Author Topic: Wort Cooling  (Read 20287 times)

crwright2020

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Wort Cooling
« on: August 22, 2008, 09:47:26 AM »
I do not have a wort chiller yet.  The way I cool my wort now is to brew a partial boil, pour the wort into cold water and cool in the sink with cold water around the the primary container. 

As you know this can take a while and can make for a long night.

Is there any adverse affects if you put ice in the hot wort to help with the cooling?
« Last Edit: August 22, 2008, 11:29:06 AM by crwright2020 »

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2008, 06:40:32 PM »
It all depends on what was in the water before it was turned to ice.
I made my own immersion cooler many years ago while I was still making extract brews, and I still use it.
It consists of a 25" coil of copper, some tubing, and some fittings.
I use the same chiller to cool 5.5 gallons of AG wort that I designed for 2 gallons of extract wort.
It just takes longer (I allot 30 minutes to cool 5.5@220 to 5.5@80).

Whatever your situation I'd highly recommend some sort of chiller.
Make or buy it, you won't regret it.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2008, 06:44:52 PM »
220? I meant 212 of course.
Though when my dad came to Maine from Colorado he burned himself quite nicely on his first cup of coffee, noting that the water that boils a 175 degrees where he lives does indeed boil at a much higher temp near the ocean.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

beernut

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2008, 05:30:05 PM »
Before I got into partial and AG brewing I had no chiller.  My trick was to do a 23 litre batch and let the pot cool overnight with lid on and spray sanitize around pot,   I only added bittering hops to brew early in the boil at that time.  In the morning I would tap off around 6 litres of cold wort and reboil adding aroma and tasting hops in a small S/S stock pot which I could cool quickly in the laundry tub with iced water.  Once cool,  this wort was added to cold wort in fermenter then I the pitched yeast.  I believe slow cooling of wort tends to nullify late hop additions.  Whether this is valid or not can't be sure but the technique sure improved my beer.

Offline BrewWhat

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2008, 07:57:29 PM »
When I was doing partial boils I cooled my wort by filling a sink with ice and water and then adding a healthy dose of salt to the sink. Then I place the boil pot into the sink and give it a GENTLE swirl every few minutes. I cool 3 1/2 gallons to pitching temps in about 20 minutes.
Since I moved to full boils I use a home made wort chiller (Home depot parts around $40). I use tap water to get to about 100 deg and then use a $7 drill pump and a sink full of icewater to get my temps on 5 1/2 gallons to 75 deg in 20 - 25 minutes.
Brewing 5 years
AG 4 years.

Offline ml2brew

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2008, 05:24:44 PM »
I know that I am new here but in my opinion a counterflow chiller is the only way to go.  I built one for myself and another for a friend of mine.  25ft garden hose put 3/8" copper through the hose a couple of tees, hose fittings, and some compression fittings and the only question after that is how cool would you like your wort.  I also maybe got $40 in the whole thing.

jIM

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2008, 03:55:37 PM »
My mr beer beer instructions has me put 4 L of water into keg

then 4 cups of water into saucepan to boil.  Once wort is mixed I pour the wort into cold water inside keg then add more water once wort is added.

Not sure if this is specific to Mr Beer or a process which can be used for all brews.

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2008, 06:41:33 AM »
Several of us all-grain brewers have started using a small sump pump to re-circulate ice water thru a standard immersion chiller.  See attached pic.  The pump style and cost can vary, but the idea is to knock down the wort temp with tap water first, then switch to ice water for the final 40 degrees F or so. 

Even with our 95F degree summers we can quickly cool wort to 50F for lager fermentation, and if you capture the initial tap water runoff there is no water wasted either. 

I run 20 gallons of tap into a tub, which gets the wort down to ~110F, then use a shorter hose on a sump pump in a cooler.  One gallon of cooled water covered in ice (from the freezer) always outlasts the hot wort and I usually chill ales down to around 61F.  By the time I get the wort into the carboy and oxygenate with O2, the wort has warmed slightly to the desired pitch temperature. 

One of us that previously used a Chillzilla counter-flow on ten-gallon batches has switched to this method b/c of the speed and efficiency. 

