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Boiling my chiller

Hi everyone. New member here and getting back into brewing after a few years off. Also making the move to all grain thanks to batch sparging. I’m ready to get going, but have a question about my wort chiller, that’s a homemade 3/8" copper coil. I’ve always just washed the coil before boiling and then I put the chiller in for the boil for sanitation. I’ve read some things online that make me question that practice (if it’s online, it’s got to be correct. right?). I’d appreciate any feedback on whether or not this is a good practice or not. Thanks.

I used to do something similar when I used an IC: rinse it off with a hose after brewing, then store it until the next brew session. During the next brew session, insert it into the boil for 5 min to sanitize.

What part of your process are you doubting? Why?

I was reading about sanitation, I used to only use bleach for post boil equipment, and I haven’t seen anyone who does this method. I just assumed that since it seemed so easy, and I didn’t see anyone else mention it, that there might be a fatal flaw with the technique.

I think this is an exception to the, “if it seems too good to be true…” rule. I’m comfortable saying this is a tried an true practice.

…but I’m just some guy on the Internet. :smiley:

Thanks for the feedback kc. I’m itching to get back in the brew. :cheers:

[quote=“kcbeersnob”]I used to do something similar when I used an IC: rinse it off with a hose after brewing, then store it until the next brew session. During the next brew session, insert it into the boil for 5 min to sanitize.

What part of your process are you doubting? Why?[/quote]

Pretty much the same as me. I put it in at 10 minutes but that is when I add yeast nutrient and whirlflock. Easy to remember when I do it all at the same time.

[quote=“Cheshire_Cat”]
Pretty much the same as me. I put it in at 10 minutes but that is when I add yeast nutrient and whirlflock. Easy to remember when I do it all at the same time.[/quote]
Good idea. I did forget a few times and had to use a bucket of Star-San as backup when I realized after flameout. That was also back before my no drinking before the 60 minute addition rule. :oops:

When I first tried putting it in near the end of the boil, it cooled the wort so much it stopped boiling. That’s when I started leaving it in the whole time. That was with smaller concentrated extract batches though.

Health & Safety moment: The second time I used the chiller I got quite a surprise with steam and boiling water shooting out of it once the left over water from its first use came up to boiling. Never made that mistake again!

jbry, I deleted the duplicate post for you.

Same deal with my IC. Just put in in the last 10-15 min. If it quits boiling just wait for it to reheat to a boil. I would clean it with a sponge after use to remove any crud but boiling it in the wort should be enough sanitation IMHO. Good advice about it spitting out boiling water.

I use the same basic boiling water idea for my CF chiller. Don’t turn on the water until letting boiling hot wort run through and sit for a minute. Cleaning it is a different story.

Why not just dip the IC in star-san ?

This is what I do. I don’t have a way to drape the hoses away from the burner and i dont want to melt them, plus I have my hop spider in the way as well so I just leave my IC in starsan till I’m done with my boil.

I would recommend against the bleaching method. Bleach can react with the copper and cause oxidation (its pretty slow; if you only rinse with bleach you are probably fine but if its done multiple times you could be corroding your IC)

Leaving it overnight in starsans is just fine; the acetic acid in star sans will eat away any oxidation already present but not damage the good copper underneath.

I would recommend against the bleaching method. Bleach can react with the copper and cause oxidation (its pretty slow; if you only rinse with bleach you are probably fine but if its done multiple times you could be corroding your IC)

Leaving it overnight in starsans is just fine; the acetic acid in star sans will eat away any oxidation already present but not damage the good copper underneath.[/quote]

Thanks Duda. I think my initial question and the above quote got lost in translation somehow. I never bleach the copper IC, just scrub it off after each use and rinse it before dropping it in. Being away from brewing for a couple years and now jumping into AG brewing has be more nervous that I need to be. That and the change from when I used to brew in CA, to now brewing in NY where we have single digit temps right now. Weather be dammed! I’m brewing my first AG brew this weekend, even with hell freezing over. :smiley:

[quote=“HD4Mark”]jbry, I deleted the duplicate post for you.

Same deal with my IC. Just put in in the last 10-15 min. If it quits boiling just wait for it to reheat to a boil. I would clean it with a sponge after use to remove any crud but boiling it in the wort should be enough sanitation IMHO. Good advice about it spitting out boiling water.

I use the same basic boiling water idea for my CF chiller. Don’t turn on the water until letting boiling hot wort run through and sit for a minute. Cleaning it is a different story.[/quote]

Didn’t know I double posted. Damn noobs… Thanks HD4Mark. I just had a revelation on the IC spitting out boiling water. I’m going to blow it out using my air compressor before the brew. I don’t like leaving the hoses on and so I connect them after flame out which is why the spitting IC can be a problem.
:cheers:

[quote=“jbry”]I just had a revelation on the IC spitting out boiling water. I’m going to blow it out using my air compressor before the brew. I don’t like leaving the hoses on and so I connect them after flame out which is why the spitting IC can be a problem.
:cheers: [/quote]
Why don’t you like leaving the hoses connected? I just leave mine connected and sitting in a bucket. If the problem is the burner flame then I’d probably use Star San rather than the boil.

My two cents - i used to boil my IC, but found myself constantly worrying about the water supply tubes getting too close the flame and melting.

Now, I soak it Star San. As an added, but likely intangible benefit, soaking the IC in the sanitizing solution will bring it to ambient room temperature, which will give you a head start on the chilling process… :smiley:

[quote=“JMcK”][quote=“jbry”]I just had a revelation on the IC spitting out boiling water. I’m going to blow it out using my air compressor before the brew. I don’t like leaving the hoses on and so I connect them after flame out which is why the spitting IC can be a problem.
:cheers: [/quote]
Why don’t you like leaving the hoses connected? I just leave mine connected and sitting in a bucket. If the problem is the burner flame then I’d probably use Star San rather than the boil.[/quote]

My concern was the flame because the ends of the IC extend over the sides of the kettle an inch or two. Turned out to not be a problem with my first brew session. I’m probably going to put a shroud around my kettle for my next brew since I’m battling sub-freezing temps right now, so that should make the coil ends much hotter. Sounds like the Star San is a good choice.

I just lead my hoses over to the propane tank and wrap them around the handle, which keeps them up and away from the flame. I did manage to melt one once before I started this technique.

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