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Old 03-05-2013, 08:04 PM   #1
cluckk
 
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For years I've used a simple copper wort chiller and had good luck and quick chills. However, that was when I lived in the land where tasty and cold water came out of my taps. Here in South Texas, where we get liquid limestone barely below ambient air temps out of our taps it wasn't nearly as effective.

One thing I've done and it was some help was using a second immersion chiller in a bucket of water and then placing ice in the bucket to chill the water before it passes through the chiller in the kettle. This was still not very good and I wished I could cool the water down further. The ice was a frozen water jug. The exchange of heat and the mass of the copper, etc. in the bucket meant that it wasn't getting the water much below tap temp.

Salt water freezes lower than regular water, (this is the principle behind adding rock salt to an ice cream freezer), so I added sea salt to boiling tap water until no more salt would dissolve. This water was placed in a water jug and dropped in my deep freezer.

I used it a couple days ago and the temperature dropped from just off a boil and down to under 140F in just a few minutes--I didn't expect it to be so quick so I didn't clock it. I literally killed the flame, hooked hoses to the boiled chiller, turned on the water, dropped in the ice jug, checked for leaks and run off location, then when I checked the wort it was at 140F and dropping like a rock. It was beautifully clear too. Of course, once the wort was down to about 85F the jug was warm and melted so the effect was lost--and the last few degrees took far longer than the first 125 deg. I will make another one to finish up the next batch and also clock results.

I used the brine jug, yesterday, to cool a fermenter in a swamp cooler tub--and it worked great. I put it back in the freezer with another regular water jug to refreeze. The other jug is rock solid and the brine is still not frozen and down to -11C (around 12F, which I checked with a calibrated upper-end digital thermometer to make sure).

I expected when the water froze for the salt to drop out of solution but it is back in solution when the water melts.

Someone will tell me it is my imagination and it may well be. However, I thought I would post the idea here and see if others want to try it.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:14 PM   #2
alien
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You don't have to dissolve the salt in boiling water. Almost as much will dissolve in cold water. The little extra will come out of solution as it cools.

 
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alien View Post
You don't have to dissolve the salt in boiling water. Almost as much will dissolve in cold water. The little extra will come out of solution as it cools.
I'm not a scientist. I only play one on the internet. I had forgotten that when I did it. Here is Texas it is usually sugar that we are trying to dissolve in a liquid. I had a brain fart while doing it and assumed it would work better with boiled water. Live and learn!
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:45 PM   #4
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I've done the pre chiller and it's not so great.

Much better is using a cheap garden pump to recirulate ice water through the immersion chiller in the brew pot. Use tap water to get the initial cooling. Then change over to the pump and ice water. With ice water you can go to whatever temp you want in no time.

In any case, stiring the wort (whirlpool) raises the effectiveness of an immersion chiller. So always stir.

 
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:27 PM   #5
Wynne-R
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Sorry, not buying it. I think youíre backing up. The ice will cool more than the saltwater.

Youíd think the saltwater would absorb more heat. The specific heat of ice is .5 cal/g right. Water is 1.

But this ignores the heat of fusion. As water freezes it gives off 80 cal/g. Thatís a bunch. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enthalpy_of_fusion

Look at it in reverse. It takes as much energy to go from 32F ice to 32F water as it does to go from 32F water to 176 F.

I hope I got all that right.

 
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wynne-R
Sorry, not buying it. I think you’re backing up. The ice will cool more than the saltwater.

You’d think the saltwater would absorb more heat. The specific heat of ice is .5 cal/g right. Water is 1.

But this ignores the heat of fusion. As water freezes it gives off 80 cal/g. That’s a bunch. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enthalpy_of_fusion

Look at it in reverse. It takes as much energy to go from 32F ice to 32F water as it does to go from 32F water to 176 F.

I hope I got all that right.
I'm not trying to sell it. I'm sharing what I tried and what I observed so others can experiment with it or so others more knowledgeable can interpret what I observed or correct my assumption.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:47 PM   #7
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BTW, I'm not using the salwater until it is fully frozen.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:58 PM   #8
maida7
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just to be clear... your putting a plastic jug filled with frozen ice water directly into the brewpot?

 
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:25 AM   #9
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I believe if you are using a frozen jug to chill you will get the same results without the salt. If you plan on using a second jug (not recommended) make sure it is very clean and sanitized before dropping it in because you will be near the temperature that will allow bacteria to take hold.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maida7
just to be clear... your putting a plastic jug filled with frozen ice water directly into the brewpot?
Not even close. I am using the frozen jug in the bucket with the pre-chiller. It is to cool the water going through the worth chiller.
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