Author Topic: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle  (Read 1710 times)

Offline Richard

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Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2018, 02:41:33 AM »
One of the several things I learned from the "Whirlpool Techniques" session that I introduced at HomebrewCon 2018, was that you have no chance of infection when the wort temperature is above 140F and falling. Therefore, its only the late stage of your chilling that you need to maybe worry.

By the way, you should check out this session since it did have some interesting info.
I looked and couldn't find the presentations from this session available online yet. If you have a link, please share it.

I am struggling with a trade-off between chilling and settling. If I let the wort sit perfectly still I see large "trees" of break material that settle down fairly rapidly, but my chiller performs poorly and it takes a long time and uses a lot of water (important in California). If I establish a vigorous whirlpool I find that my chiller is more effective and I cool the wort much faster but the "trees" get shredded into small pieces of "mulch" which get uniformly distributed and settle more slowly. I don't see all the break material in a cone in the middle of my kettle.

I am considering some kind of hybrid approach: whirlpooling through any hop stands at the start of cooldown, then using minimal stirring after that to just keep the  boundary layers off the wort chiller.

I am also wondering if I paid the big bucks for a fancier chiller if I could cool more quickly with  less wort motion and get the best of both worlds. I just don't know if fast chilling is more important than having larger  break particles that settle better.
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Offline zorch

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Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2018, 02:41:28 PM »

I am struggling with a trade-off between chilling and settling. If I let the wort sit perfectly still I see large "trees" of break material that settle down fairly rapidly, but my chiller performs poorly and it takes a long time and uses a lot of water (important in California). If I establish a vigorous whirlpool I find that my chiller is more effective and I cool the wort much faster but the "trees" get shredded into small pieces of "mulch" which get uniformly distributed and settle more slowly. I don't see all the break material in a cone in the middle of my kettle.


It sounds like you are concerned about getting break material into your fermentor.  Don't be.   Having some break material transferred over to your fermentor has been shown to be beneficial to fermentation.  It's really not a big deal, at least in my experience.   

Offline denny

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Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2018, 02:41:56 PM »
I highly recommend the Jaded Hydra chiller with their whirlpool arm.
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Offline denny

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Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2018, 02:42:21 PM »

I am struggling with a trade-off between chilling and settling. If I let the wort sit perfectly still I see large "trees" of break material that settle down fairly rapidly, but my chiller performs poorly and it takes a long time and uses a lot of water (important in California). If I establish a vigorous whirlpool I find that my chiller is more effective and I cool the wort much faster but the "trees" get shredded into small pieces of "mulch" which get uniformly distributed and settle more slowly. I don't see all the break material in a cone in the middle of my kettle.


It sounds like you are concerned about getting break material into your fermentor.  Don't be.   Having some break material transferred over to your fermentor has been shown to be beneficial to fermentation.  It's really not a big deal, at least in my experience.   

Nor mine.
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Offline Richard

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Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2018, 04:51:32 PM »
It sounds like you are concerned about getting break material into your fermentor.  Don't be.   Having some break material transferred over to your fermentor has been shown to be beneficial to fermentation.  It's really not a big deal, at least in my experience.   

I don't mind "some" break material, but how much is too much? I generally get some when I first open my valve to drain the kettle, then the dip tube drills a hole in the break material and the wort runs clear until I get near the bottom of the kettle. I could continue to get another 1/2 gallon or so of cloudy wort but that seems like too much to me.
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Offline Robert

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Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2018, 04:57:48 PM »
Try that, and add your experience to the pool (FWIW I'm with zorch and Denny.)  Only sure-fire way to know what effect it will have for you.
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Offline BrewBama

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immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2018, 06:26:41 PM »

I don't mind "some" break material, but how much is too much? I generally get some when I first open my valve to drain the kettle, then the dip tube drills a hole in the break material and the wort runs clear until I get near the bottom of the kettle. I could continue to get another 1/2 gallon or so of cloudy wort but that seems like too much to me.

I agree. I close the valve when I start to pick up the trub/break and leave it behind. My brewhouse efficiency suffers but... I’ve done it both ways and found I like crystal clear bitter wort in my fermenter so I whirlpool, let it settle, and use a pickup tube on the edge of the kettle. Inevitably, I get some trub/break ...but really very little.


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« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 06:33:24 PM by BrewBama »
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Offline JT

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Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2018, 12:20:27 AM »
Notched lid goes on a few minutes into the boil.  I was concerned about DMS but either I can't taste it or it isn't there. 
The lid allows me to boil at low power levels.  I'm typically only boiling off a half gallon now as opposed to over a gallon before.
Edit: During chilling or when kettle souring, I just use aluminum foil to form fit over that gap.  Works just fine. 

« Last Edit: August 03, 2018, 12:23:45 AM by JT »

Offline haeffnkr

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Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2018, 02:09:26 AM »
Thanks guys for all the replies !!!

