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#1 zymot

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 02:37 PM

Sorry, I am acting like Newbie The Home Brewer here. Being out of the game for 6 years, I kind of am, re-learning and looking at things.

 

A week ago, I was planning on buying a new kettle and new burner. Changed my mind. I got my trusty 10 gallon aluminum pot and burners. My HLT just needs to be re calibrated for sight glass markings. Mashtun rocks.

 

After yeasterday's brew day, I realized that the most annoying part of my brew sessions is chilling the wort. That is the only time I get anxious and annoyed. That is my next focus of improvement. I want to nail down chilling my wort easy peasy winner winner chicken dinner.

 

I have a 25 foot More Beer immersion chiller. Nope, too slow for me, I want fast faster soon sooner. I went through $8.00 of ice to get chilled.

 

I have a homemade CFC. 20-25 feet of copper tubing, garden hose outer skin built on a Phil's Phittings. As far as I recall, it works. Needs lots of PBW and Star San through it.

 

I have a bilge pump for pumping ice water through the chiller.

 

What about plate chillers? The offerings by Duda Diesel are in my budget, so is a wort pump. I like the idea of buying pump, because I can exhaust the wort back into the kettle until I achieve desired temps.

 

What do people use these days that they love? What have the used that they disliked or moved on from?

 

 


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#2 denny

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 02:48 PM

I've had both plate and CFC in the past and gave them away because they were a PITA.  I use a Jaded Hydra these days.  As fast as a plate or CFC and a LOT less maintenance.  I can go from boiling to 60F in 6 min.  Of course that depends on your ground water temp.


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#3 HVB

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 03:17 PM

I have done various IM, plates and CFCs and I am happiest with the convoluted copper CFC I am using now. Cleanup is nothing, run some of the spent chilling water back through it and done. IMs are good but I do not want to chill without a lid and I would rather not notch my lids.

Maybe take the old IM and use that with ice as a post chiller after the CFC. I do that when I want to get to lager temps fast.
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#4 zymot

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 03:20 PM

I've had both plate and CFC in the past and gave them away because they were a PITA.


Out of curiosity, do you have a preference between CFC and plate chiller? In terms of both of effectiveness and speed. What about PITA factor? If they are the same maintenance, no point in trading one flavor of pain for a new flavor.
 

I use a Jaded Hydra these days. As fast as a plate or CFC and a LOT less maintenance. I can go from boiling to 60F in 6 min. Of course that depends on your ground water temp.

I like the idea of simple. But I can trade some hassle for financial savings.What is your ground water temp? Do you do use ice or chil your water?

 

Does the Hydra need any wort agitation, stirring, whirlpooling, etc?
 


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#5 Bklmt2000

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 04:00 PM

I use the same 25' copper immersion chiller I've had since 2002, but with a few mods to the setup:

 

The day before brewday, I collect about 2 gallons of tap water in a small bucket, and stow it in the lager fridge to get super-cold before brewday.  I usually get some thin sheets of ice forming by the time I need to chill the wort on brewday.

 

1 - IC goes in the kettle with ~15 min left in the boil

 

2 - Post-boil, I run tap water through the IC for ~10 minutes (in winter) to ~25 minutes (in summer) to knock the wort temp down.

 

3 - the IC gets hooked up to an 1800 gal/hr sump pump, inside an old Ale Pail, and I add the pre-chilled water mentioned above, along with several pounds of ice from our kitchen fridge. 

 

I also include an old Ocean Spray bottle sans lid (filled with water and frozen before brewday) in the Ale Pail, so the discharge water from the IC hits more ice before recirculation.  Then the sump pump gets plugged in and runs for 10-15 more minutes until pitching temp is reached.

 

In the winter, I don't use the sump pump, as 10 minutes of tap water cooling gets me to lager temps.  In summer, the sump pump is invaluable for brewing lagers when it's hot AF out, and makes quick work of chilling to ale temps.

 

ETA: I do also agitate the wort every 5 minutes during chilling, to ensure even chilling all around.  Has worked great for me for several years now.

If anyone wants, I can post pics of my setup.


Edited by Bklmt2000, 07 July 2019 - 04:02 PM.

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#6 djinkc

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 04:22 PM

Years ago I did it pretty much that way.  Now plate chiller only in the winter.  Starting a month ago - ice water and ice go in a bucket along with a little fountain pump.  I have a 25' SS coil that sits in the bucket (that one that several of us bought for $15 a while back).  Plate chiller -> post chiller bucket -> fermenter.  I'm sold on post chilling as quicker after trying everything.........

 

It sounds as if time wise it really doesn't take you very long though


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#7 LeftyMPfrmDE

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 04:42 AM

I've had both plate and CFC in the past and gave them away because they were a PITA. I use a Jaded Hydra these days. As fast as a plate or CFC and a LOT less maintenance. I can go from boiling to 60F in 6 min. Of course that depends on your ground water temp.


