When to add immersion chiller

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Sep 1, 2007
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I brew using two 3500w (240v) Avantco Induction plates. When I brew, usually with 15 minutes left in the boil, I will put my immersion chiller in the boil pot to get it sanitized before chilling. When I insert the chiller, the temperature of the wort usually drops between 4 and 6 degrees, and it can take 3-5 minutes (or longer) to get the boil going again.

Do I really need to add the immersion chiller with 15 minutes left in the boil? Or would dropping it in right at the end be sufficient to sanitize it?

If your IC is empty it will be sanitized literally in seconds upon exposure to boiling wort.
When I use an IC it goes in the kettle with 5 minutes left in the boil...

I have a home made copper coil IC. I'd go with just putting it in shortly before the boil is finished. A moment is all you need since you are already 40°F higher temperature than most any temperature resistant beastie dies at.

But so far, I've always had to heat up another big pot of water for other stuff. When the other stuff is out, I still have most of the water, so I add some vinegar and put my chiller in there. The vinegar and hot water both sanitize and shine up the copper on the chiller. So I just go from one to the other when I it's time to start chilling.

But then again, it's still going in at the end of the boil, and temps are still high enough to sanitize it anyway you do it.

You don't have crap from your previous batch crusted on it do you?
@hotbeer No, i clean it thoroughly after each batch. it sits under a towel until needed again.

If all i need is a minute or two to sanitize, i will just start dropping it in just about at flameout, and let let it sit for a minute or two before I starting chilling.

thanks all.
It's somewhat important that the IC be empty, so anything you can do to assure that will work to your favor wrt short-duration sanitation...

I stick it in the kettle usually w/ my last hop charge, so 5-15 min of boil time before flame-out.
Mine gets rinsed off as soon as I'm done w/ chilling, before I transfer to my fermenter. Then it gets hung up until the next brew day.

Day_Trippr is right. Instant sanitation on the chiller parts that gets submerged in the boiling wort. I think anytime between 5-15 minutes is more than sufficient. I whirlpool so I have always been afraid of the parts of the chiller that don't get submerged. I want to have enough time for the metal higher up on the chiller to come up in temperature and to give the steam sometime to work on any critters that maybe just a smidgen higher up on the chiller than the hot metal can reach. I insert at 10 minutes because that's when the whirlfloc lock goes in.

To answer your question. I personally would not put it in for less than 5 minutes. Is there really a killing difference between 195 and 212? Probably not but I won't risk a batch of beer over 5 minutes. It's more of a peace of mind thing for me to know I have boiled the chiller.
I put mine in after I have taken the pot off the heat. Been doing it that way for years with no issues. Wort temp only drops a few degrees.

If adding a couple of lbs of extract (I can't mash enough grains on my system for a big beer), I'll add the extract after I have taken the pot off the heat, stir it in, and then add the IC. Wort is still hot enough to 'instantly' sanitize.
When cleaning up, I drain the water out of the chiller and hose off thoroughly with hot water. Every few batches I will soak in PBW and then do an acid wash. I will start dropping it in at around 5 minutes.