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Old 10-13-2012, 01:18 AM   #21
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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?
It is probably a bit overblown due to the amount of yeast that will be pitched. However, minimizing sources of possible contamination is prudent. If it is windy out, or you have any trees nearby/above, there is a good chance of something blowing/falling in.

For an IC, the main strategy is either notching the lid at the edge, or installing it through holes in the lid. Notching is easier, while installing in the lid seals things up better. In my earlier post I talked about mounting it slightly off-center to allow for agitating the wort by twisting/rotating the lid. A even fancier solution is to mount a stirring paddle in the lid that can be powered by a drill or small motor.


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Old 10-13-2012, 01:22 AM   #22
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I told my fiancée that's what I what I wanted for Xmas but I don't think I can wait that long. I'm going to just buy one.

What about the temps? How quick should you get your boil down for an optimal cool down?
Rouge and wild yeasts/bacterias LOVE 100-130 degree sugary wort/environment. Im no expert but from what i heard general drop with an ice batch will get u down to 150 but that "range" for harmful bacterias just last to long on an ice chill. also you want to experience whats called "cold break" chilling the wort fast enough will yield you with a clearer and tasty brew.


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Old 10-13-2012, 01:32 AM   #23
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My $0.02. Build your own chiller, FYI you can get the copper tubing cheaper online than you can from a local hardware store or Lowes, HD, etc... In fact there is a copper tubing supplier on the internet that sells ready to assemble chiller kits. Also, on my last batch I purchased a 650 GPM pond pump from Harbor Freight for like $35 and hooked it up to the supply side of the wort chiller and stuck it in a big igloo cooler full of ice water. i let the return line run into the driveway for the first couple minutes and then i reciruclated back into the cooler. As the ice melted I pulled the return line out again and let the water level in the cooler get lower until i could dump in another bag of ice. I went through probably 6 bags of ice and got the 6 gallons of boiling wort down to around 60F in about 20 minutes flat. Wort got cold enough that i had condensation on the side of the boil kettle.

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Old 10-13-2012, 02:22 AM   #24
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My $0.02. Build your own chiller, FYI you can get the copper tubing cheaper online than you can from a local hardware store or Lowes, HD, etc... In fact there is a copper tubing supplier on the internet that sells ready to assemble chiller kits.
Lately, copper tubing is more expensive than stainless, and the nybrewsupply.com guy sells stainless chillers for about the same price as raw tubing. I have only seen a handful of home bent chillers that don't look like an elementary school art project. It is possible to DIY a nice one, but it takes some skill, usually acquired through screwing the first one up.

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Also, on my last batch I purchased a 650 GPM pond pump from Harbor Freight for like $35 and hooked it up to the supply side of the wort chiller and stuck it in a big igloo cooler full of ice water. i let the return line run into the driveway for the first couple minutes and then i reciruclated back into the cooler. As the ice melted I pulled the return line out again and let the water level in the cooler get lower until i could dump in another bag of ice. I went through probably 6 bags of ice and got the 6 gallons of boiling wort down to around 60F in about 20 minutes flat. Wort got cold enough that i had condensation on the side of the boil kettle.
Using ice water doesn't gain you much for the initial part of the chill. The temp diff is already at least 130F. The sweet spot seems to be a 20-30F temp diff between wort and tap temps before switching to the ice bath for input. To minimize ice use further, until the exhaust from the chiller is colder than tap temps, the discharge can be dumped and the ice bath replenished with tap water, just as you stated in your post.

This way uses more water, but less ice. Chill time will not be much different, and may even be faster since you can run the chiller wide open giving much more flow than the pump will provide. It isn't that much water either way you do it, and the exhaust can always be used for either cleaning or watering the yard.
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:35 AM   #25
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i built my own out of copper i got from HD and other assorted parts. cost me <$50.

but if you want nice, SS and ready to go, you def cant go wrong with anything from stainless brewing. the guy who runs it is pretty awesome.


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This looks like a good deal ($89 shipped http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f41/89-1-2-x-50ft-ss-immersion-chiller-free-shipping-limited-time-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-12-immersion-chiller_p_134.html

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Old 10-13-2012, 02:44 AM   #26
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I wonder if anyone has reworked old air conditioner innards to build a chiller. Just plug it in and let the freon coils do their job.

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Old 10-13-2012, 02:56 AM   #27
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I made my immersion chiller myself with copper tubing wrapped around a piece of large diameter pvc pipe. Down south, in the summer my tap water temp is pretty high. I had left over copper pipe and 90's from a remodel so I made another square chiller that fits inside a 5 gallon bucket. I fill that bucket with a slurry of ice and water and drop the prechiller in there. I'm no engineer, but I believe with the larger diameter of the pre chiller going into the smaller chiller, I can get more colder water flowing into the hot wort. I can usually get down to 80 degrees in around 10 minuets.

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Old 10-13-2012, 04:16 AM   #28
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I wonder if anyone has reworked old air conditioner innards to build a chiller. Just plug it in and let the freon coils do their job.
Window A/C units work for DIY glycol chillers. Used directly in the wort, they would not be as fast as an IC using tap water, much less an ice bath. If you used the A/C unit to chill a large reservoir of liquid ahead of time, you could use that as the IC chiller feed. That is what the big boys do.
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:25 AM   #29
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I had left over copper pipe and 90's from a remodel so I made another square chiller that fits inside a 5 gallon bucket. I fill that bucket with a slurry of ice and water and drop the prechiller in there. I can usually get down to 80 degrees in around 10 minuets.
With warm tap temps, getting from 80 to pitching temps is the tough part. Once the temp plateaus using straight tap water, switching to an open ice bath input with a pump to recirc through the chiller is your best bet when using an IC.

Prechillers are better suited for use with CFC or plate chillers when chilling en route to the fermentor.
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:30 AM   #30
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An immersion chiller is awesome. But I wouldnt waste money on a "pre-chiller". IMHO prechillers just dont do enough fast enough for the money. I found that for the same or less money I could buy a pond/fountian pump. I attach this to my immersion chiller and drop it in a bucket of ice with enough water in it to cover the pump. This circulates ice cold water through my IC and really cools the wort down great!



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