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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: boapiu on June 08, 2012, 12:06:49 PM

Title: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: boapiu on June 08, 2012, 12:06:49 PM
Living where the ground water is rarely below 85 deg F I have had trouble getting my boil cooled to pitching temperature. Yesterday I rigged my pump to recirculate the wort in the boil kettle and nearly halved the time it took to reach 70 deg F. I still used ice to get the ground water cooled, but not until around 100 deg F. Previously it would take nearly an hour to reach this temperature.

Just about the best advance in my brew session yet. ;D
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: Jimmy K on June 08, 2012, 12:29:47 PM
There was an article about this in one of the brewing magazines (maybe zymurgy, or maybe byo?) a few years ago. It sounded like a great idea.  The setup in the article had returns that were angled to create a whirlpool while recirculating for the old two birds / one stone thing.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: blatz on June 08, 2012, 01:20:42 PM
yeah - I've been doing this method for a couple years now - sold my Therminator once I was comfortable with it.

I can generally hit mid40s by using a sump pump and recircing the ground water through ice once I hit about 90df.

great little trick, eh?
Title: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: denny on June 08, 2012, 04:33:49 PM
I bought a pump specifically to do that.  Great technique!


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Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: beersk on June 08, 2012, 08:40:37 PM
yeah - I've been doing this method for a couple years now - sold my Therminator once I was comfortable with it.

I can generally hit mid40s by using a sump pump and recircing the ground water through ice once I hit about 90df.

great little trick, eh?
Yes, it sure is.  Good to see you back. 
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on June 09, 2012, 03:31:14 AM
yeah - I've been doing this method for a couple years now - sold my Therminator once I was comfortable with it.

I can generally hit mid40s by using a sump pump and recircing the ground water through ice once I hit about 90df.

great little trick, eh?
Yes, it sure is.  Good to see you back.
There you go Paul.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: euge on June 09, 2012, 05:25:17 AM

I can generally hit mid40s by using a sump pump and recircing the ground water through ice once I hit about 90df.

great little trick, eh?
Yes, it sure is.  Good to see you back. 

I also bought a pump to do specifically this. But upon comparison, periodic stirring will accomplish the same thing. I get 6 gallons down to 120 in 5 minutes and five stirs with my tepid groundwater. Even with groundwater and a pump it slows down quite a bit after that.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: boapiu on June 09, 2012, 02:59:22 PM
Since this was my first with new technique I tracked the progress. Took my first reading at about 195. Then the temp vs time went as follows.
3 min - 165
6 min - 138
9 min - 122 switched from ground water to secondary chiller in ice bath after this
14 min - 100
17:30 - 90 started pumping straight ice water through the chiller using my pond pump
21 min - 80
24 min - 70
Stopped at this point and began whirlpool. Temp drop about 100 in first 15 min and 30 during remaining time, using much colder water. Oh well, that must be the law of thermodynamics.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: oceanselv on June 10, 2012, 03:09:26 PM
yeah - I've been doing this method for a couple years now - sold my Therminator once I was comfortable with it.

I can generally hit mid40s by using a sump pump and recircing the ground water through ice once I hit about 90df.

great little trick, eh?

I live in North Carolina and this trick works very well during our summers.  I can get 5 gallons down to pitching temps within 20 - 30 minutes.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: gymrat on June 10, 2012, 03:25:40 PM
How do you recirculate your boil kettle?
I bought a 120 ft garden hose for brewing this year. My plan is to try coiling 50ft of it in a baby pool filled with ice water just ahead of my chiller.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: denny on June 10, 2012, 04:15:45 PM
How do you recirculate your boil kettle?
I bought a 120 ft garden hose for brewing this year. My plan is to try coiling 50ft of it in a baby pool filled with ice water just ahead of my chiller.

Hope it works for you.  I've heard from others who have tried that that there's no enough heat excahnge from the hose.

To recirculate you boil kettle, you pump wort out of it and back over the immersion chiller in your kettle.
Title: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: ajk on June 10, 2012, 07:27:52 PM
Hope it works for you.  I've heard from others who have tried that that there's no enough heat excahnge from the hose.

