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TxBrewHouse 08-28-2012 02:12 AM

Opinion on my cooling of wort
We're brewing 10 gallon batches do I'm cooling about 11 gallons. I'm using 50 ft of 1/2" copper for my immersion chiller. It takes about 1 hour to cool from boiling or close to it, to 70 deg F. Is one hour too long to lower the temp. I know there are better methods. We are using room temp tap water running through it. Should I stick with this or try pumping ice water through our chiller. Or abandon this method and use a plate chiller or some other method.

Dan 08-28-2012 02:21 AM

Try stirring as you are chilling, it will expose more wort across the chiller tubing. I keep meaning to install a pre-chiller as well but haven't done it yet. Ground water temp here is pretty warm in the summer. Winter time wort always chills more quickly cause of the ground water temperature drop.

Been thinking of getting a plate chiller the only thing holding me back is cash.. Plate chiller, then I'd probably want a pump and then I'd want to get cool SS quick disonnects... argh! Trying to not spend any more money on this hobby is tough. Always a new gadget to buy or build.

Stauffbier 08-28-2012 02:33 AM

I agree with Dan on stirring. Pumping ice water through is a good idea, and it's what I do. I can chill 10 gallons in about 40 minutes with 20lbs of ice and my pond pump. An hour really isn't that big of a deal though. IMHO..

Dan 08-28-2012 02:59 AM

Hey Mike!

How you been my friend?

I know you guys down there in Texas have to deal with heat even worse than we do up here in the hot... dry... dairy farm scented.. dusty Ca central Valley.

I'm always in awe each time I read a post from somebody who deals with the kind of terrific heat you Texan's have to deal with and do it through ingenuity, DIY projects and not a ton of cash! :mug:

Stauffbier 08-28-2012 03:14 AM

Howdy Dan!
I'm good, thanks!

Yeah, we definitely have to overcome the elements in order to brew here. I've read threads from people up north that say they won't brew in 100 degree temps. I brewed on my patio on 105 degree days a few times this summer. Just another day in the desert! My ground water comes out at about 85+ during the peak of summer, so I have to use ice to chill. I've considered trying "no chill", but haven't gotten around to it...

Dan 08-28-2012 03:21 AM

^^Hey bro!

I did the no chill method, well a modified version of it. Ran 80 degree ground water through an IC to get the temp dropped to around 100 (~20-30 minutes). Gently transferred to a bucket. Sealed it up and stuck in a ferm chamber till the next day. Did it a few times and seemed to work pretty well. Next day after it's sitting nice and cool, aerate and pitch.

I do have to admit, those beers had a bit of chill haze, never really cleared. But tasted just fine. Might have had something to do with the recipe. They were good none the less.

But got to admit I do get a bit jealous, maybe envious a better word of guys with 50-60F ground temp year around! Ha!

Stauffbier 08-28-2012 03:29 AM

I've actually considered doing your version of no chill before. I'll have to give it a try.

I know what you mean about being jealous of 50-60F ground water temps. My ground water is actually still in the low to mid 70's during the winter. I'm also jealous of people that can chill there beer by just sticking the kettle in a snow bank. We don't even know what snow is around here!

SpeedYellow 08-28-2012 05:54 PM


Originally Posted by TxBrewHouse (Post 4366509)
We're brewing 10 gallon batches do I'm cooling about 11 gallons. I'm using 50 ft of 1/2" copper for my immersion chiller. It takes about 1 hour to cool from boiling or close to it, to 70 deg F. ....

I'm sure that if you start stirring your wort, or bouncing your cooling coils like a spring, you'll be able to get your cooling time down to 20-30 minutes.

audger 08-30-2012 07:54 PM

one thing you could try is taking that 50 foot chiller and cutting it in half, and use two 25ft sections in parrallel. i bet the water is warming up to wort temp way before it exits the chiller, so the last maybe 20 feet of legnth is doing nothing for you.

also, what does the temperature curve of the wort over time look like? in other words- is it crashing down from 200* to 100* in the first 10 minutes, and then it takes 50 minutes to get from 100 to 75? (that would be due to your warm ground water) or is it more linear and slow? (which would be more due to an inefficient chiller)

TxBrewHouse 09-02-2012 04:22 PM

I've also got a second chiller 25 ft of 3/8 that I was thinking about immersing in ice water before the water would enter the chiller in my kettle. Also I could use an aquarium pump to circulate ice water through them. The outside temp is at or above 100F when we brew. So the ground water is warm. I'd bet at least mid to high 80's. I take notes during brewing so here's the curve. Drops from boiling to 100F in 25 minutes. After that it takes about 40 minutes to drop 25 degrees.

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