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Old 01-03-2012, 10:10 PM   #11
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I really don't see the issue of a full wort boil. During steeping and sparging, volume will matter because that is where the sugars and flavors go into solution. Once the wort has boiled down after its boil, just don't top it off...let the ice make up the volume to get back to 5gal. I mean, is it me or doesn't everyone lose about a gallon of liquid during a 60 min boil?
You don't top off a full wort boil. That's the whole point. Your mash and sparge total far more water than you want in your fermenter. This is to maximize extraction efficiency, knowing that you will lose a particular amount of volume to the boil, chill, etc. A full boil also maximizes hop utilization and helps to arrive at very high gravity beers. It takes far more water to rinse the sugars out of a LOT of grain, which means a longer boil to reduce the wort down to the final needed amount to hit a number. Adding ice at this point undoes that.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:16 PM   #12
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You don't top off a full wort boil. That's the whole point. Your mash and sparge total far more water than you want in your fermenter. This is to maximize extraction efficiency, knowing that you will lose a particular amount of volume to the boil, chill, etc. A full boil also maximizes hop utilization and helps to arrive at very high gravity beers. It takes far more water to rinse the sugars out of a LOT of grain, which means a longer boil to reduce the wort down to the final needed amount to hit a number. Adding ice at this point undoes that.
Excellent post. That is what I was trying **CLUMSY** to get at. A full boil is for efficiency and hop utilization. I usually boil 6.5 gallons to yield 5 and I constantly check water volume and gravity during the boil.
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:29 AM   #13
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"I picked up 50 feet of 3/8" copper pipe for $15 (HD by me was $1 a foot and I have vowed never to set foot in lowes again). Get your brew bucket (because that diameter is usually smaller than most brew pots) or anything that is cylindrical that is about 2/3 the diameter of your brew pot."

Kurtism, if you picked up 50' of 3/8 copper for 15 bucks it was probably stolen.

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Old 01-04-2012, 03:41 AM   #14
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Kurtism, if you picked up 50' of 3/8 copper for 15 bucks it was probably stolen.
I agree. That is really really cheap.

I used a 20' 3/8 chiller made from Lowes copper for a long time and it worked fine. It's usually about $25 bucks but it could probably be found cheaper. Cool thing too is when you want to upgrade, buy another 20', coil it smaller and make yourself a dual coil chiller.
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:43 PM   #15
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"I picked up 50 feet of 3/8" copper pipe for $15 (HD by me was $1 a foot and I have vowed never to set foot in lowes again). Get your brew bucket (because that diameter is usually smaller than most brew pots) or anything that is cylindrical that is about 2/3 the diameter of your brew pot."

Kurtism, if you picked up 50' of 3/8 copper for 15 bucks it was probably stolen.
I just looked online and Mueller copper 3/8 OD at 50' is 43.45 at Lowes. Same price at Home Depot. Not quite $15. I would stay away from 1/2" unless it is "L" type. It is a bitch to bend.

I prefer my plate chiller over my coil any day. MUCH faster and easier to manage.
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:16 PM   #16
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I'd agree that plate chillers are significantly faster. I saw one of my friend's in action recently and nearly crapped my pants because it was instantaneous. The biggest difference I have come across between them and immersion chillers is with an ic you get a chance to filter out some of you're cold break. Usually not a huge deal and some even claim it's good yeast food but for someone on a budget, they may want to consider saving yeast. If you could remove some cold break it'd be easier to wash and save your cake. To each his own though. I spent my upgrade "allowance" on kegs recently. Eventually it will probably go towards a plate chiller.

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Old 01-04-2012, 02:12 PM   #17
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I think you all are missing what okie123 said - He bought his copper at a plumbing supply store. NOT Home Depot or Lowe's. That was his point. I don't know when he bought it, but I'm sure its still more than $15 now. Copper prices are nuts.

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Old 01-04-2012, 02:29 PM   #18
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I get that point completely. Problem is even if it was 1/2 the price of what it is at Lowes or HD at the plumbing supply store, he would still have gotten it cheaper. It's too good to be true and it throws people off making a realistic decision about their expenses to hear it.

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Old 01-04-2012, 03:58 PM   #19
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I think you all are missing what okie123 said - He bought his copper at a plumbing supply store. NOT Home Depot or Lowe's. That was his point. I don't know when he bought it, but I'm sure its still more than $15 now. Copper prices are nuts.
I just built mine recently and checked several plumber's supply shops in the area and they were about the same as HD and Lowe's. In some cases they were more. I don't think you're getting it for $15, unless you are really lucky or it is hot.
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Old 01-04-2012, 05:56 PM   #20
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Just built one last night with 3/8in copper tubing (20' for 19.86 @ HD), 3/8'' ID vinyl tubing and it cost me about $45 when all was said and done. I actually needed two adapters for my sink since my faucet was smaller than the normal size. Each were $5 + $5 for tubing, $20 for copper, $0.80 per clamp x 3 and $7.50 for the garden hose attachment. I only had 5/16'' ID tubing at the house so I had to buy the roll of 3/8 or else it would've been cheaper and the fact that I needed two adapters to hook it up to the kitchen sink. If I had the tubing and didn't need a 2nd adapter it woulda been right around $30- $35, about half of what most HBS's sell them for. And it took me about 15 minutes to make.

I cooled 4 gallons of boiling water to 70° in about 13 minutes.
Now to brew something and put it to work.....

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