Author Topic: Wort Cooling  (Read 19348 times)

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2008, 05:27:45 PM »
Wildrover,
It's so cold here that I quit brewing between OCT and MAR because it takes too long to boil the wort.
Anyway, I suppose with your situation I'd suggest inventing some system where you run your wort out of the brewpot threw a copper coil immersed in an ice bath, and into your fermenter.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline Wildrover

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2008, 07:26:39 AM »
Maine,

Thats a good idea, thats a better idea than the solution I came up with.  Next summer I'm moving to North Dakota (Actually, for a job but hey, the joke works here)  ;)

Offline SOGOAK

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2008, 09:26:21 AM »
I did 1 batch with the "cross your fingers" overnight approach and it came out fine.  Then a couple with the ice bath and stiring for 30+ minutes.

I made a 60' Copper IC for about $60.  It is overkill (almost 24") for my partial mash, but it works really well.  I over built it so I could use it in all grain which is hopefully 1-2 batches away.

I have fairly cold water here in IL.  If I lived somewhere warm, I'd probably had a prechiller in an icebath.

+1 on Keep It Simple Stupid.  Everything so far has been that way for me.  ICs are very easy to work with.  I drop it in 15 mintues before flameout, then connect it, stir inside the coil and get 3 gallons down to 80-90 degrees in about 5-7 minutes.  (I actually overcooled the first time which led to lag) Then I drop it in an Iodophor bath while I clean up the rest of the stuff and pitch my yeast. 

Finally a quick rinse and into a spare bucket for storage.

The more difficult part making it was the first couple turns around a 2LB coffee can.  That and making sure you are turning tight and straight.  with the 3/8" tubing I used a spring bender but really wonder if it was needed.  Sure I don't have perfect 90 degree bends-more like curves, but it still looks good and works great.

The IC and a decent grain mill are the best two pieces of gear I have.  although the autosiphon is good too.  Next up is the mushtun build...
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Offline Rep

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2008, 11:15:24 AM »
I like your approach.  You seem to be building your brewery with thoughtfulness.  You appear to plan for the future and not spend money twice.

I do hope you are not pitching your yeast at 80F.  Actually, getting that wort down to 65-70F is not a bad idea at all. 

You will have less trouble and off flavors from pitching too cool rather than too warm.


Offline SOGOAK

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2008, 01:22:04 PM »
70 is my target the "too cold" reference is from when I had 2 gallons of top up water in there too which were about 50 degrees.  That with the sub 80 degree water made for lag.  That batch was also a slow start Wyeast 1214...

But yea, I am trying to get stuff that I can keep using.  Especially when more experienced guys have been saying, "look you have almost all the gear, partial mash is just about as much work as All Grain, and you seem to have the handle on PM."

That confidence boosting and figuring out that side by side it'll be $15 less a batch has me working towards it.  For an interim period (before I get keggles and a burner of my own) I'll use bro in laws turkey fryer for boils.
Good Recipe, Good Ingredients, Good Procedure, Good Sanitation = Good Brew.

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2008, 05:50:01 PM »
I use an immersian chiller built from copper coil, racking tubing, a couple clamps, and some plumbing parts.
I usually brew at near 70, though I rarely chill it under 80.  In my experience I start the yeast off warm and happy and it does its thing better than if I started it off at brew temperature.  There's probably a ton of technical reasons why I should do something else, but I'm happy with the results so I keep doing what I'm doing.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

RMHayes

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2008, 10:08:24 AM »
For fast cooling I've dropped 8 lbs of ice (1 gallon frozen water) into 2 gallons of 212 degF wort, then topped to 5 gallons with 55 degF tap water (from my 100 foot well). With 55 degF well water, 32 degF ice (140 BTU/lb latent), this ends at 86 degF as soon as the ice is melted and mixed.

I've heard concerns about buggers in the ice, but what about the water used to top up to 5 gallons? That comes from the same water source (if you freeze your own ice). I've never had a batch go bad using this method.

Offline SOGOAK

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2009, 03:54:30 PM »
I'd be too scared to try the ice route.  I get anxious when my end volume is off and worry about weak beer. 

I think if you freeze your own ice and limit lag, you are all good.  The Jedi tell me a BIG thing to strive for is low lag time because once the good guy yeasts are working, it makes it tough for any wild bugs to set up shop.
Good Recipe, Good Ingredients, Good Procedure, Good Sanitation = Good Brew.

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2009, 08:18:26 PM »
This thread has been all over, so here's my lesson learned from this week.  Agitation of the wort chiller. 

