Author Topic: Chilling idea - thoughts and suggestions  (Read 1012 times)

Offline TrippleRippleBrewer

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Chilling idea - thoughts and suggestions
« on: July 30, 2013, 08:07:22 AM »
This is an issue of faster, and colder chilling needed.

I recently moved and have learned a few things about my new water source which is a well and apparently not all that cold. I use a Keggle for a brew kettle, a March pump for transfer of hot liquor to my cooler MTLT, gravity drain into my kettle from the MTLT and a 50' x 1/2 inch copper IC for chilling. I used to use the pump to recirculate wort during chilling but it didn't buy me that much time savings and cleaning and sanitizing the pump each time didn't seem worth the hassle anymore.

 In the fall it typically takes 20 minutes to get below 70 degrees but last brew session it took 30 minutes just to hit 75 and I couldn't move it any colder. It's summer now and the water spigot is farther from my brew stand so lots of garden hose is sitting in the yard, helping heat the well water a few degrees perhaps.

Anyway I'm considering using ice and initially thought about buying a submersible utility pump. I thought I could put that in a bucket of ice water and have a short section of garden hose to hook it to my IC for chilling from about 100 degrees down to pitching temp. Use the well water to go from boiling to 100 first, then switch to this immersion setup. I could recirculate the chill water and just add ice to the bucket to keep it cold as possible.

Then I had a thought. I already have a pump. Why not use my March pump and my MTLT for holding the ice water? I wash it during the boil anyway, so it's rinsed, and ready to use. I could set it on the brew stand so it's above the pump ( required for these pumps ), fill it with ice and water, hook it to my pump and use my pump to recirc the ice water through the IC. It's insulated to boot, which is better than a bucket and it's much bigger than a 6gal bucket. I use an Igloo ice cube 60qt capacity.

Does anybody else do this?
Am I making sense?

I think it will work great, I just want to know if anyone else is doing it and what experiences have been.

TIA for all replies.
Growing Centennial, Columbus and Chinook hops.
Brewing IPA, APA, Dead Guy clone, and American Wheat most of the time.
Located in Three Rivers MI

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Re: Chilling idea - thoughts and suggestions
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2013, 08:22:17 AM »
Should work just fine. I have read about lots of folks doing the same thing. Most use a cheap submersible pump for the ice water but I don't see why the march pump wouldn't work.

I just stick the wort in the fridge once it's down around 80-85* and pitch the next day when it's down to 64* or so.
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Re: Chilling idea - thoughts and suggestions
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2013, 09:04:37 AM »
Water baths are easy ways to drop the wort temp in a few hours (faster than fridge).  So far this year I haven't had to use a water bath to reach pitching temp as the water supply has stayed warm.

Recircing is waste of ice if the water being recirced is warmer than your well water.  When you switch to ice water, you may not want to recirc right away.  My experience was without a pump; I was just letting ice water drain by gravity from my mash tun through the immersion cooler so YMMV.

   
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Offline In The Sand

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Re: Chilling idea - thoughts and suggestions
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2013, 09:35:25 AM »
Sounds like it should work.  However, I would think if you're really looking for more significant time savings you might just want to invest in an inline plate chiller.  You can use your IC in an ice bath to pump prechilled water through the plate chiller and have your wort at pitching temp immediately.  I am able to go from boiling to 68* in no time with my setup.  That allows me to pitch as I'm filling up the carboys. 
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Chilling idea - thoughts and suggestions
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2013, 09:43:06 AM »
I think one of the brutus 10 setups in pimp my system does this.

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Offline TrippleRippleBrewer

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Re: Chilling idea - thoughts and suggestions
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2013, 10:00:08 AM »
Sounds like it should work.  However, I would think if you're really looking for more significant time savings you might just want to invest in an inline plate chiller.  You can use your IC in an ice bath to pump prechilled water through the plate chiller and have your wort at pitching temp immediately.  I am able to go from boiling to 68* in no time with my setup.  That allows me to pitch as I'm filling up the carboys.

