Summertime tips for wort chilling!

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JoePro

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Earlier this week I put away 2 batches to ferment, and I made a mistake-- I pitched my yeast when my wort was too warm. Now I'll likely have some :ban: flavors, but that's not so bad because one was a belgian double wit that's attenuating quite nicely, so the ester and the dryness will balance out (plus some of those banana esters go away after secondary fermentation).

But, yesterday, in Richmond VA was a whopping 100* F in the first quarter of June. What the hell does this mean for August/September when it'll be a sweet 110*?

It means us homebrewers are gonna need to be crafty to beat the heat. So I was thinking of effective ways to really superchill my wort. I have a therminator, and it does a stellar job, but when your ambient outside temp is 100*, my groundwater temp is in the high 70's making it a huge PITA to cool it down for immediate pitching.

So I get a thought. What could I use that would be inexpensive, effective, and convenient?


A freeze pack! If you've ever ordered a liquid yeast from AHB or NB, chances are you've seen one of these bad boys. They freeze and keep their temperature for a while, so why not sanitize one up, place it in a funnel, and chill your wort through your chiller and THEN onto one of these guys? It seems to me with the right flow adjustment, your wort could really, really chill quickly!

So I invite everyone in this thread to share their tips and tricks to fighting the summer time heat!
 

pm5k00

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If you have a IC also you can use it as a pre chiller before your plate chiller. I brewed last week when it was 102 here, I used my IC to get the wort to about 88 then racked to primary and moved it inside to the ac, waited till the next day to pitch yeast. Not as fast but it works.
 

musick

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I chill in my sink w/ a IC.

Sink is filled w/ ice and a little bit of water. I place a power head in the sink to circulate the water. When the ice melts, I put in freeze packs. This means I am cooling from the inside (IC) and the outside.

I chill from boiling to 80F in about 25 minutes using 8 gal of water through the chiller.
 

Nateo

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Well, you already brought up the most obvious and easiest technique: use warm-temp yeast. German brewers did this before refrigeration. They had a "brewing season" that went from fall->spring, then they didn't brew much, or brewed wheat beers in the summer when temps were too hot for their lagerbiers.

I've heard of people using stuff like sterilized ice-cube trays to knock the temp down for pitching. No reason why that wouldn't work. Charlie from 5star talks about how you could dump several gallons of starsan in your wort and it'll just turn into yeast food as the pH rises. You could just freeze some starsan and add that directly to the wort.

Or you could use a prechiller to squeeze a little more cooling out of your chiller. Some people use saltwater aquarium pumps to recirc so they can get the water extra cold with salt.
 

mattldm

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I use a pump and recirculate ice water from an ice chest through my I.C. I can get 5 gallons from boiling to the 60's in about 20 minutes.

I have the 50' 1/2" copper chiller from morebeer, with a homemade whirlpool recirculation option. 809 march pump for the wort and a cheap harbor freight drill pump for the ice water. kinda redneck, but works great!
 

JLW

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JoeP, can't wait until my double brew day next weekend in the Richmond heat. I too have been thinking about this concern since I wasn;t able to get my saison from two weeks ago down to the temp i wanted.

Here is what I was thinking about doing:

Build another chiller that I would siphon the beer through. This copper chiller would be submerged in ice water.

1. Use submersion chiller to get beer as cool as possible.
2. Whirlpool and let set for 30 min
3. Siphon beer through second cooler to cool even further
4. Maintain temp with swamp cooler
 
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JoePro

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JoeP, can't wait until my double brew day next weekend in the Richmond heat. I too have been thinking about this concern since I wasn;t able to get my saison from two weeks ago down to the temp i wanted.

Here is what I was thinking about doing:

Build another chiller that I would siphon the beer through. This copper chiller would be submerged in ice water.

1. Use submersion chiller to get beer as cool as possible.
2. Whirlpool and let set for 30 min
3. Siphon beer through second cooler to cool even further
4. Maintain temp with swamp cooler

What neighborhood are you in, RVAer? We should get together sometime and go to Commercial Taphouse or even brew together! Send me a PM.
 

TonySwank

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If you have a plate chiller then either a using a pre-chiller or pumping ice water through the plate chiller are your simplest options. I use ground water (around 70-80F in the summer) pumped through an immersion cooler until the wort gets to around 100F, which takes about 5 minutes. I then switch to pumping ice water in a recirculating fashion from a bucket through the immersion cooler until it gets to 65F or so for ales, which takes about 15 minutes. You can buy ice from the store but I just fill a couple of small buckets with water and freeze them before hand. Stirring or whirlpool pumping the wort makes a huge difference in time with my immersion cooler, although that doesn't apply to the plate chiller.
 
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