You’ve been using a wort chiller to cool your beer quickly. You’ve seen the dramatic results that wort chillers give you compared to an ice bath. Maybe you want to cool your wort even more quickly, though. Or maybe you live in a hot climate where the groundwater is warm and the tap water doesn’t cool wort to a sufficient temperature when you use a wort chiller. Here are three quick tips for improving your wort cooling process:
1. Increase the cooling rate by whirlpooling the wort.
Re-circulating the wort in the kettle with a whirlpool helps to cool it more quickly. If you are using an immersion wort chiller the whirlpool will increase the flow of the wort past the cold copper tubing of the chiller. If you are using a counterflow wort chiller or plate wort chiller the whirlpool will introduce cooled wort that has already run through the chiller into the wort that has not been cooled yet, bringing down the temperature of the wort in the kettle.
Whirlpooling has the additional advantage of collecting sediment in the wort at the center of the brewing kettle so that the wort can easily be siphoned off, leaving the debris behind.
2. Decrease outlet temperature by placing your counterflow chiller in an ice bath.
If you are using a counterflow wort chiller and groundwater just isn’t doing the job of cooling the wort far enough, try placing the chiller in an ice bath while the water and wort are flowing through it. The ice water will cool the tap water that is running through the outer layer of the chiller, and that water will in turn cool the wort even more.
3. Decrease outlet temperature by running water from an ice bath through the chiller.
If you need to cool your wort more than your tap water temperature will allow, you can create an ice bath and feed the water from the bath through the chiller. You can feed the water with gravity, or you can pump it through to increase efficiency and ease.
Have you tried any of these methods for cooling your beer more efficiently? What were your results?