Wednesday it was slightly more wort than usual, but I failed to agitate the chiller at all, and after 20 gallons of cold tap, it was still above 140F.  Usually I get below 115F after 20 gallons tap.  I switched to my pump and ice water contraption, and we had to work HARD to reach 68F and melted all the ice, which never happens. 

Today I gently agitated the chiller non-stop during the 20 gallons of tap and got down to 83F on tap alone.  True, it was slightly less wort and a little colder today, but 60F difference was amazing.  After maybe four minutes on ice pump and it was 65F. 

Offline Rep

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2009, 09:33:18 PM »
This thread has been all over, so here's my lesson learned from this week.  Agitation of the wort chiller. 

Wednesday it was slightly more wort than usual, but I failed to agitate the chiller at all, and after 20 gallons of cold tap, it was still above 140F.  Usually I get below 115F after 20 gallons tap.  I switched to my pump and ice water contraption, and we had to work HARD to reach 68F and melted all the ice, which never happens. 

Today I gently agitated the chiller non-stop during the 20 gallons of tap and got down to 83F on tap alone.  True, it was slightly less wort and a little colder today, but 60F difference was amazing.  After maybe four minutes on ice pump and it was 65F. 

ML, by agitate you mean lifting and gently stirring the wort chiller?

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2009, 11:52:16 PM »
I'm doing partial boils -- so I need to add 2 Gal --- for each batch I pick up two 1 Gal jugs of filtered Spring Water at the store ($1.70 each). The night before I brew 1 goes into the fridge -- the other I pour a bit out of (to allow for expansion ) and it goes in the freezer.

Right before you pour the hot wort into the primary bucket --- take a clean hammer and beat the crap out of the handle area of the gallon jug so the ice mass will not be hung up --- then take a clean razor-blade hobby knife and cut off the bottom of the gallon jug while holding it over the bucket. BLAM !! you now have a large clean ice chunk for the hot wort.

This works pretty good but it still can take a few hours --- ultimately I will build a immersion chiller rigged to a pump. I like the idea of recirculating ice cold sink water
Some people tell you the old walkin' blues ain't bad
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Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2009, 07:41:15 AM »
Rep - Yea, gently moving the chiller around, mostly side-to-side, trying to keep the coils beneath the surface.  No surface splashing wanted. 

I also realized that if the long garden hose has been in the sun, it is worth it to run tap water thru the hose until it runs cold before attaching to chiller. 

I'm going to try two hybrids (alt and kolsch) next and will want to chill down to 57F, so I'll use all the tricks on those. 

bretski

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2009, 11:58:11 AM »
Just to add a couple more pennies to this topic:

Back when I was doing partial boils, I'd put a couple gallons of water (plastic jugs) in the freezer when I was boiling the wort.  Gave the bottles a shake every so often, which would help get a "slurry" of ice in the jugs.  I'd put my brewpot in an ice-water bath for 15-20 minutes or so, then dump most of the ice slurry into the primary.  The wort would then go in, and top-off with additional cold water as needed.  This would get me to yeast-pitching temp quickly.

Since going with an immersion chiller, the amount of water needed varies with the season.  I live in Colorado, and our tap water is quite cold during the winter months.  In the summer, I have an extension of coil (about 15') that I run through an ice water bath before it connects to the immersion chiller.  A little extra plumbing, but the pre-chilling of the water really makes a difference.  To help avoid guilt from water-waste, I collect the outflow into 5 gal buckets, which then goes to water the garden...  ;)

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2009, 05:43:25 PM »
Before I had a well and the equipment to do all grain I used to boil the city tap water wort, cool with gallon jugs of bottled water from the convenience store, and avoid ice at all costs.

Currently I'm experimenting with sourdough bread and intentionally cultivating wild yeast, the exact opposite of homebrewing.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: Wort Cooling
« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2009, 09:54:56 PM »
After starting out using cold water - frozen water - and waiting hours for the wort to cool down ... I cannot say enough about a simple immersion cooler to make brewing easier and hopefully better beer too.

I used the basic instructions from the BeerSmith Blog - but of course being a dope I bought 3/8" ID copper tubing versus 3/8" OD (1/4" ID) tubing. Bigger is better right ? Well that was a Bi-atch to bend into coils --- and I only did 20ft as I felt that would be fine for partial boils of 3 gallons. And I did spend extra $$ on brass compression fittings. On the first use it took boiling wort down to 85deg in less than 10 minutes.

Now thats brewing ...
Some people tell you the old walkin' blues ain't bad
Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
-Robert Johnson