Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Getting the right size wort chiller

Wort ChillerI've found a solution to two of my pending hombrewing problems. The first problem was how to deal with my old wort chiller that was too small for my brewpot. And secondly, what to do about the leaking issue with my wort chiller. Clearly a new wort chiller was in order and I've temporarily put my smaller one away.

Say hello to my new 50 foot long 1/2" diameter copper tube wort chiller. This monster of metal was designed to take on 10 to 20 gallon batches. The bigger diameter pipe will allow more better throughput of cold water and help cool the wort quicker. It's also several inches taller than the old model and will completely fit inside the brewpot.

Here is a side by side comparison of my old wort chiller and my new one. The older one used 25' worth of copper and used much smaller diameter tubing and wasn't nearly as high as my new one. Now I believe I am ready for my next batch with the exception of cleaning and sanitizing my equipment.

I found the new wort chiller online on eBay from a seller named nybrewsupply. I was able to use the "Buy it Now" button and paid by PayPal. Quick and easy ordering. The shipping fee wasn't too bad and I received the unit in about a week from the East Coast.

Different sized wort chillersI was very happy with the transaction. There are several wort chillers out there in the market. Don't make the initial mistake I did and get a chiller that is too small for your brewpot.

Update August 2011: I used the new 50' wort chiller in the heat of summer. I found that in the heat of summer outdoors even this bigger wort chiller had difficulty chilling wort down to 80 degrees despite having 65 degree water flowing through it. Once the beer got down to 80 it seemed to stay there (outside air temp was around 95 degrees however). So I had to go a step further and submerge the kettle in an ice bath to get it down to pitching temperature. Bottom line, if you want wort chilled quick on a hot summer day - bring your kettle indoors and pack it with ice. It'll work even better.

Related articles:
- Planning for my next homebrew batch.
- Putting together the homebrewery.
- Creating a yeast starter for homebrewing,
- First batch of homebrew for the year.
- Choosing a fermenter for your homebrew.

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