Originally Posted by weirdboy
Yeah I have a Therminator and have thought about this, too. It will work as a heat exchanger just fine, but the problem is that you almost always have some crud coming off your mash, especially when you first start recirculating. Enough that I'd worry about clogging up the tiny channels in the Therminator.
Maybe if you do a vorlauf for a while before running it through the Therminator it would be OK, but I wouldn't want to run it straight in without at least trying to clear up the wort coming off the mash first.
I do this, but with a tube CFC for exactly that reason. The mash gets recirculated through , which is easily large enough not to get clogged with any grains or crud that make it through the false bottom. Running a bit of hot water through when needed raises the temperature nicely.
When mashing is done, it's simple to connect wort return line to the boil kettle instead to pump everything into that. After the boil, hoses are swapped and the chiller is used to chill.