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Thread: how to cool 60 gallons of wort??

  1. #1
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    Sep 2007
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    how to cool 60 gallons of wort??

    what do you fellows recommend to use to chill 60 gallons of wort? Would homebrew methods be possible by using pre-chilled immersion or counterflow chillers? I haven't seen any prices for the pro systems. I was wondering how two 50 ft. immersion chillers in 5 gallon buckets of ice and water would work by pumping wort through them and into a fermenter. The amount of ice isn't much of a concern. Any suggestions?


    Also, how can you efficiently oxygenate this much wort without too much fancy equipment? As a home brewer, I use an airstone and a can of o2 from the hardware store for 5 or 10 gal. batches. Can you get a larger tank somewhere?
    Last edited by Brew Chef; 09-29-2007 at 05:37 PM.

  2. #2
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    May 2004
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    Immersion could take a long time. Not desirable. A cheap method build yourself a counter flow chiller.

    1/2 in soft copper tubing (50ft would do) or better with SS if you can find it.

    Insert this into a food grade tubing (if you want to reuse the hot water for the next brew).

    You will need some compression fittings and tees to tie in the ends of the chiller and a decent low cost food grade pump. Depending on the time of the year and how cold your water is you might need a similar size tank of pre-cooled water.

    Beyond that the best item is a good quality Plate heat exchanger.

  3. #3
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    I would think a plate chiller would be more effective than two fifty foot immersion chillers and would be around the same cost if not less expensive.

  4. #4
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    could you hot fill into hdpe cubes and let cool overnight for pitching?

    Always find the chilling coil systems waste a lot of water, when time can do the job just as well.
    Head Brewer Rocks Brewing Co.
    Sydney, Aust
    scotty@rocksbrewing.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by scmorgan
    could you hot fill into hdpe cubes and let cool overnight for pitching?

    Always find the chilling coil systems waste a lot of water, when time can do the job just as well.

    There are reasons other than yeast health for wort chilling. Wort cooling causes solids, called the cold break, to form and fall out of solution. When wort is transferred from the kettle to the fermenter, this break material is left behind.

    Wort cooling also slows dimethyl sulfide (DMS) production. DMS is a volatile substance produced in some worts, mostly those made from lager malts. DMS smells like cooked corn and is usually considered a beer fault, although it is noticeable and intentional in some commercial beers.

    Quickly cooling the wort also slows growth of some wort contaminants. Once the wort drops below 160 F (71 C) or so, there are many bacteria known as wort spoilers that can quickly grow and produce off flavors in wort. Quickly moving the work to fermentation temperature and pitching the yeast minimizes the impact of these bacteria on your beer.

  6. #6
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    Many of those points are true, but cold break is not detrimental to beer and most plants I have worked in do not separate cold break out. Its a case of leaving the hot break behind and direct transfer from kettle via heat-ex to FV with no intermediary process to remove cold break.

    The contaminant problem may be an initial concern, but time and temperature pretty much parlays any concern. Looking at my records, I have sold over 2000 odd hot filled containers for sale into the HB market in the last 12 months and have not had one issue. The only issue is keeping up with orders!

    Filling the cubes and the exposure time of heat over 90c is usually more than 4 hours on production days, so in effect it is a self sanitation effect.

    Locally we also have malts with low DMS precursor and any that come thru are far from a concern.
    Head Brewer Rocks Brewing Co.
    Sydney, Aust
    scotty@rocksbrewing.com

  7. #7
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    May 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett0424
    I would think a plate chiller would be more effective than two fifty foot immersion chillers and would be around the same cost if not less expensive.
    I could build a 50ft tube in tube for under $100 bucks (1993) in parts and cool it at about 5gpm. You can buy a sanitary PHE for that price? I know copper has gone up not that much tho. Actually this was two 25 foot sections. I just checked 1/2" OD copper tube 50ft is about 3.50/ft today so figure about $175 in parts.
    Last edited by madriverglen; 10-17-2007 at 08:48 AM.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2007
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    The therminator is under 200 dollars. I'm seeing 3.75/foot for copper so it'd be right around the same price.

  9. #9
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    May 2004
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    5
    Quote Originally Posted by Brett0424
    The therminator is under 200 dollars. I'm seeing 3.75/foot for copper so it'd be right around the same price.
    Never heard of the Therminator. Looked it up. Nice. Only problem I would be concerned with is any thing getting inside as it does not look like it comes apart. Even my very expensive Alpha Laval PHE needed to be taken down every now and then for a good cleaning/inspection.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    35
    Yeah you would probably want to use some sort of screen before it. I do know of homebrewers using a smaller one (11 plates I think) without clogging. They aren't using a screen but are forcing the wort through with a pump.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    16

    Wort cooling

    Quote Originally Posted by Brew Chef
    what do you fellows recommend to use to chill 60 gallons of wort? Would homebrew methods be possible by using pre-chilled immersion or counterflow chillers? I haven't seen any prices for the pro systems. I was wondering how two 50 ft. immersion chillers in 5 gallon buckets of ice and water would work by pumping wort through them and into a fermenter. The amount of ice isn't much of a concern. Any suggestions?


    Also, how can you efficiently oxygenate this much wort without too much fancy equipment? As a home brewer, I use an airstone and a can of o2 from the hardware store for 5 or 10 gal. batches. Can you get a larger tank somewhere?
    Hi Brew Chef

    When I had a small brewery at my parents' house, I used a milk cooler. The wort flowed through a dribble bar over the corrugated tinned metal cooler and collected in a trough underneath. Water flowed counter current to the wort, giving some turbulence that greatly facilitates heat transfer. Far better than immersion chillers. I was brewing top fermented ales at the time so a pitching temperature of 70 degrees F was acceptable. The wort certainly picked up oxygen and maybe other things too. However, the OG was about 1055, so the brew survived without infection.

    I would recommend you use tap water to do most of the cooling before you resort to the more expensive ice - its cheaper.

    Regards
    Arcangel

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