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Old 03-02-2009, 12:18 AM   #1
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Default Newbie Question - Equipment Hook Up

I purchased a 20 gal Blichmann this weekend so I am upgrading from 3 gal concentrated wort boils.

I assume that I now am going to have to get a wort chiller (vs. cooling in the kitchen sink) and from the research that I have been doing I think the way to go is with a counter flow chiller.

Here are my questions:

Do I have to hook it up with a pump or can I rely on gravity to do it all?

will one pass through the chiller be enough to cool the wort down or would I want to feed it back into the boil pot and recirculate?

Thanks for the help

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Old 03-02-2009, 11:33 PM   #2
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It really depends on the temperature of your chilling water. Here in SoCal, even in the dead of winter, I need to recirculate through my plate chiller to get down to pitching temp. Which is actually a great way to chill, it just means you need a pump. (Which is an amazingly handy brewing accessory anyhow.)

You can also pre-chill (and/or recirculate) your cooling water, but then you need ice...to me the pump is a better investment than extra chilling coils and ice. Furthermore, I like that the near-boiling wort does a nice job of sanitizing my chiller and hoses.

OTOH, lots of guys in colder climates use gravity with CFCs, and get down to temp in one pass. Some even have to throttle back their water to keep from over-chilling.

Congrats on the Blichmann!

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Old 03-03-2009, 02:09 AM   #3
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BLL is right. Measure your water temps coming out of the faucet. If you are around 60F or less, a single pass via gravity will do it for you. If it is too much higher, then you need to consider recirculating with a pump or an ice pre-chiller.

"I brew with a water cooler and some part from the toilet." - JohnnyO

"I do gravity feed the last gallon or two through my Therminator, but I expect you could suck start a Volkswagen before you could suck start one of these. - GilaMinumBeer

"..... Bull was right." - TXCurtis
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