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Old 05-06-2011, 10:49 PM   #1
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Default Does wort chiller design (type) affect the effect of late and flame-out hopping?


My basic question is whether the different types of wort chillers have diverging effects on the use of hops at flame-out / final additions.

I have a plate chiller (some brouwland design) that chills the wort very well as my tap water is very cold. That i make small batches doesnt hurt either. I am using 3/8 ID tubing and a 1/2 meter fall from kettle to chiller and a further 1 meter fall to the fermenting vessel to give an impression of flow. With the size of my boil kettle (13L, small batch) my wort is chilled in less than 5 min or so i believe using the aforementioned approach.

How long would a decent immersion chiller take to chill an equal volume of wort relative to a counterflow/plate-chiller assuming identical water temperature and flow rate? The reason I ask is that if the recipe call for hop additions at flame-out the different designs of wort chillers may have an impact on how late addition hops affect the wort. In essence does keeping the wort in the boil kettle while chilling with a immersion chiller allow more of the goodies from the flame-out hops to seep into the wort relative to a plate /counterflow chiller?

Obviously if the surface area of the chiller design is similar, under cetris paribus, the different designs will have similar cooling capacity barring efficiency issues in the design. With my setup i cannot recirculate the wort back into the boil kettle (if i so wished, as i dont have a pump), thus this factor is not considered at present.

If a plate chiller design and a immersion / counterflow design has identical characteristics in terms of chilling the wort the plate chiller take x minutes to chill and transfer the wort to the fermenting vessel. An immersion chiller will be a function of the time it takes to chill the wort (x minutes) and the time it takes to transfer it to the fermentation vessel.

Basically more of the goodies can _potentially_ be transferred from the flame-out hops to the wort with an immersion chiller relative to a plate chiller as it in aggregate takes longer from end boil until the cooled wort is in the fermenting vessel. Also for the duration of the chilling cycle the application of an immersion chiller which chills the whole volume of wort make a larger volume of wort available for the goodies from the hops relative to a plate chiller. Further the available volume of wort available for the hops to do their magic decreases proportionally with time.

Now the question becomes, how much does this really matter?


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Old 05-06-2011, 10:57 PM   #2
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It effected my dry hopping. With a Plate Chiller, I don't bother anymore.

When I had an IC, I would wait until the temp dropped to 195 ish or so before adding my Knock Out hops. Now I throw them in at Knock Out and chill.

Plate chillers are pretty cool huh?

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Old 05-06-2011, 11:36 PM   #3
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The intention of the flameout hops is aroma and a small amount of flavor. Both of those are diminishing the longer they are in hot wort. Your plate chiller will save more flavor and aroma than an immersion chiller.

If you really want to seal in a large amount of aroma and flavor that you are not getting from late additions look into getting a hopback.

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