Can I transfer wort from my boil kettle to FTSs before it is fully cooled down?

Yes, indeed!!!

Once you are ready to transfer your wort (and we understand that there are many ways and schools of thought relative to whirlpooling hot vs cold and don't advocate any particular method there), here is one of the really COOL THINGS ABOUT THE FTSs system.. Because we use a Ss 304 immersion chiller coil, you can actually chill your wort down to pitching temps right in your fermenter!

How you do that really depends on your setup. Most of you will just want to use your FTSs for temp stabilization. Say you have an 80 degrees F ambient in a room (a closet in the house during warmer months) and you want a 68 degrees F ferment on your beer. That would be a "typical" case/application. And for this application and this set of parameters, we find that a typical ice cooler filled with 10 pounds of ice (and of course water for the pump to run!) can sustain the target fermentation temp for between 24 to 36 hours before requiring any ice additions to the cooler. And this was under the assumption the wort was chilled prior to being transferred into the fermenter and that the wort went in basically close to pitching temps.

This is relevant (the transfer temp of the wort into the system) because if you use an ice chest / camping-marine cooler type of setup (as many of you will!), it is a closed system insofar as the output water from the immersion chiller coil flows back into the chill water tank (your cooler). Thus , if you are running the system on hot wort that you transferred out of your boil kettle (of course after letting your trub settle out in the kettle by whatever means you utilize), then understand that you will have icy chill water carried through the chiller coil in the hot wort that then heats up that chill water and dumps it right back into your ice filled chest/cooler.

So after a vigorous initial crash in temps of like 3-4 degrees F per minute, as the warmer output water is returned into the cooler and melts the ice, you end up with reduced efficiency and for sure needing to load ice a couple of times into your cooler if you want to keep the chilling on a steep curve down to your target.

If you have tap water or garden hose water that is cold enough and you don't want to mess with loading an ice chest/cooler with a few bags of ice to chill your hot wort, well then the easy way would simply be to plumb your kitchen sink or your garden hose to the water intake tubing on the FTSs and then let the out tube just flow onto the ground or into a sink no differently than you would use an immersion chiller coil if you used it in your boil kettle. Just that in this case, you can move your beer across to your fermenter earlier in the process and when the beer is hotter and you might even talk yourself into being less paranoid about contamination risks when you draw hot wort into your fermenter versus pre-chilled wort.

If you don’t want to mess with plumbing a sink or a hose to your FTSs coil, and assuming you have cold enough tap or hose water, and you are outdoors somewhere that water runoff isn’t a problem, you can also always just output your hose or cold tap water right into the ice chest to keep the chill water cold that way.

That said, there are a number of you out there we know are going to do some pretty trick setups for your chill water source ranging from say a corny keg full of water sitting in a kegerator or chiller, or there are even folks talking about doing glycol systems. So how you go about your wort chilling procedure/method, will also have to do with your setup and chill water source. 

So keep in mind there are a lot of variable with this system. The temp of your wort when you transfer it in. The ambient of the room you are in. The coldness of your chill water source. Are you using a full closed loop implantation (where water ports right back into the ice chest only)? The chill water source setup itself. The size of your ice chest if you choose to go that route. How much ice you put in. Do you use block ice or cube ice or frozen plastic soda bottles? What the terminal temp you set for your beer to ferment at. The difference between the ambient in the room you are fermenting in and the ice chest (hot room melts ice faster than a cold room). The difference between ambient room temp and fermenter (bigger temp diff, more chilling needed). Are your tubing/lines insulated or non-insulated? This is just the short list

But again, despite the complexity of the determinate variables in the system, one SIMPLE REALITY we can say for sure: yesterday at noon we put 7 pounds of ice into a small marine cooler (pictured on the website) with some tap water , started with an fluid / wort temp of 79 degrees F, set our target temp to 68 degrees F, walked away from the whole setup (with an average ambient in the room itself between 77 and 80 degrees F), and today at lunch time the readout on the display is 68 degrees and the chill water is still a relatively cool 59 degrees F. That is pretty cool (pun intended!)

But what we can say is that without doubt, you can effectively chill your wort using our chiller coil. No matter how you do it. And you can pitch your yeast, start fermenting, and control your temps to a vary narrow range without much effort on your part and with the peace of mind knowing you are going to make kick butt beer because you can actually CONTROL YOUR TEMPS and overall just end up with BETTER FLAVOR PROFILES OF THE BEERS YOU MAKE using this system!

 

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