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Old 06-18-2007, 01:43 AM   #1
ChrisS
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Default Wort cooling idea

So I was making a starter this evening and had a cold water bath in the sink all ready for the wort that I made forthe starter and placed the pot into the cold water bath with isome ice and after a few minutes I felt the water start to get warm. Then I started looking around the kitchen and saw a big bowl and thought about how immersion chiller works and then gave my idea of sticking the pot inside the big bowl and running tap water into the bowl and just letting it rise up the sides of the inner pot and overflowing the big bowl down the train. This worked really well.

If I made a larger version of this for use with my partial boils out of the 28 q brewpot, and a large rubbermid plastic tub, how well do you think this idea will work? Can I whirlpool the wort while the water flows around the outside of the pot for more wort contact with the cooler water (and to get hte good effects of whirlpooling)?

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Old 06-18-2007, 02:05 AM   #2
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sounds wasteful, buy a chiller

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Old 06-18-2007, 02:08 AM   #3
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Sounds wasteful to me too. Just stick the small pot inside the bigger pot and fill the big one with water, swirl a few times and let sit for 5 mins then replace water. Done in 10 mins and not a lot of wasted water.

Remember, you need to conserve water...you're a brewer now!!

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Old 06-18-2007, 02:12 AM   #4
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I put my brew pot into my stainless steel sink with ice and water and stir the wort. The water never gets "warm", and the wort is usually cool enough to mix into the fermenter within 15 minutes, maybe less.

Today I pitched yeast 45 minutes after I finished boiling... 15 minutes to cool and transfer the wort, 30 minutes to aerate and pitch/stir.

Tony

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Old 06-18-2007, 04:08 AM   #5
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Default Im not sure of how wasteful it would be...

I mean I am giving the water a good bit of surface area in which to transfer heat from and with a slow flow rate I am exchaning that heat from the pot to the surrounding water and moving it away to be used, if caught, to water my lawn or something but still conserving water.

Like I said the idea came from the chiller idea and also the fast thaw instructions on shrimp and off other frozen items and I have all of the needed items here without have to buy/make ice.

I will probably end up with a chiller at some point but I just wanted to try something else besides what I did last time was make a 2G ice block and strain the wort over that, which works but was a hassle.

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Old 06-18-2007, 01:00 PM   #6
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I did some quick calculations regarding this:

Surface area of an immersion chiller (say, a 25 foot one, so 25*12=300 inches)
3/8" tubing: pi*3/8*300 = 353 square inches
1/2" tubing: pi*1/2*300 = 471 square inches

Surface area of brew kettle immersed in water:
12 inch diameter kettle, immersed to 6" depth: pi*6^2+12*pi*6 = 339 square inches
Same, immersed to 8": pi*6^2+12*pi*8 = 414 square inches

With these dimensions at least, it seems that the two methods have about the same amount of surface area at least. I think the big difference is in the cooling water circulation - in an immersion chiller, you have water flowing through every inch of tubing, all the time. By dunking your brew pot into a sink of water, even if you leave the water running, you aren't going to get equal flow over all parts of the kettle so you're likely to get hot spots and the cooling will be reduced. The bottom of the kettle is one problem, because it is quite a large part of the total surface area of the pot, but if it's sitting directly on the bottom of the sink then it's not going to be getting much (if any) water flow.

Maybe if you set the pot on some sort of small stand to keep it off the bottom of the sink, and experiment with good ways to get even water flow, it could improve things a bit, and be at least in the ballpark of what you'd get with a small IC, though it would still not be as efficient in terms of how much cooling you get from a given volume of cooling water.

*edit* One thing I didn't take into account though is how easy it is to add ice to chill the water when immersing the pot in a sink, versus the extra complexity required to pre-chill the water for an immersion chiller (a bucket full of ice water and either a prechiller/heat exchanger, or a recirculating pump), which could be considered an advantage of the sink-immersion method.

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Old 06-18-2007, 01:32 PM   #7
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You're also forgetting that copper has better thermal conductivity. Maybe if you had a copper pot of the same thickness as an IC. But then I guess you'd be boiling in something that resembled a soft clay pot.

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Old 06-18-2007, 02:22 PM   #8
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Good point. I hadn't considered it probably because I didn't realize how significant a difference it is. I just looked it up on wikipedia, and the thermal conductivities of copper and SS are listed as 401 and 15, respectively. I mean, I knew copper was a better heat conductor, but I had no idea it was better by more than 25x!

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Old 06-18-2007, 10:09 PM   #9
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Default Thanks for the calculations

As it does prove the point that an IC is going to work better than a ice water bath. I had taken into account the problem of the pot sitting on the bottom and was going to use a trivet that would have allowed a lot of wanter to pass underneath the pot.

I can't get over how much better copper is to SS at heat trasnfer. Its a wonder that some brew pots wouldn't have a copper bottom or at least a sandwitch of copper between SS.

Well it looks like I may have a few days to ponder this idea some more as my starter doesn't seem to be taking off as fast as I had hoped. I started it around 9 last night and I didn't see much activity this morning or this afternoon. The expiration date on the White labs tube said something like mid July for a best buy date, so who knows.

For all I know, since this is my first time using liquid yeast, cell growth might have already reached its max and I missed the show.

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Old 06-18-2007, 10:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisS
I can't get over how much better copper is to SS at heat trasnfer. Its a wonder that some brew pots wouldn't have a copper bottom or at least a sandwitch of copper between SS.
Some of the really good (and expensive) ones do.
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