New piece of shiny - Hydra immersion chiller

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Simonh82

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Chilling time went something like:
0 min - 98°C
1 min - 64°C
2 min - 47°C
3 min - 38°C
4 min - 28°C
5 min - 24°C
6 min - 20°C
 
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Put my new Hydra chiller to the test yesterday. It's a game changer. I chilled from boiling to 20°C in 6 minutes. That's in a very full 30L kettle.

I brew late at night and along with a 30 min mash and boil my brew day was just over 4 hours and I was in bed not long after midnight.
Have you picked up any more tips to shorten your brew day?
Cleaning is the biggest time consumer for me, struggle to find a way of making that quicker.
I put towels over the kitchen table and let things dry upside down over night, because they are all packed away in a cupboard.
I use water from my CFC to wash and rinse my kit.
 

Simonh82

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Have you picked up any more tips to shorten your brew day?
Cleaning is the biggest time consumer for me, struggle to find a way of making that quicker.
I put towels over the kitchen table and let things dry upside down over night, because they are all packed away in a cupboard.
I use water from my CFC to wash and rinse my kit.
I agree cleaning is a bore and really time consuming. I an probably not the best person to take advice from as my brew shed is a complete tip but I try to clean as I go during the downtime. Moving back to an immersion chiller has been good because I just dunk it in a bucket of water that I collect from the chiller outlet hose.

The main thing I've been focusing on is just simplifying my brewing step. Previously I was going down the self-build automatic brewery route and was wiring up a PID and control box with pumps and what-not. I was doing occasional step mashes and always did a mash-out, I was also doing long whirlpool hopstands. Now I've ditched the control box and pump and I'm doing single infusion mashes with no mash out. I've cut my mash and boil lengths but I'm going to go back to at least a 45 minute mash as I think the efficiency of a half hour mash (combined with larger grain bill) was at least 5 points lower. I've stopped doing hop stands and instead I've gone back to 5 minute additions and then immediate cooling. It has definitely sped things up and now with my new chiller, the end of the brewday is even quicker.
 

Simonh82

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How many metres in total? I made mine and it sucks. I could do with straightening mine out and getting 2 more rolls. I only ever chill to around 40c and put in a cube until next day.
The Hydra has 3 25 foot coils of 3/8" (10mm) copper running in paralel so that's almost 23m total length. I think the big difference is that there are no bottlenecks in the chiller. You can run an outside hose tap at full blast and the chiller doesn't slow it down, so it carries away the heat very effectively.

I was ready to be disappointed and think that I had wasted a load of cash on a dud but as soon as I turned on the tap and the temp started dropping I knew that I was onto a good thing. The best bit was the last couple of minutes which went from 28°C to 20°C. These always took ages for me, so seeing the temp carry on dropping rapidly was brilliant.
 
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I am in a similar situation to you, 2 month old son and feeling guilty, spending all day Saturday or Sunday once a month brewing.
I would like to get a tighter routine together and do an evening brew like yourself.
I use a Grainfather, so hop stand additions do not take any extra time because the hops are sat in hot wort until the counterflow chiller has drained the tank. I recirculate down to 80c before I start transfer.
But even in the middle of winter, it still takes the best part of 20 mins to chill and transfer 23 litres. I doubt there is anything on the market to touch that chiller of yours.
40 min mash and 10 min mash out may be my route, then look at a shorter boil with first wort bittering hops.
I am chewing over the idea of building a log cabin, so I will have a permanent setup, that would really make an evening brew easily achievable.
 
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Nice chiller, but how much!?!?

Just going to chime in here as the idiot to doesn't understand thermodynamics or heat transfer principles...

When using my immersion chiller should I have the cold tap open as much as possible?
 

Simonh82

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I am in a similar situation to you, 2 month old son and feeling guilty, spending all day Saturday or Sunday once a month brewing.
I would like to get a tighter routine together and do an evening brew like yourself.
I use a Grainfather, so hop stand additions do not take any extra time because the hops are sat in hot wort until the counterflow chiller has drained the tank. I recirculate down to 80c before I start transfer.
But even in the middle of winter, it still takes the best part of 20 mins to chill and transfer 23 litres. I doubt there is anything on the market to touch that chiller of yours.
40 min mash and 10 min mash out may be my route, then look at a shorter boil with first wort bittering hops.
I am chewing over the idea of building a log cabin, so I will have a permanent setup, that would really make an evening brew easily achievable.
I built my own counter flow chiller and when it was working it worked well but being made from 8mm copper tube it still took ages to drain 30L of wort through it. I was also never happy with the cleaning. I would circulate PBW through it when cleaning the kettle and rinse it but I could never dry it properly and then I was nervous about circulating during the boil to sterilise in case I filled my beer with black gunge. I usually drained a few litres of star san through it and left it at that. Then one night at about 2 AM, the soldered joints started leaking and I had to dig out my old immersion chiller. In doing so I dribbled year old water from the immersion chiller into the beer (luckily it was fine). The combination of all that and receiving a small bonus convinced me to splash out on the hydra.
 

