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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > get a counterflow wort chiller?
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:32 PM   #1
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Default get a counterflow wort chiller?

I currently have an immersion chiller that is not performing well enough for my tastes. I brew 11 gallon batches and living in so cal my tap water can be on the warm side so it can take an hour or more to get to pitching temps. Right now i use hose water to get down to 85-90 then use a (too small) pump to pump ice water through the immersion chiller.

It happens to be holiday season, and the inlaws have indicated that they want to buy me something homebrew related. Given my current cooling situation and (up to) a few hundred dollars what would you do?

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Old 12-11-2011, 11:37 PM   #2
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Don't expect to get to within much less than 10F between your tap water and your beer. You'll likely save water overall but if your tap water is 75F, the best you'll do is about 85F.

MC

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Old 12-11-2011, 11:39 PM   #3
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Get a 40 plate chiller and a march pump setup. I've been using the same approach you do this past summer. Now that its winter time we can use hose water and the IC to cool 11 G in 15-20 minutes. But come spring time I'm upgrading to the plate chiller because I can't deal with 3 months of the long chill time operations.

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Old 12-11-2011, 11:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misplaced_Canuck View Post
Don't expect to get to within much less than 10F between your tap water and your beer. You'll likely save water overall but if your tap water is 75F, the best you'll do is about 85F.

MC
Could still use a bucket of ice for the hose or plate chiller to rest inside, which will cool the water some more. And be much quicker then the IC.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:28 AM   #5
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Sticking a plate chiller in a bucket of ice water will do nearly nothing towards cooling the beer.

It's not the IC that's the problem, it's the "cooling" water being too warm - something a plate chiller alone won't solve. You'll need to set up a recirculating system with the chiller and dump ice into the sump to get the water cold enough to solve the root problem.

And of course, the pump, sump and ice would solve the same problem using an IC...

Cheers!

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Old 12-12-2011, 02:42 AM   #6
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Fountain pump 5gallon bucket filled with ice and water attached to chiller works here plus you don't waste water. I use mine after to clean and rinse.

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Old 12-12-2011, 02:46 AM   #7
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here's something different
2 - 20 plate chillers
the wort is run in series and the water in parallel
at 75 degrees for your tap water you'll need a ice bath
and her's something else different: use rock salt in your ice bath like when you make ice cream
remember: think outside the beer can

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Old 12-12-2011, 02:55 AM   #8
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[...]use rock salt in your ice bath like when you make ice cream remember: think outside the beer can
Why the rock salt? Seems totally misplaced - you're not trying to freeze the beer...

Cheers!
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Old 12-12-2011, 03:01 AM   #9
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rock salt will allow the use of less ice and we're talking about chilled water running against boiling wort
Git er done!

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Old 12-12-2011, 03:09 AM   #10
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rock salt will allow the use of less ice and we're talking about chilled water running against boiling wort
Git er done!
Well, I get that the rock salt increases the rate that the ice melts, thus driving the slurry temperature well below the freezing point, which for as long as the ice lasts you'd increase the chiller's cooling efficiency.

But you don't get that for free - the ice is melting at a higher rate. So I don't know about the "use of less ice" part. I'll have to defer to your experience

Cheers!
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