Author Topic: Chilling experiment  (Read 1676 times)

Offline euge

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Chilling experiment
« on: December 27, 2009, 11:07:25 AM »
Hi guys!

First post. Looks like a comfortable place here.  ;)

On to the experiment:

Chill 12 gallons of wort from boiling to 65F with as few gallons of water possible.

Method Using a recirc through my IC and a old wore out cooler-tun and frozen PET bottles.

Four gallons for the recirc and...

Five 3L
Six 2L
Two 1L
Fourteen 20oz
Five Blue packs

I figure all the above comes to around 85# ice equivalent. I'll refreeze everything except the recirc water.

The upside is that I save water usage- which can be considerable with an IC. Downside? Takes longer. I also had to resort to the blue paks at the very end. More like insurance since it was already below 70F. However, pitching temp for the S-04 ended up being 62F!

Preliminary conclusions: I would feel a little more comfortable with a couple extra 3L. Or I could waste a little water just dropping the wort down to 150F or so then do the recirc. That would shorten the duration as well.

This has real potential IMO
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline hamiltont

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Re: Chilling experiment
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2009, 06:27:13 PM »
A different spin. I run most of the IC water into a party tub and use that water for cleaning at the end of the brew day. I save water and the cost of heating it...  I'm on well water so 10 gallons from boiling to 60F takes about 20 min.  I've read about others running their IC water into the washing machine.
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Offline ndcube

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Re: Chilling experiment
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2009, 05:12:56 AM »
If you want to save water and can pitch later in the day or the next morning...

1) Chill to 80F then transfer to the fermenter.
2) Place fermenter in a tub of ice water and let sit (stir occasionally) until it's pitching temp.

Offline euge

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Re: Chilling experiment
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2009, 11:54:28 AM »
Quote
If you want to save water and can pitch later in the day or the next morning...

1) Chill to 80F then transfer to the fermenter.
2) Place fermenter in a tub of ice water and let sit (stir occasionally) until it's pitching temp.

I have done this in the past but really is a step backwards.

My older method was to chill to mid 80's and place in ferm chamber with ice-packs which would bring down to proper temps.

Worked but I prefer more control.

Haha the wort is still at 60F a day and a half later! I expect it to warm up once those yeasties get going!
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline yugamrap

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Re: Chilling experiment
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2009, 07:59:26 AM »
Your recirculation technique will work better if you can get the ice out of the bottles and break it up into smaller chunks.  This will provide greater surface area for heat exchange, and reduce the barrier effect of the cold, but no longer frozen, water in the bottles.  I have a bunch of plastic containers with lids from shredded cheese and won ton soup.  Some are 1/2-quart and some are 1-quart, and they can be stacked in the freezer.  On brew day, I put some water in the cooler that I use for recirculation.  Then, I give each ice container a brief dip in the water to help release the ice.  Once the ice is out, I break it into smaller pieces with a hammer, and add it to the cooler.
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Offline makemehoppy

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Re: Chilling experiment
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2009, 06:22:04 PM »
I also make ice blocks with yogurt, cottage cheese and large sour cream containers. I recirculate the IC water back into the ice water. Once I finish chilling I refill the containers with the chiller water and put them in the garage to return to room temperature (or colder this time of year) before going back into the freeze for the next batch. The action of recirculating back into the ice water keeps the ice/water moving and gets it cold.

Offline nyakavt

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Re: Chilling experiment
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2010, 07:10:35 AM »
Your recirculation technique will work better if you can get the ice out of the bottles and break it up into smaller chunks. 

+1, broken up ice is not only easier to melt, but it requires less recirculating water.  Less recirculating water means less heat transfer to things that aren't your wort.  It takes about 8 lbs of ice just to lower the 4 gallons of recirc water from room temp down to freezing, you can cut that down proportionally with less recirc water.  Or you could chill your recirc water in the fridge first.

You also may need to think about the heat generated by your recirculating pump.  If your ice is nice and broken up and is easily melt-able, the heat transfer will take a relatively short amount of time and the pump won't appreciably affect it.  If, however, the pump has to run for a long time to transfer all the heat (effectively, to melt all the ice), then the pump may begin to add heat to the system.  My cheapo submersible pump works great as a keg cleaner because it heats up the PBW for me after running for half an hour, it's doing the same thing in the chill water.

Offline anotherdrummer

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Re: Chilling experiment
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2010, 07:27:57 PM »
Or you could always just put it in your swimming pool when it's 34 degrees.  ;)


Offline mikeypedersen

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Re: Chilling experiment
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2010, 09:12:03 AM »
How long does that take in your swimming pool?

Offline anotherdrummer

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Re: Chilling experiment
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2010, 10:44:12 AM »
well...i got it down to 65 in 45 minutes without any wort chiller.  lazy, i know...

Offline dean

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Re: Chilling experiment
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2010, 08:27:57 AM »
I've recently done a couple of experiments, I mashed overnight and I let the wort chill in the brewkettle overnight, both in the same stout.  I'm in Michigan so it gets pretty cold outside.  I expected the beer to finish lower but it was within range for an OG of 1.095 finishing at 1.026 (but I also used 1/2 a pound of flaked oats in the mash).  As for the chilling I really didn't know what to expect, I thought it might oxidize but so far it doesn't seem to have.  I actually had to warm it up in order to pitch my yeast.  I fermented it in the low to mid 60's.  After kegging, the first day it was a little "hot", after a week it mellowed out considerably and leaves just a nice belly warming sensation which it should at 9% abv.  As long as the weather is cold, I'm going to chill the wort overnight or at least until I find a reason not to.  I'm still up in the air about overnight mashing.   :-\

Offline mikeypedersen

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Re: Chilling experiment
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2010, 10:28:08 AM »
Huh.  No problems with DMS or anything like that?

Offline dean

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Re: Chilling experiment
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2010, 06:23:14 AM »
It was "hot" the first day or two but I let it set and it smoothed out.  I can't drink more than two glasses though so its hard to tell really.  I don't like it too well because I also experimented with the ingredients... added coffee grounds to the boil... won't do that again, it added a bittering to it that I don't like.  Others have had it and don't mind drinking it.  I watched one guy quaff a pint down in about 5 minutes... I kept telling him it was going to sneak up on him silently but hard.   Good thing he only had to drive (his quad) about 400 yards to get home.   ;D

I had another batch of pale ale that I had let the mash only sit overnight and that one is too dry, kinda left a dry film feeling in my mouth, astringent.  But it didn't taste like that until about the end of the first beer... weird huh?  That one had a slight sour taste to it too.  I dumped it after leaving it sit and trying it several times.   :(

Offline euge

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Re: Chilling experiment
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2010, 12:28:07 AM »
Quote
added coffee grounds to the boil... won't do that again, it added a bittering to it that I don't like.


That has never appealed to me either. Though cocoa powder isn't bad in small quantities in a darkish-dark beer. You don't want the flavor- just the richness it lends.

I'm such a lazy f*** that if I could leave my wort to cool on it's own I would. Experimented with that and 19 gallons 1.050 sugar water. Was still over 120F the next evening. Not in winter-time though.

I have to decide about brewing this weekend. This is the problem: I'm conserving water to beat the "averaging" my water utility company calculates during the cool months. This is supposed to benefit the consumer due to lawn "watering" in the warmer months. It ends on the 15th (Monday) and I want to drop my sewer rate- which based on the averaging exceeds my actual average monthly water consumption year-round!

Running all that water through the chiller just makes me cringe...

I was thinking of getting my usual batch size down to the mid-low 100's and switch to the frozen bottle recirc to finish it off. What ya'll think. Damn the torpedoes...?

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman