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Re: Use a wort chiller to save time Nov 8th 2004, 02:24 am
  • Build a coil of 3/8 copper tubing (should be about 30-50' long).
  • Attach standard vinyl tubing to both sides - one to the racking cane - the other into your primary fermentation vessel (bucket).
  • Immerse the entire coil into a 20 or 30g trashcan that is 2/3 full of water.
  • It takes about 15 minutes to siphon 5g of wort through the coil - and I simply add one 8# bag of ice every five minutes. Wort goes in at 212 and comes out at 75 - every time.

    A good tip is to use your garden hose with a spray head to backfill the coil and get your siphon started. I put a 5g bucket about 1/2 full of sanitizing solution at the same height as the kettle (I use no-rinse iodopher - makes life easy). I connect everything up and put the racking cane right in the sanitizing solution. On the other side, I attach an in-line valve and add a bit more vinyl tubing after it. I open the valve and blast the hose into the end of the vinyl tubing. In about 10 seconds this will blow all the air out of the line (you will see it bubbling out the racking cane) and allow you to start siphoning sanitizer through the coil and into the fermentation vessel. Once you get the siphon going, I just let it run for a minute (it's sanitizing the coil) and then close the in-line valve. When you close the valve it holds the siphon - so I simply lift the racking cane out of the solution and into the kettle. Then I throw an 8# bag of ice into the trash can, open the valve and, because the vinyl tubing is clear, you can see when the sanitizing solution ends and the wort starts to flow out. When the wort starts to run, I close the valve, dump the sanitizer out the fermentation vessel, and then fill it up. Add 8# ice every 5 minutes - let the siphon run full speed - and fill up your primary fermenter. As soon as you hear the siphon start to pull air (or you start siphoning cloudly crud out of the kettle) - close the valve. Then move the racking can back into the sanitizing solution, move the outlet into an extra bucket, and open the valve to let sanitizer run through the coil - cleaning it for next time!

    Couldn't be easier. The only downside is the $7 or so you pay for the ice and the extra trip to the store. On about the 15th batch you make you will start to wish you had invested in a good couterflow wort chiller - because the cost of the ice will exceed the cost of a good twisted copper counterflow chiller. But this way works great for your first 20 batches or so.


  • Comment by: dlem

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