Author Topic: Dissatisfied with my wort chilling and hop/trub filtering into primary fermenter  (Read 3992 times)

Offline ukolowiczd

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I am an all grain brewer who is dissatisfied with my wort chilling and hop/trub filtering into the primary fermenter. I use a copper immersion chiller that usually takes 20-30minutes, but in the summer I still have to use ice on the outside of the kettle to chill below 70F. I have a plate chiller but found, obviously, that it only chills to temp of water going in and I guess you have to recirculate or something to get it all down to 60-65F. Secondly the way I filter trub/hops from my primary is by putting an elastic mesh covering over my primary bucket and pouring the wort into the bucket. I have to remove this mesh cover 4-5 times and clean off all the trub/hops clogging it to reuse it to finish filtering the 5 gallon batch (can't imagine doing 10gal with this). Both processes I feel are time consuming and have possible sanitation issues (although I've yet to have a sanitation issue). Any experiences out there that would help?

Offline Tim McManus

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Regarding chilling:  You can chill your chill water with the immersion chiller and a bucket of ice water prior to having it enter the plate chiller.

You can also filter with a paint straining bag.  You can get a couple of these for $5 at any hardware store.  Attach it to a wire ring or some other device (such as a wire tomato basket) and that will filter your entire batch in one shot.
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Offline phillamb168

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I am an all grain brewer who is dissatisfied with my wort chilling and hop/trub filtering into the primary fermenter. I use a copper immersion chiller that usually takes 20-30minutes, but in the summer I still have to use ice on the outside of the kettle to chill below 70F. I have a plate chiller but found, obviously, that it only chills to temp of water going in and I guess you have to recirculate or something to get it all down to 60-65F. Secondly the way I filter trub/hops from my primary is by putting an elastic mesh covering over my primary bucket and pouring the wort into the bucket. I have to remove this mesh cover 4-5 times and clean off all the trub/hops clogging it to reuse it to finish filtering the 5 gallon batch (can't imagine doing 10gal with this). Both processes I feel are time consuming and have possible sanitation issues (although I've yet to have a sanitation issue). Any experiences out there that would help?

For filtering, I use a bazooka tube/SS water line thingy that's been stuck inside two halves of mesh strainers. Works like a charm. Basically it looks like this:

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"closeup"
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Offline dbeechum

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I actually do the opposite of Tim.

I run my wort through the CFC and then into the IC which is is sitting in an ice bath. Works like a charm, but you've got to clean the whole system as a loop

As for trub and hop straining. Use hop bags to keep the hops out, whirlpool like I mean it and then direct my pickup tube over to the kettle side. Otherwise, I don't worry about the trub
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Offline tom

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Let the trub settle out and then siphon from above it.
Brew on

Offline oscarvan

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I have found that the hot break will go through any filter, and that the hops will clog any filter.

I now add a pound of base to all my recipes (10g) let it all settle and drain down to the "blob", and then add a wee little bit of it to the bucket. Yes, I throw out a 1/2 g of wort.....oh well.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 07:24:59 AM by oscarvan »
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Offline beersk

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That trub isn't going to adversely affect your beer.  I try to keep any of it out that I can, but if some or all gets in there, I don't worry about it.
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Offline tom

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It is recommended to remove the hot trub, cold not so much:  http://www.brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue1.4/barchet.html
Brew on

Offline 1vertical

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>>1vertical uses the Hop bag suspended in the center of the boil with leaf hops.

To achieve extra cooling, I have a second 25 ft X 3/8" copper coil that I put in cooler full of ICE WATER
and put that upstream from my immersion cooler.  I can get to lager temps without too much time
or effort I also monitor the flow and try to keep the flow slow enough so the cold copper coil can have
time to exchange the heat from the BK.  (don't flow too fast thru the coil)

Most times, I put all the contents of the cooled BK wert into the fermenter cold break and all.  Seems
to work for me....hops are caught in the paint strainer bag.

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=7453.msg91342#msg91342
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Offline Will's Swill

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That will save you ice, but will increase your chilling time.  I see many here suggest cooling initially with straight tap water, then switching to the pre-chilled water to finish the job.  I made a prechiller to do just this, but I never bothered to actually use the technique because I get adequate chilling without the prechiller and it seems like a PITA to switch it in midway through.
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Offline 1vertical

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That will save you ice, but will increase your chilling time.  I see many here suggest cooling initially with straight tap water, then switching to the pre-chilled water to finish the job.  I made a prechiller to do just this, but I never bothered to actually use the technique because I get adequate chilling without the prechiller and it seems like a PITA to switch it in midway through.
I fail to see how that increases chilling time.  The thermal gradient between the water prechilled from the ice bath coil
has to be greater than the thermal gradient from some what warmer tap water.  Now I never did engineer thru the math
and Laws of Thermodynamics...so....I am gonna stop here....uh experts please >>>> does a larger thermal gradient
between the coolant temperature and the target material cause an acceleration in the speed of cooling or not?
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Offline Will's Swill

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Sorry, I don't think I was clear.  I didn't mean to imply that using tap water would be faster than using prechilled water.  But if you're using one or the other, then faster flow leads to faster cooling.  But faster flow will also increase your ice consumption for the same amount of cooling.  In addition to the switching midway method, you could also recirculate the actual ice water through your chilling coil, rather than prechilling tap water.  Or do both to save ice.  Or have a homebrew and stick the darn thing in the fridge overnight.
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Offline 1vertical

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Yep Ok...gotcha.  I have a well and am not overly concerned about the amount
of water required to bring a body of hot wert down to pitch temps and can let the
water flow for a long time...I discharge it out to the tree line and so it does not
goto waist nor do I have a large consumption of water that I must pay for...i.e.
water bill...I do however get to pay for the electricity to run my pump and
the mechanical wear and tear on the same ...so WAY different scenarios.

Edit: Job Perk....we have an Ice machine and it is free for employees usage...
so Ice conservation is not big on da list either.
Edit x2:
then faster flow leads to faster cooling.
That is not necessarily true because you have to allow the heat time to transfer thru the
copper walls of the IC and that my friend is another variable in the equation.  Slower
water rate thru the coils of copper actually is better to give the heat time to transfer and
will result in a faster rate  and more efficient cooling of your hot wert.  If the water just
dashes thru the IC coils rapidly the heat does NOT have time to transfer to the coolant.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2011, 08:26:03 PM by 1vertical »
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Offline billn

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Sorry to Hijack, but, I'm still going to.   ;D

I've got a plate chiller, and I've been toying with the idea of skipping the whole pre-chilling-into-the-chiller as it seems like too much work.  Seems you could just immerse the plate chiller itself in ice and get the same effect....has anyone tried this?
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Offline corkybstewart

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I use a somewhat complicated but effective combination of chillers.  I use my immersion chiller by itself to get my wort down below 100F.  Then I pump the wort through my CFC(in an ice bath), through an old immersion chiller(also in an ice bath) and back to the kettle.  I can get 10 gallons to lager temps in 30 minutes this way, but as Drew said it all has to be cleaned as a big system.  I do this with 5 gallons of  hot PBW circulated just like the wort(minus the ice bath) for 1/2 hour after my kettles has been cleaned.  The system holds a lot of wort so once my kettle is empty I hook the hose to the HLT and let hot water flow through the system until it gets to the fermenter.  This helps rinse the system and saves almost 1.5 gallons of my precious wort.
It takes me about $5 worth of ice but it's well worth it.
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