That's been my experience.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: mmitchem on June 10, 2012, 07:45:59 PM
I will tell you how I do it. I have 2 immersion chillers (25' and 50') that are connected together. My groundwater goes into the 25' chiller which sits in a bucket of ice. The cool water then passes into my 50' chiller which is in the wort. The the water flows out and is collected for cleaning equipment. I also have a chugger pump which recirculates the wort.
I am able to get my wort from boiling to 70 degrees in about 20 minutes using this method, as long as I can keep ice on the 25' pre-chiller.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: realbeerguy on June 11, 2012, 12:58:55 AM
At around 110 dF, I fill my Igloo round mash tun with ice, put a Harbor Freight sump pump in there, and create a loop to the IM.  Generally I stir while cooling, but have hooked up a March pump to recirculate the wort into a whirlpool.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: tygo on June 11, 2012, 01:06:22 AM
At around 110 dF, I fill my Igloo round mash tun with ice, put a Harbor Freight sump pump in there, and create a loop to the IM.  Generally I stir while cooling, but have hooked up a March pump to recirculate the wort into a whirlpool.

This is what I do as well although I start in with the ice right off the bat.  I go through a lot of ice but I don't need a garden hose.  Adding a pump to recirc the wort while I'm chilling is on my to do list.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: Jimmy K on June 11, 2012, 08:15:19 PM
How do you recirculate your boil kettle?
I bought a 120 ft garden hose for brewing this year. My plan is to try coiling 50ft of it in a baby pool filled with ice water just ahead of my chiller.

That requires transfering heat twice. It would be better to buy a submersible pump and pump the ice water directly through the chiller.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: nateo on June 12, 2012, 10:50:54 AM
Last summer I was struggling to get my wort under 80* (25' immersion chiller, pump or hand stirring, no ice). I didn't really notice a difference in the finished beer between pitching at 80* and having the temp fall to 60* or so overnight in my freezer, and pitching at 60*. On one batch the lag time to kraeusen was longer than usual, but on other batches the lag was shorter than usual.

I haven't really noticed the kettle-recirc pump whirlpool to be much more effective than hand stirring either. Most 5 gallon batches I don't even bother with my pump anymore. 
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: tygo on June 12, 2012, 10:58:19 AM
I haven't really noticed the kettle-recirc pump whirlpool to be much more effective than hand stirring either. Most 5 gallon batches I don't even bother with my pump anymore.

My primary objective in wanting to get a pump to recirculate for chilling is so I can just put the lid on the kettle and let it go.  That way it's less exposed to things getting in it (like bugs) and I can work on cleanup while it's chilling.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: mmitchem on June 12, 2012, 11:28:25 AM
I haven't really noticed the kettle-recirc pump whirlpool to be much more effective than hand stirring either. Most 5 gallon batches I don't even bother with my pump anymore.

My primary objective in wanting to get a pump to recirculate for chilling is so I can just put the lid on the kettle and let it go.  That way it's less exposed to things getting in it (like bugs) and I can work on cleanup while it's chilling.

I find that recirculating the wort moves a lot more across an immersion chiller for heat exchange. Plus you can do it hands free as stated above without introducing anything foreign to the wort. In my experience it is super effective plus it gives me a chance to do any last minute sanitation that I might have neglected :)
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: gmac on June 12, 2012, 12:51:26 PM
Can someone post a picture?  I'm just not getting the idea of using both an immersion chiller and pumping the wort somewhere.  Maybe it's because my set up consists of a pot and I have no experience/idea about pumps and where the wort is being pumped from/to.
Thanks
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 12, 2012, 01:14:10 PM
My set up is different, but this will give you an idea. Good write up by Jamil Z.  Pictures at the bottom.
http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: Jimmy K on June 12, 2012, 01:20:17 PM
Can someone post a picture?  I'm just not getting the idea of using both an immersion chiller and pumping the wort somewhere.  Maybe it's because my set up consists of a pot and I have no experience/idea about pumps and where the wort is being pumped from/to.
Thanks

You're just pumping the wort out through the valve, through the pump, and back into the top of the kettle. It keeps the wort moving which avoids temperature gradients near the chiller.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: gmac on June 12, 2012, 03:49:33 PM
Thanks Jimmy and Jeff.  Seems that my lack of understanding comes from the fact I have no valve in my pot to run the wort out from so I wasn't picturing it quite right.  It's all clear now. 
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: nateo on June 12, 2012, 03:54:45 PM
I find that recirculating the wort moves a lot more across an immersion chiller for heat exchange. Plus you can do it hands free as stated above without introducing anything foreign to the wort. In my experience it is super effective plus it gives me a chance to do any last minute sanitation that I might have neglected :)