MyQul

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I am in a similar situation to you, 2 month old son and feeling guilty, spending all day Saturday or Sunday once a month brewing.
I would like to get a tighter routine together and do an evening brew like yourself.
I use a Grainfather, so hop stand additions do not take any extra time because the hops are sat in hot wort until the counterflow chiller has drained the tank. I recirculate down to 80c before I start transfer.
But even in the middle of winter, it still takes the best part of 20 mins to chill and transfer 23 litres. I doubt there is anything on the market to touch that chiller of yours.
40 min mash and 10 min mash out may be my route, then look at a shorter boil with first wort bittering hops.
I am chewing over the idea of building a log cabin, so I will have a permanent setup, that would really make an evening brew easily achievable.
If you're looking to save time have you considered 30min mash/30min boil? And perhaps even no chilling
 
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If you're looking to save time have you considered 30min mash/30min boil? And perhaps even no chilling
Does a 30m mash effect you efficiency much?
I don't mind spending 50p more on malt to loose some effeciency, maybe even full volume mash no sparge.
I do like to do mash out, especially if i went the no sparge route.
 

Simonh82

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I tried a proper 30 minute mash and boil for the first time on my last brew, previously I'd done 45-50 minute mashes and 30 minute boils. I think that I lost 5 points from my usual 80% efficiency. Some of this could also have been down to a larger than average grain bill at 6KG and the fact that I lost more temperature than I expected when mashing in, so my mash was at 63°C rather than 67°C, so conversion was probably happening slower.

Personally, I will be sticking with 45 minute mashes but I'm very happy to cut my boil time down to maybe 20 minutes for hoppy beers where I will be adding lots of hops at the end of the boil.
 

MyQul

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Does a 30m mash effect you efficiency much?
I don't mind spending 50p more on malt to loose some effeciency, maybe even full volume mash no sparge.
I do like to do mash out, especially if i went the no sparge route.
Some people say it does but it doesnt mine. I get 66% whether I mash for 30min 40min or 60 min (the usual mash times I follow depending on circumstance)
 

Drunkula

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After reading about these in so many brulosophy articles I've always wanted to see one. I'm joining the cause:

 

-Bezza-

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I am in a similar situation to you, 2 month old son and feeling guilty, spending all day Saturday or Sunday once a month brewing.
I would like to get a tighter routine together and do an evening brew like yourself
I'm soon to have two offspring in existence and wondering to what extent I'll be able to brew whilst keeping everyone happy. I've just got a grainfather and not used it yet but thinking:

- Pre-heat the mash water on a timer, so it's ready to go when I am.
- Dough in (15 mins)
- Stepped mash using the GF controller, but program to hold 65C for an hour so I can do other things like bathtime and bedtime. Get sparge water on, get hops weighed out etc, and then mash out for 10 mins. (30 mins)
- Ramp up to the boil whilst lautering and sparging (30 mins)
- Boil for perhaps 45 mins (30 mins seems a bit too bold for me right now) (45 mins)
- Chill and pitch (30 mins)
- Clean up, using warm water from cooler (30 mins)

At a push, might be able to get down to around 3 hours of me being at the steering wheel.
 

melhaer

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Chilling time went something like:
0 min - 98°C
1 min - 64°C
2 min - 47°C
3 min - 38°C
4 min - 28°C
5 min - 24°C
6 min - 20°C
Hey, do you know what was the tap water temperature you were using during that chilling?

For example, here - Sofia, Bulgaria, the outer temp is about 32°C, and cold tap water is 23-24°C. Friday I was trying to chill with a stainless 6 meters serpentine, but bellow 40°C it was really slow, and I am looking for something more efficient like that Hydra...or a plate chiller.
 

melhaer

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I talked with the Chillinator guys on Facebook, and they said their product is similar to the Hydra efficiency and they also could provide custom size/shape for no additional price - at least for Brew Monk Magnus, which sounds great. I was thinking to buy the Hydra, but actually I prefer to buy European products because the US would cost a lot including shipping/duties atc.
 

Keruso

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Put my new Hydra chiller to the test yesterday. It's a game changer. I chilled from boiling to 20°C in 6 minutes. That's in a very full 30L kettle.

I brew late at night and along with a 30 min mash and boil my brew day was just over 4 hours and I was in bed not long after midnight.
That’s impressive, it takes about 7mins to pump out 25litres of wort through my grainfather counterflow cooler into the FV, my old coil cooler used to take about 20mins to get to 20C.
 

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