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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: haeffnkr on July 31, 2018, 07:45:23 PM

Title: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: haeffnkr on July 31, 2018, 07:45:23 PM
Folks who use an immersion chiller.... how do you seal the kettle?
- notch the kettle lid?
- no lid when chilling?
- starsan soaked rag to cover the kettle/cracks/cutouts in lid?
- bulk head type fittings on the inside of the pot?
- chiller mounted to the lid with bulkhead fittings on top of lid?

Just wondering what others do?

thanks in adavance
Haeffnkr
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: dls5492 on July 31, 2018, 07:48:33 PM
I have no lid when I use my chiller. I have "the hydra" chiller from jaded brewing and it rocks! I usually can get my wort down to temp in less than 10 minutes. So, I don't worry about a lid.
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: denny on July 31, 2018, 07:51:01 PM
I lay an old pizza pan across the top of the kettle and chiller.  Doesn't seal it but it keeps stuff from getting in.
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: Richard on July 31, 2018, 08:10:42 PM
I either use pieces of sanitized aluminum foil across the top or I use the lid like Denny's pizza pan. Not sealed, but covering everything.
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: Robert on July 31, 2018, 08:36:00 PM
I have no lid when I chill, but I brew indoors so that doesn't bother me.
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: jeffy on July 31, 2018, 08:43:13 PM
I use no lid.  I figure it will cool faster without one.
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: Slowbrew on July 31, 2018, 08:57:11 PM
I also use no lid.  I boil outdoors but chill in the basement so I don't worry about it too much.

Paul
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: Bob357 on July 31, 2018, 09:54:48 PM
No lid while chilling, but do cover when settling out after chilling. Still have the IC running, so the cover is not a good seal. Just helps keep crap out of the BK. Never had a problem.
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: billski48 on July 31, 2018, 11:00:16 PM
Most of the time I use no lid, I like to stir to get the wort to cool faster. If I’m not stirring I’ll just lay the lid half ass on top of the chiller and kettle.


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Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: MNWayne on August 01, 2018, 01:30:06 AM
I use my regular lid and don't worry about a seal.
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: Bilsch on August 01, 2018, 02:39:16 AM
I use an old lid with holes cut to pass the chiller standpipes.
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: goose on August 01, 2018, 01:08:51 PM
Back in the day when I used an immersion chiller, I also used no lid. The reason for this was that you have to keep moving the chiller around in the wort to get efficient cooling.  If you leave the chiller in one place you get a kind of insulating layer around the chiller of cooler wort while the wort outside the chiller stays at a higher temperature.  That said, you could use what others have suggested and just remove the lid when you need to agitate the chiller in the hot wort.
I never had a problem with nasties getting into the wort without using a lid and I used to brew in my barn before I built an indoor brewery in my house.  Got tired of hauling water 300 feet to the barn and wort the same distance back to my house and trying to clean equipment with ice cold water in the winter.  Did that for about 6 years!
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: mabrungard on August 01, 2018, 01:34:25 PM
One of the several things I learned from the "Whirlpool Techniques" session that I introduced at HomebrewCon 2018, was that you have no chance of infection when the wort temperature is above 140F and falling. Therefore, its only the late stage of your chilling that you need to maybe worry.

By the way, you should check out this session since it did have some interesting info.
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 01, 2018, 04:10:04 PM
One of the several things I learned from the "Whirlpool Techniques" session that I introduced at HomebrewCon 2018, was that you have no chance of infection when the wort temperature is above 140F and falling. Therefore, its only the late stage of your chilling that you need to maybe worry.

By the way, you should check out this session since it did have some interesting info.

A small German brewery we toured uses a cool ship (Kühlschiff). Among the reasons were volatiles out gassing, letting true settle, and of course cooling. He said he would run the wort though the chiller when it got down close to 60C, which is 140F.
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: James K on August 01, 2018, 07:57:32 PM
I use no lid, have a big copper wort chiller, and I brew outside. It takes longer in the summer to chill my wort but if I shake and use my chiller to create a whirlpool it takes less time. About 20 minutes.