From my observations, occasionally stirring a 5 gal batch, I'll get under 140* in 5-6min, under 90* in another 20min or so. Using the pump I'll get under 140* in 3-4min, and under 90 in another 10min or so. So yeah, it's about twice as efficient, but does that increased efficiency make a perceptibly better beer?
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: euge on June 12, 2012, 04:54:27 PM
I don't think it makes better beer but shaves just a few minutes off the brewday. But I made up for that time by NOT using the pump or recirculating icewater. All of this takes time to hook up and monitor. Takes a bit of extra cleaning and tear-down as well. I'm ahead at the end of the day.

I give the wort the stirs it needs and get it as low and as close to my groundwater as possible. In the winter the tap-water is 65F. Perfect! In the spring-summer-fall it gets as high as 88F. :(

Then I make up for the deficiency by placing 2-3 frozen and sanitized 2-liter PET bottles in the wort after I turn the chiller off and stir it a bit.

Making it as simple as possible and headache free is my goal. If it takes an extra 30 minutes to chill the wort the rest of the way with the PET bottles I don't care.

And my beer hasn't suffered one bit.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: kramerog on June 12, 2012, 05:17:32 PM
Then I make up for the deficiency by placing 2-3 frozen and sanitized 2-liter PET bottles in the wort after I turn the chiller off and stir it a bit.

Making it as simple as possible and headache free is my goal. If it takes an extra 30 minutes to chill the wort the rest of the way with the PET bottles I don't care.

And my beer hasn't suffered one bit.

I was thinking of buying a propeller to stir the pot with a hand drill, but using frozen PET bottles sounds a lot easier.  I will try the frozen PET bottles now that my water temp will be over 60 F for the rest of the summer.

I've also used an aeration stone to stir up the wort during cooling (two birds with one stone) but I haven't tried to measure its effectiveness.  I stopped over concerns of properly sanitizing the stone.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: boapiu on June 12, 2012, 10:34:58 PM
I don't think it makes better beer but shaves just a few minutes off the brewday. But I made up for that time by NOT using the pump or recirculating icewater. All of this takes time to hook up and monitor. Takes a bit of extra cleaning and tear-down as well. I'm ahead at the end of the day.

I give the wort the stirs it needs and get it as low and as close to my groundwater as possible. In the winter the tap-water is 65F. Perfect! In the spring-summer-fall it gets as high as 88F. :(

Then I make up for the deficiency by placing 2-3 frozen and sanitized 2-liter PET bottles in the wort after I turn the chiller off and stir it a bit.

Making it as simple as possible and headache free is my goal. If it takes an extra 30 minutes to chill the wort the rest of the way with the PET bottles I don't care.

And my beer hasn't suffered one bit.

Curious as to where you live. Ground water temp is so dependent on geography.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: weithman5 on June 12, 2012, 10:45:12 PM
I don't think it makes better beer but shaves just a few minutes off the brewday. But I made up for that time by NOT using the pump or recirculating icewater. All of this takes time to hook up and monitor. Takes a bit of extra cleaning and tear-down as well. I'm ahead at the end of the day.

I give the wort the stirs it needs and get it as low and as close to my groundwater as possible. In the winter the tap-water is 65F. Perfect! In the spring-summer-fall it gets as high as 88F. :(

Then I make up for the deficiency by placing 2-3 frozen and sanitized 2-liter PET bottles in the wort after I turn the chiller off and stir it a bit.

i
Making it as simple as possible and headache free is my goal. If it takes an extra 30 minutes to chill the wort the rest of the way with the PET bottles I don't care.

And my beer hasn't suffered one bit.


i actually thought of taking a little propeller and motor rig from a radio controlled boat and letting that run in there (not the boat, just the prop and shaft)  doubt that other than just lifting the chiller up and down a few times is worth the effort
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: mmitchem on June 12, 2012, 11:16:49 PM
This topic, just as brewing in general, proves that there's more than one way to do it. I think in general, you want to get it cool as fast as possible, especially with the use of Pilsner malt (DMS!). Ten gallon batches are harder to cool so I am an advocate of recirculating the wort over an immersion chiller running cold water through.
Shaving time off of a brewday is never worth sacrificing or compromising the quality of the finished product, so I am more than happy to pump so star san through my chugger after recirculation.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: euge on June 12, 2012, 11:29:29 PM
Quote from: boapiu
Curious as to where you live. Ground water temp is so dependent on geography.

