Author Topic: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling  (Read 18083 times)

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2012, 01:15:19 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.
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Offline nateo

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Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2012, 03:50:54 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. 
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Offline tygo

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Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2012, 03:58:19 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.
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Offline mmitchem

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Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2012, 04:28:25 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 :)
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Offline gmac

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Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2012, 05:51:26 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

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2012, 06:14:10 AM »
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
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Offline Jimmy K

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Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2012, 06:20:17 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.
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Offline gmac

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Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2012, 08:49:33 AM »
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. 

Offline nateo

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Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2012, 08:54:45 AM »
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?
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Offline euge

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Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2012, 09:54:27 AM »
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.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2012, 10:17:32 AM »
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.
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Offline boapiu

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Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2012, 03:34:58 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.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2012, 03:45:12 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
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Offline mmitchem

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Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2012, 04:16:49 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.
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Offline euge

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Re: recirculating boil kettle during immersion chilling
« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2012, 04:29:29 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
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman