That's right kids, time for another "what if" post by the WortMonger. Some of you will be like WTF???
, why can't this guy just do "this
." Well, I have to talk things out to understand them better and to completely shut out old ideas that are starting to pile up in my brain, so please understand where I am coming from and take pity on an old brewer if ya can see yourself to. (ie I have read all those posts of things being done and I would like them compared to this/these ideas with numbers, not just personal opinions please)
The plot of the story... (ok, probably dumb idea... there, ya happy now
) is contemplation of using another piece of brewing equipment for more than just one use. I like my brewing to be as universal as possible, and I try to consolidate as much as I can. So, I have this electronic temperature controlled chest freezer and I am reading an article in Brewing Techniques
. This idea hits me when I was on the throne; I could use my chest freezer to either make ice blocks for chilling (and not have to get a bucket for the ice water recirculating that some of you do
), or fill with water and use as a true cold liquor tun. Brewpastor
did an excellent write-up about his homemade Temperature Controlled Fermentation
(glycol chilling reservoir), and it is what triggered me thinking. The freezer can obviously hold that much liquid (upwards of 65 gallons
) without busting the sides out, might make for a good cold liquor tun for chilling the wort before becoming hot liquor water to use for cleaning after brewing.
I have a three tier setup, and always run my tap water from the Therminator to the HLT first. 15.5 gallons, of then hot tap liquor, fills quickly and I have to stop to run it outside until I reach tap temperatures in the kettle (I recirculate wort back into the kettle during the chill
). Doesn't take very long, maybe 10-15 minutes or so to get 12.5 gallons to tap temp (65*F-75*F season dependent
). But... I still wonder the best way, with what I have, to get me down to lager temperatures of 45*F or less (65*F for my cold pitch ales
) no matter the season or reason.
This is where the information (scientific hopefully
) will come in handy from you guys. Let us take my worst case scenarios, and roll with them shall we? 12-13 gallons of 212*F wort down to 45*F is a lot to drop in temperature(167*F worth
). I have already talked about my current procedure, so I already understand I could still use my tap to get me to 75*F, have a HLT full of hot water for cleaning, and still have more hot tap water to fill my MT with at this point before doing anything. Here's where my main questions come into play!
Why not just fill my freezer with enough water to chill my wort to my wanted temperature of 45*F, and heat the fill water to the tuns in the process? What temperature should I look for in my chill water if I do this way? Or... would it be more efficient/practical to make ice in the freezer, add enough 75*F tap water to it, and then use that water to chill on the way to the tuns? How much would be enough water to add in either case? Without the ice route, I would simply dump any "excess of tun(s)" water the same as I do with the "tap only" setup I do now. With ice in the freezer I could recirculate back into the freezer if that would be better, and use less water...right?
Please help me think this out with numbers and good retort from you guys. I don't want to use more water than I need to (must be the Eagle Scout/conservationists in me
), even though water is not scarce. I also don't want to go buy more containers for brewing than I have now, if I can help it by using something I already have. Cold liquor tuns have their place, as stated in the BT article, and my freezer wouldn't be used for anything prior to fermentation. So... I thought it might be a good fit for my intended purpose. Input your knowledge O'knowledgeable confederates... PLEASE!!!!