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Old 01-25-2012, 03:29 PM   #1
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Default Cooling your wort

I currently use an ice bath. I use way to much ice to cool down my wort. Currently nearly 12 pounds per batch. I thought about sterilizing some plastic bags or water bottles filled with ice and submerging them in it. Do you have any other methods you use?

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Old 01-25-2012, 03:33 PM   #2
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A wort chiller

https://www.google.com/search?q=wort+chiller

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Old 01-25-2012, 03:36 PM   #3
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I wouldn't use plastic bags, as this is still going to be almost 200 F wort at the start, so the plastic bags aren't quite hearty enough and may melt.

Plenty of people on this board sanatize plastic bottles, fill them with boiled then frozen water, and submerge them. I'll tell you that it isn't going to speed up your cool down THAT much compared to an ice bath, and it can't be more sanitary than an ice bath, since you are actually putting plastic into your wort.

I transfer from my newer SS kettle into my old aluminum kettle before my ice bath. Aluminum conducts heat and cool much better than SS, which is a bit of a disadvantage in mashing/boiling, but a distinct advantage in cooling wort. I can go from 212 to 70 in my aluminum kettle in right at 18 minutes with 25 lbs of ice in my sink. I recently got a plate chiller for Xmas, so I'm all done with that here soon as well.

I'd stick with the ice bath if I were you and start saving up for a immercian chiller, counterflow chilller, or plate chiller, each of which can be had for around $60-90.

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Old 01-25-2012, 03:38 PM   #4
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i went to the home depot and bought a 20' 3/8ths inch id copper coil for 13 bucks a few feet of vinal tube for like 3 bucks and a garden hose adapter with some worm clamps total cost was about 20 bucks and i cooled 3 gal of wort from 211 to 62 in 7 min on sunday

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Old 01-25-2012, 03:39 PM   #5
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Aside from a wort chiller you can probably use your ice a little more efficiently. When I used to do the ice bath method it took me around 10 bags for the first couple of times. But from ~200* down to ~100* is easy and water by itself is enough to do the job. What I'm trying to say is, save your ice till you get down to about 100*. Last time I chilled with an ice bath I think I only used maybe 3 bags for a 5 gallon batch.

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Old 01-25-2012, 03:50 PM   #6
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i was just looking at some immersion chillers. How can running cold tap water be effective and cool so fast?

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Old 01-25-2012, 03:53 PM   #7
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It's all about surface area. You've got a ton of surface submerged in the beer with an immersion chiller, and copper is REALLY effective at transferring heat.

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Old 01-25-2012, 04:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
It's all about surface area. You've got a ton of surface submerged in the beer with an immersion chiller, and copper is REALLY effective at transferring heat.
+1 to this. Immercial Chillers, Plate Chillers, and Counterflow Chillers all work on the same principle as car radiators and electonics heatsinks - there is something hot running through a closed area or tubing/plates and you run something cold on the other side of that plate. The two mediums exchange temperatures in an attempt to reach a temperature equilibrium, so the hot side cools while the cool side heats. The more surface area, the faster they move towards the cooler temp.

It's the same in principle as the ice bath as well, there is just a relatively small surface area in the ice bath that is conducting heat/cool exchange.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spencecore24 View Post
I currently use an ice bath. I use way to much ice to cool down my wort. Currently nearly 12 pounds per batch. I thought about sterilizing some plastic bags or water bottles filled with ice and submerging them in it. Do you have any other methods you use?
Purchased a Duda Diesel wort chiller this season -- love it!

Good quality, cost competitive product that is amazingly effective. Even with my warm (usually about 80F) "chilling" water here in the tropics I can bring 5 gallons of wort down to pitchable temps (< 90F) in minutes.
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:26 PM   #10
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+1k on wort chiller...

I used to do the ice baths (messy, pita, time consuming, and loud (do most of my brewing at night while the kiddies are sleeping))

Went from, cooling 3 gal from 25 min to literally 5 min at the most

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