I am going to whirlpool.
My process is going to be add the chiller, put on the lid, with the inlet, exit hoses handing out and start the pump.
Cool to temps and take out the chiller, put on the lid,  whirlpool again for couple minutes then let the kettle set a while then drain to the fermenter.

Please let me know if that is a problem.

thanks haeffnkr

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2018, 11:11:18 AM »
I have a large roll of foil. I brew in my shop, the foil serves as an instant clean work spot, and heat shield for hoses, temporary lids for vessels, etc.

I put my chiller in the kettle pretty much at the beginning of brew day, where it stays till cleanup. I have a recirculating arm on mine. So at end of boil, I cover with foil, hit the recirculation pump (whirlpool) and I chill to 170f, cut the cooling water and add whirlpool hops. After however long I choose to whirlpool the hops at 170f i turn the cooling water back on and chill to pitching temp. Then I pump to my fermenter. Done

As far as boil trub getting through to the fermenter, some swear that transfering only clear wort to the fermenter makes great beer. I agree! And others say you can literally dump the whole kettle contents into the fermenter and make great beer. I agree! I've done both with different types of beer, dark, pale, those with lots of hops, and those with just a little. My experience is that one method doesn't stand above another. My opinion is that clear wort might benefit light hopped pale lagers more than other styles, but so would getting that chilled wort oxygenated and pitched as quickly as possible. So I don't worry about boil trub getting into my fermenter
« Last Edit: August 03, 2018, 11:33:11 AM by klickitat jim »

Offline Robert

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Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2018, 11:20:37 AM »
^^^^
Tangential to topic, but I also keep foil handy as an instant clean work surface (and of course other uses;) great tip. 
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Offline goose

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Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2018, 01:12:11 PM »
I have a large roll of foil. I brew in my shop, the foil serves as an instant clean work spot, and heat shield for hoses, temporary lids for vessels, etc.

I put my chiller in the kettle pretty much at the beginning of brew day, where it stays till cleanup. I have a recirculating arm on mine. So at end of boil, I cover with foil, hit the recirculation pump (whirlpool) and I chill to 170f, cut the cooling water and add whirlpool hops. After however long I choose to whirlpool the hops at 170f i turn the cooling water back on and chill to pitching temp. Then I pump to my fermenter. Done

As far as boil trub getting through to the fermenter, some swear that transfering only clear wort to the fermenter makes great beer. I agree! And others say you can literally dump the whole kettle contents into the fermenter and make great beer. I agree! I've done both with different types of beer, dark, pale, those with lots of hops, and those with just a little. My experience is that one method doesn't stand above another. My opinion is that clear wort might benefit light hopped pale lagers more than other styles, but so would getting that chilled wort oxygenated and pitched as quickly as possible. So I don't worry about boil trub getting into my fermenter

I agree on both points.  I had a discussion with Dave Houseman a couple years back about how much hot break should make it into the kettle.  He said that a little is OK but not to overdo it.  Then I also read (and agree with Denny) that hot break is good for yeast nutrition.  That said,  I really never worry about how much trub gets into the fermenter and I totally empty my boil kettle.  I then push the wort with tap water until I see cloudiness start to appear in the transfer hose and stop.  I could probably omit this step but I have a lot of wort (probably close to a half gallon) in my stainless screen and chiller that I like to get into the fermenter (the old "waste not - want not" adage).  In addition, the hops, be it pellet or cones, form a nice filter bed on my false bottom that helps capture a lot of the trub.  What trub makes it through the system is going to settle out in the cone of my conical pretty quickly
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Offline Robert

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Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2018, 01:39:51 PM »
The only reason I really care how much trub goes into the fermenter is that I repitch,  and it's nice to know, when estimating volume of slurry to pitch, that it's mostly yeast.  That said, that estimation is an empirical process, so I could develop a SOP that accounts for huge amounts of trub.  And if I used a conical, of course it wouldn't matter at all.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2018, 11:42:43 PM »
Keep in mind, there can be a some downsides to allowing excess levels of trub carry over into the fermenter...

Much of the trub contains fatty acids/lipids that will break down and lead to premature staling of the beer once packaged.

As Brewbama stated above too, those of us that prefer to harvest yeast from our primary fermenters will also benefit with crystal clear wort going into the fermenter resulting in a much cleaner yeast slurry for storage/reuse.


Offline Wilbur

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Re: immersion chiller and lids - how to seal kettle
« Reply #29 on: August 04, 2018, 04:16:04 AM »
I highly recommend the Jaded Hydra chiller with their whirlpool arm.
I really like the design of their counterflow, if I upgrade to using a pump I might implement that. Looks very easy to clean.

I use a lid if I do a hop stand, although I'm not convinced they make sense as a home brewer. Lid off while chilling, back on while I let trub settle out. I don't mind a bit, but 15-20 minutes cuts a lot of it out of the fermenter for very little risk (in my mind at least).