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Old 09-11-2011, 07:56 AM   #1
TheYoshi
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Default Chilling in TX

I just moved to Austin from central PA. First allow me to point out a few differences for my personal set up

1. In PA I was on a well, damn near perfect water. Here city water, chloromine city and very very hard.
2. Temp wise the well ran around 58 year round. Here, my hose runs at 80.
3. It's ****ing hot here and I don't have a basement or any other room that is ~65 year round

My first brew in TX was a disaster, I couldn't get it below 85 (using my immersion I'd been using in PA) I gave up and pitched warm but threw it in my keezer (which at the time had nothing else in it so I set to 65 and waited). I had some local friends who thought it was ok but to me it was a mess of DMS, fusel alcohol and general suckage. Far below my expectations (it was a IIPA, pliny recipe I've had great success with previously)

I suspect most if not all problems were due to crap water,slow chilling and hot fermentation (at the start). I just brewed the same recipe here using bottled water, a pre-chiller and a 72 degree pitch. Still not great but workable I guess. Looking forward to seeing how it comes out.

My big question is what do you hot climate brewers do? It's a real bitch and any tips would be appreciated.

Josh

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Old 09-11-2011, 08:08 AM   #2
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I live in Houston now. My advice is pre chiller. Fermentation Chamber. Move back to PA its effn hot here!
Oh never use or drink tx city water! Its worse than Mexico. The city of Houston had to admit radiation levels in the water were present.....just saying....

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Old 09-11-2011, 12:50 PM   #3
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I live in Orlando and have many of the same problems. I factor bottled water and 40lbs of ice into my brewday costs. I have a 72qt cooler that I make a big ice bath with and chill my brew kettle in that in conjunction with my chiller (my tap water temp is around 80, too). When the wort is chilled to pitch temp (less than an hour), I siphon into my fermenter and then put the fermenter into the cooler. The ice will have melted enough at this point to be somewhere in the 50's and then I use frozen soda bottle to keep the temp in the cooler in the 60's. I'm working on getting a dedicated fridge for the fermenters, which would make it a lot easier. Brewing in the south just takes a little more work.

Think of it this way, Belgian yeasts love warmer temps, you will be able to make great Saisons where you are

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Old 09-11-2011, 01:25 PM   #4
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yeah it took 40lbs of ice to use my pre-chiller, also as I get moved into pumps I think recirculatinging the pre-chiller water would make a big difference.

I chilled down to 100 using the tap water, then "activated" the pre-chiller (aka dumped ice in the bucket it was in) to get it the rest of the way down. It worked ok, but worked much much better when I moved the pre-chiller up and down in the ice water bath (the water going into the main chiller was much colder)

I see a counterflow or plate chiller in my future.

I have long term plans to go electric and move inside. I'll have to add to the plan some kind of more permanent pre-chilling setup.

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Old 09-11-2011, 01:54 PM   #5
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Shaking the main chiller helps too. A cheap RV water filter will take care of the chloromine. They're like $20 at Wal-mart.

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I had no problems whatsoever getting my pee to ferment.
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Old 09-11-2011, 02:00 PM   #6
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Counter flow or plate won't help until you get the temp of your water down. I'm in Carlsbad NM and here's my procedure.
I use well water to get to about 80F, then I turn the water off to the immersion chiller. I then recirculate the wort with my pump through an old immersion chiller witting in an ice bath. When the wort is down to about 70F, I put the hose into the fermenter and slow down the flow so that it cools a few more degrees. In about 30 minutes I can get 10 gallons down to 60F, another 10 minutes and the wort is under 50F.
I've tried a pre-chiller, but the water is moving so fast it only drops the temp a few degrees. Pumping the wort through the ice bath is more effective once the wort is under 90F

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Old 09-11-2011, 02:03 PM   #7
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I live just outside Austin in Manor. I use bottled water, a swamp cooler (building a ferm chamber soon), and after the chiller has been running for a while and the temps have leveled off, I put the kettle in an ice bath.

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Old 09-11-2011, 02:19 PM   #8
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I too had a similar experience, couldn't get below 85F using my CFC and hose water. I just put the carboy in the ferm changer over night and pitched yeast the next day.

I have since done the following.

small pond pump, I didn't want to spend big dollars for a sump pump.
such as this one http://www.amazon.com/Sunterra-13701...5750482&sr=8-1

ZOMG... customer image shows a guy cooling his wort with it .

I chill with the hose and CFC this gets me down to 85F then I switch my source from hosed water to the ice water I have in the cooler. I use the pump to pump through my CFC. I am also using a chugger pump to move the wort along as well.

-=Jason=-

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Old 09-11-2011, 02:37 PM   #9
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When I lived in TX most guys used immersion chillers to knock down the initial temp shaking it around a bit and after that doing the same thing you did by bringing in a pre chiller once the temp was down some.

Otherwise you would burn up as much ice as you want to carry. ;(

I've seen pre chillers made of old car radiators set in humongo ice chests filled with many bags of ice. Year round 80 degree water is a PITA.

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Old 09-11-2011, 03:07 PM   #10
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I've had some trouble these last summer months too. I use a counter flow chiller and a bunch of bags of ice to get the wort down to 80ish. Then I just put it in our temp controlled fermentation freezer and pitch the yeast the next day.

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