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Old 03-11-2008, 06:51 PM   #1
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Default Wort chiller questions...

Hi folks;
I've been doing bigger boils lately and on Sunday evening I used up every ice cube in the freezer in my attempts to cool down my wort...just before my girl friend came in to make herself a margarita. I was soundly chastised and I am realizing that it's probably time for me to purchase a wort chiller. I've been sleuthing around a little and I have a couple of questions. Does it matter much if the tubing is copper as opposed to stainless? Also, the descriptions I've been seeing describe "garden hose" hook-ups. Does this mean the hose actually attaches to the outside faucet? I still brew in my kitchen (probably not for long, at the rate I'm going- I'm bound to get kicked out soon) and I'm wondering if I can hook the hose up to my kitchen faucet ?

Thanks in advance...

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Old 03-11-2008, 07:06 PM   #2
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Copper tubing is more expensive than stainless, but it also has better heat transfer, so for the same length and diameter tubing, copper is the better choice. Do you do full boils or partials and then add water? I did my first full boil a couple weeks ago and found that my 25' length of tubing didn't cool as rapidly as I was hoping, but for a partial it was great. As for the garden hose hook-ups, you can get faucet adapters for your kitchen sink, so they are a non-issue.

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Old 03-11-2008, 07:15 PM   #3
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Thanks for the fast reply, sigmund...
Yes, I've been doing partial boils but I've increased the size of them. I used to follow the extract kit instructions and boil the wort with just a couple of gallons of water, which always drastically reduced in size by the end of the boil, then topped it off with water in the carboy. Now I'm doing three gallons and keep the lid on the kettle to reduce moisture loss. I've discovered that it takes a lot more ice to cool down a three gallon boil, which makes sense. I was thinking of graduating to full boils, but I'll have to upgrade in the brew kettle department- my birthday is coming in June, so that might be a good opportunity for me to upgrade. Good to know I can get an adapter for that contraption! How long did it take for your chiller to cool down a full boil?

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Old 03-11-2008, 07:17 PM   #4
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Another hookup option that might work for you depending on location is to put a two-way splitter on your cold water connection for your washing machine and run a hose from it. These are already garden hose size and you won't have to mess with adding/removing a garden hose fitting from your sink everytime you want to cool.

Check the online retailers and your local LHBS for wort chillers. While you could make one yourself, sometimes it's cheaper just to get it from a retailer.

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Old 03-11-2008, 07:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junebug
How long did it take for your chiller to cool down a full boil?
For my full boil, it took me about a half hour, with very cold tap water. I ordered myself some more copper. Not sure if I'll redo my existing chiller or make a counterflow chiller. I'm leaning towards the counterflow.
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Old 03-11-2008, 07:34 PM   #6
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I've cooled down a full boil in under 15 minutes. The key is to stir occasionally while cooling.

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Old 03-11-2008, 08:21 PM   #7
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@junebug

i think there is some recommendation against boiling with the lid on - DMS producing compounds are boiled off during the boil and we want that to happen - if you leave the lid on, those compounds remain in the beer. i'm not sure that it's a huge problem (my first brew was done the same way, but that batch had other problems!). might be worth doing a search.

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Old 03-11-2008, 09:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cd2448
@junebug

i think there is some recommendation against boiling with the lid on - DMS producing compounds are boiled off during the boil and we want that to happen - if you leave the lid on, those compounds remain in the beer. i'm not sure that it's a huge problem (my first brew was done the same way, but that batch had other problems!). might be worth doing a search.
Yikes! Thanks for the heads up!
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McKBrew
I've cooled down a full boil in under 15 minutes. The key is to stir occasionally while cooling.
It's o.k. to stir it, then? That's an idea...
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Old 03-11-2008, 10:28 PM   #10
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FWIW...........

If you get the chiller and need a kitchen sink adapter, I got mine here in town at Menards, it's only a couple bucks.

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