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Old 06-01-2010, 07:26 PM   #1
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Default "Rapi Kool" effective for wort chilling?

Hello Everybody!

I just got home from a restaurant supply store, and they had an item called Rapi-Kool (http://www.zesco.com/products.cfm?su...pID=ZP99158002) that I had never heard of before. It is a heat safe plastic paddle, that gets filled with water and frozen. It was only $35! I explained to the man behind the counter that I needed it to cool down the beer to about 68F in 45 mins or so, and he couldn't guarantee that it would work. I am broke, so I decided I would mull it over some more.

Has anybody on this site used one of these for wort chilling? Figuring that it is about 1/3 the price of a wort immersion chiller, I wonder if it works 1/3 as well too. lol

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Old 06-01-2010, 08:42 PM   #2
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Very interesting. My guess is that it will melt all the ice inside well before you get to pitching temps. For only a few dollars more you could make your own immersion chiller. Thats what I did. A roll of 50' copper tubing is only like $40 (I used 3/8", though a lot of people use 1/2") plus then a few fittings is all you need.

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Old 06-01-2010, 08:46 PM   #3
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Another wonderful chance to be a jerk and say "Search, ya NOOB!", but I'm too polite for that.

I picked one of these up and tried it out and posted my results here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/cooling-paddles-127688/

Long story short, they didn't really cool the wort any faster than and ice bath, but combined with an ice bath they would make short work of hot wort. A good IC would chill faster though.

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Old 06-01-2010, 09:24 PM   #4
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I agree BrewNinja. If you're thinking of paying for anything, just spend a couple bucks more and do it right.

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Old 06-01-2010, 09:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erock2112 View Post
I agree BrewNinja. If you're thinking of paying for anything, just spend a couple bucks more and do it right.
Assuming your groundwater is cool enough to work with it.
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:09 PM   #6
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Mathematically... and I have proven this through practical application. To cool 5 gallons of wort from boiling to 68F, you need about 40 pounds of ice. That is about 5 gallons of frozen water.

I think this paddle would be great for stirring drinks, not so much boiling wort.

Surface area matters too... a BLOCK of ice will be much less eff. at cooling wort than say smaller ice cubes. You want MAX surface area so that you can MELT the ice FASTER... yes, FASTER.

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Old 06-01-2010, 10:33 PM   #7
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Ahh, I didn't do the math. I actually used the thing to cool wort. Must be why my results were different from yours.

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Old 06-02-2010, 12:17 AM   #8
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I use those Rapi-Kools at work for 5 gallon sauces everyday. I would not recomend trying them for beer. The plastic keeps them from transfering the heat really fast. They are made to work in 2-4 hours, with the whole container in a walk-in, and they still have trouble doing the job.

Save for a work chiller, you'll be happier.

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Old 09-10-2010, 01:51 PM   #9
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Thanks for the reviews. I was considering getting one of these as well.

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Old 09-10-2010, 02:02 PM   #10
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For those interested in how much ice it takes to cool. Check out the attached spreadsheet. I do closed system cooling so I use this sheet to determine how much ice I need depending on my wort characteristics and ground water temp. It is accurate with reality.

EDIT: wtf. We can't upload zips or spreadsheets now?!

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