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lkj7295 06-09-2012 03:37 AM

Different take on wort chilling
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I've seen the immersion chillers and such, but decided to try my own technique. Instead of an immersion chiller I figured i'd run 50ft of 3/8 copper through and Iced up tub. It's not finished yet, have some cleanin up to do on the joints and such, but wanted to see if anyone had any feedback on the overall design. I'm going to put some spacers in between the coils to keep maximum surface area, but I hoping it will cool down hot wort pretty quickly.

The Pale Horse 06-09-2012 03:46 AM

I tried doing that with my IC before I got my plate chiller. It worked for sure, but I felt like I was going through so much ice that it wasn't worth the $ (if you are going to buy) or the freezer space if you are going to freeze your own

Good luck either way

lkj7295 06-09-2012 04:16 AM

That definitely was a thought i had, but i can buy a 10 lb bag for a buck a piece so i figured it was still a viable option. looking forward to see how it performs, hoping to do a batch this weekend.
thanks for the feedback

joeybeer 06-09-2012 04:20 AM

Can't wait to see your results... I didn't think of that when I made my DIY cf chiller, but it seems a similar concept

Chris1272 06-09-2012 07:09 AM

I like the Idea, I hope it works well. When I first saw it I had a thought of using dry ice as a coolant and a mixture of antifreeze and water as a medium to run pipes through. but probably best to stay away from using toxic chemicals next to your beer.

carlisle_bob 06-09-2012 02:02 PM


The real answer is to get one of the cheap plate chillers and run it *ahead* of the ice box. That way the garden hose water knocks the temp down to something reasonable and the ice is just getting it the last ten or twenty degrees.


lkj7295 06-10-2012 05:15 PM

The chiller actually worked too well, or should I say it was user error. The mistake I made was putting the ice in the tub before I had wort in the coil. Once I put the ice in the tub, the water that was left over from cleaning froze and essentially blocked the wort from going through. After a few minutes a trickle of wort was coming out the other side and what did come through was ~60 degrees. It was just too slow for me to so i ended up pulling the plug and doing an ice bath. Will try again on my next batch and get the wort in the coil first. stay tuned.

carlisle_bob 06-10-2012 06:43 PM


If it will freeze water, it likely can also freeze wort...

The fix is fairly simple. Toss a bucket of cold water in the tub before you put in the ice. The water won't go below 32 (at least not as liquid). That will keep wort from freezing in the lines.


GrayDog 09-01-2012 04:29 PM


I'm new to this and just doing a lot of reading right now. I had thought of the same approach and it appears with a little fine tuning it would do the trick. My question is if you already have your HERMS coil in your HLT and it has done it's job during the mash and sparge, could you fill the HLT with cold water, ice if needed, and cool your wort by by circulating through the HERMS after the boil? I'm guessing it would take a minimal amount of plumbing/fittings and would eliminate an additional coil and container.

tealio 09-01-2012 04:50 PM

Are you pumping the wort or gravity feeding?

I would add at least one cheap aquarium pump inside your rubbermaid to circulate the ice water around your coils, this will help remove the heat from the surrounding coil.

Maybe even two cheap pumps to make like a whirlpool effect.

Here in Dallas you would need a little more, for my 10-20 gal batches I use ground water (80F) through my plate chiller while recirculating the wort through the chiller and back in to the kettle to knock it down (even in 110 summer I can knock down to 120F in 10 min). I then hook up a harbor freight pump to recirc ice water through the plate chiller to finish it off.

Yesterdays batch was too cold and had ice left- into the carboys and into the house and my ale was still at 50F.

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