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Old 06-17-2009, 01:44 AM   #1
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Default Great success with wort chiller-

Hello, folks. First post here, first batch brewer, total freaking noob.

I tend to over-engineer things, and when my friends bought me a rather nice homebrew kit two weeks ago, I immediately set to work on a wort chiller.

Go figure.

I purchased 50' of 3/8" copper, coiled it around the Corny I bought (engineering again), and cut 12' off of the top coil. Using appropriate copper fittings, I soldered some bits here and there and ended up with a basic wort chiller, using the male ends of 3/8" air hose couplings at a down angle (for condensation concerns) as the in/out leads.

The 12' I cut off was fashioned into a modular (any number of water sources are easily adaptable without any more hardware) prechiller.

End result? The prechiller sits in a tote-sized Coleman cooler filled with ice water, and the chilling water comes from a shutoff I installed into the washing machine cold water supply. When the boil is done, I just put the 22qt pot on the dryer, connect the air hose couplings with the "output" side of the prechiller and to the "dump" hose into the washing machine tub, and let 'er rip.

It brought a 2 gal boil down to 70 in 7 minutes flat, and it filled the washing machine to the largest wash load level.

No waste, cold wort.

FWIW, the brew was a very basic American Amber Ale. Seems to be doing well- I used Irish Moss for clarity and due to that and the speed of the chill the cold break was inhibited to a tiny, thin transparent film. I just put it in the secondary, and I'm about to start a Pomegranate Dunkelweizen next week.

Any and all suggestions/criticisms welcome.

Happy Brewing!

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Old 06-17-2009, 02:15 AM   #2
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Hey B-Skip, welcome to HBT!

Sounds like an interesting set up. Do you have any pics?

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Old 06-17-2009, 02:28 AM   #3
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Criticisms, no. Suggestion, yes! Skip the secondary. You lose beer every time you rack. Hardly anybody here on HBT racks to a secondary anymore. Just leave it in the primary for three weeks and make some more!

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Old 06-17-2009, 02:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arturo7 View Post
Do you have any pics?
Well, I can do that. The ones I have are from a POS cell phone, but I'd rather have something that shows how I did it.

The original idea was to use a water feature pump from "the orange home improvement store," and have an infinite cold flow from a bucket. This works pretty well, too.

The output water was never hot, btw- even at the beginning of the chill. I could not believe it.

Considering the digital temps I took when I turned it on, I think I was showing north of 300,000 BTUs at prime efficiency (my WAG is the first 80 degrees). That's almost 10 horsepower!

Since the buddies that bought me the kit have a 68 degree cellar in their house, the beer is there. I'll bring a camera next visit to the beer (HA) and post details.
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:34 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by mrk305 View Post
Criticisms, no. Suggestion, yes! Skip the secondary. You lose beer every time you rack. Hardly anybody here on HBT racks to a secondary anymore. Just leave it in the primary for three weeks and make some more!


I was staggered at the loss! Absolutely. Somewhere between 1.25 and 1.5 quarts!

Hey, I'm a noob! I'm trying to minimize the expensive lessons by posting here.

Thanks for the input!
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