Brewing With Total Confidence
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Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Hawkinbrau, Mar 1, 2021.
I do some of that too
I think it goes:
copper: slightly better heat transfer, cheaper
stainless: no chance of adding any copper salts to your beer
I've found the colander approach that Nosy suggested is the best for me, but I only do about 12 litres, so the bag isn't as heavy as the bag for a 20+ litre batch.
And generally only fix something that's really annoying in the short term. Otherwise wait half a dozen batches or so to work out whether you'd prefer to change your process. That may also mean buying something, but it will probably be something that you didn't think about the first time you hit the problem.
Hi. I am also just after my first brew and looking to move on to BIAB. Can't practically help since I have no experience, but here is an idea on chilling:
How about sanitizing a plastic bag/bowl, boil some water and put it inside there to freeze. Then when it's time to chill your wort, drop that ice block in there and whirlpool.
What do the experienced members say about this?
That's pretty much it. Copper is noticeably faster, by a few minutes. The stainless chillers are sometime larger to create more surface area, but a smaller copper will be faster than a large stainless chiller. Stainless can be aggressively cleaned with scrubbing, chemicals, dishwasher, etc. without harming them. Copper should be rinsed right after using and should not be cleaned more than that unless it's super dirty.
A word of warning, from personally experience I would let the copper chiller get some patina (brown, not green oxidation). Brite copper will allow some copper to dissolve into the wort, the beer will suffer as a result. Lighter beers can taste like there some oxidation going on. Allow the copper to become dull will prevent this. I made the mistake of cleaning it until it was nice and shiny (they are fine if they are dull in color), it wrecked the first beer I brewed with it. After that it was fine.
If you mean ice right in the wort? It could work, but you're watering down your beer so you need to account for it. That's also a lot of ice to store in your freezer for brew day, I'm not sure I'd get away with it.
Or do like me and spend 18 months changing and modifying your setup to basically end up with the same system you started with.
A solid plan
It's how I roll.
A double-pulley system is a great way to lift hot, heavy things. And a colander (or similar) for the grain bag to drip through is what I do. About 10 minutes into the boil, I pour the drippings into the boil and dump the grain in the compost pile.
If you're going that route just make an ice bath in your sink or tub. Again not as fast as an immersion chiller but it won't water down your wort. I'd say go that route for a few brews and then maybe invest in an immersion chiller. Yes chilling faster is nice but the difference between chilling the wort in 20 minutes or in an hour isn't going to matter that much. My father-in-law, who is a much more relaxed brewer, doesn't chill his wort. He leaves it in the kettle covered overnight and then transfers it in the morning and pitches his yeast. I don't typically advocate following his example but he makes drinkable beer. Otherwise I'm with @Mark Farrall get your process down before you add new equipment that forces you to change it up a bit
Enjoy the process, drink the beer...
I am going to dilute it either way so I don't mind. I will just have to substract the water of the ice block from tge water i was going to use for the dilusion. I also have an external freezer so thats not a problem as well.
Whirpooling an ice block will definitely be faster than an ice bath. Moreover, I could do both!
A big block of ice will take a long time to melt.
If you are going to add ice to the kettle to both dilute and chill, you may want to add ice cubes, or at least smaller blocks of ice.
More surface area should melt quicker. I would relate it to thawing out 7 chicken breasts frozen together as opposed to thawing out 7 chicken breasts frozen separately.
I did a google search on this, and there are those that do it, but they warn of sanitation as bacteria can just go dormant when frozen.
None of them used frozen chicken breasts of course!
There's a bunch of Australian brewers that use ice to dilute after the boil. Most of them add them as 0.5 - 1 litre blocks. I've planned to use it myself, but I'm small batch and don't need to dilute.
I did the same. Still chucking out bits and pieces I thought would solve my problems.
There's also the sanitation issue: Just because water is frozen doesn't mean it's sanitary. There's also the chlorine issue: They don't filter that water much before they freeze it. Better use an ice bath or some kind of circulating chiller.
I use an ice bath to cool my brew kettle, but my process is geared toward limiting the amount of water that I use. As I start my mash, I fill a pair of 1-gallon jugs with water, and place those in the freezer to cool. Meanwhile, I have several Gatorade bottles that are already full of frozen solid water. When it is time to cool the wort after the boil, I empty the now slushy water from the gallon jugs into a large plastic tub, put the kettle in the slushy water, then add the frozen bottles to the slushy water. When the wort is cool, I put the Gatorade bottles back in the freezer, then use the 2 gallons of no longer slushy water in the garden. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Nice. I'm a big fan of conserving water while brewing. I also reuse frozen bottles and ice packs, and I use water from my rain barrel to mix with the ice. It's much colder than the water from my tap. Then it either goes in the garden or back in the barrel.
I've used those blue ice packs to cool my water, in combination with frozen water bottles.
I don't mind my water usage too much as it is riverwater and any excess goes straight back into the river on on my lawn
Having a 30,000lt pool within 15meters of my brew space has helped me alot to cool down on brew day too lol.
Oh hang on cooling wort are we
Yup ive 're circulated that through the chiller to a time or two just don't want any leaks at all with that chemical mix running though the coil!