While in summer when you desire to drink chilled beer, you try many ways to achieve it, but don’t succeed all the time. There are many ways too to chill the beer. However, you need to avoid chilling it by using commercial ice because it generally contains bacteria which could spoil the beer. Also, domestic freezers may consist of bacteria which can enter your ice. This is because the fish or steak you buy from market and keep inside, may not be always sterilized. So, how should you chill your beer?
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In case, you are boiling 5-6 gallons (for a 5-gallons of batch) you won’t be able to add cold water to cool the wort. Several people try the ‘snow bank’ cooling method in winter, but it doesn’t work. So, you will require some type of heat exchanger to cool down your wort. Here are some varieties of wort chillers you can buy.
Plate wort chillers are complex in design than immersion wort chillers. They have an inner way for wort to flow through with a water sheath around it. Wort flow is again restrained through the plate chiller (normally with a connected ball valve) so, the ratio of cold water to the wort is more, which results in fully cooled wort output to the fermenter. Plate chillers are vulnerable to clogging if free orange peels, hops, hot or cold proteins or other such substances are not filtered before pouring in the chiller. So, they need to be cleaned completely after every use.
Immersion chillers are the inexpensive sort of wort chillers and so are very popular amongst the home-brewing chillers. They contain a coil of stainless steel or copper tube with hoses connected to both ends. The chillers are kept inside the boil pot for last 15 minutes for the purpose of killing bacteria if there are any. After the heat is switched off, cold water is passed through the chiller to discard heat from the wort. A gentle stirring or recirculation is required to optimize the heat exchange from the tube. The time needed for this is anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes as per the season of the year.
Counterflow chillers are complicated like plate chillers in design. Their inner tube of copper is surrounded by one more copper tube of bigger diameter. Hot water is propelled through the inner tube, whereas cold water is propelled in opposite direction through the other tube. Wort flow is restrained and so you need a greater ratio of cold water to wort, permitting you to output the chilled down wort straightaway in the fermenter. The inner tube requires to be cleaned after every use.
Using chillers for chilling beer is the best way to a cool and clean beer. Better buy one and enjoy the chilled beer!