Cooling the Wort - Anyone thought about Liquid Nitrogen

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barefootbrewer

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Was watching the food network and wondering if liquid nitrogen might be a good way to bring down the temp of hot wort? Anyone done this or have any ideas?

thanks
 

Duckfoot

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Um... I would think it would be cost prohibitive... Not too mention the danger of having liquid nitrogen sitting around...

Then again, I am not that smart...

Good luck!

:mug:
 

BigEd

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Why not liquid helium? It's even colder. Honestly is hardly seems like a practical method. Buy a coil of copper tubing and make a wort chiller.
 

jldc

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I was checking out of the grocery store today, and I noticed a cooler with dry ice for about $2/container. It got me thinking about cooling wort. Not sure how it would work, but there might me something to it. Hmmmmm.
 

phrogpilot73

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I was checking out of the grocery store today, and I noticed a cooler with dry ice for about $2/container. It got me thinking about cooling wort. Not sure how it would work, but there might me something to it. Hmmmmm.
A guy on another forum I frequent posted what his experience with dry ice was. He figured he could drop it straight into the wart to cool it quickly. Turns out that the wort was just thick enough to prevent the bubbles from coming out. Blam! Wort everywhere.
 

GunnerMan

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I think LN2 would be to expencive, it is not too too dangerous but you need a special container, and a supplier. I thought about the dry ice idea and that is a good one, it is cheap and would be easy to put around he outside of the bucket.

Helium is colder yes but even harder to get and harder to make=more expencive.

Dice is the most economical solution, you could also modify an A/c unit to run refrigerant through your wort chiller.

You may end up with frozen wort though with these kinds of systems, not sure if this would adversley affect anything...
 
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barefootbrewer

barefootbrewer

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Thanks guys, that was the kind of feedback I was looking for. Currently I have an immersion chiller with a pre-chiller setup. I was just thinking that liquid nitrogen is very cold and inert if I remember right. I know Co2 is a bit too dirty to cool homebrew with.
 

truckmann

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Or you could just get a plate chiller. My shirron plate chiller cools my 10 gallon batches down as fast as I can gravity feed through it as long as the water from the tap isn't too warm.
 

tndave

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Currently I have an immersion chiller with a pre-chiller setup. I was just thinking that liquid nitrogen is very cold and inert if I remember right. I know Co2 is a bit too dirty to cool homebrew with.
Today I cooled 4.5 gallons (should have been 5, but I forgot about the 90 min boil and had already dumped my grains) of wort from full boil to less than 80 degrees in 35 minutes, in my kitchen sink with 3 bags of ice and a some cold water and A Lot of stirring. No chiller or pre-chiller. Your set-up should work at least that quick, if not you need to hook up with someone that help you out or better yet describe exactly, in great detail what u are doing right here...

Funny thing, "we" once thought it would be a great idea to cool a couple of kegs (15 gal) with "dry ice" well it turned out to be a large party, and we ran out of beer fairly early...not good. Gold lining was after the frozen beer thawed the next day "we" had plenty to drink....
 

tndave

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I know Co2 is a bit too dirty to cool homebrew with
CO2 or Carbon Dioxide is one of the byproducts of fermentation and the gas that we "carb" beer with...
 

tndave

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OK, you are talking about chunking dry ice directly into wort or beer...not a good idea. Sorry, I missed that little bit of info. I quess I just got caught up on the memories of that 1979 kegger....
 

GunnerMan

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Ok...

Anyway yeah I wouldn't put the dice directly in the wort, if you have a 2 chiller setup(one in wort and one in ice bath) you could add a pond pump to make it a closed line and fill it up with alcohol(cheap at a hardware store) then put your chiller in the bucket with crushed dice, although you may be more efficiant just puting your whole kettle into a bucket and lining it with the dice.

I might try it one of these days, I am always intertested in taking things to the extreme.
 
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barefootbrewer

barefootbrewer

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CO2 or Carbon Dioxide is one of the byproducts of fermentation and the gas that we "carb" beer with...


I was referring to "dry ice" which is simply CO2 in solid (very cold) form. The process that is used to make it leave the dry ice with contaminants. You wouldn't want to add that directly to your brew.
 

beerluvrr

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I work for a place that uses a lot of Liquid Nitrogen. I can get as much as 5 gals any time I want.
So if cost and handeling were not an issue, could I use liq N2 to cool my wort?

aslo, how would I use it? could I just pour it in? how much will I need?
 

aarong

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I was thinking about it what if you put a length of your siphon hose in a foam cooler and poked a hole on either side one in and one out and then put the dry ice in the cooler and siphoned your wort through the hose. The heat will get absorbed in the dry ice and avoid any contact with it. Flow rate would be important so it doesn't freeze.

Also if you had a copper pipe poke it through the foam box and attach it to your hose as copper is a better conducter then plastic.
 

worxman02

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This is just a bad idea all around. If you put any sort of super cold liquid or solid such as dry ice or LN2 into boiling wort you will end up instantly flash boiling the dry ice or LN2 and the rapid change to gas will cause a nice volcano of boiling wort to splash all over you and whatever is near you.

Pouring LN2 around your pot and having it sit in a LN2 bath would be a bit safer and would rapidly chill your wort as long as you stirred it to prevent the wort at the sides of the pot from freezing. LN2 isn't that expensive. My wife works with it at work and they pay 20 cents per gallon. Cheaper than gas! My opinion is that it isn't worth the hassle as you can get a batch down to pitching temps rather quick with a whirlpool IC. I used a paint mixer to slowly stir the wort on my last 10 gallon batch and it took maybe 20 mins to cool it down to 65º F from boiling with my 50' IC. It went below 140 in less than 10 mins.
 
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