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Old 03-27-2007, 02:38 PM   #1
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Default Wort Chiller Questions

Starting down the AG path and am curious on some things regarding the wort chiller. I am unsure if I should go the route of an immersion style or a counter flow. My question with the immersion style, I see a lot of directions say to add the immersion chiller to the last 20 minutes of the wort boil in order to sterilize it. Doesn't this impart a metallic, copper taste on the wort? If so, should I just boil it in water in a separate pot?
If I decide to go with a counter flow chiller, how do you sterilize this? Does the plastic hose melt in the boiling water? Do you just submerge it in some sterile solution?
I don't have a lot of room, so I was hoping to avoid the style of chiller in which the hot wort passes through copper coils that are submerged in a large cooler full of ice water. This has been the only type I have used, and it was at a friend's house. The immersion style seemed right up my ally, but the thought of imparting metallic taste on my beer is scary, very scary.

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Old 03-27-2007, 02:48 PM   #2
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As for the metalic taste imparted in you beer from an imersion chiller, No you shouldn't get that. for sanitizing a counterflow chiller, i just flush it out with sanitizer and then cap off the copper tube with sanitizer in it. if you ever need to clean the inside you can flush it with a some vinegar, and then sanitizer. you won't need to worry about sanitizing the hose as the wort will never touch the garden hose. You shouldn't have to worry too much about the hose getting to hot, I went with a high temp (rated to 200f) garden hose but you don't have to.

Here is a thread with some good info

There is also a good how to in the DIY


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Old 03-27-2007, 05:46 PM   #3
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i started that other thread and i just finshed making the chiller. From what ive read aparenlty a small amount of copper is good for beer, i read that somehwere cant quote though. I would suggest maybe just buying a chiller instead of making it , the prices would be pretty much the same.

20' copper- $22.60 (should have gotten 25' but HD wont cut copper, LHWS would cut it but it was quite abit more expensive 15 dollars more for five more feet)
Tubing $5
ss clamps $3
female hose thing $6 (i rigged some spray nozzle from the garden department to save a few )

So your looking at 35-38 to make it yourself so for a few more you can get one professionally made and the right size.
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Old 03-27-2007, 05:51 PM   #4
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there is MASSIVE amounts of time savings to be had by using a counterflow chiller. I have not had any ill effects on taste... only 45 minutes dropped off my brew time. Actually... it probably makes your beer better due to a good cold break.
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Old 03-27-2007, 07:54 PM   #5
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Since I've used both immersion and counterflow I can say with some confidence that a CFC would only be a time saver if you have a March or similar pump. First, there's the added sanitizing for the CFC that you wouldn't have with an immersion. Then, gravity draining takes about 20 minutes for 5 gallons with about 2-3' of head. If you could get your kettle up about 6 feet, it would probably go in 10 minutes. The last time I used the IC, I had it down to 70F in 8 minutes, add another 2-3 minutes for pouring the wort into the fermenter (which is already done for you using a CFC).

Now, the hottest shortcut idea, negating the need for a pump with a CFC, is the use of the wort wizard (or cheap DIY solution being the Python aquarium pump). Unfortunately it doesn't work with better bottles.
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Old 03-27-2007, 08:35 PM   #6
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DWRHAHB. Copper is needed in your brew, you won't taste it, but you will taste the infection that a slowly chilled beer can get.

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