Author Topic: Newbie wort chiller question  (Read 1772 times)

Offline smitty

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 22
Newbie wort chiller question
« on: June 20, 2010, 05:12:29 AM »
Hey everyone, I'm still a little new around here.  I'm just a little curious how a wort chiller works and if it is a good idea to invest in one or not.  Thanks for the help.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2010, 08:49:32 PM by smitty »

Offline weithman5

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1681
  • naperville, il
Re: Newbie wort chiller question
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2010, 12:53:27 PM »
It is a good idea if you are going to boil full batches and not add 2gal of wort to 3 gal of pre boiled then cooled water.
Fundamentally, a wort chiller is a heat exchanger.  Think car radiator but instead of radiator fluid you have wort, and instead of air you have cold water.  Heat exchange is proportional to the temperature difference, the surface area and the flow rates on both sides of the barrier.  A simple heat exchanger is the immersion chiller hooked up to the kitchen sink.  To increase cooling you could hook up your immersion cooler to an ice bath and recirc the cooling water through this. (you may have heard of intercoolers on boats that go in sea water)  To increase cooling more you can move the wart past the cooling medium as well.  Hence a counter flow chiller. (flow can be in the same direction but counter flow has advantages of less thermal stress etc.)  These are reasonably easy to make.  Now go brew.
Don AHA member

Offline mikebiewer

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 38
    • Mike's Brew Review
Re: Newbie wort chiller question
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2010, 03:57:00 PM »
Exactly what he said.

If you are not doing full boils or don't want to spend the cash there is an easy option as well. If you have any 20 oz bottles, clean them up really good. Fill them with water and freeze them. Then on brew day, pull them out, sanitize them and drop them in your kettle to cool.

It's cheaper than 3 bags of ice, and less messy.

Offline euge

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8023
  • Ego ceruisam ad bibere cervisiam
Re: Newbie wort chiller question
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2010, 05:07:54 PM »
Using a bathtub full of water makes a great heat-sink for those small batches.

Copper isn't too bad in price. Made my own 1/2" IC by coiling 25' of tubing around a corny-keg. Only wish I'd left more space between the coils for the wort to pass through.

It is true that bigger batches require them but even 20' of 1/4 Cu coiled and hooked up to the sink will cool those 3 gallon partial boils pretty effectively and cheaply.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Laws are spider-webs, which catch the little flies, but cannot hold the big ones. -Anacharsis

Offline smitty

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 22
Re: Newbie wort chiller question
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2010, 08:47:17 PM »
Thanks guys.  Happy Brewing.