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Old 08-24-2007, 12:58 AM   #1
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Default recirc'ing from chiller back to brew kettle

I've read a bunch about people pumping the output from their chillers back into the brew kettle to chill it quicker.
This seems counter intuitive to me.
This would bring the entire volume thru the temperature range where it is valunerable to infections slower while exposed to the air.

To me it would be better to go straight to the fermenter as the wort is not exposed to the air and potential contaminents (assuming proper sanitation) while going thru this temperature band.
I know my wort stays above 200* with the lid on gravity feeding 10 gallons thru my 3/8 CFC.

Opinions?

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Old 08-24-2007, 01:40 AM   #2
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There's a trade off. Either it's sitting up around 200 still making DMS (unless you've boiled 90+ minutes or it's down below 140 and vulnerable to contamination. I honestly don't think anything is going to get in if you keep a lid on it.

The other issue is that in the summer, a single pass through my CFC just isn't good enough.

If I had to come up with one more benefit of recirculating is that you dump cold break back into the kettle and it gets mostly filtered out through my hop bed.

That being said, I probably won't do it in the winter when a fast single pass is good enough because it won't sit in DMS production range for long.

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Old 08-24-2007, 02:48 PM   #3
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It takes less than 15 min. for me to chill with recirculating. My primary motivation is to preserve aroma from late hop additions. If you don't recirculate (or immersion chill), then that 5 min addition is more like a 20 min addition. I can get the wort down to 140 within 5 min. Plus I get less cold break into the fermenter which helps improve clarity.

I think the risk of contamination in that time is minimal unless one is a total slob. As the pot is still hot, there is warm air rising out of it that really limits the ability of nasties to get in it - just like the CO2 does in an active open top fermenter.

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