The answer is....

So last week I posed the question to all you readers of "What do you think this is"

Pretty much all of you guessed just about right! It is an wort immersion cooler for use when making beer. "Wort" is what the beer is called after it has boiled with all of the stuff like hops that make the beer "beer". And it is important to get that wort chilled very quickly or it won't necessarily ferment well. See, when you boil the wort, it gets all the way up to about 225 degrees or so. You need to get it under 140 degrees as soon as possible and then all the way down to 80 degrees or less before you stick it in the carboy (containter it then ferments in). The way this chiller works is you connect it with some tubing to either your kitchen sink or a garden hose if you are outside, the water spins around the inside of the copper tubing you see pictured above - it's set into the beer pot and the cold copper cools the wort.

Nate used to stick the entire pot that he boiled the beer in into a bathtub full of ice water. And he could usually get the temp down to 140 degrees quickly enough but the rest of it would take almost an hour to cool down. So, he decided maybe it was time to get one of these immersion chillers. And then when our extra freezer in the basement died and we ended up not having storage for large bags of ice any longer, it sealed the deal. He quickly discovered he could build one for cheaper than he could buy one pre-made, so he built it and we tested it out when we brewed beer over the weekend - it works SO WELL. We acheived 140 degrees in about a minute and were under 80 degrees in six minutes. It is such a time saver. And acheives the goal of getting the wort cool so much more efficiently!

So there you go - as I said, all those who commented were pretty much on the same page (except for you Mr. Anonymous - and Nate wants to know who of my readers thinks he would even dream of engaging in such illegal activity as distilling alcohol - we don't need the FBI on our tail, we'd never do that!) - so true to my word, I have drawn a name for a coffee gift card and Miss Julie, you are the winner. I will send you a gift card to whichever of the three coffee places I mentioned strikes your fancy, just let me know.

Thanks to all who induldged me in this fun little game, maybe I'll try it again sometime!



Gina said...

Glad to hear it worked out so well for you guys! I bet this is going to make brewing beer so much easier!

Julie said...

Oh my...I really won. Thanks Beth. And thanks to you and Nate, I now know a little bit of what goes on behind the scenes of making beer.
As for the coffee shop, like you, I'm a Caribou girl.