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Old 06-12-2013, 01:57 AM   #1
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Default Help me with my next upgrade

I recently added a pick up tube to my kettle and I have a hop spider assembled. I'm thinking about upgrading my wort chiller and adding a water filter as I'm getting tired of making runs to the store for water. I'm looking at these items here:

Water Filter Setup

Superchiller


The current chiller I have is the basic one from Northern Brewer. It's 3/8" ID and about 6-7" tall (coil height). The super chiller seems to be 1/2" ID and is twice the height (again, coil height). It also has a whirlpool arm which I think would be a nice feature if I add a pump later on (which I want to do).

I could probably make my own chiller, but I don't have as much time as I used to have (work and kids). Is this chiller worth purchasing, or would it be better to just add a whirlpool arm to my current chiller? I'm boiling 5 gallon batches in a 10 gallon kettle. The Super chiller seems like it may chill faster due to the bigger copper and whirlpool arm attachment. On another note, since I'm doing 5 gallon batches, is a pump and whirlpool arm really for those doing 10 gallons + and overkill for my 5 gallon set up? Is this overkill?

It seems worth getting to me, but wanted a second opinion before pulling the trigger. I'm looking to make my brew days go a bit easier.

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Old 06-12-2013, 02:09 AM   #2
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I do 3 gallon batches and a CFC has made my brew day much easier even on hot days because I use a small pre/chiller.
That being said, your water quality has a huge impact on your beer quality. I recently bartered for a filter and added 25' of beverage quality hose. (No garden hose)!!
Worth every penny!

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Old 06-12-2013, 03:26 AM   #3
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I've got that chiller and it works nicely with a pump. I can get 11 gallons to 68 degrees in about 12-13 minutes (the groundwater in NCal stays pretty cool, though). That being said, fitting a whirlpool arm on your current chiller would be pretty cheap and might be all you need. How long does it currently take you to chill?

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Old 06-12-2013, 05:14 PM   #4
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I've never timed my chilling, so on a guess maybe 15-20 minutes on an average sunny day (temps in the 70s).


One thing I'm thinking about too is, should I look at something that would let me recirculate my wort during mashing and whirlpooling at the end of a boil? The superchiller I linked seems to have the recirculating arm attached to it. I'm thinking I may need to go a different route if I want to also use a pump for vorlaufing. A port would be nice, but I would have to go through the lid since the steaming basket gets in the way of the kettle wall.

I'm going to go ahead and at least get the water filtration kit. I can spend enough to keep the shipping free if I have to.

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Old 06-13-2013, 07:19 AM   #5
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If you want to manage your water did you considered RO filters?
They are not so expensive, especially those for aquariums with smaller flow. RO was one of my best investments, I live in hard water area and now I am able to brew anything I want.. including fancy pilsners or hard sulfate IPA's .

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Old 06-13-2013, 05:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diS View Post
If you want to manage your water did you considered RO filters?
They are not so expensive, especially those for aquariums with smaller flow. RO was one of my best investments, I live in hard water area and now I am able to brew anything I want.. including fancy pilsners or hard sulfate IPA's .
I've thought about that as well. What's different about them compared to the kit I linked? Just more filters?
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Old 06-16-2013, 04:46 PM   #7
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Well, I went ahead and just bit the bullet:

water filter kit
superchiller w/ recirculating arm
chugger stainless pump

I'm also going to order some more camlocks since I'm adding a pump to my system. One question (or two) I have is, what's the best way to add a camlock nipple to the recirculating arm of the chiller? This would let me use one of the silicone hoses I made for whirlpooling. I know I need a ball valve and a Type A camlock for the pump, so I got that covered. The other end on the chiller is where I'm clueless.

The other question is, would you switch out the hoses and garden hose fittings on the water filter? If so, would you do camlocks on it as well? Would you mount the filter on the brew stand or just close to the water faucet?

Thanks again for the help.

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Old 06-16-2013, 05:12 PM   #8
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The filter you linked will only remove chlorine and some sediment. It will not remove dissolved solids and won't help much at all if you have hard water. Also, if you use municipal water that has a lot of chloramine in it, the carbon block may not be able to remove it all. You need a special filter designed specifically for chloramine if this is the case. When I brew with tap water, I use potassium metabisulfite to neutralize the chorine. It is effective for both free chlorine and chloramine. It doesn't take much at all and is much cheaper in the long run than replacing carbon block filters. Also, carbon blocks are rated by gallon capacity. You need to find out how many gallons it will treat, keep track of your usuage, and replace it accordingly. If you don't, it's pretty much useless. I have an article on reverse osmosis (RO). You should give it a read. It explains all the filters in an RO system (including carbon blocks). Then go check out the "A Brewing Water Chemistry Primer" thread. It's a sticky in the Brew Science forum.

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Old 06-16-2013, 05:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yesfan View Post
One question (or two) I have is, what's the best way to add a camlock nipple to the recirculating arm of the chiller? This would let me use one of the silicone hoses I made for whirlpooling. I know I need a ball valve and a Type A camlock for the pump, so I got that covered. The other end on the chiller is where I'm clueless..
The recirc arm on the chiller has a 1/2 " FPT fitting. Mine came with a sculpture so I have all the morebeer stainless quick disconnects on my tubing and pumps. So this piece goes on the chiller and the tubing has the stainless male and female quick disconnects with barbs at each end. The fittings are pricey but very nice. Otherwise you could use any nipple or fitting with a 1/2 " MPT on the other side to connect to the chiller (type F I think?).
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chickypad View Post
The recirc arm on the chiller has a 1/2 " FPT fitting. Mine came with a sculpture so I have all the morebeer stainless quick disconnects on my tubing and pumps. So this piece goes on the chiller and the tubing has the stainless male and female quick disconnects with barbs at each end. The fittings are pricey but very nice. Otherwise you could use any nipple or fitting with a 1/2 " MPT on the other side to connect to the chiller (type F I think?).
I have an extra type F fitting, so hopefully that's all I need, besides the fittings on the pump end.
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