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Old 02-18-2009, 06:55 PM   #1
EddieWess
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Default Do I need a wort chiller?

I live in Colorado, at about 8,700 feet where it is usually about 10 degrees cooler than say Denver. Right now I just stick the covered wort in the carboy outside and it cools pretty quick. When summer comes, will I neeed a a wort chiller? The summer nights are cool but I wouldn't call it cold. I am on a well so running water for 15 + minutes is not good well usage (CO is a very dry climate). Any ideas?

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Old 02-18-2009, 06:58 PM   #2
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get a tub of ice water and circulate that through your wort chiller, youll need to chill your wort down to pitching temps as fast as possible.

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Old 02-18-2009, 06:59 PM   #3
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Well, an immersion chiller is very handy and helpful. If you're worried about water usage, search for a thread I think EdWort did on recirculating ice baths. Minimum of water used. Or you could get a big 5 bushel drum or something similar and fill it with ice to cool your wort. Not as effective as an IC but works nonetheless.

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Old 02-18-2009, 07:02 PM   #4
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You need a wort chiller. For one, tranfering hot wort to a glass (if it is glass) carboy can cause the carboy to crack (not good, or safe). second, In the summer, it will not chill fast enough without some help. The well water thing is a problem, you could freeze bottles of water and then sanitize the outside and put them in the wort. Alternatively you could save yourself the headache and just buy a good immersion chiller. Im sure you can find somewhere else to conserve water. If water conservation is more important than the quality of your beer then you probably should buy comercial beer, because brewing is very water intensive. (btw, this is a friendly suggestion, not a "bit your head off" comment)

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Old 02-18-2009, 07:04 PM   #5
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Unless you are doing full boils, you really don't need a wort chiller. Otherwise, yes. It gets really dry here in the summer, so I just run the water out to my garden. I guess if you have a fairly shallow well, you could make a French drain & let it percolate back down.

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Old 02-18-2009, 07:05 PM   #6
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It really depends on your boil volume. I have been doing partial boils (2 or 3 gallons) for the past year and I have been just doing cold water baths to cool down my wort. I can get down to 80 degrees in 10 to 15 minutes A wort chiller hasn't been necessary. If running your water is an issue, just try a cold water bath and add ice every 5 or 10 minutes. I freeze a bunch of water in old water bottles and just switch them out. As they cool and thaw, I just grab those everyday to drink so I don't waste water.

I plan to start doing full boils this summer so I am currently looking for a wort chiller. I don't think I could get the wort chilled enough in a short time with 5 to 6 gallon boil.

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Old 02-18-2009, 07:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangevango View Post
You need a wort chiller. For one, tranfering hot wort to a glass (if it is glass) carboy can cause the carboy to crack (not good, or safe). second, In the summer, it will not chill fast enough without some help. The well water thing is a problem, you could freeze bottles of water and then sanitize the outside and put them in the wort. Alternatively you could save yourself the headache and just buy a good immersion chiller. Im sure you can find somewhere else to conserve water. If water conservation is more important than the quality of your beer then you probably should buy comercial beer, because brewing is very water intensive. (btw, this is a friendly suggestion, not a "bit your head off" comment)
And taken as such. I am just worried about running the well dry. It will come back but it takes time.

Looking at some of the other posts I am probably not that bad off. #1 I do partial boils so I think one thing I can do is get the water that I put in the fermenting bucket as cold as I can, then try an ice bath.

So, what is too long in waiting for the wort to cool?

Thanks all.
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:55 PM   #8
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I Just bought myself one for Christmas...I gotta say that it does take time off from your brew days...even when doing 2.5 gallon stovetop boils there's something nice about having it cool in 10 minutes as opposed to an hour in an ice bath...

And there is the thing about getting a good cold break for clarity...

It's not necessary, I brewed for a long time without one...BUT it sure is convenient.

And like everyone else said, when you get to larger boils it will greatly reduce the time.

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Old 02-18-2009, 08:39 PM   #9
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If you want the ghetto solution, just fill 3-4 cleaned 2 liter soda with water. Freeze 'em. When your boil has finished, put a soda bottle in your no-rinse sanitizer bucket briefly, then drop in right into your pot. I'd put in 2 at a time. Once they thaw out & warm up, swap out the next 2. When you're done, rinse them off & put 'em back in your freezer & you're good to go next time. Really minimal water usage this way.

Now, you will get much better cooling with a wort chiller, but this will work as a no cost, quick & dirty substitute.

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Old 02-19-2009, 06:43 AM   #10
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Do you NEED one? for partial boils, I suppose not. but once you get one, you'll wonder why you waited so long.

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