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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Is this what you meant by "Immersion chiller?"
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Old 09-07-2009, 04:38 AM   #1
MikeScott
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Default Is this what you meant by "Immersion chiller?"


I was worried about getting my wort cooled down quickly, and had been looking around at immersion chillers. Having spent enough this week on brewing equipment, I was thinking that I could probably just use a clean garbage can full of water, and pump cold water from the bottom every now and then.

I know it’s not a perfect solution, but it worked pretty good. I only had water in the pot, and it brought it from boiling to 100 degrees in about 20 minutes, and I wasn’t changing the water out very much.

It took about another 20 minutes to get it to 70 degrees, but when I have real beer in it, I’ll have some ice on hand to help it out.

I'm sure I'll be in the market soon for a chiller, but for now, I think this will do.
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:51 AM   #2
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No. An immersion chiller is just a wort chiller. It means it goes directly into the wort to chill it.

I use the exact same method you do when I'm doing 5 gallon batches. Any more than that and I need my wort chiller. Otherwise...a few gallons of water and 10lbs. of ice will chill your wort just fine. It just gets pricey after awhile.

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Old 09-07-2009, 11:57 AM   #3
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Before I had a chiller, I used a similar method, but used a keg tub instead of trash can. It will work fine.

One thing I would consider is to use a lower container, or lower the it water level, so that the kettle can sit on the bottom of the can without floating. If the kettle were to tip a bit and the cooling water rush into the kettel, you would be dissapointed, and have unsanitized, watered down wort.

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Old 09-07-2009, 04:00 PM   #4
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Thanks Suthrncomfrt. I had been using the sink, but it just isn't deep enough.

That's a good point Stevea, I'll keep that in mind. The kettle only had about 5 gallons in it, and it floated on it's own upright. I'm not so sure it'll do that if it were any fuller. It sure would be a bummer to tip it over though :-)

I think during the winter I'll leave the bucket out with some water in it to freeze. Eventually I'll get a real immersion chiller.

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Old 09-08-2009, 03:02 AM   #5
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Hey Mike,

I am a fan of the big ole bucket chill as you have done...funny thing is I own an IC...for me, sometines it is easier to just put my brew in a big bath...works well!

Go ahead and get an IC when you can...but in the meantime, all good!

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Old 09-08-2009, 03:17 AM   #6
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Thanks Wilserbrewer! That's the exact approach I'm taking right now.

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Old 09-08-2009, 06:11 PM   #7
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I just used my wort chiller last night and I must say that thing is amazing! Cooled my wort down to about 80 degrees F in about 10 minutes.

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Old 09-08-2009, 06:16 PM   #8
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That's pretty sweet!

I placed the immersion chiller on my wish list, but lately I've been doing more buying equipment than I've been brewing beer. With winter coming up, I think cooling off the wort is going to be a bit less of an issue. I think I'll limp along until spring at least.

I may have a greater need for a larger brew kettle anyway.

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Old 09-08-2009, 06:20 PM   #9
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I love winters in northern Illinois. Since I have two ponds, they ice over and get the water super cold. I keep a heater in them that leaves a clearing in the ice just big enough to fit my kettle into. I throw a metal rod through the handles on the keg and drop that beast in the water using the rod to support it on the ice. Cools it down in about 10-15 minutes.

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Old 09-08-2009, 06:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suthrncomfrt1884 View Post
I love winters in northern Illinois. Since I have two ponds, they ice over and get the water super cold. I keep a heater in them that leaves a clearing in the ice just big enough to fit my kettle into. I throw a metal rod through the handles on the keg and drop that beast in the water using the rod to support it on the ice. Cools it down in about 10-15 minutes.
See, now I have a good reason to get a pond!

The snow doesn't stick around here in Colorado Springs, so using a snow bank will be iffy, but if it's cold enough, I figured I could fill the bucket up with water and leave it out overnight. It should be at least really cold if not solid ice.
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