Author Topic: Wort chilling: money available, solution desperately wanted  (Read 1533 times)

Offline galapagos jim

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Wort chilling: money available, solution desperately wanted
« on: December 04, 2012, 11:28:32 AM »
Hey brewers, I'm hoping you can help me figure out what kind of a wort chilling solution to buy. I've got some birthday money to spend and an eye to speed up my brew day.

My current solution is a copper immersion chiller fed from the garden tap. Shut off gas, insert IC and stir... stir... stir... after a half hour I'm somewhere around 85F, going nowhere, and usually give up, drain the kettle and put the fermenter in the chest freezer and check it later. (FWIW, ground water here in Seattle is reasonably chilly, less so in the summer.)

I'm impatient, especially at that point when I've spent 4+ hours setting up and brewing and now I want to be done with the project, pitch the yeast, clean up and move on with my day. So I want to find a more efficient chilling solution.

I've read about counterflow chillers. I've read about plate chillers. I've read about recirculation. I have no experience with any of them and no idea which option is right for me. Maybe there's another solution I haven't heard about yet.

What do you recommend? What's a good option for quickly cooling wort? I've got $100 to spend, though if you think it's worth spending more, supplemental funds might be found (or possibly brought by Santa Claus).

Offline ccfoo242

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 765
  • I drank what? - Socrates
    • View Profile
Re: Wort chilling: money available, solution desperately wanted
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2012, 11:36:34 AM »
At about 120F I switch to using a pond pump in an ice bath and recirculate that through the immersion chiller. I can take pictures of it when I get home tonight. I got the pump at Harbor Freight for about $45, then added some quick disconnects for my hose and pump. Usually at pitching temperature in about 40 minutes.

*Sent from the future using Tapatalk Quantum Edition*


Intra cervisiam est deus.

Offline morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5690
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Wort chilling: money available, solution desperately wanted
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2012, 11:37:13 AM »
okay, take 10$ and buy 10 .5 litre bottles of water. carefully remove the label without scratching the plastic surface. Place in freezer. after your IC gets you down to 85 sanitize some of the frozen bottles and put them in the wort. move them around a bit.

now figure out what you are going to buy with your other 90 bucks!
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11670
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
!
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2012, 11:51:47 AM »
Buy a March pump and recirculate while chilling.  In addition, you can use it for a lot of other stuff, some not even brewing related.  I recently used mine to empty my waterbed!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline galapagos jim

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Re: !
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2012, 12:14:34 PM »
Buy a March pump and recirculate while chilling.  In addition, you can use it for a lot of other stuff, some not even brewing related.  I recently used mine to empty my waterbed!

March pump is on the way. That's why I've only got $100 of birthday money left! :D

What do I need for a recirculating setup? Do I just run a hose from the outlet of the pump into the kettle? Am I attempting to create a whirlpool?

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11670
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: !
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2012, 12:34:47 PM »
March pump is on the way. That's why I've only got $100 of birthday money left! :D

What do I need for a recirculating setup? Do I just run a hose from the outlet of the pump into the kettle? Am I attempting to create a whirlpool?

Yeah, that's the way I do it.  If you have more creativity and incentive than I do, you can build a fancy return on your chiller to hook it up to.  I just aim the return hose against the side of my kettle to create a whirlpool.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Online hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4540
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Wort chilling: money available, solution desperately wanted
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2012, 01:00:03 PM »
One of the big terms in the equation is the surface area the heat is exchanged over. A 1/2 inch 50 foot coil does great for me on 10 gallon batches of ale.

Another big term is the Delta-T between the wort and cooling water. In the winter, I can quickly to ale pitching temperature. I recirculate like in Jamil's article.
http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php

To get down to lager temperature, I switch to a pond pump in an ice bath. Some ideas in the "Beat the Heat" article towards the bottom of the page.
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/zymurgy/free-downloads
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline weithman5

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1668
  • naperville, il
    • View Profile
Re: Wort chilling: money available, solution desperately wanted
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2012, 01:36:04 PM »




This is a simple submersible pump. i fill my mash tun after the grain is out and then put it in.  i use foam ice packs that i get cheap at work.  recirculate.  the view pictured is a heat exchanger made that has my immersion cooler inside the bucket. quite honestly i could just circulate the cold water through the immersion cooler as well. set it up mostly to see if possible. really not worth effort as i can just throw my kettle in the fridge overnight
Don AHA member

Offline ccfoo242

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 765
  • I drank what? - Socrates
    • View Profile
Re: Wort chilling: money available, solution desperately wanted
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2012, 04:15:03 PM »
Here's the pump and quick disconnects I use.







*Sent from the future using Tapatalk Quantum Edition*


Intra cervisiam est deus.

Offline galapagos jim

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Re: Wort chilling: money available, solution desperately wanted
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2012, 06:06:39 PM »
I recirculate like in Jamil's article.
http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php

That was most helpful.

Thanks to all for the suggestions. I just bought a recirc arm for my IC from MoreBeer. Yeah, I could just point the hose in there like Denny, but birthday money was meant to be spent on frivolous toys. ;)

I'm going to look into recirculating chilled water into the IC, too. Was kinda already planning on doing that, and your suggestions have been informative in that direction.

Thanks again, all!