Immersion Chiller Question

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Immersion Chiller Question

Postby Legman » Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:58 am

On an immersion chiller, is it more efficient to have the water IN on the top coil or bottom? Or does it matter? :?
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Postby ColoradoBrewer » Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:15 am

In theory it would seem that it should be at the top since that's where the hottest wort would be. But it seems to me that would only apply if the wort is static. But an immersion chiller is much more efficient if the wort, or the chiller, is in motion. I stir the wort with a spoon during cooling and it really speeds things up. So my answer is I don't think really matters much. FWIW, I purchased my chiller from MoreBeer and the inlet is on the bottom.
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countercurrent exchange

Postby slothrob » Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:44 pm

I've always assumed that, by an approximation of countercurrent exchange, that running the cold water to the bottom (where the cooler water in the kettle should be settling) would be the most efficient. My Northern Brewer immersion chiller is designed to flow into the bottom.

Like CB said, stirring will make the bigger difference.
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Re:countercurrent exchange

Postby Legman » Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:21 pm

This was my first time using a chiller and I went by John Palmer's-How to Brew. And he said the water inlet should be to the top coil. So that's what I did. But it took !@#$ near 45 min. to get it down to about 76F.
I thought that was a little long. And I know there are other factors that need to be taken into account. But it's kinda funny you both said that your chillers that you bought had the water inlet to the bottom coil.
I may have to try that next time and see if that makes a difference.
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countercurrent exchange

Postby bfabre » Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:06 pm

But it took !@#$ near 45 min. to get it down to about 76F.
. That is strange!! my chiller only takes about 15-20 min. with stirring. I do have one question, are you on city or well water? I am on well water and it is much colder than that of the cities. Could this be why it it taking so long?
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Sounds about right to me

Postby ColoradoBrewer » Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:56 am

Legman, like bfabre said, a lot depends on the temp of your cooling water too. Where I live it's about 70º F in the summer. Before I started stirring the wort it would take around 45 minutes to get 5 1/2 to six gallons down to around 75º. So your experience sounds about right. With stirring I can get the wort down to 90º or so in about 10 minutes, depending on the time of year. Then I switch over to a pump immersed in ice water.
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Hmmmm

Postby Legman » Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:54 am

I am on city water and I know the temp. of the cooling water was part of the problem that day. It is the middle of August after all.
That's why I was asking which coil should be the water inlet. I thought that may make a difference.
But even still, I thought 45 min. seemed too long. I really didn't even get much cold break left in the kettle.
I'll try stirring more than I did next time.
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