Same thoughts on plate and CFC's. Did get a jaded hydra for Christmas last year- amazing piece of gear. But before that, i often used 'closed' loop chilling method with a IC; 20 gallon tub a basic sump pump from lowes, and 2 1 gallon jugs filled with frozen water. Fill the tub with ground temp water, run off about 15 gallons, collect for post-boil clean up. After that, put the two frozen water jugs in the tub, and where it stops, it stops. In the middle of summer, could get down to 70* in 45-60 minutes with a little 25' 3/8" coil.

Edited by LeftyMPfrmDE, 08 July 2019 - 04:46 AM.

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#8 Bklmt2000

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 05:18 AM

Years ago I did it pretty much that way.  Now plate chiller only in the winter.  Starting a month ago - ice water and ice go in a bucket along with a little fountain pump.  I have a 25' SS coil that sits in the bucket (that one that several of us bought for $15 a while back).  Plate chiller -> post chiller bucket -> fermenter.  I'm sold on post chilling as quicker after trying everything.........

 

It sounds as if time wise it really doesn't take you very long though

 

True, the setup I use now gets wort chilled fast enough that I can't justify plunking fown $$$ for a Jaded Hydra chiller (altho I really, really want one). 

 

When I'm collecting and prepping the mash/sparge water for brewday, that's when I collect a couple extra gallons and let them chill in my lager fridge overnight.  Using that water, already chilled to ~32°, along with the sump pump, was a game-changer for me.

 

Easily cut my chilling time down by half or more, and I also use a lot less ice (used to have to go to Kroger's, buy a 22# bag of ice, and then figure out where the hell I was going to store that before brewday). 

 

This way is cheaper and much less hassle than my prior method.


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#9 Zsasz

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 05:55 AM

I use the same 25' copper immersion chiller I've had since 2002, but with a few mods to the setup:

 

The day before brewday, I collect about 2 gallons of tap water in a small bucket, and stow it in the lager fridge to get super-cold before brewday.  I usually get some thin sheets of ice forming by the time I need to chill the wort on brewday.

 

1 - IC goes in the kettle with ~15 min left in the boil

 

2 - Post-boil, I run tap water through the IC for ~10 minutes (in winter) to ~25 minutes (in summer) to knock the wort temp down.

 

3 - the IC gets hooked up to an 1800 gal/hr sump pump, inside an old Ale Pail, and I add the pre-chilled water mentioned above, along with several pounds of ice from our kitchen fridge. 

 

I also include an old Ocean Spray bottle sans lid (filled with water and frozen before brewday) in the Ale Pail, so the discharge water from the IC hits more ice before recirculation.  Then the sump pump gets plugged in and runs for 10-15 more minutes until pitching temp is reached.

 

In the winter, I don't use the sump pump, as 10 minutes of tap water cooling gets me to lager temps.  In summer, the sump pump is invaluable for brewing lagers when it's hot AF out, and makes quick work of chilling to ale temps.

 

ETA: I do also agitate the wort every 5 minutes during chilling, to ensure even chilling all around.  Has worked great for me for several years now.

If anyone wants, I can post pics of my setup.

 

some nice additional tips I can add to my brewday here.  I still think one of my favorites is whoever it is that uses a pump with their pool water to chill the wort.  so awesome.


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#10 pkrone

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 07:55 AM

I use a combo of SS IC and SS CFC.   I recirculate/whirlpool the wort through the CFC.   The whirlpool makes the IC more efficient and filters to hot/cold break, but it still takes a while.    I'll use ice water through a sump pump when doing a lager to get the wort to pitching temp.   


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#11 HVB

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 07:56 AM

I use a combo of SS IC and SS CFC.   I recirculate/whirlpool the wort through the CFC.   The whirlpool makes the IC more efficient and filters to hot/cold break, but it still takes a while.    I'll use ice water through a sump pump when doing a lager to get the wort to pitching temp.   

Which SS CFC are you using and are you happy with it


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#12 pkrone

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 07:59 AM

I can't remember where I got it- some online store out of SoCal.     It's ok, but definitely sacrifices a lot of cooling efficiency compared to copper.  


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#13 HVB

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 08:05 AM

I can't remember where I got it- some online store out of SoCal.     It's ok, but definitely sacrifices a lot of cooling efficiency compared to copper.  

Thanks.  I was not sure if it was the Stout one or not.


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#14 jayb151

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 09:21 AM

Just to chime in...

