Are counterflows more efficient at cooling?

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Are counterflows more efficient at cooling?

Postby jayhawk » Mon Aug 19, 2002 5:42 pm

My immersion chiller uses over 100L of water to chill 23L of wort to 35C. At that point I shut it off because I feel guilty for wasting so much water. The chilling time is around 30 mins. I then cool the wort further by passing the siphon hose over ice packs as I transfer from kettle to fermenter. I have reduced the volume of my boil slightly to try and speed things up, but I would much rather brew w/ full wort boils. What are the other various methods people are using for chilling their wort? I am interested in the counterflow method, but is it more effecient?
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simply, yes! most definately!!

Postby Fraoch » Tue Aug 20, 2002 1:43 am

i used to pass my wort through iced saline solution, which was great for the first few litres, but then it gradually got warmer and warmer. i made a counterflow chiller with the excess copper tubing i had left over. I only used 4m as that was all i had left. Other forum users will give you 5m or so is the required length( if my memory serves me correct). Anyway i can cool to 3c above whatever the water temp is with very little amount of water being used or rather the pressure does not have to be high to achieve good results. At the moment as it is winter here it OVER cools my wort and i have to speed up the flow of hot wort! Living in Brisbane this is a new experience for me. As i said, others will give you the specifics, but you wont regret spending the time to make one
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Most Efficient Chiller Available Short of Glycol Cooling....

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Thu Aug 22, 2002 12:54 pm

The best chiller available to serious homebrewers, short of glycol heat exchangers ($$$$), is a convoluted counterflow chiller. The chillers are all metal... the outside is copper, the coil the wort passes through is stainless steel, just like the best of the counterflows. The enhancement is that the wort line has peaks and valleys on the outside of the wort line to increase the surface area and therefore greatly improve heat exchange to the water. These chillers can chill wort to within 3 deg. F. of the water temperature and with fewer passes, reducing the size over conventional counterflows. Chilling of a 5 gallon batch takes around 14 minutes on average. These, unfortunately, cannot be home built due to the custom nature of the convoluted tubing.

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St Pats?

Postby andytv » Fri Aug 23, 2002 10:12 am

I'm a little confused Mesa; When you talk about convoluted wort line, are you talking about glycol chillers or good CF chillers? I know that ST Pats offered a convoluted CF wort chiller for about $100, and I intend to buy one (after I buy all the other things on my list). What's your guess on chilling a 11.5gal batch to pitching temp?

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Yep... The best CF chiller design....

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Fri Aug 23, 2002 1:18 pm

Sorry for the confusion. What I intended to impart was that short of moving to glycol or other refrigerated media chilling, convoluted, counterflow chillers offer the best performance. The one offered by St. Pats is an example of this device. As far as a guesstimate how long it would take to chill your 11.5 gallon batch, at a pitching temperature of 70 deg. F utilizing 67 deg. F. water, it would take around 25 minutes assuming adequate wort flow.

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question

Postby stouts » Sat Aug 24, 2002 10:33 pm

may sound stupid but how is the wort forced to flow through a countherflow chiller? jay
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gravity

Postby andytv » Sun Aug 25, 2002 3:02 am

I would think that gravity is the most cost effective method for us homebrewers.

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Yup... Gravity...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Sun Aug 25, 2002 2:06 pm

CF chillers are usually designed to attach to a valve at the base of a brew kettle. By placing the chiller lower than the valve and throttling the valve to control the flow, you can vary the temperature that the wort exits at. It is also key to vary the input water flow. If it's too fast, it won't cool well, if it's too slow, it may cool in the initial passes, but will actually end up warming the incoming wort and performance will go downhill this way as well. I believe a pump is pointless because the wort ends up flowing at the right pace by gravity in my experience.

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so?

Postby stouts » Sun Aug 25, 2002 4:22 pm

so is it just a one pass through? also is it worht a hundred bucks? jay
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Valuable Time

Postby andytv » Mon Aug 26, 2002 2:30 am

I don't have a CF chiller, but I've been studying them, and plan on buying one soon. Yes, with proper flow, you only need one pass. As far as value; You have to be able to associate a cost with your time. For me, the savings of 45min+ per brewday justifies the expense. Also, the wort is somewhat safeguarded from the exposure to air that you get while immersion cooling. And lets not forget that CF chilling can be an unsupervised operation, which means that you can be cleaning up your mess instead of standing over your brewpot stirring the immersion chiller.

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Passes & $

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Mon Aug 26, 2002 2:31 am

Yes, they are designed to knockout in one pass. I believe they are worth it because they are faster and produce lower temperatures than an immersion chiller.

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