Best way to chill?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by hockeynut, May 1, 2020.

  1. hockeynut

    hockeynut New Member

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    I have 13 extract brews under my belt and have tinkered with the best way to chill my wort. I began with adding bagged ice to my partial boil to bring up the volume and bring down the temp. I found my beer had much more character when I used a full boil and yet cooling down the wort has become a time drag. I used a cooper immersion chiller and found it only gets the wort to about 90 degrees before it becomes a case of diminishing returns. The last batch I attempted to reverse the flow through the chiller with the chiller in an ice water bath and the wort running through the chiller using a low volume transfer pump. The concept worked out great on reducing the temp but the unforeseen result was the foam that came out of the pump. I ended up with more foam that wort in a 10 gallon fermentor. Are there any tricks out there in this area?
     
  2. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Once the immersion chiller takes the bulk of the heat out slow the water flow down, that will help. You could aways use a second immersion chiller in a bucket full of ice water to prechill the cooling water. I actually have two immersion chillers working in tandem, works great.
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  3. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    all that copper, wow
     
  4. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind that Q=UA(dT), where Q is heat transfer rate, U equals the system heat transfer coefficient, A equals area, and dT equals difference in temperature between the two systems.

    So, in layman's terms, if you want more cooling, the two variables that you can control are area and temperature differential. You can increase area by adding more coils, but that is not always practical. You can increase dT by having colder cooling water.

    So, here's a strategy that many people use effectively. Let's say you have 70 °F tap water. When you have 210 °F wort, there's a large differential. By the time you get down to 90 the wort isn't cooling very fast because you don't have much differential. So you might try cooling the wort down to 110 or 120 using tap water, and then switch the source to ice water. You can do that by getting a 2nd coil and placing it in an ice bath in a cooler. Run the tap water through the cooler to lower the tap water to 40 degrees or so, and now if will be much easier to get the wort down to 65 or 70 degrees.

    You can accomplish the same thing by running the temperature down to 110 or 120 and then just sticking the wort kettle in ice.

    And this is why @Craigerrr has an effective system.
     
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  5. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    #5 HighVoltageMan!, May 1, 2020
    Last edited: May 1, 2020
    When I brew a lager, which is 2 of every 3 beers I brew, I cool the wort down to 44-45F. This is below my well water temp. I have used the same method as Bubba suggested, I have a second coil in an ice bath prior to the coil in the wort to lower the well water temp.

    The another thing I do more often and it works even faster. I lower the temp to as low as I can with well water, then I have a 5 gallon bucket of ice water with a submersion pump in it. I circulate ice water directly into the wort chiller from the ice bucket. I can drop the wort to 45F without too much trouble. To drop the temp from 90F to 65F using this method and an immersion chiller would take about 5 minutes, if that. You can drop it even lower if you want.

    edit: I use the same submersion pump to clean corny and sanke kegs, I made a spray wand that sprays the inside of the keg that fits on the output of the pump. The pump sets in a 7 gallon bucket with 1-2 gallons of PBW solution and keg sets in it upside down and the cleaner returns to the pump by gravity. Works really well.
     
  6. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I am toying with the idea of using my HLT for chilling in the summer.
    So, chill to 100F with ground water, then switch to ice water in the HLT. Still considering how to plan that out.
     
  7. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    That's what I do, I can help
     
  8. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    my system is different I'm sure but I almost always whirlpool to 170 at the end of each boil, 3 days before I brew I freeze a 6 gallon bucket lined with a bag of solid ice, at the whirlpool I add the block to my HLT, it fits perfectly inside my herms coil, I add water just to the top of the coils, do not add any further it will reduce your cooling, when the whirlpool is done and sediment settled I run the beer through the coils then out to a 3 way valve, one way goes back to the mash tun the other to wort out, after the siphon starts I stop the pump and let it flow naturally, no need to adjust a valve this way, the temp starts out around 40F the gradually raises to 70F at the end, the wort equals out at 60F easily
     
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  9. philjohnwilliams

    philjohnwilliams Well-Known Member

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    Here's how I get to lager temps quickly.
    A few days before brew day I fill 6 1kg yogurt containers with water and freeze them. When it is time to chill on brew day, I use tap water to get the wort to about 20°f over ground water temperature , which in Montreal is rarely above about 70°f. I then take my mash tun (which I cleaned out while the wort came to a boil) and fill it with water and the ice I made. I then hook up the inlet hose of my immersion chiller to the outlet valve on the mash tun and gravity feed the cold water through the IC. Even though the gravity fed water doesn't move very fast through the coil, it seems to work well as I can usually be down to pitching temperature in 20 minutes or so.
     
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  10. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Gravity you say! Genius!
     
  11. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    I slap 2 bags of ice in a cooler and pour about 1/2 gallon of cold water over the ice. Then I run that cold water into my immersion chiller with a small pump and the return water goes into the cooler to help melt the ice. Takes about 10 min to get to 170F and then probably 20 to 30 to get to 70F. I know it's slow by some set ups but it works and I'm not wasting gallons of water.
     
  12. FrostyBeach

    FrostyBeach Well-Known Member

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    tap water here is about 4c all year. Lake Superior
     
  13. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    As long as you don't try to drink the lake water it should work great for chilling. ;)
     
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