I use no cool. I have a homemade copper IC that just sits there now for the same reason you stated. I would worry and coddle the wort till it got down to temp, all the time letting my water go down the drain. Since I moved in to my new house a couple years ago, I just run the boiling hot wort out into my unsanitized corny keg and seal it up. Then I flip it upside down and walk away.I'll come back the next day to check on it and set in in a fridge if need be. 

 

The beers I have been making since moving to this method have been better flavorwise, though it could also be due to me keeping a closer eye on fermentation.


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#15 denny

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 10:00 AM

Out of curiosity, do you have a preference between CFC and plate chiller? In terms of both of effectiveness and speed. What about PITA factor? If they are the same maintenance, no point in trading one flavor of pain for a new flavor.
 

I like the idea of simple. But I can trade some hassle for financial savings.What is your ground water temp? Do you do use ice or chil your water?

 

Does the Hydra need any wort agitation, stirring, whirlpooling, etc?
 

 

Between those 2, CFC for sure..as effective as a plate and a lot less hassle.  But frankly I'd never own either again.  My ground water varies from 55-70F depending on time of year. Before I got the Hydra I used a prechiller in the summer, but I no longer need that.   I have a whirlpool arm attached to the Hydra.


Just to chime in...

I use no cool. I have a homemade copper IC that just sits there now for the same reason you stated. I would worry and coddle the wort till it got down to temp, all the time letting my water go down the drain. Since I moved in to my new house a couple years ago, I just run the boiling hot wort out into my unsanitized corny keg and seal it up. Then I flip it upside down and walk away.I'll come back the next day to check on it and set in in a fridge if need be. 

 

The beers I have been making since moving to this method have been better flavorwise, though it could also be due to me keeping a closer eye on fermentation.

 

No chill is a very viable option that not enough homebrewers embrace.  Every no chill beer I've ever tried has been outstanding, including a saison from Drew.  People should throw off the dogma and give it a try.


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#16 jayb151

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 01:22 PM

For sure Denny. I have been brewing for over a decade, but had to stop for a few years once the kids came and were young. Now I have a little more time to myself and have been getting back into it. 

 

It's super interesting to see how some of the ideas I had before my hiatus are being challenged by brewers today. No chill was the one thing I thought I'd give a try, and it just works man. Especially during the Chicago winters!


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#17 zymot

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 02:09 PM

Between those 2, CFC for sure..as effective as a plate and a lot less hassle.  But frankly I'd never own either again.  My ground water varies from 55-70F depending on time of year. Before I got the Hydra I used a prechiller in the summer, but I no longer need that.   I have a whirlpool arm attached to the Hydra.

 
Denny, when I created this thread, I was hoping you would contribute and offer your advice. Thanks for the advice.
 
There is one that is slightly different between you and me. You put a high value on simplicity and ease of execution. Which is certainly a very rational concept. I would never criticize that train of thought or approach.
 
For me, I do not brew so often that a adding couple extra steps or wasting some time is not a big deal for me. I like the process of being in my work shed, brewing beer and doing stuff. This chilling issue an example. I am not too distracted by some extra steps that might come with a plate chiller or a CFC.
 
You get the same results with the Hydra. Believe me, your endorsement of it's effectiveness is of great value. I expect I will end up purchasing one.  
 

No chill is a very viable option that not enough homebrewers embrace. Every no chill beer I've ever tried has been outstanding, including a saison from Drew. People should throw off the dogma and give it a try.

 

Dogma, that is the word for it. I think home brewers confuse optimum (or best practice) with required or must do.

 

For some reason, homebrewers tend to gravitate to more difficult and more complex. I see that homebrewers also like to exaggerate negative outcomes.  If you do fail to follow a best practice, your beer is going to be ruined. And homebrewers (as a group) love complex involved solutions to perceived problems.

 

I might be my own best example. I got wound up over chilling times. I could have drained my kettle into a bucket, snap on the lid, fit with an airlock. and stuck it in my ferment chamber. Wait 12 hours and pitch the yeast the next morning. I wish I though of that Saturday afternoon.

 

I never considered it. Why? I am a homebrewer and that would be too easy.


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#18 djinkc

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 05:12 AM

...........No chill is a very viable option that not enough homebrewers embrace.  Every no chill beer I've ever tried has been outstanding, including a saison from Drew.  People should throw off the dogma and give it a try.

It does sound so simple but I would guess within three brewing sessions I would remember 4 days later that I never pitched.


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#19 Zsasz

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 05:27 AM

How are late hop additions affected? Seems like you'd highly isomerized all hop additions.
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#20 HVB

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 05:32 AM

How are late hop additions affected? Seems like you'd highly isomerized all hop additions.

I remember seeing a schedule in the past showing if you normally do a 30 minute addition to add it at X for no boil.  They all had to be moved and that made sense to me.  I guess late hops would act like a long whirlpool addition.


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