Cooling the wart?

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Jan 10, 2005
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I have not bought a wort chiller, I have just been puting my pot in the sink, filling it with water and surrounding it with ice. I was thinking about freezing water in a small stainless pot and floating it in after the boil. I guess that would work as long as it did'nt tip over and water down the wort? Does anyone use a chiller, or like one chiller better than the other? Looking for sugestions before I buy one.
I'll buy a chiller at some point, but right now I put the kettle in a bathtub full of cold water and it give it a couple stirs. Enough water so it tries to float but not enough to tip. Comes down to room temperature in about 20-30 minutes.
rightwingnut said:

I built my own immersion chiller. Its quite simple, and cheap. Follow the link above, or search for another if you want. Very easy. Cools 5 gallons in maybe 30 minutes...very fast.
when you use your chiller, do you just leave the lid off the pot, or do you try to cover it with something?
Put the chiller in 15 minutes before the boil is done, so it becomes sterilized. Don't cover the pot. It's really amazing. The water goes in cold and comes out basically boiling. I had a bit of trouble finding fittings that didn't leak, I ended up soldering some fittings to the copper that fit inside the garden hose, then hose clamped the hose.
I built a PVC pipe counter flow chiller and don't get me wrong it worked really well, but it was a real pain to clean and sanitise because you can't see the inside of the copper pipe.

In hindsight I think the immersion chiller is easier to build and easier to use.
No question about it. If you intend to brew 5 gallons or less, use an immersion chiller.

A counterflow chiller becomes necessary at higher volumes. And yeah, it sucks to clean and it's a real vector for contamination. We are very careful about cleaning ours.

I just bought some small bore copper pipe and wound it round a fomer, place it in the wort and it takes about 30mins to reduce temp. Simple to do and cheap.
I just put 5 - 1 gal containers of filtered water in the freezer several hours prior to boiling.

After the wort is boiled I add 2 gals to the primary and sparge the hops through a nylon mesh net, remove, and add the rest of the water, stir.

The temp is below 75 F every time. I can pitch yeast within 5 mins of the end of boil without using all that water that a chiller requires. But then again I only boil 1.5 gals.

I've been doing this for almost 10 years without any problems.
immersion chillers are easiest. Take a 50ft soft copper tube, and wind it around a bucket. Then attach a garden hose attachment to one end. With 50 feet of tube, I do 10 gal in about 15 minutes (It helps to stir the wort around the chiller).