Only time I put a lid on is when it started raining, and then hailing on me.
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: Richard on August 02, 2018, 02:41:33 AM
One of the several things I learned from the "Whirlpool Techniques" session that I introduced at HomebrewCon 2018, was that you have no chance of infection when the wort temperature is above 140F and falling. Therefore, its only the late stage of your chilling that you need to maybe worry.

By the way, you should check out this session since it did have some interesting info.
I looked and couldn't find the presentations from this session available online yet. If you have a link, please share it.

I am struggling with a trade-off between chilling and settling. If I let the wort sit perfectly still I see large "trees" of break material that settle down fairly rapidly, but my chiller performs poorly and it takes a long time and uses a lot of water (important in California). If I establish a vigorous whirlpool I find that my chiller is more effective and I cool the wort much faster but the "trees" get shredded into small pieces of "mulch" which get uniformly distributed and settle more slowly. I don't see all the break material in a cone in the middle of my kettle.

I am considering some kind of hybrid approach: whirlpooling through any hop stands at the start of cooldown, then using minimal stirring after that to just keep the  boundary layers off the wort chiller.

I am also wondering if I paid the big bucks for a fancier chiller if I could cool more quickly with  less wort motion and get the best of both worlds. I just don't know if fast chilling is more important than having larger  break particles that settle better.
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: zorch on August 02, 2018, 02:41:28 PM

I am struggling with a trade-off between chilling and settling. If I let the wort sit perfectly still I see large "trees" of break material that settle down fairly rapidly, but my chiller performs poorly and it takes a long time and uses a lot of water (important in California). If I establish a vigorous whirlpool I find that my chiller is more effective and I cool the wort much faster but the "trees" get shredded into small pieces of "mulch" which get uniformly distributed and settle more slowly. I don't see all the break material in a cone in the middle of my kettle.


It sounds like you are concerned about getting break material into your fermentor.  Don't be.   Having some break material transferred over to your fermentor has been shown to be beneficial to fermentation.  It's really not a big deal, at least in my experience.   
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: denny on August 02, 2018, 02:41:56 PM
I highly recommend the Jaded Hydra chiller with their whirlpool arm.
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: denny on August 02, 2018, 02:42:21 PM

I am struggling with a trade-off between chilling and settling. If I let the wort sit perfectly still I see large "trees" of break material that settle down fairly rapidly, but my chiller performs poorly and it takes a long time and uses a lot of water (important in California). If I establish a vigorous whirlpool I find that my chiller is more effective and I cool the wort much faster but the "trees" get shredded into small pieces of "mulch" which get uniformly distributed and settle more slowly. I don't see all the break material in a cone in the middle of my kettle.


It sounds like you are concerned about getting break material into your fermentor.  Don't be.   Having some break material transferred over to your fermentor has been shown to be beneficial to fermentation.  It's really not a big deal, at least in my experience.   

Nor mine.
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: Richard on August 02, 2018, 04:51:32 PM
It sounds like you are concerned about getting break material into your fermentor.  Don't be.   Having some break material transferred over to your fermentor has been shown to be beneficial to fermentation.  It's really not a big deal, at least in my experience.   

I don't mind "some" break material, but how much is too much? I generally get some when I first open my valve to drain the kettle, then the dip tube drills a hole in the break material and the wort runs clear until I get near the bottom of the kettle. I could continue to get another 1/2 gallon or so of cloudy wort but that seems like too much to me.
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: Robert on August 02, 2018, 04:57:48 PM
Try that, and add your experience to the pool (FWIW I'm with zorch and Denny.)  Only sure-fire way to know what effect it will have for you.
Title: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: BrewBama on August 02, 2018, 06:26:41 PM

I don't mind "some" break material, but how much is too much? I generally get some when I first open my valve to drain the kettle, then the dip tube drills a hole in the break material and the wort runs clear until I get near the bottom of the kettle. I could continue to get another 1/2 gallon or so of cloudy wort but that seems like too much to me.

