Wort chilling

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by RAtkison, May 18, 2018.

  1. RAtkison

    RAtkison Member

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    I have been brewing 5 gallon batches and am thinking about moving up to a 10 gallon batch this weekend. All of my equipment is capable of mashing and brewing this volume but I am not sure about my immersion chiller. I am using a homemade 25' 3/8" immersion chiller in line with a 20' 1/4" copper chiller which will be submerged in ice water to keep the temperature low. It has taken about 20 minutes in the past to get down to 75-80 degrees for 5 gallons in my keggle, so i'm guessing it will probably be about 45 minutes to get 10 gallons down to this temperature with my current chiller. Should I consider making a 50' 3/8" chiller for these larger batches? I could go the counter flow chiller route but don't have a pump to circulate and i'd rather put off any major purchases until I have time to upgrade my whole setup. Any input is appreciated!
     
  2. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    You don’t need to have a pump with a counterflow chiller. You just need gravity. When I did it, I had the kettle on a table which was on cinderblocks, so the bottom of the kettle was probably 3 1/2 feet high. The CFC sat on a chair, and the fermenter was on the floor. Flow was not an issue, but you’ll need a pump to get it going. By that I mean a pump designed to transfer liquids like below. That one works well.

    Do you stir the wort when using the immersion chiller? That greatly reduces the time required to chill.

    Siphon Pump https://www.lowes.com/pd/Siphon-Pump/3142667
     
  3. RAtkison

    RAtkison Member

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    Does the counterflow chiller get the wort down to pitching temperatures after one pass? I like the idea of using this, just want to make sure it is worth the investment and i'm not replacing it 2 months later for something better.

    I typically will stir the wort with the immersion chiller slowly every several minutes as well as spray off the keg with water to help lower the temp.
     
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  4. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    You need a vigorous stir the entire time when using an immersion chiller. I get mine chilled to 70° in 4 to 4 1/2 minutes. I cheat and use a paddle on a cordless drill. Try this: test the temperature of the output water while not stirring. Then vigorously stir, and test while stirring. Careful, it’s scaldingly hot. That’s the heat you’re getting rid of.

    I only used one pass on my CFC. If I had the cold water on full, it’d chill to about 63-64°, so I adjusted accordingly.
     
  5. RAtkison

    RAtkison Member

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    Great information, much appreciated! Going to try with my current setup and stir as you said, if that doesn't work I'll consider the CFC. Thanks!
     
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  6. Michael_biab

    Michael_biab Member

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    One suggestion you might try is to submerge your kettle in ice water (or at least cold water) after flame-out, and during cooling. That way you don't have to spray the kettle with water, especially if you'll be busy with stirring!

    I like your idea of keeping it simple with an immersion chiller, especially a larger one. A pro brewer I ran into on National Homebrew Day said that homebrewers who keep it simple enjoy often enjoy it more! Good luck!
     
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  7. BoomerBrian

    BoomerBrian Active Member

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    I have never stirred but am going to try on my next brew. I am curious to see how much time it can shave off.
     
  8. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    I stir pretty carefully at first, to limit hot side aeration. Then once it has cooled some I stir like crazy to get it to finish cooling and then to aerate the wort for pitching the yeast.
     
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  9. Firerat

    Firerat New Member

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    I'm going to try this next go round. I can use my aeration whip.
     
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  10. Eyeball

    Eyeball New Member

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    We use a home-made counterflow chiller and some ali-express solar hot-water pumps, and we get from boiling to pitch temp in one pass, we just adjust the wort flow rate to get the desired temp. In the winter, the water is much colder here, so we can flow at a higher rate.

    One draw-back to a counter-flow chiller like ours is the wort is inside the tube, and it harder to clean, we run PBW and then sani through the chiller before and after each use, which adds time to the brew-day.
     
  11. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    my brew stand is on castors ive been rocking and rolling it to move the wort past the coil. but havnt tried the vigorous stir as jeff said. i see these airation paddels online so will given this way a crack in future.
     
  12. OAE Iceman

    OAE Iceman Member

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    I brew 5 gallon batches and I have an Hydra immersion chiller that I purchased from Jaded brewing and I stir the pot with the chiller in the pot. I brewed today and I went from 212 degrees down to 68 degrees in 6 minutes.
     
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  13. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Same chiller I use!
     
  14. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I have a 50' 1/2" stainless coil I use and it will do a 10 gallon batch in around 20 minutes with my current water setup. Much quicker when it's cold out. But yeah you need to continuously move the liquid over the IC to keep moving heat out with the water. It will form a little pocket of cool wort around the chiller and stop being effective.

    I'd never thought of stirring the wort though, I always just move the chilller around itself. Would be worth trying.
     
  15. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    My first IC was a hand coiled (by me) unit. I didn’t stir that one, I agitated. Grabbed the coil end and lifted up and down and flexed the coils. It worked well enough. My Hydra doesn’t allow for agitation. The coils are tied together, so they can’t separate.
     
  16. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    Those Hydra chillers are nice! That would be a good option for the OP to consider.
     
  17. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    It’d be a good option for the whole forum to consider.
     
  18. I_playdrums

    I_playdrums Well-Known Member

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    Same for me, too. Get one.
     
  19. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    #19 Group W, May 19, 2018
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
    Been thinking of getting a Hydra for a while. I just ordered a 14” x 6” stainless hop spider that hangs from the side of the kettle. Maybe the two can work together. It will be a tight fit.
     
  20. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I haven't seen them in Canada to this point but I am keeping an eye on them.
     

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