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Old 04-07-2011, 02:53 PM   #1
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Default Request for wort chilling alternatives on Big Brew Day

The site for the Big Brew i plan to attend in Columbia, MD (behind Maryland Homebrew) will have limited tap water, so i'm looking for alternatives to chill the wort from my usual IC fed from a hose bib.

I'm thinking i might start with 3 gallon boil chilled w/ 2 gallons of clean cold water (boiled the previous day and chilled). What would be better: 1) draw off 4 gallons from the mash and let it boil down to 3 gallons, or 2) draw off 6 gallons and boil longer to boil down to 3 gallons?

Will the OG be less if i draw off only 4 gallons from the mash?

I'm open to all suggestions. Well, clean ones anyway!



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Old 04-07-2011, 03:34 PM   #2
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You could get a recirculating pump; you won't need much more than a bucket of water and some ice. That would minimize your reliance on using running water. HTH



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Old 04-07-2011, 04:04 PM   #3
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Default re: recirculating pump

Thanks! Any chilling suggestions if electricity is not available?

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Old 04-07-2011, 06:04 PM   #4
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If limited on water and electricity, then the method you mentioned above, adding hot wort to cold water, will work good enough. Might not get you down to pitching temps, but after letting it sit for a while, you'll be good to go.

As far as your OG goes, you could either mash with more grain and use more water to sparge to get up to your preboil volume, or you could make up the difference from a smaller mash by using some extract. I would get a normal pre-boil volume and expect to boil it down 50%, since that will take a really long time depending on the boil off rate. If anything, I'd shoot for 4 gallons pre-boil volume, boil that down to 3 gallons, and then chill it with the method mentioned above.

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Old 04-07-2011, 06:22 PM   #5
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Is this a site that has hosted this before? If that's the case they probably do what a lot sites do and make a water station. They run a hose out from a single tap and hook up a couple of splitters like this



IIRC at my site they put a 2-way on the faucet themselves, then run them out to near the drain and then hook up two 4 ways there. That way there's 8 hoses for folks....I think one has a sprayer on it for rinsing, and the rest everyone lines up to use...of course drinking while you wait is part of it.

Here's folks hanging out at the chiller area last year.



Some sites even have plate chillers set up for people.

If you don't have an immersion chiller, you can always ask, or even ask online ahead to see if you can use someone's. I've done it, shared mine. The person just has to stagger the brew schedule a bit, maybe wait an hour to start, or mash longer or whatever to overlap.

The other option if there's no electricity for the afore mentioned pump would be a big rubbermade bin that your kettle could fit in and a lot of ice.

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Old 04-07-2011, 06:28 PM   #6
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If you can sanitize the inside of your IC, you could reverse the process and put the IC in a bucket/tub of ice water and siphon your beer through that.

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Old 04-07-2011, 06:37 PM   #7
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To chill 5 gal of boiling wort with a recirc'd ice bath alone takes like 40 lb ice IIRC. 3 gal will only take 3/5ths, or around 24 lb ice. Less ice still if you add cool water to get up to 5 gal.

I think chilling 3 gal with ice, then adding cooled water, (NOTE the order here....doing ice first, then adding water will chill a lot faster then adding water then chilling with ice....and both require the same amount of ice), is your best bet.

To make sure your 3 gal has the right OG, you have two options: Increase your grain bill by 50% and only run off 4 gal instead of 6 gal, or run off 6 gal and boil to 3. Running off 4 gal with the original grain bill will make your OG lower than expected.

Edit: Oh, and if you don't have electricity, the easiest is probably a good cordless electric drill and one of these.

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Old 04-07-2011, 09:34 PM   #8
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You could always do a No-Chill brew. It would require an extra vessel (cheap, here or here) and racking equipment that can stand up to high temps, like a metal racking cane or ball valve on your kettle, and silicone tubing (here), but I've been using this method for a while, and it works great!

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Old 04-08-2011, 12:58 AM   #9
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I can't imagine they don't have some sort of water solution - that would seriously deter participation. I definitely wouldn't go to a big brew that didn't have water.

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Old 04-08-2011, 01:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eulipion2 View Post
You could always do a No-Chill brew. It would require an extra vessel (cheap, here or here) and racking equipment that can stand up to high temps, like a metal racking cane or ball valve on your kettle, and silicone tubing (here), but I've been using this method for a while, and it works great!
I finally saw someone do no-chill at a big brew day...oh wait it was one of our guys from here doing it...you should have seen the looks/questions we got when he was doing it. I forgot that not every brewer hangs out on here and doesn't know about the same stuff we do....


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