San Antonio, Texas. The other day I had to check and see if I hadn't turned on the hot water by mistake. But no, it was the cold tap. :P
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: kgs on June 13, 2012, 01:46:47 AM
Can someone post a picture?  I'm just not getting the idea of using both an immersion chiller and pumping the wort somewhere.  Maybe it's because my set up consists of a pot and I have no experience/idea about pumps and where the wort is being pumped from/to.
Thanks

You're just pumping the wort out through the valve, through the pump, and back into the top of the kettle. It keeps the wort moving which avoids temperature gradients near the chiller.

The wort "return" for Jamil's setup is a small length of copper tubing attaching to heat-tolerant hosing with a clamp, secured to the chiller. Is that what others are using?

I'm also trying to figure out how to fit an ice-bath recirculation into this design, and admit I'm a little confused.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: denny on June 13, 2012, 02:16:32 AM
The wort "return" for Jamil's setup is a small length of copper tubing attaching to heat-tolerant hosing with a clamp, secured to the chiller. Is that what others are using?

I'm also trying to figure out how to fit an ice-bath recirculation into this design, and admit I'm a little confused.

I have a long piece of tubing on the output of my pump and I just stick the end of the tubing back into the kettle.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: gmac on June 13, 2012, 02:52:01 AM
Since my chillers broke, for today's brew I put the pot in a tub and ran tap water slowly out of the tub. I threw my thermometer in to see what my ground water temp was. 54 F.
I just let it trickle for an hour and it was good but I'm sure I'm losing something by not having a faster cold break.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: kgs on June 13, 2012, 03:04:51 AM
The wort "return" for Jamil's setup is a small length of copper tubing attaching to heat-tolerant hosing with a clamp, secured to the chiller. Is that what others are using?

I'm also trying to figure out how to fit an ice-bath recirculation into this design, and admit I'm a little confused.

I have a long piece of tubing on the output of my pump and I just stick the end of the tubing back into the kettle.

I was thinking that, so I'm glad there isn't some logical reason it wouldn't work ;)
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: denny on June 13, 2012, 04:24:00 PM
The wort "return" for Jamil's setup is a small length of copper tubing attaching to heat-tolerant hosing with a clamp, secured to the chiller. Is that what others are using?

I'm also trying to figure out how to fit an ice-bath recirculation into this design, and admit I'm a little confused.

I have a long piece of tubing on the output of my pump and I just stick the end of the tubing back into the kettle.

I was thinking that, so I'm glad there isn't some logical reason it wouldn't work ;)

It's totally pragmatic!  I use a little quick clamp on the edge of the kettle to hold the tubing in place.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: nateo on June 13, 2012, 04:40:19 PM
It's totally pragmatic!  I use a little quick clamp on the edge of the kettle to hold the tubing in place.

I used to just use the weight of the lid to hold the tube in place, but once I came back to it and it was pumping wort all over the place. Now I run the tube through a big binder clip attached to the edge of the pot.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: weithman5 on June 13, 2012, 05:03:36 PM
the third funnest thing about this way of life (hobby?) is reading and learning how other people solve problems and do things, then sharing that with others.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: euge on June 13, 2012, 06:46:51 PM
the third funnest thing about this way of life (hobby?) is reading and learning how other people solve problems and do things, then sharing that with others.

Agreed. After all this time one of my goals is to help new brewers realize that they can make excellent beer without a lot of extra equipment. All of this may seem a bit intimidating, complicated and expensive. If I were brewing on a smaller scale I'd just chill the pot in the sink with ice like I did when just starting out.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: kgs on June 14, 2012, 02:41:20 AM
the third funnest thing about this way of life (hobby?) is reading and learning how other people solve problems and do things, then sharing that with others.

Agreed. After all this time one of my goals is to help new brewers realize that they can make excellent beer without a lot of extra equipment. All of this may seem a bit intimidating, complicated and expensive. If I were brewing on a smaller scale I'd just chill the pot in the sink with ice like I did when just starting out.

