Next piece of equipment

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by jmcnamara, Dec 14, 2015.

  1. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    so, I've got an Amazon gift card burning a hole in my pocket, and I'm wondering what piece of brewing equipment I can add to the pile.

    I'm definitely leaning towards an immersion chiller. I've looked at a few on and off over the past few months, but I never found "the perfect one."

    I'd like to get one that will serve me fine with my 5 gallon kettle, but it would still be a good size if / when I move up to a bigger pot.
    I'd also like one with screw fittings, rather than just plastic tubing over the metal pipe.
    [edit: I'm also thinking about getting a grain mill]

    any thoughts? or is there something else that's indispensable to you?
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    if mostly doing all grain I vote on the grain mill, and as far as an immersion chiller Id shy away from it and instead use counterflow chiller, not too much more in price but well worth it....I have a 50 foot immersion chiller with plastic thats been sitting in my garage unused for 3 years
     
  3. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    yeah, mostly all grain these days. maybe some extract here and there to boost gravity since i'm a bit limited in the size of the grist on my setup

    for the counterflow chiller, does that need the same space / setup as an immersion chiller? I'm in a relatively small condo, so i'm a bit limited in terms of work and storage space. any particular reason you haven't used the immersion one in a while?

    i do like the "saving money" aspect with the mill, assuming I buy enough bulk grain to make it worth it. any particular brands to check out / avoid?
     
  4. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    i should also clarify that my kettle does not have any kind of spigot on it. so, it looks like a counterflow chiller is off the table for now
     
  5. GernBlanston

    GernBlanston New Member

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    The next chiller I plan on making is one of these baby's:

    http://www.wortomatic.com/articles/Mylo ... -O-Chiller

    Sharp 90 deg. elbows rather than bends. Detachable hoses, and a third pipe for using a pump for circulating. Its what Jamil used up to the point he started a big boy brewery. I have always liked the immersion rather than the counter flow, or plate chiller. Easier to clean.
     
  6. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    The thing I like about the immersion chiller is you never have to wonder if there's a dead leg in it that has a bunch of accumulated gunk ready to contaminate your beer. I can get five gallons of wort from 190 degrees to 120 degrees in six minutes with my immersion chiller, don't need a pump and never have to worry about passing wort through it. Simple and effective, works for me.
     
  8. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I've read several articles where people go from immersion to counterflow and back to immersion again. I may find myself being one of them!
     
  9. UgliestLemming

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    I have an immersion chiller and a plate chiller. I only use my plate chiller on 10 gallon batches. Otherwise it's just not worth it to me. I've not had any issues with the plate chiller, but the cleaning process is much more painstaking IMO. Immersion chillers are so painless.
     
  10. EbonHawk

    EbonHawk New Member

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    You guys should trade something (or outright buy it from Ozarks, jmcnamara) so that thing gets used. I like my stainless steel immersion chiller and won't go to using something that I can't tell if it's clean, too chicken I guess.

    I'm nosy, Nosybear... why only 120°? I usually just chill mine all the way down to pitching/room temp. Am I missing something?
     
  11. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I bought a 20' coil of 3/8" soft copper tubing (it's used for air conditioning) and coiled it suitably to make my own immersion chiller. With good wort agitation, it will chill my wort to around 82° in 15 minutes. Then my arm gets too tired.
     
  12. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    how'd you bend it without kinking?

    also, how are the hoses hooked to the copper tubing? just clamps or did you solder hose fittings?

    I've seen one design I like, but there are no fittings whatsoever, just the tubing already shaped. don't know if i have the resources to solder some on
     
  13. EbonHawk

    EbonHawk New Member

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    I just use a couple of the small metal screw-clamps (circular, with a screw on it for tightening and loosening) to hold my hoses on my chiller's in/out ports.
     
  14. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    that's how my friend's is set up.

    when i saw him use it, i did notice a small trickle of water going into the wort, which worried me a little.

    plus, the top of the coil didn't seem like it was bent over far enough so that connection wasn't right over the kettle. maybe even bend it downwards so any water would flow away from the kettle
     
  15. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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  16. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    The tube comes coiled when you buy it. It's a matter of tightening the coils around a paint can or something. I use standard hose clamps to attach tubing. It doesn't leak as long as they are tight. I think all of the parts you need would cost less than $30. The copper is the most expensive part.
     
  17. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I chill all the way to pitch temperature but getting down to 120 as quickly as possible is what I've read is critical. I haven't researched why so this is one of the areas I'm relying on beer lore as a guide, at least until I can figure out why.
     
  18. griz

    griz Member

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    If you go with an immersion chiller (I use a 50 ft unit), be sure to get one that has spacers between the tubing. Spend the few extra bucks! The spacers allow better flow between the tubing to cool your wort and makes it much easier to clean the chiller.
     
  19. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    are those something I can easily add on after purchase?
     
  20. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I just made my own, the copper tubing I have is 1/2" OD not ID so I bought some braided pvc hose 1/2 or a little less I think because my water pressure is high and brass hose to barbs fittings and hose clamped them, works for water fine, for best results to restricted the water some and use less I added a ball valve to the out of the water side
     

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