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Old 02-25-2012, 03:07 AM   #1
Brewcrew86
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Default New wort chiller

I bought a 25 foot wort chiller from northern brewer. It came in the mail yesterday and I'm pretty excited to use it. Before I use it, does it need to be "seasoned" or anything like that or can I just put it in the wort? Don't want to ruin a batch.

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Old 02-25-2012, 03:11 AM   #2
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Put it in during the last 15 minutes or so of the boil to "sanitize" and you should be just fine.

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Old 02-25-2012, 03:14 AM   #3
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Place it into your brew pot at the last 15 minutes of the boil, so the boil will sanitize it. Leave it in the pot when you turn the flame off, and just hook the water up. No need to use any form of sanitizers.

Just make sure to check, and double check, and then after heating the chiller for the first and second time to triple check the clamps holding the vinyl hoses onto the copper tubing. I have heard of those things leaking under pressure, and have witnessed it happen to a buddy of mine. It worked fine when cold, but after it was hot it leaked pretty bad. You may even want to push the vinyl tubing onto the copper tubing a bit more and double clamp it.

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Old 02-25-2012, 04:16 AM   #4
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I boiled mine in water for about 20 minutes because i heard there was an oil/polish on it to make sure it doesnt tarnish. I made my own from 50' soft copper tubing so i dont know if its different. i'd imagine if you bought it from northern brewer its probably good to go though.

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Old 02-25-2012, 04:20 AM   #5
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For the 1st time, I'd at least clean it. You never know what the manufacturer may coat it with.
After that you'll be good to go with just adding it to the boil @ 15 min

Bull

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Old 02-25-2012, 04:21 AM   #6
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I would give it a quick rinse and wipe down before throwing it in the kettle. I have read claims that lubricant is occasionally applied at certain points in the tubing creation process and that traces can remain on your chiller. I used soapy water when I got mine, but I'm definitely not an expert on metals. For what it's worth, I didn't get any off flavors or anything. Others have obviously been fine without washing it down, but it seemed like an easy step to ensure I didn't unintentionally add to the recipe.

No matter what, enjoy brewing sans ice bath.

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Old 02-25-2012, 04:33 AM   #7
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What beninan says first. That solves both problems. Clean and leak free.

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Old 02-25-2012, 05:59 AM   #8
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I just received my first chiller too. I have been brewing for a while without one. These are some good tips.

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Old 02-25-2012, 06:04 AM   #9
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As quoted in John Palmers "How to brew";

Quote:
Appendix B - Brewing Metallurgy
For routine cleaning of copper and other metals, percarbonate-based cleaners like PBW are the best choice. For heavily oxidized conditions, acetic acid is very effective, especially when hot. Acetic acid is available in grocery stores as white distilled vinegar at a standard concentration of 5% acetic acid by volume.

Brewers who use immersion wort chillers are always surprised how bright and shiny the chiller is the first time it comes out of the wort. If the chiller wasn't bright and shiny when it went into the wort, guess where the grime and oxides ended up? Yep, in your beer. The oxides of copper are more readily dissolved by the mildly acidic wort than is the copper itself. By cleaning copper tubing with acetic acid once before the first use and rinsing with water immediately after each use, the copper will remain clean with no oxide or wort deposits that could harbor bacteria. Cleaning copper with vinegar should only occasionally be necessary.

You do not need to clean copper shiny-bright after every use. With time, the copper should take on a dull copper color, not black, not green or blue, just dull, like an old penny. This copper oxide is relatively inert to wort and will mimimize copper dissolving into the wort, more so than shiny-bright copper.

The best sanitizer for counterflow wort chillers is Star San. It is acidic and can be used to clean copper as well as sanitize. Sanitizing with Star San only takes minutes and should not be left in the chiller more than an hour, because it will start dissolving the copper.

Cleaning and sanitizing copper with bleach solutions is not recommended. The chlorine and hypochlorites in bleach cause oxidation and blackening of copper and brass. If the oxides come in contact with the mildly acidic wort, the oxides will quickly dissolve, possibly exposing yeast to unhealthy levels of copper during fermentation.
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:38 AM   #10
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My chiller just got here Thursday, so it is pretty timely to have a discussion on initial cleaning. Since mine is stainless I think there is a greater possibility of oils so I am going to use soapy water and a good scrub before I put it on the boil to sanitize. I'm just funny that way, don't wanna poison myself making home brew.
Sick Bob

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