From the HBD Archive
From: abirenbo@rigel.hac.com (Aaron Birenboim)
Subject: Wort Chiller, blending, going commercial
Date: 1992-03-25 15:38:42 GMT

Bryan Gross bought 50' of 3/8" copper tubing for $20, and was thinking
of making a wort chiller. Well, for 5 gallon batches, 50' is awful long,
I might save 10 or 15' for other purposes. I use copper for racking
tubes which can be used in boiling wort for a counterflow chiller.

My first chiller was like Bryan suggested. Rack through a coil
immersed in cold water. I would advise running cold tap water into a bucket
with a hole in the bottom. This way there is a flow over the coil keeping it at a more constant tempreature.

I would also put hose barbs on the ends secured by compression fittings.
Remember to use teflon tape!

My first chiller was 1/4", which is way too small. It took like
an hour to chill with it, and it kept getting clogged. For my second
chiller i made a double coil of 3/8" where the ends come out of the kettle.
Attach hose barbs, and you have a nice immersion chiller.

I do not think i am experienced enough (yet!) to say how my beer
has changed with the new chiller. Other factors out weigh this now.
(I still have trouble getting the mash to the temp I want)
However, in reading Fix, I am now a proponent of getting trub out.
Counterflow chilling will make a better cold break, and hence better
trub removal, but with risks. To remove the trub, you must chill,
wait for trub to settle, then rack to fermenter and pitch. Too
much worry. With immersion chilling, just chill in kettle and
rack off trub. You do not want trub around while yeast is in
the lag phase. It will eat the trub to re-produce and create
compounds which may have off flavors. In retrospect, i think
my extrack beers were inferior to my all grain beers because
of this trub problem. When i went all grain, i started using
a wort chiller, and i think it was just the trub removal which
made the beer better.... not the all-grain process at all.

BLENDING:

jmaessen@athena.mit.edu was intrigued by my mension of blending.
For the New Belgium Breweries trappist, jeff uses several yeast
strains. A measured amount of wort is fermented by each yeast,
and blended at bottling. This is done for consistency. Jeff
did not mention his yeast types, but I'd immagine that most of
the wort might be his S. Cerevescae (sp?), some with other strain(s)
of S. cerevescae, and one or two with some Brett. yeasts. By
blending these "pure" brews he si assured that 1 yeast strain
will not overwelm another. It is also easier for him to keep
several pure cultures than one mixed culture due to the
yeast domination phenomenon. In wine and lambic old and newer
batches are blended to mix the flavor benefits in each. I know
little of wine, but geueze lambic mixes old lambic for sourness
and smoothness, newer lambic for its sharp tang, and fresh
lambic (possibly at high krauesen) for carbonation.

GOING COMMERCIAL:

Jack S. was intrigued by going commercial in ones own basement.
Well... you need an awful big basement like New Belgium's. I think
he has built a 4 barrel brewery, with several fermenters, and bottling
equipment. He is still most likeley about the smallest micro
in the us. Yes, he had to jump through many hoops. Liquor liscenses,
health inspection, zoning ordinances. Going commercial is more
than just a career move, its a lifestyle. It takes a lot of
capitol, skill, time and energy. I'll probobally make much more
money as a computer weenie, so going commercial has never entered
my mind. Besides... I have a long way to go just in gaining
brewing skill and technique.

aaron

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