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2008, 06:22:42 PM »
Malt,
Personally I've been a bit shy about using pumps. 
I'm sure there's no problem with proper cleaning, but I prefer the immersion style chiller because it is a cinch to clean and a dip into the just boiling wort is sufficient to sanitize.
I do see several advantages to your system, especially the fact that an immersion chillier without stirring can take a lot longer to do the job if you don't baby sit it with a stir stick.

I believe the original post was asking about adding ice to chill.  I would caution against doing that because of the chance of wild sugar eating critters either being in the water before it was frozen or settling on the ice, and then being added to the brew.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

goose on fire

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2008, 07:53:48 PM »
The "Papazian answer" from the book is this:

1) Fill a gallon zip-lock bag up with water.
2) Double-bag it inside another zip-lock bag
3) Put that in a paper bag to prevent anything pointy in your freeze from puncturing the zip-locks
4) Freeze the whole works
5) At chill time, take off the outer bag (IMO it's easier to cut it off, but don't cut the inner one!)
6) Drop the inner bag into the wort

That way, the only thing that actually touches the wort is the outside of the inner bag, which was protected from buggies in the freezer by the outer bag.

I've done that once because I knew it was going to be a warm day, it worked well but is kind of a pain.  Use good zip-lock bags because the cheap ones leak from the corners.

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2008, 08:45:28 PM »
Hi Maine - I chimed in b/c I used to do exactly as the original poster, and I'd wait overnight to cool and let trub fall out.  I would fear that dropping ice in the wort will work until it doesn't (i.e., an infection) despite all the precautions.  You'd really want to boil it, cool it, freeze it, and hope it doesn't pick up aromas in the freezer and bacteria along the way. 

But I hesitated to buy a wort chiller b/c of the water waste.  And people with chillers said it still did not work well in summer here b/c our tap water hits 80F.  But I was getting DMS comments from my competition entries and knew I had to address wort cooling.  I saw a club friend pumping ice water thru an immersion chiller quickly cool 8 gallons in August and I was sold.  And if someone already has the coil, the pump is a great add-on. 

Offline BrewWhat

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2008, 09:48:11 PM »

But I hesitated to buy a wort chiller b/c of the water waste.  And people with chillers said it still did not work well in summer here b/c our tap water hits 80F.  But I was getting DMS comments from my competition entries and knew I had to address wort cooling.  I saw a club friend pumping ice water thru an immersion chiller quickly cool 8 gallons in August and I was sold.  And if someone already has the coil, the pump is a great add-on. 
[/quote]
I use less than 10 gallons of water to cool my wort to pitching temps. That's about the same as a load of laundry or less. Most of the H2O use come from the first few minutes dropping from 212 to 100. After that it's a couple of gallons in the sink with ice. The local roadside dispenser has 20lb for $1.50. Money well invested IMHO.
Brewing 5 years
AG 4 years.

Offline jeff

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2008, 07:40:26 AM »
When I was extract/specialty grain brewing (before building an immersion chiller) I would freeze 2 liter soda bottles filled with water. At the end of boil I would set the boil kettle in an ice bath. To get the temperature lower, (and more quickly) I would sanitize the bottles of ice and stand them in the boil kettle. Gently stir the warm wort, or move the ice bottles around. I could get the wort down to pitching temperature in about 15 minutes. :) :)

Brew on,
jeff

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2008, 06:33:38 PM »
Quote
And people with chillers said it still did not work well in summer here b/c our tap water hits 80F.

Wow!  Where do you live?
I've got a drilled well that pulls water from several hundred feet under the ground, so while I've never actually measured it I'd estimate it to be between 50 and 55.
A friend built a chiller that runs his wort through a tubing that he immerses in ice water.
80F cold water... wow... what's the point of having a hot water heater?
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Offline Wildrover

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2008, 08:34:06 PM »
Maine,

I live in Florida, St. Petersburg to be exact (Go Rays!) and I have a horrible time getting my wort down to pitching temp, then keeping it there is a whole other problem.  Its always hot here, it's October 24th and we're still hitting temps in the upper 80's and even 90 degrees last week.  Our tap water is very warm, the best I can hope to get my wort temp down to is around 75 degrees on a good day.  I'm considering going to home depot and buying more copper to extend either my primary chiller or my immersion chiller in hopes of getting the temperature down a little more.  As a Florida homebrewer without a temp controlled fridge, I have to think our biggest challenge in homebrewing is controling the fermentation temp. 

Any suggestions from anybody would be greatly appreciated.