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Old 07-24-2009, 10:07 PM   #1
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Default What I just learned about my wort chiller...

So i did my first full boil (5 gal) today which i was totally stoked about cause i built my own wort chiller...however...after 1 hour i only got it to around 78 degrees.


I think in the future, best practice is 4 gal boil, have 1 gal of water in the fridge, then top off at the end?


my only minor concern is the cold break. I got it down from 212F to 100F in 20 minutes, but the last 30F to get it to 70F was just not happening....at what point does the cold break happen?


Thanks

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Old 07-24-2009, 10:09 PM   #2
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I would be willing to bet that the reason it took so long is because your tap water at your house is about 70 degrees this time of year. There are systems you can use to cool the water that runs through the chiller. You may want to look into those before abandoning the full boil....

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Old 07-24-2009, 10:10 PM   #3
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Wow, over an hour huh, what type of chiller and what is your water temp going in? I can cool wort to 70 degrees in less than 15 min. Try this, once you are at 100 degrees, start moving the chiller around a little bit, let all of the wort touch the chiller. (I am assuming it is an immersion chiller). Hope this helps

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Old 07-24-2009, 10:49 PM   #4
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Check the temp of the water coming out of the faucet. Second, make sure you're regularly stirring/swirling the wort (with a sanitized device) as the movement really helps speed things up. You can also lift the chiller up and down every couple of minutes to make sure it's moving around good. Also, how big is your chiller? 25'? 50'? That's also going to make a difference.

But you're right, an hour to get it down to 78 isn't very good. Even if your tap water is coming out at near 70 you should be able to get it under 80 inside of a half hour.

For reference, my tap water is 61 and with my 50' 1/2" chiller I can get 4 gallons from boiling to about 65 in about 20 minutes.

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Old 07-24-2009, 11:03 PM   #5
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Yes its an immerstion....i made mine from 25" maybe it wasnt enough....


i did stir it up a bunch throughout the cooling, but oh well....

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Old 07-24-2009, 11:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySpargeVorlauf View Post
I would be willing to bet that the reason it took so long is because your tap water at your house is about 70 degrees this time of year. There are systems you can use to cool the water that runs through the chiller. You may want to look into those before abandoning the full boil....

Cheers
My first thought as well, I'm suffering from the same problem as well. My cold water comes out of the tap at luke-warm temperatures. I ended up springing for the pre-chiller when I bought my wort-chiller.

Thanks fro the tip about stirring during chilling. I will do that next time.
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Old 07-25-2009, 12:00 AM   #7
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After running water from the tap through it for the first 10-15 minutes, use a pond pump and recirculate ice water.

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Old 07-25-2009, 12:03 AM   #8
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I have Midwest's entry level 25' copper chiller (it's made from 3/8" copper), and it will chill a full 5 gallons of wort in around 20 minutes. Two things: I have well water for cooling, which means 55F, and I stir a LOT. I agree that you may need to consider some sort of prechiller contraption for your water. Well, when it comes to "contraptions," probably the easiest thing is just another chiller sitting in an ice bath, rigged in series with the one in the wort.

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Old 07-25-2009, 12:10 AM   #9
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Summer sucks. In winter, I was getting my wort under 70*F in no time. Of course my water was coming out around 60-65*F. Now that its summer I'm lucky to get 75*F water.

Cold break is going to happen somewhere just below boiling temps. I'm not too sure of the exact temp, but I'm pretty sure its not below 100*F. Please correct me if I'm wrong. There has been some proof that you don't even need to chill to get a good cold break or clear beer. If you are interested in this, search out the topics pertaining to "no chill" brewing. I don't want to turn this to a no chill thread, but it is a method that has been proven to work.

Your biggest concern in chilling is getting it below 170 to stop DMS production. I get my wort as far as I can without wasting too much water. Thats usually around 85 in the summer. I whirlpool and let it sit for ~30min to make a trub cone. I then rack to the fermenter and stick it in the fermentation chamber for a few hours, or until its at pitching temperatures.

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Old 07-25-2009, 12:19 AM   #10
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Down here in AZ the water's so warm coming from tap that my chiller wasn't even worth it. So I went to a local hydroponics shop and bought a small submersible water pump. I fill my sink with ice water, put my exit hose into the sink and just recirculate the water. Made my last batch too cold. Hope this helps you out. If anybody can see any flaws with this please let me know, I am a noob.

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