Wort Cooling - Stupid question

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oscarflytyer

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I want to improve my method for cooling hot wort. Currently use the ice bath method. I see all the copper coils that you can use to submerse in the hot wort and run (and waste) cold water thru.

My question is - WHY can I not make a copper coil set, submerge it into a bucket/sink/cooler of ice water, and the run the hot wort from the boiler, thru this ice-submerged tube and into the secondary fermenter/bottling bucket?

This seems to to me that it would be a lot more efficient, less wasteful and pretty simple. I have the skills to put the plumbing together. Any thoughts on this setup? I do realize I would need to first run boiling water thru the coil for sterilization. Thanx
 

ChshreCat

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You can do that, and some folks do. The main issue I've heard about it is that it's difficult to near impossible to clean that copper tubing out after you're done. You can flush it out and probably get most of it out, but how do you know if you're not slowly getting build up in there? If you do, it could lead to off flavors and/or infections in the future.

If you're worried about wasting the water, there is a great thread on recirculating the cooling water using a pond pump and a cooler. https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/recirculating-ice-water-chiller-38235/
 
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I just got my Counter Flow Chiller in from AHS today. I'm planning on using a pump to pump ice water out of the sink...into the chiller...and back into the sink.

I'll let you know how it works.
 

Bytor1100

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yeah your idea is basically like a counter flow chiller. The only problem with you idea is that the ice will eventually melt and stop cooling your wort( unless you have "tons" of ice"). But overall I believe that the general consensus between coolers is that either Immersion chillers, or counter flow chillers are the most "efficient" way of cooling wort. I would love a faster way to cool it, but I have to admit my I.M. works quite well. I just hate how much water I have to waste in the process.
 

fratermus

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I just hate how much water I have to waste in the process.
I fill up the fountain/birdbath first, then the washing machine. Learned the washing machine trick here and it makes me feel much better about the water.

Also went to an IC prechill/recirc setup a couple of batches back and it helps reduce water usage once the point of diminishing returns sets in.
 

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