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Old 05-01-2008, 07:24 PM   #1
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Default Counter Flow Wort Chiller

I am looking to purchase my first wort chiller. When I look at various posts, I notice there are counter flow wort chillers as well. Are the more efficient that the typical wort chiller? I live in Hawaii, so the hose water is always pretty warm. I dunno if that effects which one to get. Thanks.



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Old 05-01-2008, 08:11 PM   #2
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Counter flow wort chillers are definitely more efficient then immersion chillers. I found that I can cool my wort down to around the temperature of the hose water while only using about 5 gallons of water over a 10 minute period. Not to mention that there are several benefits to using a counter flow design: Faster cooling times which also means sooner pitch times, less water consumption, lower levels of DMS due to the quicker chilling time, and finally you leave a smaller window for bacteria to jump in and contaminate.



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Old 05-01-2008, 08:16 PM   #3
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I have to argue with the lower levels of DMS part of that. Yes, counterflow chillers are more efficient, meaning they will get your boil closer to the actual groundwater temperature faster. Remember, however, that with a counterflow you are only cooling one part of the wort at a time, leaving the rest behind to produce DMS that isn't being boiled off, as well as losing hop aroma. With an immersion chiller you are cooling all of the wort to lower (non-DMS producing temps) at the same time. You will probably need to add sanitary ice to get the last few degrees but a little preparation and recipe adjustment and this is no issue.

Use what works for you they are both great options.

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Old 05-01-2008, 08:22 PM   #4
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I'm going to be building myself an immersion chiller following the thread in the DIY section(thanks). But all in all it's pretty much presonal preference. They both have their pros and cons.

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Old 05-01-2008, 08:24 PM   #5
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A counter flow design does only cool a small portion at a once but it flies through 5 gallons in very little time. From all the sites I have read it takes a lot longer for an immersion chiller to reduce 5 gallons of wort down to safe temperatures than it does for a counter flow chiller. I argue this, but I have only ever used a counter flow chiller so I really don't have the right to make the statement in the first place.

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Old 05-01-2008, 08:59 PM   #6
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I've used both (though I only use a CFC now) and for me the cooling times were comparable. I just prefer the CFC since I can use much less water to cool the same amount of wort and that is important to me. Brewing requires a lot of water and I like to minimize wherever possible. For this reason I run the output of the cooling water into a large tub and use that warm water for cleaning.

The key to getting the immersion chiller to work quickly is to get it moving around in the wort, don't just leave it sitting there. Stir the wort with the chiller or get a whirlpool moving around the coils and it will take the temperature down very quickly.

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Old 05-02-2008, 12:49 AM   #7
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I just thought of something....

Who says you have to stop boiling when using a counterflow chiller?? Why not just keep the wort boiling and shutoff the flame when there a few gallons left.

I guess this would throw off your hop additions tho...nevermind

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Old 05-02-2008, 03:34 AM   #8
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You would also boil off more of your wort leaving you with a higher gravity brew with less volume.

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Old 05-02-2008, 11:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigben
I just thought of something....

Who says you have to stop boiling when using a counterflow chiller?? Why not just keep the wort boiling and shutoff the flame when there a few gallons left.

I guess this would throw off your hop additions tho...nevermind
Why would it throw off your hop additions any more than if you turned the heat off? Think about it, you will be draining wort at the same speed whether or not the flame is on, so in fact, it makes no difference. The wort will only drain so fast either way, the little bit of extra heat in the wort will do nothing for the hops addition one way or the other.
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:57 AM   #10
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Cuz your boiling them still. Boiling the hops removes some hop flavor as the oils get boiled off.



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