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jwbeard 07-22-2012 01:39 AM

Counterflow - What could we possibly be doing wrong?
 
1 Attachment(s)
So we bought an all-copper convoluted CFC from Midwest Brewing Supplies, and are getting dreadful performance from it. Even at a trickle from the kettle, with the valve barely open, we're hard-pressed to get 72 degrees (much less the low 60s that all the CFC threads seem to report). Hose is on full, and the runoff feels cold (implying incomplete thermal transfer). Turning down the hose raises the temperature, turning up the wort does too (I thought maybe it was flowing too slowly to properly take advantage of the convolution).

Hose-in is connected at the bottom of the CFC next to the wort-out; hose-out is at the top next to the wort-in.

Today we even put my old immersion cooler inline into a bucket of ice with the runoff going to the CFC. It got us another degree or two but no appreciable increase...

I'm worried about DMS, since it's taking 90 minutes to empty a 10 gallon batch (ridiculous).

Attachment 69222

Flow rate is deceptive above... Looks like its actually doing something interesting. It's not.

Please, tell me I'm being an idiot and am missing something obvious... This is ridiculous.

Yooper 07-22-2012 02:06 AM

I'm surprised with a prechiller that it didn't cool fast. What is your tap water temperature (right out of the tap)?

Edit- I misunderstood and you don't have a prechiller. If you ground water is warm at this time of year, a prechiller is a good idea. That would be your IC in a bucket of ice water for your tap water before it hits the CFC.

bucfanmike 07-22-2012 02:10 AM

are you running the water and wort in opposite directions? If you are running them in the same direction you wont see much cooling, just like you are describing

bucfanmike 07-22-2012 02:12 AM

i see the way you have it standing up, water out is at the bottom, if that is also where you have the wort exiting it wont work.

airving 07-22-2012 02:14 AM

I'll ask the easy question: What's your water temp? The farther below your target temp it is, the quicker it will be to cool. I recently had mine going full speed (water from hose wide open and kettle through pump through CFC back to kettle) and got from boiling to ~160 in 25 minutes. But my water isn't very cold...

jwbeard 07-22-2012 02:21 AM

The wort goes in the top and out the bottom; the hose water goes in the bottom and exits the top. Current water temp is 60...

And yes, there's a pre chiller- hose goes to IM, which was in a bucket of ice; then from the IM to the CFC.

Golddiggie 07-22-2012 02:41 AM

If you have a pump, you could run the wort through the chiller, back into the kettle (at full speed) to do a recirculation chill. Do that until it gets closer to your target temperature, and then run it one last time through the CFC into primary.

I do this with my plate chiller. I can get 7 gallons to pitching temperature, in the middle of summer, in about 10-15 minutes. That's with a smaller diameter hose feeding the chill water to the plate chiller (I'll be getting some 3/4" ID hose before I use it again). I do the recirculation for 5-8 minutes (depends on the season, and ground water temperatures) and then switch over to running into primary. I then use gravity to feed the chiller, with occasional hits from the pump. The gravity feed method does extend the chill time a bit, but it's better in the warmer months here. During the cooler/colder months, my chill time is about half of what it is in the summer.

BTW, what's the ID of the water hose you're using??

Ryush806 07-22-2012 02:42 AM

This may sound like a stupid question....have you tried collecting any of the wort after it's been chilled and used a thermometer to check the temp? The reason I ask is because it's possible at that flow rate that the actually thermometer side of your thrumometer (is that what it's called?) is not actually being touched by the wort. It could be that it's just measuring the air getting up into the device.

I prefer to use a valve after the thermometer to control flow instead of at the kettle because that way it ensures that the CFC and thermometer stay 100% full. This way you get an accurate temp reading and use all of your available heat transfer surface area to cool your wort.

jwbeard 07-22-2012 03:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Golddiggie
If you have a pump, you could run the wort through the chiller, back into the kettle (at full speed) to do a recirculation chill. Do that until it gets closer to your target temperature, and then run it one last time through the CFC into primary.

Pump is one of the next purchases. CFC and mash tun put a dent in the available funds...

Quote:

Originally Posted by Golddiggie
BTW, what's the ID of the water hose you're using??

3/8" lining for the hose-in, I believe. It's from the tubing I had connected to my IM, which is 3/8 OD copper.

jwbeard 07-22-2012 03:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ryush806
This may sound like a stupid question....have you tried collecting any of the wort after it's been chilled and used a thermometer to check the temp? The reason I ask is because it's possible at that flow rate that the actually thermometer side of your thrumometer (is that what it's called?) is not actually being touched by the wort. It could be that it's just measuring the air getting up into the device.

Not a stupid question at all - its actually a bit hotter, so you're probably correct about the measurement issue. The collected wort measured at 76 degrees in the carboy using the thermometer attached to the outside.


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