Author Topic: Using wort chiller to reduce mash temp  (Read 1329 times)

Offline tommymorris

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Using wort chiller to reduce mash temp
« on: May 01, 2016, 05:56:16 PM »
Today I was 10F over my mash temp due to user error. It took 12 minutes of stirring to get it down to the right temp.

Has anyone every used a copper cool wort chiller to cool a mash? It seems like it would work pretty fast.

Any drawbacks?

I hope to not make the same bonehead mistake again, but, since this is not the first time I assume it won't be the last.


Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Using wort chiller to reduce mash temp
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2016, 06:11:11 PM »
I normally cool with ice cubes if I'm a tad over, but I'm sure the IC would work fine (unless you subscribe to the info in the posted paper that copper oxidizes your malt character  :)  ). 
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Offline blair.streit

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Re: Using wort chiller to reduce mash temp
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2016, 06:13:54 PM »
Today I was 10F over my mash temp due to user error. It took 12 minutes of stirring to get it down to the right temp.

Has anyone every used a copper cool wort chiller to cool a mash? It seems like it would work pretty fast.

Any drawbacks?

I hope to not make the same bonehead mistake again, but, since this is not the first time I assume it won't be the last.
I've never seen this done but off the top of my head I can't think of any immediate concerns if the coil easily fits in your mash tun. In fact you could probably do small adjustments in either direction pretty easily.

Offline denny

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Re: Using wort chiller to reduce mash temp
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2016, 06:21:16 PM »
Sure, but I think ice is a lot easier.
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Offline blair.streit

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Re: Using wort chiller to reduce mash temp
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2016, 06:22:53 PM »
Sure, but I think ice is a lot easier.
Absolutely. That's how I usually do it.

Offline denny

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Re: Using wort chiller to reduce mash temp
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2016, 06:33:44 PM »
Sure, but I think ice is a lot easier.
Absolutely. That's how I usually do it.

Yep.  I have a bowl of ice handy every time I mash in.  I may not need it for that, but I can always use it for the Cheap'n'Easy hydrometer reading trick.
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Offline blair.streit

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Re: Using wort chiller to reduce mash temp
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2016, 06:38:25 PM »
Yeah, I have a tall 1 quart pitcher that my hydrometer jar just happens to fit inside perfectly. So with some crushed ice from the fridge I can knock down the temp pretty fast.

The only downside is that when I'm doing lagers I still need a bag or two of ice from the store to knock down to 40's (using recirculation). I know I could freeze plastic bottles of water, but I never seem to remember in time and this method presents more surface area anyway (so faster cooling).

Offline denny

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Re: Using wort chiller to reduce mash temp
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2016, 06:50:20 PM »
Yeah, I have a tall 1 quart pitcher that my hydrometer jar just happens to fit inside perfectly. So with some crushed ice from the fridge I can knock down the temp pretty fast.

The only downside is that when I'm doing lagers I still need a bag or two of ice from the store to knock down to 40's (using recirculation). I know I could freeze plastic bottles of water, but I never seem to remember in time and this method presents more surface area anyway (so faster cooling).

I pour boiling wort into a metal cocktail shaker and swirl it around in a bowl of ice water.   Less than 60 seconds from boiling to 60F.

If I can't chil my lagers down to pitching temp, I toss 'em in my chest freezer for a while.  Anywhere from 4 hours to next day and they're at the perfect temp.
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Offline blair.streit

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Re: Using wort chiller to reduce mash temp
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2016, 06:57:24 PM »
I pour boiling wort into a metal cocktail shaker and swirl it around in a bowl of ice water.   Less than 60 seconds from boiling to 60F.
Ooh that's a good one. I'll definitely borrow that :-)

If I can't chil my lagers down to pitching temp, I toss 'em in my chest freezer for a while.  Anywhere from 4 hours to next day and they're at the perfect temp.
This one crosses my OCD threshold. I know my sanitation is good enough that leaving wort to chill shouldn't be an issue, but I brew late at night and my OCD won't let me sleep until the yeast it pitched. Once I actually nodded off and woke up in a panic at 4am to pitch yeast.

Offline denny

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Re: Using wort chiller to reduce mash temp
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2016, 07:15:09 PM »
This one crosses my OCD threshold. I know my sanitation is good enough that leaving wort to chill shouldn't be an issue, but I brew late at night and my OCD won't let me sleep until the yeast it pitched. Once I actually nodded off and woke up in a panic at 4am to pitch yeast.

Yeah, I had the same reaction first time I tried it.  I guarantee ya that if you get past that threshold, you'll be hooked.
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Offline denny

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Re: Using wort chiller to reduce mash temp
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2016, 07:17:05 PM »
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Using wort chiller to reduce mash temp
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2016, 09:22:48 PM »
This one crosses my OCD threshold. I know my sanitation is good enough that leaving wort to chill shouldn't be an issue, but I brew late at night and my OCD won't let me sleep until the yeast it pitched. Once I actually nodded off and woke up in a panic at 4am to pitch yeast.

Yeah, I had the same reaction first time I tried it.  I guarantee ya that if you get past that threshold, you'll be hooked.
And it it's not uncommon for German Brewers to have settling tanks (flotation tanks), where the trub is allowed
to settle from the cold wort, rack off the next day, pitch yeast. I have done this.
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Offline tommymorris

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Re: Using wort chiller to reduce mash temp
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2016, 09:28:33 PM »
I pitch the next morning quite often. It helps insure the wort is at the correct pitch temp.  I think my OCD about pitching at correct temp out weighs any fears about leaving the wort over night.

Offline blair.streit

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Re: Using wort chiller to reduce mash temp
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2016, 09:49:45 PM »
I pitch the next morning quite often. It helps insure the wort is at the correct pitch temp.  I think my OCD about pitching at correct temp out weighs any fears about leaving the wort over night.
Yeah I just adapted my cooling process so I can drop from boiling to 45C in about 25 minutes. I can usually do all of that while I'm cleaning (can't sleep with dirty gear either) so I guess it's OK.

Biggest problem with my brew schedule is that I start at 8pm on a weeknight and I have to be cooking breakfast and taking kids to school by 6am and then off to work. I could probably get away with leaving things dirty and chilling overnight then pitching in the morning (since that doesn't take long). But then I'm leaving dirty gear in the garage for 24 hours and that seems like it will create more work than the extra hour of sleep is worth.

Offline pete b

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Re: Using wort chiller to reduce mash temp
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2016, 08:44:14 PM »
I chill a too hot mash with a chilling wand. They are food grade plastic stirrers filled with water and kept in the freezer. The foodservice industry uses them to safely chill soups etc. They work great and don't dilute. Also, I use it too cool small batches so I don't need to bother with my ic.
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