Step 9: Using the Wort Chiller
Now that the wort chiller is in good working order, it is time to test it out. I began boiling two gallons of water to simulate boiling wort and once it was almost there, I filled up the cooler with ice water. Since I try not to waste a lot of water, I used little frozen bottles since I can reuse them next time. Ice water temperature was 55 degrees F. I dumped the boiling water into a bucket with a plastic valve. Temperature in the bucket was 204. I opened up the plastic valve and the ball valve on the wort chiller.
When the bucket was nearly empty, I tilted it to get all the water I could out. Once it was empty, I tilted the cooler a little (don't spill the icewater!) to get as much "wort" out as possible. Final temperature of the two gallons of boiled water was 84.
This worked pretty well. I could have packed a lot more ice in there and that would have brought down the temperature of the wort to within the 60's no problem. I also liked how I could use the ball valve to kind of control the temperature of the water leaving the chiller - open wider for warmer, close it more for colder. I think this will have no problem on brewing day.
And of course, if this were real wort and not water, I'd flush out the coil during cleanup.