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Old 07-15-2010, 11:18 PM   #1
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Default Why Would I Want a Wort Chiller?

I've found out I have 25' of 1/2" copper tubing and I've seen how you can make it up into a coil and circulate ice water through it with an aquarium or similar pump to cool the wort. My present method (used one time), is to put the pot into an ice bath in my service sink covered and wait 4 hours or so to get down to 90 before dumping into my primary. Question: why would I want the fancy chiller? I'm perfectly fine waiting, the pot is covered so there is little danger of contamination. What's the big deal? Or simply, is the trouble of making one wort it?

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Old 07-15-2010, 11:21 PM   #2
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try lifting my keggle full of 10 gal. of HOT wort off my burner and putting it in a sink.

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Old 07-15-2010, 11:23 PM   #3
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Some people like to get a really good cold break (happens when the wort cools and proteins and such precipitate) which can help make the beer clearer.

Also, many people like to ferment in the low to mid 60s, so chilling just down to 90*F doesn't allow for that (I'm assuming it takes ~24-48 hrs for your beer to chill from 90*F down to ambient?).

What you do works, and it's just another example of the "more than one way to skin a cat" part of this hobby.

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Old 07-15-2010, 11:43 PM   #4
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cold break is important not to mention I like to get on with my day.

Lagering is a whole diff. story...

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Old 07-16-2010, 12:09 AM   #5
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You'll never get to lager pitching temps with an ice bath sink.

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Old 07-16-2010, 12:12 AM   #6
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cold break and reduce the risk of contamination. I like to get it down quickly and get the yeast pitched as soon as possible.

I have learned the hard way what high temps do to your beer. Getting it down to pitching temps is very important to me now.

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Old 07-16-2010, 12:17 AM   #7
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I personally think the cold break is overstated, or possibly bogus. If protiens coagulate at a set temp, they will, i'm not understanding the science of how getting to that temp quicker helps?
The only thing you really need to consider is hop utilization will continue until you get below a certain temp, read more bitter. IIRC its something like 140*. Thats the only reason i stopped using the full blown "no chill" method. I now use an IC chiller to quickly get to something like 90-100* and then i move it to the cool basement. I'll then pitch 12 hours later the next morning.
Or you could simply adjust your bittering hop schedule by -20 minutes like ThePol recommends in the no chill thread.

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Old 07-16-2010, 12:56 AM   #8
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a long slow cool down also changes the hop profile. a 20 min addition turns into a 40 min.

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Old 07-16-2010, 01:16 AM   #9
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Here are my reasons for using an IC:

1. My 15 gallon brew kettle is too big to fit in any sink, not to mention heavy as ****.

2. It's stupid to waste money buying enough ice to try and chill 5-6 gallons of boiling wort in any reasonable amount of time.

3. I like to cool quickly so that it minimizes the chance of contamination.

4. I'm too cheap to get a plate chiller and all other required hardware.

5. I can get my wort down to 60 inside 20 minutes, pitch, and forget about it rather than waiting hours or even overnight to get to my pitching temp.

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Old 07-16-2010, 01:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JNye View Post
If protiens coagulate at a set temp, they will, i'm not understanding the science of how getting to that temp quicker helps?
Not that I know how it all works on a molecular level or anything, but if you've ever heard of tempering eggs, it's like that. We want the biggest protein clumps we can get so they drop out of solution, so we "crash cool" our wort instead of "temper" it.
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