen, or let it sit in the kettle after it gets to 70F for 5 mins but want to avoid keeping it in open air. I was also under the impression that you want some of this in your fermenter (ie hop particles etc).

- I recently started using a pond pump in a large ice bath for the last 10 mins. The water goes through much slower (300-500gph pump, but the coil puts a lot of resistance on it), but its also much colder. Would using a 2nd coil in the ice bath be better? (hose --> ice bath coil --> wort coil)

- It seems like a whirlpool in the kettle is the biggest time saver here (thus better for the beer to get it into the fermenter quicker). Besides swirling the coil in the kettle every couple minutes, would my only other option be a recirculating pump?

$75-100 for another coil (I'd go 50' 1/2" probably), $150-200 for a March recirc pump, or find a good plate chiller. Pump might be a better long-term investment as I move to all-grain and can re-circ wort to create the whirlpool.

Thanks for any advice you can give here!
a plate chiller with those water temps would chill your beer way faster than an immersion chiller. trub in the fermentor is not an issue as far as the finished beer but i can see how people would think there it would cause a problem since it seems like you are pouring slop in the fermentor. as far as i know plate chillers are standard in production breweries so they must be getting break material in the fermentor.
__________________
eastoak is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Which is better: pre-chiller/immersion chiller or the full length immersion chiller? mtnagel General Techniques 22 05-16-2013 09:32 PM
Conical Immersion Chiller/ chiller reservoir Bsquared DIY Projects 2 04-10-2013 03:30 PM
Pre-Chiller w/ Smaller Tube Diameter than Immersion Chiller? Apulver Equipment/Sanitation 2 12-22-2011 01:56 PM
50ft immersion chiller or 30plate wort chiller? molsonG Equipment/Sanitation 66 03-31-2011 01:36 AM
Immersion Chiller Vs Plate/Counterflow Chiller fastricky General Techniques 2 12-20-2009 02:31 PM