Well, except that the above cheap-n-simple approach requires a lot of muscle. Even lifting 3 gallons of wort in a kettle is a lot of oomph for me.  After three and a half years, the part of the brewing process that I don't like is where I'm struggling with moving liquid: into the HLT, into the MT, into the kettle, into the cooling medium, into the fermenter, etc.  I met other women homebrewers at a local event and it was one of the first topics we discussed.  I do small batches whether I want to or not because moving 3 gallons of liquid is the outer limits of my capacity, and even that's clumsy and difficult.

My goal for summer 2013 (yes, next year) is to build an all-electric brew stand that could at least in theory be operated by someone with very limited lifting capacity and motor skills. Meanwhile, this year I'm pondering/testing/thinking about specific efficiencies that are not too expensive but can make brewing more fun and less of a hassle, even for the new brewer who doesn't want to sink lots of money into the hobby.

Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: weithman5 on June 14, 2012, 05:44:31 PM
i built my little electric kettle pretty easy. at low volumes of liquid (2-3 gallon) this seems fine.  i only needed 1500 watt heater and did not require any kind of power modulator for it and is not a huge load on the circuitry.  check out the byo website about part way down (2009) in the diy projects there is a small electric brewery that i think would be up your alley. mine will end up being similar but i think i will use an immersion chiller, but am thinking of making a counterflow also.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: kgs on June 14, 2012, 11:49:15 PM
i built my little electric kettle pretty easy. at low volumes of liquid (2-3 gallon) this seems fine.  i only needed 1500 watt heater and did not require any kind of power modulator for it and is not a huge load on the circuitry.  check out the byo website about part way down (2009) in the diy projects there is a small electric brewery that i think would be up your alley. mine will end up being similar but i think i will use an immersion chiller, but am thinking of making a counterflow also.

I found it, thanks. Really interesting ideas in here (and useful parts list, too). Half the fun of brewing is thinking about stuff like this... mulling over tubing and pumps and whatnot.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: nateo on June 15, 2012, 12:11:30 AM
Agreed. After all this time one of my goals is to help new brewers realize that they can make excellent beer without a lot of extra equipment. All of this may seem a bit intimidating, complicated and expensive. If I were brewing on a smaller scale I'd just chill the pot in the sink with ice like I did when just starting out.

I was an apartment brewer for four years in Denver and Boulder. When I first moved to Missouri, I had a bunch of extra cash and plenty of space, so I bought a 15gal kettle, 10gal igloo MLT, a pump, a freezer with a temp controller, and big immersion chiller. I thought I needed it because all the cool kids were using pumps and such, so I wanted to jump on the bandwagon.

It turned out my new setup was mostly unnecessary to make better beer, so I hardly use half of it. I use my MLT on all batches now, and my freezer is constantly being used, but those other things didn't noticeably increase the quality of my beer.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: kgs on June 15, 2012, 12:39:48 AM
Agreed. After all this time one of my goals is to help new brewers realize that they can make excellent beer without a lot of extra equipment. All of this may seem a bit intimidating, complicated and expensive. If I were brewing on a smaller scale I'd just chill the pot in the sink with ice like I did when just starting out.

I was an apartment brewer for four years in Denver and Boulder. When I first moved to Missouri, I had a bunch of extra cash and plenty of space, so I bought a 15gal kettle, 10gal igloo MLT, a pump, a freezer with a temp controller, and big immersion chiller. I thought I needed it because all the cool kids were using pumps and such, so I wanted to jump on the bandwagon.

It turned out my new setup was mostly unnecessary to make better beer, so I hardly use half of it. I use my MLT on all batches now, and my freezer is constantly being used, but those other things didn't noticeably increase the quality of my beer.

Ok, I absolutely promise I'll make this point for the last time for a while... and forever on this thread. If I could mentally control the flow of liquid I wouldn't be interested in a pump.

See the following homebrewer of the week article:

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/community/brewer-of-the-week/show?title=brewer-of-the-week-lorena-evans

"Lifting has always been the biggest pain for me (literally and figuratively!). A stand with a pump has really been a lifesaver for me. ... the beer probably isn’t any better than when I had a bucket and a cooler."

