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Old 09-29-2013, 11:31 AM   #1
Frymn1969
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Default Cooling Wort

Being new to brewing Im looking for advice to maximize the performance of my immersible wort chiller. The last batch (5gallon boil) took 45 minutes to cool. I'm using my garden hose for the water supply.

I've thought about coiling the hose in bottom of trash can and covering with ice. Any suggestions that don't involve upgrading to Blichman cold plate.

I have other upgrades that are more important, like a chest freezer to control ferment temp.

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Old 09-29-2013, 01:45 PM   #2
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Start with your immersion cooler because you need to lose a lot of heat fast and the temperature difference between your hose water and the boiling wort is high enough for efficient heat transfer. As the wort temperature comes down, the cooling slows as the wort temperature approached the temperature of the hose water. Instead of putting a coil in the trash can with ice, set your pot into a tub with ice water (lots of ice, little water to start with) and get the benefits of the immersion cooler plus the ice bath.


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Old 09-29-2013, 02:26 PM   #3
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Are you stirring? If not, that will easily cut your time in half.

The hose in a trashcan is unlikely to do much. A rubber hose is a poor conductor of heat. You could build a smaller "prechiller" out of copper and put that in the ice bath. Or, you could put the kettle right in the bucket. Or, you could use a cheap pump to pump icewater through the chiller at the end.

Personally, in winter, I just stir. In summer, I stir and use a prechiller.
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Old 09-29-2013, 02:40 PM   #4
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Pumping ice water through the chiller is very effective, without a pump you could also try draining a bucket of ice water through your chiller after using tap water, the ice water will help you chill the last 20 degrees or so.
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billl View Post
Are you stirring? If not, that will easily cut your time in half.

The hose in a trashcan is unlikely to do much. A rubber hose is a poor conductor of heat. You could build a smaller "prechiller" out of copper and put that in the ice bath. Or, you could put the kettle right in the bucket. Or, you could use a cheap pump to pump icewater through the chiller at the end.

Personally, in winter, I just stir. In summer, I stir and use a prechiller.
+1 on stirring with a sanitized plastic spoon around the inside of the IC. That makes a huge difference.

In late summer, I can only get down to 88*F with hose water being run through my plate chiller. Once I get there, I switch over to a Northern Tool submersible pump inside a cooler with ice water and recirculate. #20 of ice for an ale down to 60*F, #30 for a lager cooled to 45*F.
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Old 09-29-2013, 06:12 PM   #6
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I totally agree with both points BigFloyd just made. I am very happy with chill process I used on the beer currently in my fermentation chamber. By recirculating ice water through my simple copper worm (meaning not a fancy counter flow rig) AND slowly stirring back and forth inside the coil and outside the coil, I was happily surprised to find I had knocked the temperature from boiling to 50* F within that golden 20 minute period. I was pitching Nottingham at 56 *F so I went cooler than my target. This was the first time I used this method so my only change to this method for my next brew will be to monitor the temperature of the wort during the chill so I can come in right at my target temperature.
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:08 PM   #7
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Thanks for the great information folks. Once again HBT forums rocks!
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:38 AM   #8
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Living in So. Cal. I had the same issue with my water temps. I went to Harbor Freight and found this
http://www.harborfreight.com/200-gph...ump-68372.html
I put it I a cooler with ice and ice packs and ran the return line from the IC back in to the cooler after initial cooling down to about 130 deg. I used a "Y" for controlling the water from the hose and the ice water running through the IC. I've used it on my last 4 batches and by running the ice water thru the I.C. I was able to get to 68 deg. in about 10-15 mins. after I got the initial temp down with the faucet hose.


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