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Old 05-26-2012, 08:15 PM   #1
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Default Counterflow Chiller recirculate?

Just recently acquired a counterflow chiller, and was wondering if it is possible to recirculate the wort back into the kettle if the water going into the counterflow chiller is not cold enough to be able to cool a 5 gal batch quickly enough as it comes out of the counterflow directly? (hot Texas ground water)

Is there problems with doing this?

Otherwise it could be HOURS before i have 70F wort to be able to direct to the fermenter.

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Old 05-26-2012, 09:36 PM   #2
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Sure you can recirculate, but it will never get any colder than your ground water no matter what.

If you have warm ground water, as many other brewers do, a prechiller is a good idea, or recirculate the chiller water through an ice bath in a big cooler so that you're actually using cold water to chill the wort.

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Old 05-26-2012, 10:38 PM   #3
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You can also go with a post chiller:

use your current counterflow chiller, and then go through another coil of copper that is submerged in ice water that is being agitated. That should be a good option as well.

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Old 05-26-2012, 11:08 PM   #4
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I think ill try this route of the faucet to immersion prechiller then to counterflow chiller, then recirc the wort back into the brewpot until cool enough to route into the carboy.

thanks for the tips.

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Old 05-27-2012, 12:20 AM   #5
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don't use the prechiller until you need to, otherwise you will run through a tremendous amount of ice unnecessarily.

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Old 05-27-2012, 12:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnef
don't use the prechiller until you need to, otherwise you will run through a tremendous amount of ice unnecessarily.
I totally understand hot ground I live in Houston. I use my old IC as the prechiller, stick it in a bucket with 10lbs of ice and some water and let it rip. The speed of the water and wort will determine the out temperature of the wort. I usually get 74 coming out using this method.
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