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Old 08-28-2010, 03:05 PM   #1
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Default keggle/IC problem

I recently switched from a turkey fryer pot to a keggle. I do 5 gallon AG batches with my eye on moving up to 11 gallon batches in the future. I had a homemade copper IC gifted to me and it worked great in my old pot, but not so much in the new keggle. The coil diameter is such that i cant get enough of it in the wort to be as effective as it was in the old pot. I want to make some changes but all with an eye toward future upgrades and not buying things now that will become obsolete as my brewing expands. I have been brewing for a few months now and here is my equipment thus far.

2 - 15.5 gallon kegs (only 1 is cut so far and is my current boil kettle, I will be cutting the 2nd for a HLT soon)

1 40 qt cooler with stainless braid for mash tun

1 lp turkey cooker burner (watching craigslist and yard sales to add another for HLT)

assortment of items, copper IC, refractometer, stc. all the needed little stuff.

My future plans include a pump or 2 depending on which route I take but I cant see myself going automated (wont rule it out either lol). A third keg to convert to MLT. Eventually a stand of some sort, right now i have an assortment of workbenches/tables as everything is gravity feed.

With this is mind the next thing I need to do is change my cooling. I am looking at all options. I am leaning towards either a plate or coiled cfc chiller. The downside would be raising my BK higher to get a good gravity feed until I am able to purchase a pump. The advantage is that I think I would achieve better cooling with these options over an IC when i switch to 11 gal batches.

I have very cold ground water (duluth mn) so recirculating isnt an issue, except I have no clue yet how i am going to brew/chill in the winter when I have no outside water available.

So for you experienced people out there, what is my next logical step.

Mike in Duluth.



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Old 08-28-2010, 03:16 PM   #2
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I have read that many brewers have had great success with whirlpool IC too so that should be something to look into as well. Now, I had a similar decision to make a month or so ago and decided to go the IC route. I don't like the idea of not seeing what is touching my beer esp when you are essentially pumping sugar water through it. I know you can clean both the cfc and plate chillers but I have seen more posts on here about people tracing infections to these things or at least thinking that they may be the cause than people with IC. Our IC (without whirlpooling) chilled our 5 gal batch to 70 in like 10 min and half of it was sticking out of the wort so I have good feelings about a larger boil too. That is my .02



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Old 08-28-2010, 03:20 PM   #3
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The issue for me with a whirlpool IC is that I think it would be at least a year before the whirlpool part of the equation would become a reality. I just see no way of fitting pump(s) into the beer budget before then. But I guess i shouldnt discount just making a new IC with the dimensions of the keggle in mind. 1 plus of the IC is it keeps the cold break in the keggle.

Mike in Duluth

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Old 08-28-2010, 04:32 PM   #4
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you can whirlpool with IC with out a pump,just stir the wort while cooling.

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Old 08-29-2010, 03:09 AM   #5
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Carefully re-work the chiller you have to better fit your keggle, you are blessed with cold chilling water, a simple IC should do the job IMO.

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Old 08-29-2010, 02:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post
Carefully re-work the chiller you have to better fit your keggle, you are blessed with cold chilling water, a simple IC should do the job IMO.
+1 on the cold water and chiller re-work...reuse or repurpose. When I made the upgrade to a keggle, I tried stretching my chiller out for better chilling distribution through the wort. My IC was given to me and was only about 25ft, 3/8" dia.

This spring, I bought a pump, built a 40ft IC, used the old IC to prechill, and began whirlpooling. I have not seen the amazingly quick cooling times that others have attained, but it works BETTER than the IC by itself for sure.

That said, I would only consider going with a plate chiller/CFC if I build a hopback.

Another issue I had using gravity to drain was getting that last bit of wort out of the keggle to fill the second fermenter...the pump truly rocks in that regard.


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