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Is brew temp as critical for extract as it is with AG?

I was thinking of making an immersion chiller to use in an extract brew and was wondering if it would be too much trouble, or overkill to use the chiller tube as the heater coming from an HLT to keep the wort at the right temp. After the boil, I would fill the HLT with ice water and run the pump.

What temp. are you wanting to keep the wort at? Are you trying to get to a boil with an IC?

The recipe calls for 150F for 45 minutes. At this altitude (5000’) water boils at 185F.

I guess I don’t understand. Are you brewing extract, partial mash or AG? It sounds like you want to use the IC to keep your mash at temp.

You can pump hot water from your HLT through your IC in the mash to keep it at 150*.

Guessing the OP is talking about keeping a consistent temp for steeping grains?

Maybe so. Seems like a long, low steep. I haven’t done a steep in awhile, though.

Yeah, I’m doing a steep of chocolate for about 1/2 hour at 150 and then I boil the extract at the same temp.

For the steep, just heat water to 150 or a few degrees over, then dunk the grains in for the time needed. If you are doing this in a pot on a stove, it is no problem keeping the temperature around the right point. That’s what I did back when I steeped grains for extract brews. Using a immersion chiller for moderating the temperature adds unnecessary complication to the process and is much more likely to cause problems than work. Just turn the heat on briefly if you need it.

At that altitude, you might run into problems getting a decent hot break and thus clear beer. I’m not sure if the hot break (which is when a lot of proteins coagulate at the start of the boil) is more due to temperature or is kicked off by the mechanical stresses induced by the water boiling. I guess you’ll find out.

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