I agree. I close the valve when I start to pick up the trub/break and leave it behind. My brewhouse efficiency suffers but... I’ve done it both ways and found I like crystal clear bitter wort in my fermenter so I whirlpool, let it settle, and use a pickup tube on the edge of the kettle. Inevitably, I get some trub/break ...but really very little.


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Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: JT on August 03, 2018, 12:20:27 AM
Notched lid goes on a few minutes into the boil.  I was concerned about DMS but either I can't taste it or it isn't there. 
The lid allows me to boil at low power levels.  I'm typically only boiling off a half gallon now as opposed to over a gallon before.
Edit: During chilling or when kettle souring, I just use aluminum foil to form fit over that gap.  Works just fine. 
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180803/6a008ae39e92ba1f6411cdc75226f823.jpg)
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: haeffnkr on August 03, 2018, 02:09:26 AM
Thanks guys for all the replies !!!

I am going to whirlpool.
My process is going to be add the chiller, put on the lid, with the inlet, exit hoses handing out and start the pump.
Cool to temps and take out the chiller, put on the lid,  whirlpool again for couple minutes then let the kettle set a while then drain to the fermenter.

Please let me know if that is a problem.

thanks haeffnkr
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: klickitat jim on August 03, 2018, 11:11:18 AM
I have a large roll of foil. I brew in my shop, the foil serves as an instant clean work spot, and heat shield for hoses, temporary lids for vessels, etc.

I put my chiller in the kettle pretty much at the beginning of brew day, where it stays till cleanup. I have a recirculating arm on mine. So at end of boil, I cover with foil, hit the recirculation pump (whirlpool) and I chill to 170f, cut the cooling water and add whirlpool hops. After however long I choose to whirlpool the hops at 170f i turn the cooling water back on and chill to pitching temp. Then I pump to my fermenter. Done

As far as boil trub getting through to the fermenter, some swear that transfering only clear wort to the fermenter makes great beer. I agree! And others say you can literally dump the whole kettle contents into the fermenter and make great beer. I agree! I've done both with different types of beer, dark, pale, those with lots of hops, and those with just a little. My experience is that one method doesn't stand above another. My opinion is that clear wort might benefit light hopped pale lagers more than other styles, but so would getting that chilled wort oxygenated and pitched as quickly as possible. So I don't worry about boil trub getting into my fermenter
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: Robert on August 03, 2018, 11:20:37 AM
^^^^
Tangential to topic, but I also keep foil handy as an instant clean work surface (and of course other uses;) great tip. 
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: goose on August 03, 2018, 01:12:11 PM
I have a large roll of foil. I brew in my shop, the foil serves as an instant clean work spot, and heat shield for hoses, temporary lids for vessels, etc.

I put my chiller in the kettle pretty much at the beginning of brew day, where it stays till cleanup. I have a recirculating arm on mine. So at end of boil, I cover with foil, hit the recirculation pump (whirlpool) and I chill to 170f, cut the cooling water and add whirlpool hops. After however long I choose to whirlpool the hops at 170f i turn the cooling water back on and chill to pitching temp. Then I pump to my fermenter. Done

As far as boil trub getting through to the fermenter, some swear that transfering only clear wort to the fermenter makes great beer. I agree! And others say you can literally dump the whole kettle contents into the fermenter and make great beer. I agree! I've done both with different types of beer, dark, pale, those with lots of hops, and those with just a little. My experience is that one method doesn't stand above another. My opinion is that clear wort might benefit light hopped pale lagers more than other styles, but so would getting that chilled wort oxygenated and pitched as quickly as possible. So I don't worry about boil trub getting into my fermenter

