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Old 10-12-2012, 09:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cwi View Post
I have heard the HERMS coils work, but need agitation in the HLT, which I assume you have a second pump for. One disadvantage of using the HERMS coil as the chiller is the increased ice usage, since all chilling needs to be done with ice. A more ice efficient strategy is using the HLT as the open ice bath for use with an IC (or recirc'ing plate chiller, CFC) after tap water has hit its limit.

Using a second IC as a prechiller is not as effective as doing an open ice batch recirc. Chilling with tap until ~20F temp diff, then switching to an ice bath recirc is the most common strategy. If you don't have a pump for recirc'ing to the ice bath, using a pre-chiller will help, but isn't really needed until the same ~20F diff has been reached. Until that point, it is just wasting ice for no meaningful benefit.

An IC as a prechiller is more suitable for use with a (non-recirc'ing) CFC when tap water is warmer than pitching temps, or higher flow is desired.
I scored an ice maker last year and installed it in my wet bar, so I have 35 lbs of ice available whenever. I'm not really worried about wasting ice or the cost of ice, as much as the inconvenience of carrying it in a bucket out to the garage. haha

That is a good point about using a pump to recirc. I have 2 pumps that I bought for my kal e-build but have not used them yet. I guess I could do that, now that I'm almost operational with my control panel. Interesting ideas.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:56 PM   #12
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This looks like a good deal ($89 shipped http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f41/89-1...me-only-359923), even if you have to add the hookups. You could convert it to a HERMS coil at a later time if you desire to go that route or it should at least always have a good resale value.

http://www.stainlessbrewing.com/50ft...ler_p_134.html

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Old 10-12-2012, 10:39 PM   #13
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This looks like a good deal ($89 shipped http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f41/89-1...me-only-359923), even if you have to add the hookups. You could convert it to a HERMS coil at a later time if you desire to go that route or it should at least always have a good resale value.

http://www.stainlessbrewing.com/50ft...ler_p_134.html
I suppose that one would work since the vendor is an HBT sponsor and all. I personally prefer the nybrewsupply guy for SS chillers- his tubing is thinner walled (which is a good thing). He will also custom make one (diameter/height) for the same price as the standard models, or bulk tubing cost. His come with the garden hose fittings, or are at least available as a package/separately.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:41 PM   #14
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Yes, an immersion chiller is a great investment for a new brewer. I got a copper one with my deluxe starter kit, but I think if I had to buy from scratch I'd probably go stainless. Chilling the wort from boiling quickly is very important in getting a good cold break (crashing out dissolved proteins into the trub from thermal shock/denaturation) which helps prevent chill haze and other issues that affect clarity of your finished beer. It also helps to avoid contamination via air and problems with DMS which can make your beer taste corny or vegetal.

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Old 10-12-2012, 10:54 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by NewBrewB View Post
I scored an ice maker last year and installed it in my wet bar, so I have 35 lbs of ice available whenever. I'm not really worried about wasting ice or the cost of ice, as much as the inconvenience of carrying it in a bucket out to the garage. haha

That is a good point about using a pump to recirc. I have 2 pumps that I bought for my kal e-build but have not used them yet. I guess I could do that, now that I'm almost operational with my control panel. Interesting ideas.
Having an icemaker definitely takes the cost/hassle factor off the 'Cons' list for using ice only.

I like to get my batches below 100F as quick as possible to preserve hop aroma. I think it would be a close race between chilling an entire batch below 100F with ice and a HERMS coil vs. an IC with tap water going full bore. My money is on tap water and an IC. The most you are going to get out of your pumps through the HERMs coil is ~5gal/min, and that is if you followed Kal's spec and got the center inlet pumps. (I don't know why shops still try to sell the inline models to homebrewers).
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelly_belly View Post
This looks like a good deal ($89 shipped http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f41/89-1...me-only-359923), even if you have to add the hookups. You could convert it to a HERMS coil at a later time if you desire to go that route or it should at least always have a good resale value.

http://www.stainlessbrewing.com/50ft...ler_p_134.html

Hey! That's what I have! Picked it up at my LHBS. Works like a charm cooling my wort to 80-85degF in <10mins. I still have to use a quickie ice bath to get down to pitching temps.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:11 AM   #17
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MinnesnowtaBrew,
I have a 50 foot 1/2 inch copper IC. I have a 15 gallon kettle, but am only making 5 gallon batches at the present, though I plan on 10 gallons in teh future.

When I use my IC, I also stir the wort as its cooling. It cools down quite fast. The cooling slows as you approach 20F above your tap water (ground water) temperature.
For use in the summer, I have a cooler ($40)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o03_s00_i00
that I fill with chilled water, and pump cold water through the chiller, once its cooled down to 20F or so above tap water.

This is the pump - you will need some tubing - pumps fast enough -
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o02_s00_i00

This works well, and is easy to clean. The only chore is remembering to freeze some cooling packs to chill the water in the cooler.

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Old 10-13-2012, 12:57 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcLight
MinnesnowtaBrew,
I have a 50 foot 1/2 inch copper IC. I have a 15 gallon kettle, but am only making 5 gallon batches at the present, though I plan on 10 gallons in teh future.

When I use my IC, I also stir the wort as its cooling. It cools down quite fast. The cooling slows as you approach 20F above your tap water (ground water) temperature.
For use in the summer, I have a cooler ($40)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o03_s00_i00
that I fill with chilled water, and pump cold water through the chiller, once its cooled down to 20F or so above tap water.

This is the pump - you will need some tubing - pumps fast enough -
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o02_s00_i00

This works well, and is easy to clean. The only chore is remembering to freeze some cooling packs to chill the water in the cooler.
Sweet thanks ArcLight! I guess I'm just a little hesitant stirring my wort while it's chilling because of a possible infection from the air? Should I not worry about that?
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:12 AM   #19
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I just got an IC (25'x3/8" copper) and I am very happy with it. I've used it for one batch, and it was a lot easier than the cold water bath. Two big benefits: less risk of splashing the wort out or the water in while in the bath, and no need to move a kettle full of near-boiling wort across the kitchen. My hoses are long enough that I just turn off the burner on my stove and turn on the chiller.

Minnesnowta, I would not worry at all about an infection from the air unless I did a lot of baking in my kitchen and thought I might have yeast floating around like crazy. I suppose if there were flies or other bugs around, it'd be a bad idea as well. I just leave my stainless steel spoon in throughout the boil so it is sanitized, and continue stirring with it until it's cold. (I do PM, so I only have to get it down to about 85 and I can pitch immediately after diluting with cold water).

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Old 10-13-2012, 01:16 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwi
that is if you followed Kal's spec and got the center inlet pumps. (I don't know why shops still try to sell the inline models to homebrewers).
Yeah I went with the center input March but not SS heads...just couldnt justify hemmorhaging any more money into the project
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