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Old 05-16-2009, 04:59 PM   #1
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Default wort chiller blues :(

So i am on my second batch, and me and my brother made a wort chiller. We ran a test on some boiling water in our kettle and we got it to cool down in about 20 minutes. Then we noticed that the tap water at our house comes out at 85 degrees! I live in a hot part of Texas. Non the less we made another wort chiller which we stuck in another kettle and filled with water and froze overnight. So the 85 degree water goes through the frozen wort chiller first then into the actual wort chiller at 69 degrees. So we thought we would chill this wort in no time. But when brew day came around(two days ago), it actually took longer to chill the wort. It took about 24 minutes, even with the frozen wort chiller making the water colder.

I know the test we did was just water, and wort has a lot of sugar and etc... could this be responsible for the difference in times? Also when we did the test that cooled it in 20 minutes, we didn't have this other frozen wort chiller going, so how can it be that it took longer to cool down the wort with a 69 degree water going through the wort chiller, than 85 degree water going through it? I think i will also add that the plan water that we chilled boiled at 204 degrees and the wort was boiling at 207, could it also be these 3 degrees in difference?

i don't know we are at a lost here, any ideas?

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Old 05-16-2009, 05:08 PM   #2
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First, on your chillers, what size tubing and how long are they?

Secondly, if you froze one chiller, do you mean water inside of it? That could slow down your water flow... longer cooling time.

Next time, hook one chiller up in a bucket of ice water, and the other in your wort. Then your tap water will flow through your "prechiller" first, then into wort chiller.

Also keep your hot wort moving in the kettle, that will help out quite a bit.

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Old 05-16-2009, 06:07 PM   #3
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There is nothing frozen inside the pipes of either chiller. One is in the ice bath, and the other in the wort i believe we read online to buy 3/8 in copper pipe, and it has a lot of coils i forgot exactly how many feet we bought. but it is enough i believe it leaves two inches of space between the coils and the kettle, and i don't know what else i mean we followed all instructions. weird?

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Old 05-16-2009, 08:22 PM   #4
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Cooling to 85 degrees is not so bad in the long run. The pre-chiller submerged in ice water should help that situation, but if you can't cool the wort much more than 85, just let it sit for a while to stabilize at room temp before you pitch your yeast. You can also set your fermenter in a water bath to help cool it as well...

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Old 05-16-2009, 08:40 PM   #5
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Next time you try it, instead of freezing the prechiller in a bucket of solid ice, fill it with large ice cubes made in tupperware, top off with water and add some ice melt "salt".

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Old 05-16-2009, 09:00 PM   #6
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Bobby_M is right, I did the same thing you did and it did not work very well. Then I filled 20 oz Coke and Gatorade bottles(25) with water and froze them,tossed them into the prechiller which sits inside an igloo cooler with water let it sit for 1/2 an hour before chillling, then started chilling the wort. I did not use the salt because I didn't have any but it should work. Do not crank up your water pressure to high , I found if you use a moderate flow rate it cools down even quicker. About 65-70 degrees in 20 min. (Thanks Bobby_M I built my chiller w/your direction).Cheers

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Old 05-16-2009, 09:11 PM   #7
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I fill my HLT with 60lbs. of ice, add 4gal. of water then pump it through my W.Chiller. Takes me from 209 to 75 in about 30 minutes. I guess I could make the ice myself but ice is cheap and I can be lazy at times!

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Old 05-17-2009, 05:11 PM   #8
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Awesome you guys are absolutely right i thought of that that night if we had the water pressure lower the water would travel slower in the chiller and get colder. Also you guys are talking about using "rock salt" right? Like when you make homemade ice cream, (GENIUS!)

thanks a lot!

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Old 05-17-2009, 05:44 PM   #9
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There is some good ideas here for brewers in hot areas. Recirculating Ice Water Chiller

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Old 05-17-2009, 11:32 PM   #10
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I'm guessing that when you froze your chiller in the kettle of ice, you actually are hurting your cooling effect. The water will heat up around the coils and be hotter than the rest of the ice. If you use and ice bath then you get some movement around your coils allowing the water near your coils to be at a colder temperature than with the solid block of ice.

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