I agree on both points.  I had a discussion with Dave Houseman a couple years back about how much hot break should make it into the kettle.  He said that a little is OK but not to overdo it.  Then I also read (and agree with Denny) that hot break is good for yeast nutrition.  That said,  I really never worry about how much trub gets into the fermenter and I totally empty my boil kettle.  I then push the wort with tap water until I see cloudiness start to appear in the transfer hose and stop.  I could probably omit this step but I have a lot of wort (probably close to a half gallon) in my stainless screen and chiller that I like to get into the fermenter (the old "waste not - want not" adage).  In addition, the hops, be it pellet or cones, form a nice filter bed on my false bottom that helps capture a lot of the trub.  What trub makes it through the system is going to settle out in the cone of my conical pretty quickly
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: Robert on August 03, 2018, 01:39:51 PM
The only reason I really care how much trub goes into the fermenter is that I repitch,  and it's nice to know, when estimating volume of slurry to pitch, that it's mostly yeast.  That said, that estimation is an empirical process, so I could develop a SOP that accounts for huge amounts of trub.  And if I used a conical, of course it wouldn't matter at all.
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: brewinhard on August 03, 2018, 11:42:43 PM
Keep in mind, there can be a some downsides to allowing excess levels of trub carry over into the fermenter...

Much of the trub contains fatty acids/lipids that will break down and lead to premature staling of the beer once packaged.

As Brewbama stated above too, those of us that prefer to harvest yeast from our primary fermenters will also benefit with crystal clear wort going into the fermenter resulting in a much cleaner yeast slurry for storage/reuse.

Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: Wilbur on August 04, 2018, 04:16:04 AM
I highly recommend the Jaded Hydra chiller with their whirlpool arm.
I really like the design of their counterflow, if I upgrade to using a pump I might implement that. Looks very easy to clean.

I use a lid if I do a hop stand, although I'm not convinced they make sense as a home brewer. Lid off while chilling, back on while I let trub settle out. I don't mind a bit, but 15-20 minutes cuts a lot of it out of the fermenter for very little risk (in my mind at least).
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: banjo-guy on August 04, 2018, 12:01:20 PM
^^^^
Tangential to topic, but I also keep foil handy as an instant clean work surface (and of course other uses;) great tip.
I’ve always wondered if aluminum foil is a “bug free” surface when used straight from the roll. It seems that it is.


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Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: klickitat jim on August 04, 2018, 12:35:43 PM
I would think it's not sterile but probably sanitary enough. I spray with starsan to quell any worries. I've not had an infection that could ever be traced back to using foil

I don't spray foil that is used as a lid, it doesn't come in contact with the wort. I spray foil that I use on starters or that I use to lay things on that might touch beer
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: denny on August 05, 2018, 05:24:18 PM
I would think it's not sterile but probably sanitary enough. I spray with starsan to quell any worries. I've not had an infection that could ever be traced back to using foil

I don't spray foil that is used as a lid, it doesn't come in contact with the wort. I spray foil that I use on starters or that I use to lay things on that might touch beer

I use unsanitized foil straight rrrom the roll all the time, including covering starters.  Not a problem so far in hundreds of uses.
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: Robert on August 05, 2018, 05:43:11 PM
They make it by extruding it between rollers.  I figure no bugs could survive the heat generated.  And beer spoiling organisms are not likely to hang out in foil factories anyway.  I too use it right off the roll with no worries.
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 05, 2018, 07:50:06 PM
Mr. Google says AL foil is sterile off of the roll.

Think of all the food that is wrapped with AL foil with no issues.
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: klickitat jim on August 05, 2018, 09:59:42 PM
Sterile on the roll in the box. How long does it stay sterile once I pull off a sheet and lay it on a bench in my shop?
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: Robert on August 05, 2018, 10:07:16 PM
Sterile on the roll in the box. How long does it stay sterile once I pull off a sheet and lay it on a bench in my shop?
If it's sterile, I'd think it's as already as sterile as it will be after you sanitize it.  You're just up against the dust falling out of the air, which will always be there.  If I'm going to leave something a while, I'll just cover with another piece of foil.
Title: Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
Post by: klickitat jim on August 05, 2018, 10:18:26 PM
I don't autoclave anything in my brewery so its really just something fun to volley back and forth lol

I take that back... my starter wort is autoclaved