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Old 05-09-2013, 04:35 AM   #1
rferguson61
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Default Immersion wort chiller question

So thinking about making an immersion wort chiller...but not the typical style of a bunch of coils. It will be criss-crossing layers to get the most surface area covered...therefore a lot of saudered fittings. I have three questions...first, polishing (which is essentially putting lots of super tiny scratches in the pipe) is that a good idea? Second, would submersing the chiller in the last 10 minutes of the boil impart any metallic flavors into the beer? Third, would stainless steel be a better material?



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Old 05-09-2013, 05:08 AM   #2
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A lot of people say to put the chiller in the last 15 minutes to sanitize it. So while I can't say for sure I don't think you'll have much to worry about with the scratches. You might check if they have a solder that is food safe though as I think most of the soldered connections people use don't really come into contact with the wort on a regular basis. The copper won't impart a metallic flavor but I have read that it is actually beneficial to the yeast as a nutrient. Someone please chime in if you have more info. Stainless would be easier to clean/sanitize but you might miss out on that benefit I just mention. Really a matter of preference on the metal used I believe.



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Old 05-09-2013, 05:13 AM   #3
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I know that SS will take 2 min longer to cool than copper.

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Old 05-09-2013, 05:14 AM   #4
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I think the advantages of an immersion chiller are 1) you can jack it around and aerate while you chill and 2) you can chill down to a temp that you'd like to pitch. Neither of which are options with a plate chiller. I can't see any problems w your idea, but I do wonder what you think the advantage might be beyond you just having some fun soldering. As far as the metal is concerned, I think people like copper because it is the most easily thermally conductive. If you've got patience and a cheap water supply stainless should be fine. Even though your dumping your chiller into boiling wort, like any chiller though I'd make sure you have an adequate way to clean it; ie rough bends or solders holding grime is not good.

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Old 05-09-2013, 05:25 AM   #5
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My 50' coil stainless chiller chills 5 gallons in 10 minutes. What kind of benefits would you get by criss crossing? Probably very little, if any. Not worth it in my opinion. Smooth metal = less places for bacteria to hide. Stick with what works for the masses.

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Old 05-09-2013, 06:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meis1212 View Post
My 50' coil stainless chiller chills 5 gallons in 10 minutes. What kind of benefits would you get by criss crossing? Probably very little, if any. Not worth it in my opinion. Smooth metal = less places for bacteria to hide. Stick with what works for the masses.
Efficiency. Sure it may cool it in 10 minutes...but why not make it cool faster? With a coil that is stacked you aren't utilizing all the space you have in the brewpot. Criss crossing will cover more area in the pot that a coil chiller would essentially cooling it faster. I understand the bacteria concern thats why im getting input from you fellow brewers to make my idea better. Isnt home brewing also about innovation? Finding better ways to do the same thing? I highly doubt that Thomas Edison or Albert Einstein went with what worked for the masses...just saying.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rferguson61 View Post
Efficiency. Sure it may cool it in 10 minutes...but why not make it cool faster? With a coil that is stacked you aren't utilizing all the space you have in the brewpot. Criss crossing will cover more area in the pot that a coil chiller would essentially cooling it faster. I understand the bacteria concern thats why im getting input from you fellow brewers to make my idea better. Isnt home brewing also about innovation? Finding better ways to do the same thing? I highly doubt that Thomas Edison or Albert Einstein went with what worked for the masses...just saying.
I like your idea. I think that tubing is round due to ease and cost of manufacturing. Also, if you move your chiller around during boil, you should kill all the bad guys.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:29 AM   #8
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Build two 25' chillers. Use one to pre chill your water in a salt water ice bath and the other in the wort.

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Old 05-09-2013, 07:09 AM   #9
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people keep trying to improve on a coil IC, but they never really do.





you can kid yourself into thinking there is a better IC design and waste a lot of time, but to actually make progress you either have to change your coolant (freon , high amp peltier or glycol) or chill a smaller amount of wort at a time (CFC or plate chillers)

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Old 05-09-2013, 12:35 PM   #10
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Surface area, water temp, thermal conductivity, and wort movement to prevent pockets of chilled wort around the coils are the only variables that really effect your cooling time. So long as you keep the wort flowing over the coils you will cool optimally. Shape really shouldn't affect it any.



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