Author Topic: wort chillers  (Read 2788 times)

Offline brewerbrown

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wort chillers
« on: July 26, 2011, 10:01:28 AM »
How important is it to chill your wort as fast as possible?  I currently do not have a wort chiller and have been doing ice baths in a tub.  But I was considering letting the wort chill a little then putting it in a glass carboy then in the fridge to cool over night. Any suggestions are appreciated. 

Offline ckpash88

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Re: wort chillers
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2011, 10:12:37 AM »
I would invest in a wort chiller you will be happy after you do. For the carboy idea DONT do that I tried that and the temperature difference shattered the glass and I burned my feet and spilled sticky mess everywhere.
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Offline docmckee

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Re: wort chillers
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2011, 10:17:56 AM »
I'd say that if you don't chill your wort to pitching temperature in less than 45 minutes you are asking for trouble.  Wild yeast and bacteria thrive at hot but not too hot temperatures.  Crashing the temperature as quickly as possible gets you out of that hot range that bacteria love, results in a better break, and allows you to pitch faster.  Faster pitching gives your brewing yeast a major advantage over wild yeast and bacteria.  To my way of thinking, it is one of the most important things you can do for the quality of your beer.
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Offline richardt

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Re: wort chillers
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2011, 10:21:08 AM »
There's the "no-chill" method:
http://www.brewersfriend.com/2009/06/06/australian-no-chill-brewing-technique-tested/

Some people just put the lid on the kettle and let it cool (ambient temps if chilly outside) or in the fridge overnight.
Three potential problems:
1.)  DMS production, especially if using pils malt.  SMM continues to be produced until temps drop below 140F (I think).
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/DMS
2.)  Time delay creates the potential for infection to get established prior to pitching an adequate number of yeast.  Bacteria reproduce every 20-30 minutes, while yeast reproduce every 3 hours.  You want to pitch the yeast as soon as possible to drive the pH of the wort low enough to be inhospitable to most bacteria.
3.)  Rapid chilling helps create more break material (hot break occurs in the kettle, cold break occurs during chilling)--creation and removal of break material helps improve beer stability and clarity (less likely to have chill haze, for example).

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: wort chillers
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2011, 08:45:36 PM »
How important is it to chill your wort as fast as possible?  I currently do not have a wort chiller and have been doing ice baths in a tub.  But I was considering letting the wort chill a little then putting it in a glass carboy then in the fridge to cool over night. Any suggestions are appreciated.  
You need to give some specifics.  What is "chill a little"?  I often chill the beer into the 70s, then put it in a carboy to further chill it in the fridge overnight until it gets to pitching temps.  If you can drop it under ~120F quickly and let it cool the rest of the way in the fridge it should be fine.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline brewerbrown

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Re: wort chillers
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2011, 08:16:15 AM »
Thanks for the advice everybody...I went out and got a wort chiller last night and brewed up an IPA....Question...what is the best way to use the least amount of water while running the wort chiller?

Offline Mark G

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Re: wort chillers
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2011, 08:47:16 AM »
Thanks for the advice everybody...I went out and got a wort chiller last night and brewed up an IPA....Question...what is the best way to use the least amount of water while running the wort chiller?
Re-use the water for other purposes. I collect the hot water for cleaning. The colder water goes for garden irrigation.
Mark Gres

Offline anday6

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Re: wort chillers
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2011, 10:36:23 AM »
Another low water use option is to re-circulate the cooling water with a small pump and use ice to keep the bucket cool.

I recently started using an immersion chiller and it's amazing how much less hot break makes it to the fermenter.  That and the time saved is well worth it.

Offline SpanishCastleAle

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Re: wort chillers
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2011, 11:24:20 AM »
Thanks for the advice everybody...I went out and got a wort chiller last night and brewed up an IPA....Question...what is the best way to use the least amount of water while running the wort chiller?
I use tap water at first and collect the effluent and put it in my washing machine for laundry.  After I've dropped it to ~100* F I use a pond pump to circulate ice water, then use the remaining cool water (no longer has any ice) in the water bath for the carboy.

Offline Will's Swill

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Re: wort chillers
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2011, 06:35:26 PM »
I run a lawn sprinkler off of mine, hot to cool.
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Offline alikocho

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Re: wort chillers
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2011, 11:44:12 PM »
I run some for cleanup and the into the water butt to be used for the garden when its cooled.
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Offline dbarber

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Re: wort chillers
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2011, 05:41:27 AM »
I run some for cleanup and the rest goes into the washing machine.
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Offline euge

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Re: wort chillers
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2011, 11:06:40 AM »
I water my lawn with the effluent until I switch over to the ice-water- which gets recirculated. I'm toying with the idea of using a counter-flow to finish off the cooling instead of switching the lines to the IC. So it'd be chill from boiling with the IC and house-water until 100 or so and then run the wort through the counterflow with ice-water recirculating. I get to buy/make another piece of equipment and solve implementation issues... :-\

Freezing bottles is a good option but takes longer than straight ice melting. They work best in water-bath chilling, which also work well if you want to go to bed and pitch in the morning.

My own experience is that leaving it overnight to finish chilling is ok but not optimal.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: wort chillers
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2011, 11:20:19 AM »
I water my lawn with the effluent until I switch over to the ice-water- which gets recirculated. I'm toying with the idea of using a counter-flow to finish off the cooling instead of switching the lines to the IC. So it'd be chill from boiling with the IC and house-water until 100 or so and then run the wort through the counterflow with ice-water recirculating. I get to buy/make another piece of equipment and solve implementation issues... :-\

Freezing bottles is a good option but takes longer than straight ice melting. They work best in water-bath chilling, which also work well if you want to go to bed and pitch in the morning.

My own experience is that leaving it overnight to finish chilling is ok but not optimal.
I've been using a counter flow chiller and pumping the wort back to the kettle at an angle to form a whirlpool.  I use the hottest water for cleaning the brew area and then water trees with the rest.  I use ground water to get below 90F and then switch to ice water, which is recirculated to the (formerly hot) liquor tank.
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Offline blatz

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Re: wort chillers
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2011, 11:37:25 AM »
jeffy - how long does it take you to get to 60df with your method?  I do the same exact thing, but with an IC in the kettle instead of a CFC.  It takes me about 45min in the summer, maybe 35-40 in the fall/winter months.
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