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Old 08-24-2011, 11:42 AM   #1
Plankton
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Default Wort Chiller

I am new to brewing and I have a question regarding wort chillers. I have seen counter-flow and immersion chillers. What I have not seen, which I am doing, is using an immersion style design (a coiled 3/8" copper tubing line) submerged in a bucket of ice and running the wort through the line into the fermenter. I have ran 3 batches chilling from boil to ~73 degrees. I have achieved this cooling rate as fast as I can siphon the beer through the coil.

What are your thoughts on this process?

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Old 08-24-2011, 11:53 AM   #2
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I personally wouldn't do it because I'd be concerned about the sterility of the inner copper coils. Once the wort is cooled you risk infection. I guess you could pump boiling water through it, but that requires a pump.

Another way is an immersion chiller and a pre-chiller.

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Old 08-24-2011, 11:56 AM   #3
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If it was me I would buy a pond pump and pump ice cold water through the immerse chiller instead of a pre chiller

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Old 08-24-2011, 12:00 PM   #4
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One item of note: I do run ~3 gal of water with Star San through the chiller before I siphon my wort through it.

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Old 08-24-2011, 12:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyChopps View Post
If it was me I would buy a pond pump and pump ice cold water through the immerse chiller instead of a pre chiller
That requires a LOT of ice, doesn't it? I don't have an ice maker, only ice trays, so I have to buy bagged ice and it's expensive.
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:02 PM   #6
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I have been using two small bags of ice to chill which is about 3 bucks.

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Old 08-24-2011, 03:25 PM   #7
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Subscribed I am in the process of switching to all grain and I also have this question. I don't see how running 60 degree tap water through my wort is going to cool it where necessary. I also didn't understand why people dont just run the wort through the immersion chiller in a bucket of ice.

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Old 08-24-2011, 03:47 PM   #8
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I might worry about diminishing quality as you do this. It is hard to get all the water out of an ic before you store it, eventually I would imagine that corrosion and gunk will build up inside of the chiller and give you bad flavors regardless of how much star san is run though it. Remember that cleaning and sterilizing are two very different things.

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Old 08-24-2011, 04:06 PM   #9
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This design is called a reverse immersion chiller and someone posts about it once a week thinking they were the first to ever think of it.

The calculations have been done before and it was found that it takes about 40 pounds of ice to take 5 gallons of boiling wort down to 70F in a closed environment. They get about $3 for a 15 pound bag around here so it's cost prohibitive for me. Tap water, even in the 80-90F range is highly effective in chilling wort down to 100F due to the initial delta. My tap water on the other hand costs one penny a gallon.

If you've found some magic way to use less than 40lbs of ice, that's awesome.

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Old 08-24-2011, 05:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyChopps View Post
If it was me I would buy a pond pump and pump ice cold water through the immerse chiller instead of a pre chiller
This is exactly what I did last weekend. During the boil I washed out my mash tun (I use a cooler). When it was time to chill... I used my chiller as normal down to about 115dg. Once at 115 I put two bags of ice in my mash tun. Hooked-up my chiller to a pond pump and tossed the pump into the ice bath.

Got down to 65dg in about 10 min...

I have seen others do much better, but not bad for stuff I had sitting around the house.

Cheers
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