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Old 05-22-2010, 09:57 PM   #1
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Default Wort Chiller question

I am trying to decide if I should get a wort chiller. The last two times I have brewed I have been able to get 2.5 gal of wort to 70 degrees within 25-30 minutes with an ice bath and using 4 bags of ice. How long does a typical wort chiller take to have the wort reach 70 degrees? If 25-30 minutes is an acceptable amount of time why spend the money?

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Old 05-22-2010, 10:15 PM   #2
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The faster you cool your beer, the better your results will be with the final product.

I have a 50' immersion chiller that takes about 10-15 minutes to cool a 5 gallon batch to 65F.

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Old 05-22-2010, 10:16 PM   #3
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I can get 11 gallons of wort down to 70* in about 15 minutes with my chiller setup. How much money are you spending on those 4 bags of ice with every brew?

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Old 05-23-2010, 12:08 AM   #4
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I just did a batch today and timed my cooling time. I cooled 6.5 gallons down to 70* in 9 mins using my immersion chiller. I have about 25' of 3/8" OD copper.

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Old 05-23-2010, 12:17 AM   #5
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If you're doing partial boils and are able to get the temp down to 70 in 25-30 minutes, then you're fine. Assuming you don't mind paying for ice, there's no reason for you to buy a chiller.

When you start doing larger boils, you'll find that the sink-full-o'-ice method doesn't work as well anymore. At that point, you'll most likely want to make the investment in some copper tubing.

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Old 05-23-2010, 01:24 AM   #6
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Ok, I'm getting my full boil (5.5-6gal) from boil to pitching temp (72º) in 45 minutes. 25' (I think) copper immersion chiller.

How are you guys doing that so quickly? I'm moving the chiller in the wort so as to circulate water around it. The water is moving moderately quickly through the chiller. Should I be moving it faster? Just not sure how to speed up the process to get to pitching temp sooner.

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Old 05-23-2010, 01:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcollins View Post
Ok, I'm getting my full boil (5.5-6gal) from boil to pitching temp (72º) in 45 minutes. 25' (I think) copper immersion chiller.

How are you guys doing that so quickly? I'm moving the chiller in the wort so as to circulate water around it. The water is moving moderately quickly through the chiller. Should I be moving it faster? Just not sure how to speed up the process to get to pitching temp sooner.

PM sent so the thread doesn't get too far off track.
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Old 05-23-2010, 01:38 AM   #8
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45 mins for an IC does seem pretty long. I've got a smaller IC too: takes about 15 minutes for me to get down to 80 degrees. What kind of boil kettle do you have? My kettle is kind of short and wide....I find moving the IC around will drop the temperature down quicker. Since it's approaching summer, here, though....the water temperature is not going below 80. Oh, and my water source is a bathroom faucet....perhaps your water source is slower. Just some random thoughts....

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Old 05-23-2010, 02:27 AM   #9
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Build your own. I just built one for less than $25. Took all of 5 mins to make. Go to Lowe's. I found 20' of 3/8" OD copper coil for $20. This should be enough for a partial boil. Then all you have to buy is some tubing and connectors. Use the search to search for "rib-cage chiller" on this site and have at it. Just find something to wrap the coil around (I used a coffee can), and don't bend the tube and too sharp of an angle or it will kink.

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Old 05-23-2010, 04:08 AM   #10
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I find it hard to believe that people are cooling their wort as fast as they're posting. I suppose the type of kettle and method of chilling could have an effect, but if I'm not getting any quicker than 15 minutes with a 50' chiller, it's just unbelievable how fast others are chilling.

I start an ice bath 15 minutes before my boil is done. I then pump water from the ice bath, through the IC, and back into the ice water. I use a 10lb bag of ice, but I don't mind since it cools is so well. I can't see myself hitting better than 15 minutes with a smaller chiller though.

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