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-   -   Wort chiller (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/wort-chiller-385840/)

Johnnyrhine 01-30-2013 12:18 PM

Wort chiller
 
Hey
My friend was gonna throw out an old heater core (never used so don't have to worry about any anti freeze in it) so I asked him for it and he gave it to me. I wanna turn it into a wort chiller. For anybody who doesn't know what they look like its basically a miniature version of a cars radiator. Was wondering how I should do it, should I used it as an immersion chiller and pump cold water through it or should I put the core itself in ice water and circulate the wort through it. My only problem with putting the core in the wort is that it's not like copper tubing ones where the copper coil is spread out for better distribution. I don't want the core to only cool the wort directly around it. Any input appreciated (except go out and buy tubing or a made chiller, eventually will but I'm in the great depression these days.) thanks.

Homercidal 01-30-2013 12:42 PM

My opinion is that I would not want an old heater core, with who knows what kind of material, touching my wort.

If you know that the solder and metal was food safe, then maybe give it a shot. Otherwise you may be leaching lead or other toxic metals/chemicals into your beer.

Really a device designed for chilling wort would be better. Or even freeze some boiled water in soda/juice bottles and add them to a higher gravity wort. That doesn't cost much to do and would be safer and maybe faster than a heater core.

My 2 cents.

Johnnyrhine 01-30-2013 01:22 PM

The fins are aluminum and the tubing inside is copper. It's all pressed so there are no welds. I don't see any contamination problems. Have cleaned it out with a multitude of cleaning solutions and checked it for any leaks.

hot_carl 01-30-2013 01:36 PM

the inside passages of a heater core might provide a place for hop debris and trub to build up and clog...probably more-so than even a plate chiller, so I would not run wort through it. Putting the whole thing in the wort would work, but that would require you to either whirlpool/recirculate with a pump or 'stir' it around in the wort to keep it in contact with more wort. You mentioned that is was an old heater core...how are you sure that it never had anything inside of it...is it still in the box? I would personally use it as a pre-chiller for a copper immersion chiller, and just have a packed ice/water in a bucket with the heater-core and pass your tap water through that so the chilling water has more cooling capacity through even a small(25') copper coil.

deadfall 01-30-2013 01:39 PM

It's really hard to beat the simple design of a wort chiller. I made my own and it works great. I priced them out and it was cheaper to buy one and have it shipped across the country. For some reason I had to make my own. Why take the chance. Copper tubing is for sure lead free.

Homercidal 01-30-2013 01:46 PM

I don't think it would be all that effective, but if you feel it's safe from toxins, why not try it and let us know how it works? I can't imagine someone hasn't tried this before if it's worthwhile though. I mean, a heater core is a heat exchanger, just like a Plate Chiller. Just a different design.

Johnnyrhine 01-30-2013 04:13 PM

Yea it was still in the box and sealed. He bought it a couple years back but decided to just sell the truck rather than rip out the dash. Positive its lead free and has never been used.

Didn't think about the whole hop clogging part.

Don't think anybody has done it before cause heater cores are usually more expensive than immersion chillers.

mdgagne 01-30-2013 04:22 PM

I would also bet you'd clog that thing up passing wort with hop debris through it. You may be able to setup a hop screen to filter out hop and cold-break material. If it were me I would use it as a pre-chiller for a typical immersion chiller. Just fill a cooler/bucket up with ice water and immerse the heating core in it and run the outlet into the immersion chiller.

Homercidal 01-30-2013 06:08 PM

FWIW some people also do No Chill brewing to save water or because their water is warm. I've let several batches sit out overnight in the winter to chill and haven't had a problem yet. Haven't done a summertime no chill yet though.

Johnnyrhine 01-30-2013 08:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Homercidal
FWIW some people also do No Chill brewing to save water or because their water is warm. I've let several batches sit out overnight in the winter to chill and haven't had a problem yet. Haven't done a summertime no chill yet though.

Haha I knew there had to be something useful about Connecticut winters. Been letting it air cool but just got this thing free so i figured I'd give it a try and cut time.

The pump I use has a built in mesh screen but idk if it'll be thin enough to filter the hops. Sounds like you guys arnt to fond of the idea so idk if I'll do it but if I do I'll let you know how she works.


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