I used to use a CFC and chill wort as I drained this way. What I found was my IPA's were far more bitter than using an IC because of the time to gravity drain the kettle and the amount of wort sitting at near boiling temps with flameout hops isomerizing and adding bittering. At least that was my theory. Using the pump to recirculate the wort before draining it would solve this issue using your suggested technique.

I have a 3/8" IC I could try using in an ice water bath bucket as a pre-chiller of the tap water. I've tried this in the past and didn't see appreciable results though. Maybe I need to try it again with less water in the bath and more ice for a lower temp drop or something.

I made my 1/2" x 50' IC and it won't fit in a bucket - gotta use something moar bigger like a laundry tub!

Thanks for the ideas!
Growing Centennial, Columbus and Chinook hops.
Brewing IPA, APA, Dead Guy clone, and American Wheat most of the time.
Located in Three Rivers MI

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Chilling idea - thoughts and suggestions
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2013, 10:01:17 AM »
This is an issue of faster, and colder chilling needed.

Then I had a thought. I already have a pump. Why not use my March pump and my MTLT for holding the ice water?

I did this until I got a submersible pump. Now, I can recirc ice water and wort at the same time. Keeping the wort moving (by constantly stirring or recirculating) is the big time saver. Making a pump do it allows me to clean while chilling.
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Offline TrippleRippleBrewer

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Re: Chilling idea - thoughts and suggestions
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2013, 10:05:16 AM »
This is an issue of faster, and colder chilling needed.

Then I had a thought. I already have a pump. Why not use my March pump and my MTLT for holding the ice water?

I did this until I got a submersible pump. Now, I can recirc ice water and wort at the same time. Keeping the wort moving (by constantly stirring or recirculating) is the big time saver. Making a pump do it allows me to clean while chilling.

Another great idea. Just basically tag team chill that wort. Recirc ice water and recirc the wort for max effects. Of course, this means I buy a submersible pump instead of a plate chiller, which is a cheaper approach I suppose.
Growing Centennial, Columbus and Chinook hops.
Brewing IPA, APA, Dead Guy clone, and American Wheat most of the time.
Located in Three Rivers MI

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Chilling idea - thoughts and suggestions
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2013, 10:09:20 AM »
If go with a submersible, make sure you go online and read the reviews. Some models aren't very reliable, and price isn't necessarily the best gauge of quality.

If you can shell out an extra $150, go with a plate chiller. It would be a HUGE improvement in my brewery.

Since you're using well water, I'm not sure how hard it is or how hard water affects a plate chiller (since I don't have either). Check with the manufacturer/shop beforehand.

I know there are folks on the forum using a plate chiller that most likely have hard water (i.e. live in the boonies).
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Offline hopdaddy

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Re: Chilling idea - thoughts and suggestions
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2013, 01:25:36 PM »
I personally don't have any chiller at all right now, I make my wort 3.5 gal, do an ice bath in the sink and, pre boil, toss a gallon and a half of purified water into the freezer, after the ice bath I'll  put the half gallon in, which brings it to roughly 100°f,  transfer to primary,  then put the last nearly frozen gallon in and that brings it to 70° or lower
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Offline TrippleRippleBrewer

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Re: Chilling idea - thoughts and suggestions
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2013, 08:29:05 AM »
Last brew session I gained a couple degrees cooler wort by simply running the tap water until I hit 80 degrees and then I connected my smaller IC to the tap water line. I submerged it in a bucket of ice water and ran the output into my larger IC in the kettle. It bought me about 4 degrees more cooling. What really helped was moving the IC around inside both the kettle and the ice bucket!
Growing Centennial, Columbus and Chinook hops.
Brewing IPA, APA, Dead Guy clone, and American Wheat most of the time.
Located in Three Rivers MI

Offline blatz

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Re: Chilling idea - thoughts and suggestions
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2013, 08:46:14 AM »
yeah - I do it currently - I use two CFCs, once with hose water, one with a closed loop of recirculating ice water from my HLT, pumped with a March 809. 

works well - 2 CFCs not necessary, its just faster for me.
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