Author Topic: About to destroy my immersion chiller...  (Read 2381 times)

Offline qm3k

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About to destroy my immersion chiller...
« on: July 31, 2014, 07:31:33 PM »
Hi all,

I am constantly in awe of those who claim that they can get 5 gallons of wort from boiling to pitch temp in 15 minutes with an immersion chiller. I am using one right now (25 ft., copper, fitted with a whirlpool arm) rigged up to two pumps (one to recirculate the wort, one pumping chill water through the coil. It started as ice water and has risen to about 65 degrees). Wort is stuck at 74 degrees. It has been nearly an hour. Not sure what I can do about this now...what's the magic trick to keep this part of the process more time-efficient?

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: About to destroy my immersion chiller...
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2014, 07:37:10 PM »
More ice. I just put it in the fridge until it is ready to pitch
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Offline qm3k

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Re: About to destroy my immersion chiller...
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2014, 07:42:02 PM »
I suppose I can toss it in the fridge. Shouldn't take more than an hour to get to 68, I suppose.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: About to destroy my immersion chiller...
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2014, 07:46:38 PM »
Don't pitch until the beer is at pitching temp. It will be fine in the fridge without year for a few hours. For me it is often 12 or more before I pitch
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Offline denny

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Re: About to destroy my immersion chiller...
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2014, 07:48:18 PM »
I use a 50 ft., 3/8 in. immersion chiller, a pump to recirculate the wort (not the water) and 55F well water.  I can go from boiling to 60F in about 15 min.  So it's situation dependent.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: About to destroy my immersion chiller...
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2014, 07:51:01 PM »
I have a 60 foot 1/2" RIC that I run my well water through. ~45º winter, ~55º summer. I can get down to about 10º above my chill water temp in about 15-20 min. It stalls there and ive never had tge patients to see how long it would take for the wort to match the coolant temp. This is exactly what you are experiencing,  so toss in another block of ice.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: About to destroy my immersion chiller...
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2014, 07:51:26 PM »
You're wasting the ice, if you are using the ice in the initial part of the chilling.

Just use tap water to take the majority of the heat out of the kettle with the chiller. Switch to the chilled water recirculation when the wort gets down to about 20 or 30 degrees of your tap water temperature.

This way, the tap water can carry away most of the heat and you save the chilled water to take it down that extra bit that the tap water can't.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: About to destroy my immersion chiller...
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2014, 07:57:29 PM »
You're wasting the ice, if you are using the ice in the initial part of the chilling.

Just use tap water to take the majority of the heat out of the kettle with the chiller. Switch to the chilled water recirculation when the wort gets down to about 20 or 30 degrees of your tap water temperature.

This way, the tap water can carry away most of the heat and you save the chilled water to take it down that extra bit that the tap water can't.


+1

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: About to destroy my immersion chiller...
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2014, 08:01:25 PM »
I would start with room temp water and get the wort down to around 100F, then switch to ice water to bring it down the rest of the way. Save the really cold water for the end when the temp difference will do the most good.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: About to destroy my immersion chiller...
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2014, 08:01:31 PM »
You're wasting the ice, if you are using the ice in the initial part of the chilling.

Just use tap water to take the majority of the heat out of the kettle with the chiller. Switch to the chilled water recirculation when the wort gets down to about 20 or 30 degrees of your tap water temperature.

This way, the tap water can carry away most of the heat and you save the chilled water to take it down that extra bit that the tap water can't.


+1

*2  Exactly what I was going to suggest.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: About to destroy my immersion chiller...
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2014, 08:31:48 PM »
Rock salt in the ice water might help. I have used it a couple of times, and science tells me it works, but I haven't paid much attention.

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: About to destroy my immersion chiller...
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2014, 08:40:06 PM »
Rock salt in the ice water might help. I have used it a couple of times, and science tells me it works, but I haven't paid much attention.

It may buy you a bit but it would make your chiller water unable to be used in your landscape.  Plants don't like too much salt.

Paul
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: About to destroy my immersion chiller...
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2014, 09:14:30 PM »
My tap water temp changes with the season, so in the summer I can't get below 90F without help.

I used to do a ice water recirc loop, but I would ALWAYS forget to buy it before brewday. $5/batch isn't insignificant, and setting up the loop is just another PITA step in the process. So I quit doing it altogether.

Now I just get as much cooling as I can w/ tap water while I clean (100F or lower), and cool the rest of the way in my ferm. fridge. I oxygenate/pitch before bed or the next morning, giving plenty of time to make sure the temp is stable.

I carry over more trub since I don't get a good cold break, so if clarity is important I'll rack into another fermentor before pitching. Definitely worth doing anyway if you want to speed up clarification or harvest slurry.

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Offline AmandaK

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Re: About to destroy my immersion chiller...
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2014, 09:16:05 PM »
Now I just get as much cooling as I can w/ tap water while I clean (100F or lower), and cool the rest of the way in my ferm. fridge. I oxygenate/pitch before bed or the next morning, giving plenty of time to make sure the temp is stable.

I do the same to about 80F or lower. Kyle's right, RDWHAHB.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: About to destroy my immersion chiller...
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2014, 09:29:22 PM »
A year or two ago I set up my system to chill the wort with a counter flow chiller and a whirlpool fitting into the kettle.  I tried to get the whole 10 gallon mass down to pitching temps, first with well water, then when I got down to about 100F with ice water.  This took forever and went through a lot of ice.   I was trying to leave all the cold break in the kettle.
Lately I recirculate through the chiller with well water and the whirlpool attachment down to 100F and then pump the wort through the ice water counter flow directly into the fermenters.  I gave up on leaving the cold break in the kettle.  I can regulate the flow to target temps for ales or lagers this way.
It still takes 40 to 60 minutes, but I'm in Florida.  My well water is 72F.
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