Wort chiller concept

I should stop thinking, it gets me into lots of trouble. Submerged wort chillers are great, but it requires me to shlep a pot of hot wort across the basement to the sink. I this design will work, but I want your thoughts, criticism and insults… maybe not the last one.

I am thinking of passing the hot wort through a 50ft (roughly) tube of copper tubing that is submerged in a 5 gallon bucket of ice water. I can add a valve at the bottom of the tubing coil to regulate the flow. Has anyone seen a design like this? Would this be sufficient to chill the wort and empty directly into the carboy?



Why not just make a counter flow chiller. That is basically what you are trying to get at.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index. ... ow_Chiller

I’ve seen setups like this, but then you have to worry about ice. Why bother?

My brew club has a big festival every year on Big Brew Day in May. Lots of tents setup with beer flowing, brewing, local LHBS’s selling, food, etc. What we do is setup a giant kiddie pool with a pump in the middle. Attached to the pump is a tower with multiple hose hookups. For a few weeks leading up to big brew day, club members will freeze 5gallon buckets of water so we have a bunch of ice blocks to put in the pool. This works on the same principle as what your talking about. So there’s a giant pool of ice water that we can bring our brew pots too so we can hook up our wort chillers. It works well.

But again, then you have to worry about filling your bucket with ice. Seems like an extra expense and hassle on your brew day.

With slow wort flow through the coil and movement of ice water over the outside of the coil, this would probably work. You’ll need to either stir the ice water or use a small submerged pump or something similar to keep the water moving - Harbor Freight sells a small pond pump for less than $10 (I use one to aerate my little pond) that could sit right inside the coil.

You could also just do what I do and get long hoses to hook up to your sink/drain and run them across the room. Then you can use your current chiller. $25 worth of siphon hose is a lot better than a sore back.

I asked about a chiller like this a while ago when I first started brewing. The negative responses I got had to do with the amount of ice it would use. Someone even figured out how much exactly by weight it would take to bring 5gal boiling wort down to pitching temp. I ended up not going that route. So I don’t know from experience but it may be something to consider.

any draw back of gravity feeding wort through a chiller immersed in an ice bath? for example, 50ft of 3/8" copper pipe sitting in an ice bath (maybe in a keg shell) ball valves at both ends to control flow. anyone think that would work?

Yes, it would work, but you’ll need to keep the ice water moving over the coils somehow.

Or, you can do what I do… I have my 2 sons carry the hot kettle to the chiller. I bribe them with Taco Johns breakfast burritos.

what about this hooked up to my electric drill

A paint stirrer would work. But I would use a small pond pump instead since you can plug it in and leave it running.

I use a CFC, some cold water and frozen ice bottles in a cooler with a pond pump. I top off with about 10 lbs of ice. It works great. I need to get better organized so I can collect ice from my two ice makers during the week so that I do not need to buy ice anymore.

I just picked up this bad boy

from Jaded Brewing. Works great and I love that I can clean and inspect the inside of the chiller. Of course, we will have to see how it does during the summer, but so far I couldn’t be happier with it. I ran a trial with 5 gallons of water from boil to 70 in a little over 5 minutes. I hope to brew this weekend

^^^^ That’s pretty nifty! Being able to inspect, and even scrub out, the tubes is a nice feature.