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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Counterflow - What could we possibly be doing wrong?
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Old 07-22-2012, 04:06 AM   #11
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I think I would try using a hose clamp or your fingers to apply some back pressure (like a valve on the outlet would do) to make sure the CFC stays full during operation. If only a little trickle is coming out of the kettle and there's no back pressure then only the very bottom part of the copper tubing will be full of wort. You'd have ~75% of your heat transfer surface not doing anything.

Also, does your kettle have a dip tube? If so there might be some air trapped in the line that can't get out. You can either use an autovent or just bleed a very small amount of wort out of the kettle first before you attach the tubing to make sure the dip tube is cleared of air.

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Old 07-22-2012, 04:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwbeard View Post
Pump is one of the next purchases. CFC and mash tun put a dent in the available funds...



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.
Get some garden hoses for the water going in. Best with 5/8" or 3/4" ID there (larger ID, more GPM flow). I've been using either 1/2" or 5/8" ID hoses for my chiller, but I'll be upgrading soon (to 3/4" ID). If you put the smaller ID on the our end of the chill water, that should give the water more loiter time, to increase the cooling capability.

Before I got the pump, I tried using gravity to feed the wort to chill. As the seasons became warmer, it was harder and harder to get a decent chill time. That's when I picked up the pump and started using my current method. Granted we don't get as hot out here, for as long, as you do in CA, the ground water temp can get up there. It can take a lot of effort to get the wort chilled to where we want it due to this.
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Old 07-22-2012, 04:19 AM   #13
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This is the other guy brewing with jwbeard today...

I think you may be right about air in the CFC and us only getting a portion of the heat transfer. I'm surprised nobody seems to have that problem. I'll look around and see if we can find an inline ball valve to attach to the end of the CFC.

Another question: Anyone connected the output of CFC to the input of immersion cooler in a bucket of ice water to drop the wort the last 10 degrees or so? Our problem using a prechiller is that we didn't get enough heat transfer to cool the water going into the CFC very much unless we had our water flow rate turned down too far..... I was thinking if I sanitize the inside of the immersion cooler, we could run the wort through it to cool a bit more than the CFC and keep our water running at a decent flow rate.

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Old 07-22-2012, 04:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie
If you put the smaller ID on the our end of the chill water, that should give the water more loiter time, to increase the cooling capability.
I wouldn't do this. You get more "use" out of each gallon of water but the more water you have going through your chiller the better it will chill the wort. Heat transfer is dependent on the temperature difference between the two fluids. If you are sending more water through, it will always be colder and you will get better heat transfer. I don't mean to sound like a no it all but I'm a chemical engineer and deal with industrial heat exchangers everyday. High flow of the cooling medium is essential to efficient heat transfer.

Quote:
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Another question: Anyone connected the output of CFC to the input of immersion cooler in a bucket of ice water to drop the wort the last 10 degrees or so? Our problem using a prechiller is that we didn't get enough heat transfer to cool the water going into the CFC very much unless we had our water flow rate turned down too far..... I was thinking if I sanitize the inside of the immersion cooler, we could run the wort through it to cool a bit more than the CFC and keep our water running at a decent flow rate.
I think this would work. The only problem would be potentially losing a little bit of wort inside the immersion chiller. You'd have a big temp difference between your wort and 60 F water in the CFC and get a good temp difference between cooled wort and ice water in the immersion chiller. Swirling the immersion chiller will help with heat transfer, too.
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Old 07-22-2012, 04:27 AM   #15
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The way you are set up I'd say that there is a good chance your thrumometer isn't getting an accurate reading.

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Old 07-22-2012, 04:30 AM   #16
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I was talking about having 3/4" in, and maybe 5/8" out. I wouldn't make the difference any more than that. I'll probably not do that when I change over to 3/4" ID hoses for my plate chiller. I'd rather have same rate in and out in my system.

The size difference was recommended by a friend that has a good deal of engineering (real world experience too) knowledge. I'd still rather go same size in and out. But, I would also increase the hose ID size to something higher. With that, you could do away with the pre-chiller (made from the old IC). You could also use a pond pump in a bucket of iced water to feed the chiller. Just make sure you have a large enough bucket, and enough ice, to get things chilled right. Not sure if a 5 gallon bucket would be enough for this. You might need a 10-15 gallon drum.

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Old 07-22-2012, 05:46 AM   #17
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Just trying to clarify, are you taking 90 minutes to get down to 72 degrees? Or are you trying to get into the low 60's?

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Old 07-22-2012, 06:03 AM   #18
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You can only go as low as your ground water temp without a pre chiller....which is ~80F in my neck of the woods. 60F in California? You must live in the mountains somewhere.

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