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Old 07-02-2010, 02:18 PM   #1
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Default Compressed air in cooled wort?

I was brewing last night and near the end of the boil I noticed that my Therminator outlet hose had gotten too close to the burner and had melted. I scrambled around to find a replacement hose and parts, meanwhile I turned down the kettle heat to just boiling, and pulled the hops out at what should have been flameout. After getting the hose replaced, it still took 15 minutes to circulate the boiling wort through the Therminator and hoses to sterilize.

Long story short - my boil went for 20 minutes too long, and I really wanted to try to get my full 5 gallons. So while I normally leave the wort in the Therminator and lines after chilling/pumping to the fermentor (which results in a 1/2 gallon loss, and a 7% efficiency loss), I decided to blow the line clear into the fermentor with compressed air to obtain the remaining 1/2 gallon.

I'm not worried about the batch, I'm just wondering how bad of a practice this is. Thoughts?

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Old 07-02-2010, 02:21 PM   #2
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Does your compressor have an oiler for air tools?

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Old 07-02-2010, 02:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Does your compressor have an oiler for air tools?
No, and I have never used any air tools with this compressor - the only thing that has ever been attached to it is an air hose with a shutoff nozzle.
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Old 07-02-2010, 02:56 PM   #4
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Without some kind of air filter on the outlet side I would consider it a dangerous practice. Hopefully you will be ok this time.

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Old 07-02-2010, 04:23 PM   #5
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anyone think something like this would work?

http://power-tools.hardwarestore.com/66-388-air-compressor-parts/air-line-filter-644095.aspx

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Old 07-02-2010, 05:09 PM   #6
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for about that price you could get an immersion chiller.
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Without some kind of air filter on the outlet side I would consider it a dangerous practice. Hopefully you will be ok this time.

yeah there is all kinds of nasty rusty water inside a compressor. I would not want that in my wort. Not worth the risk.

You could have just stopped the boil and left it or topped up the boiling kettle to 5 gallons with some water.
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:36 PM   #8
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The compressor needs lubrication so there's likely a little oil even without the tool oiler - best not to do that anymore.

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Old 07-02-2010, 05:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maida7 View Post
for about that price you could get an immersion chiller.
I had one, but I hated stirring like crazy for 15 minutes, hence the counterflow chiller upgrade.
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Old 07-02-2010, 06:13 PM   #10
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In any given compressed air sample you will find compressor lubricant and water vapor. As a former chemist who formulated compressor lubes for over 20 years, I would not recommend this. The combination of the organic components in the oil, the unclean water the yeast and temperature of fermentation are ideal to grow bacteria in.

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