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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Chilling wort in hot weather.
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:20 AM   #1
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Default Chilling wort in hot weather.

I'm from Arizona so temps can get pretty hot. What is the most effective way to cool down to pitching temps for someone like me? Plate? Immersion? Plate+Pre-chiller?

I haven't purchased any cooling devices yet. In the past I would just put my whole keg in a large bucket of water, with a hose in the bucket of water circulating new water. It did the trick but was a pain in the ass, wasted water, and won't work once I add a ball valve to my keg.

The nice thing about being accepting the contractor job here in afghanistan is that I can now afford all the toys I couldn't before.

During the summer time the tap water from my house can easily be 80*. What do you guys think I should purchase to cool down to correct pitching temps without buying a ton of ice.


I was thinking about maybe using a plate chiller to cool it down in one pass using normal tap water. Than transferring it from that container, to my fermenter using a plate chiller combined with a pre-chiller. That way I'm not burning through ice like crazy. What do you guys think?

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Old 07-28-2011, 01:31 AM   #2
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Can you refrigerate tap water night before cooling? Use that water and ice with a recirculating immersion cooler. Just a thought.

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Old 07-28-2011, 01:36 AM   #3
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I use a 50 foot immersion chiller plus a 25 foot pre-chiller. I don't add the ice to the prechiller until the beer chills to about 100.

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Old 07-28-2011, 01:37 AM   #4
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Use a large plate chiller (I have a 40 plate from Rebel Brewer, their ChillHog 4000 model with RebelSmart added) to get it as close to the water temp as possible. If you can chill the water lower, then that will help. Once you have the wort chilled as low as you can with the plate chiller, have a fermentation chamber to get it the rest of the way. Let it rest there overnight, and then pitch the yeast.

With a plate chiller, you want to get it as low as possible in one pass. Adjusting the flow on the kettle and plate chiller out should let you do that. I've found that if I run the chill water pretty much full open, open the kettle all the way, or about 3/4 open, and regulate the chiller out flow, I can easily get the wort to about 60F without issue. I watch the temperature, and adjust it, so that my wort out temp is between 65F and 70F.

IF you have a fermentation chamber, (converted chest freezer) you could put buckets of water in that a few days ahead, and get them to about 40-50F and chill with that, via a pump. How much water you need will be determined by the batch size...

You might want to also think about using the method Mr. Malty does (whirlpool chilling with a bucket and pump) as shown here: http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php Personally, I don't need to go that route since ground water in my part of the country is pretty much always cool enough to get the wort to the temp's I want it to be. At least where I'm brewing it is.

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Old 07-28-2011, 01:41 AM   #5
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I brew in Phoenix. And what I do is for the 2-3 gallons I need to fill in the fermenting bucket, I just use Ice instead. if you live in the valley you more than likely are using RO water to brew. Ice from Water and Ice places are RO as well.

Dumping the ice directly in the bucket usually gets my wert down to the low 70's in about 15 minutes.

I'll more than likely invest in a wert chiller sometime soon though. Particular because if I use a carboy from the get go I can't really put ice in there.

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Old 07-28-2011, 04:47 AM   #6
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If you got the money for toys. Get yourself a glycol system. If you got a lot for toys. Get me one too....

see a few DIY systems. I may move to NC and it will be a requirement there Almost like AZ.. as a matter of fact even in jersey id like one

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Old 07-28-2011, 05:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
Use a large plate chiller to get it as close to the water temp as possible. If you can chill the water lower, then that will help. Once you have the wort chilled as low as you can with the plate chiller, have a fermentation chamber to get it the rest of the way. Let it rest there overnight, and then pitch the yeast.
+1

This is what I've been doing except that I find I need to recirculate thru the plate chiller for a few mins before I get it anywhere near the temp of my ground water.
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Old 07-28-2011, 08:41 AM   #8
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~ 40# of ice in an ice water bath in the sink with frequent stirring (wort and sink) works for me. 10 gal down to pitching temp in <30 min.

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Old 07-28-2011, 10:43 AM   #9
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I use regular tap water to cool the wort down with an IC until about 100 or so, then switch to a little pond pump in ice water to get it down to pitching temps. I'm planning on getting a pre-chiller in the near future.

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Old 07-28-2011, 11:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kfh
i use regular tap water to cool the wort down with an ic until about 100 or so, then switch to a little pond pump in ice water to get it down to pitching temps. I'm planning on getting a pre-chiller in the near future.
+1
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