She too notes that this isn't about making better beer, but homebrewing more easily. Huffing and puffing, climbing up and down on stepstools to pour hot water in my cooler, heaving kettles into ice baths, teetering up and down staircases with a carboy in my shaking arms, I have made good and bad beer alike with the same back-straining process. I'm now looking at eliminating "the biggest pain" and thereby increasing the fun factor.  To do that, I have to engineer parts of the process to do what my body cannot do well. Some tools at my disposal, such as gravity, are a real bargain... others will cost a bit more.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: nateo on June 15, 2012, 12:44:07 AM
@ KGS - I absolutely agree with using technology to solve specific problems. My point was I bought some stuff I didn't really need, 'just because.'
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: kgs on June 15, 2012, 02:02:33 AM
@ KGS - I absolutely agree with using technology to solve specific problems. My point was I bought some stuff I didn't really need, 'just because.'

Well, at least you had a 50% return on your investment; I know a young fellow who bought a pile of high-end stuff, including a 15-gal Polarware kettle, for his one and only brew. But point well taken...
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: euge on June 15, 2012, 02:09:27 AM
"Shaking arms" that is precious! I can fully concur. Ask me some time about when I tried to deadlift 14 gallons of hot wort from the floor to the stove. :-[

It's easy to forget that we're not just all burly bearded homebrewers out there.  ::)
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: nateo on June 15, 2012, 02:23:37 AM
It's easy to forget that we're not just all burly bearded homebrewers out there.  ::)

Well I may be bearded and burly, but . . . wait, what was the other thing?
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: weithman5 on June 15, 2012, 02:51:39 AM
It's easy to forget that we're not just all burly bearded homebrewers out there.  ::)

Well I may be bearded and burly, but . . . wait, what was the other thing?

it had something to do with, with, um something.

KGS
I think a system like that described would be what you are looking for.  if i were not that bearded and burly, well actually i am not, cuz i have to shave, i would add a pump to my system.  i really liked the electric kettle, and the small size ( i used 1500w rather than 2000) made it even simpler to build and use. i did not need to build the complex control system.  i plug it in and watch the temp climb to strike temp.  during the boil it is not so robust that i need to tone it down but more than adequate to boil 3-4 gallons.   the kettle was way easier to build than i could have imagined.  i dump the water from the kettle in to my mash tun which is a 5g igloo using a big pitcher.  my grain is in a bag so i can just lift it out and rinse the cooler clean when i am finished.  i then let it drain back in to the kettle and plug it back in.
Title: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: kgs on June 15, 2012, 12:47:34 PM
Grain in a bag in the cooler - brilliant! i too use a 5gal cooler and this would be a $4 sewing project. I agree the control panel appears optional (for my purposes).

this is getting far afield of the original post, but as I begin planning this equipment one thing I am noticing is that most brew stands are fairly high. The nice thing about building for myself is I can put everything at a comfortable level.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: weithman5 on June 15, 2012, 07:16:42 PM
you can get a good stretchy grain bag for under a buck. it works great. i rinse it out and re use.  if you don't have one readily available i will mail you one. still cheaper than four bucks.  as far as a stand so far i have been boiling on the seat of my picnic table and have the cooler on the table itself. 
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: hubie on June 15, 2012, 07:40:20 PM
Isn't a wort-soaked grain bag pretty heavy to lift?  I know I've seen some articles where people have various setups to lift and/or hang their grain bags over their pot to let them drain.
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: weithman5 on June 15, 2012, 07:53:58 PM
yes, however, kgs and i do small batches.  i can lift mine out. i usually use my grain for dog treats,  bread etc.  so often i will scoop some of it out of the grain bag before lifting the bag out. but it certainly makes the clean up of the tun easy.  i also have not had to modify my igloo like i have other coolers as the grain bag is about as effective as my toilet hose and just let it drain out the spigot
Title: Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
Post by: kgs on June 15, 2012, 09:13:23 PM
yes, however, kgs and i do small batches.  i can lift mine out. i usually use my grain for dog treats,  bread etc.  so often i will scoop some of it out of the grain bag before lifting the bag out. but it certainly makes the clean up of the tun easy.  i also have not had to modify my igloo like i have other coolers as the grain bag is about as effective as my toilet hose and just let it drain out the spigot

Well, mine is a modified cooler but I think the bag would still work, unless I am missing something. The largest grain bills I do are 3/5 of a typical batch. I have to carry the cooler to the garage to empty it (we have city-wide composting so it goes in that bin), but the bag means easy clean-up (yikes, I think I just channeled a Reynolds oven-bag commercial).