How to make a wort chiller for homebrewing


Step 9: Using the wort chiller

Picture of 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.
newflavour2 years ago
This instructable is great. Had you thought about using a small aquarium pump to could cycle the wort until you've crashed cooled it to the temp you need. With the final drain going in to your fermentor. You could use the pump in your flush cleaning also with star san or similar.
ParkRoadGuy4 years ago
What is the amount of time that it takes the wort to travel through the chiller? Is a good seal on the cooler really an issue? I am considering using this design as a mash tun/wort chiller, but would be apprehensive about putting a hole in the lid because of the sensitivity of the mash (avoiding any fluctuation beyond a couple of degrees).
linkdead015 years ago
It might be a good idea to get some tubing that is specifically made for hot liquid transfer. At least on the connection from the bottling bucket into the chiller. This would prevent the tube from expanding and possibly coming loose form your coupling.