Author Topic: Best chiller for summer brewing  (Read 1121 times)

Offline ericksonpa

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Best chiller for summer brewing
« on: April 01, 2013, 10:48:27 AM »
I live in AZ, where my groundwater is very warm in the summer months. 
I use my immersion chiller down to about 80F, but them I am using too much water for the remaining 10F.  So, I then transfer to a bucket and place in an ice bath.  I'm looking for a more efficient solution.
Any ideas or ways you have solved this in the past?
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Offline blatz

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Re: Best chiller for summer brewing
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2013, 10:51:50 AM »
use your immersion chiller with hose water to get to about 100df.  then switch out the garden hose to recirculating ice water with a sump pump in a bucket (1-2qts of water in 20-30# ice) .  very little waste water since its in a loop. 

yes, you do have to buy ice.  But buying ice in Arizona is better than shoveling snow in North Dakota.

also, are you recirculating your wort into the kettle?  if not, are you at least stirring periodically?  that helps the chilling time.
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Offline ericksonpa

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Re: Best chiller for summer brewing
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2013, 10:57:02 AM »
Thanks for the reply.
Grew up in South Dakota, so I know how right you are about shoveling.  All we shovel here is sunshine.
Anyway, sounds like an interesting idea using your recirculating method.  Can you recommend a size of sump pump (never bought one)?
Also, if I switch to a plate chiller, can I simply submerge the entire chiller into an ice tub?  Or do I go the route of the sump pump again?
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Offline blatz

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Re: Best chiller for summer brewing
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2013, 11:08:44 AM »
Thanks for the reply.
Grew up in South Dakota, so I know how right you are about shoveling.  All we shovel here is sunshine.
Anyway, sounds like an interesting idea using your recirculating method.  Can you recommend a size of sump pump (never bought one)?
Also, if I switch to a plate chiller, can I simply submerge the entire chiller into an ice tub?  Or do I go the route of the sump pump again?

just an example, but something like this:

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_792_792

as for submerging your plate chiller, ain't gonna do much - the surface area is all inside of a plate chiller, keeping the outer edges ice cold won't do much.  you could do the same thing - knock it down to 100df or so with hose water (recircing the wort back to the kettle) and then switching to a loop of ice water.

I've got to tell you, I've used about every configuration out there and jamilz's recirculating ice water method (that I described to you) http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php  is the best for our climates, IMO.  Plus cleaning a plate chiller is a beyotch.

I personally have a dual stage CFC currently  (see in the first pic here: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=14134.0) , (one for hose water, one for ice water) but I would use the old IC method if the heat element in my system wasn't in the way. 

Cheers. 
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Best chiller for summer brewing
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2013, 11:18:15 AM »
You'll need a ice water recirc loop either way - but a plate chiller will save you a lot of time/water getting down to that 100F before switching to the ice water loop.

Just go with a submersible pond pump from Lowes/Home Depot - runs about $60-$70. I would look online at the reviews to make sure the one you buy will last.


EDIT: That pump from Northern Equipment looks like a much better option than the crummy pond pump.

If you don't upgrade to a plate chiller - how big is your Immersion Chiller? I started with a 5/8" diameter, but I built a 1/2" diameter that decreased chill time considerably. I also recirculate with my March Pump, which has probably been the best improvement for my chilling.

I live in Indiana - and sometimes in the heat of summer I still have to knock out a little warm and cool it down in my fermentation fridge overnight. Not best practice, but if you're sanitation is good, it should be no big deal.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 11:27:47 AM by kylekohlmorgen »
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Offline ericksonpa

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Re: Best chiller for summer brewing
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2013, 12:31:15 PM »
I am currently using a 1/2" IC. 
The submersible pump seems like a fairly simply idea.  I will put it together for my brew day this week and see how it goes.  I really like the idea of recirculating the water.  Currently I capture all of the warm water and have been using it for watering, which makes me feel better but flys in the face of my drip irrigation system.  This seems like a much better and more sustainable idea.
Thanks for your help.
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Offline majorvices

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Best chiller for summer brewing
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2013, 05:05:23 AM »
As an alternative to buying ice you can let your wort chill in your fermentation chamber overnight. I've done this literally hundreds on times with no ill effects. It's kinda nice not to have to worry with aerating and pitching till the next am.
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Offline yso191

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Re: Best chiller for summer brewing
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2013, 06:27:10 AM »
As an alternative to buying ice you can let your wort chill in your fermentation chamber overnight. I've done this literally hundreds on times with no ill effects. It's kinda nice not to have to worry with aerating and pitching till the next am.

This is what I do.  With my tap water temps, it is fairly easy to get the wort into the 70's with my little plate chiller--which will surely stop any DMS from forming.  On a typical brewday I am done early enough, and the wort cools quickly enough in my kegerator-fermentation chamber, that I oxygenate and pitch the yeast right before I go to bed.

If I try to get the wort down to pitching temp coming out of the plate chiller, the wort is just a trickle.  Like the OP said, the last 10 degrees is the problem.
Steve

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Best chiller for summer brewing
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2013, 09:04:21 AM »
I do the same whenever my wort comes out of the chiller too warm (and sometimes in the winter too cold).
Tom Schmidlin

Offline weithman5

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Re: Best chiller for summer brewing
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2013, 09:33:30 AM »
as my kettle is all of a whopping 4 gallons. i will just throw it in the fridge at night.  i feel like i get a good cold break that way and then transfer to the bucket.  let it warm up a bit if it has gotten too cold for the yeast but it does not take long as i usually will do a lager anyhoo
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