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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > SS Counter flow wort chiller from Williams Brewing
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:35 PM   #1
Mtn_Brewer
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Default SS Counter flow wort chiller from Williams Brewing

Does anybody have experience with this thing:

http://www.williamsbrewing.com/STAIN...P3152C107.aspx

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Old 01-05-2013, 05:46 PM   #2
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I personally haven't used it, but I have a friend who uses the copper version as both a HERMS coil and a chiller and he loves it. Stainless should be a better version I would think.

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Old 01-05-2013, 06:34 PM   #3
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Contrary to what the Williams Brewing website states, copper would transfer heat better.

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Old 02-19-2013, 08:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skunker View Post
Contrary to what the Williams Brewing website states, copper would transfer heat better.
I have question about that. I know everybody has read that copper is better at heat transfer a thousands times but I am looking for clarification on it.

Yes copper does get hotter or cooler faster (more efficiently) than SS but as far as accomplishing your end goal of wort chilling is that really what you want?

In an immersion chiller, I would think copper would be better as you are submerging it in a body of hot wort during the boil (making it hot) and then running water thru it in order to change the temperature of the chiller. The faster (more efficiently) you change the temperature of the chiller the faster the wort it is submerged in will cool.

But in an counter flow chiller, you are doing the opposite. You are releasing a small amount of wort into the chiller which already has been cooled by running water thru it. The wort touching the cool surface of the chiller makes the wort cooler...so in a counter flow, wouldn't you want the chiller to resist getting warmer by exposure to the hot wort...wouldn't you want it to be sluggish in absorbing (transferring) the heat from the hot wort? Wouldn't something that is poor at absorbing the heat from the wort and maintain the cool that it has been set at be better so the next amount of wort that comes in contact with the chiller surface be touching a still cool surface?

Even though these chillers are really heat exchangers, you aren't really trying to exchange temperature but instead maintain one side (the cold side thru flowing cool water thru it) and pull the wort towards that side.

Since it is easier to change the temperature of copper it is easier to equalize the temperature between the hot and cold side in copper, when what you are really trying to maintain the cool surface of the chiller as long as possible so the equalization is averaged out to a lower temperature.

This is why I always thought that plate chiller are made of SS and NOT copper.

Again, I know we have all read that copper is "better at heat transfer" so I am looking to have this explained by someone that really knows. If anybody can explain WHY copper would be better in a CFC than stainless I would like to have it explained. I realize copper is also easier to work with and that' why most DIYers use it but is it really the best material for a CFC?
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:54 PM   #5
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I believe commercial plate chillers are made of SS because breweries use caustic and acidic cleaning chemicals which would destroy copper in a short time. Same reason aluminum isn't used.

Considering that there are copper brew kettles and mash tuns, it could just be an issue of cost...although the stainless does provide greater corrosion resistance.

You are trying to move the heat in the wort to the flowing coolant, not maintain anything. Copper is faster in moving that heat than SS.

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Old 02-19-2013, 10:17 PM   #6
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Actually I thought I was trying to move the cold to the wort. Not heat up the coolant water. Wouldnt a colder surface area that is more apt to stay cold do that better?

Isn't it just a surface transfer and you are using the coolant flow to keep the surface cool? Not that you are trying to put the heat somewhere else? (Although I do understand thats what happens, you average the heat energy between all components, so a cooler surface would keep the average lower) Basically, if you can keep the surface cooler, you would be more efficient at wort chilling

Steinbeir uses super hot rocks placed in the wort to heat/caramelize the wort. If there was a way to keep the rocks sterile, placing frozen rocks in the wort would cool it just the same way. However, you would likely need to replace the rocks with fresh cold ones as they can only get so cold. Hmmmm.

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Old 02-19-2013, 10:40 PM   #7
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And I get that the electrons in copper would be faster at averaging the temperature energy between the wort, the coolant, and the wall of the chiller, but I guess I am wondering at what point does having a part of the elements that are being averaged (the walls of the chiller) being more resistant to change become beneficial.

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Old 02-19-2013, 11:00 PM   #8
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It's all about energy, thermal energy. In thermodynamics, there's no such thing as "cold." It's all "heat": varying degrees of it. The cold water for cooling has less heat than the hot wort that you're trying to chill, and you're trying to move the heat from the wort to the coolant.

(As an aside, there's a trick question which demonstrates this: Which has more heat, a burning match or an iceberg? It's actually the iceberg. The heat present in an object is the sum total of the motion of all its constituent atoms and molecules, while its temperature is a measure of the average motion of the atoms and molecules.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TerraNova
If there was a way to keep the rocks sterile, placing frozen rocks in the wort would cool it just the same way. However, you would likely need to replace the rocks with fresh cold ones as they can only get so cold. Hmmmm.
Strictly speaking, any solid rock (or any solid substance, for that matter) is already frozen. But leaving pedantry aside, you wouldn't be adding the "cold" of the rocks to the wort; you're transferring heat from the wort into the rocks, from which you have previously removed more heat than they would have at room temperature by sticking them in the freezer first.

If I haven't convinced you yet, think about a cooler with a grain inside it being mashed. The cooler is resistant to the flow of heat, so it feels cool on the outside. This coldness doesn't get into the mash taking place inside. Otherwise, you couldn't maintain the temperature inside the cooler, and insulators would make the best wort chillers. It's the parts of the cooler that feel warmer to the touch than others (e.g., ball valve, lid) that cause the temperature to drop; this is because those are the parts where the system is losing heat.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:06 PM   #9
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Latium, I have been needing a thermodynamics tutor...

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Old 02-19-2013, 11:14 PM   #10
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Thanks latium, this is what I am asking about.

I need to ponder this a bit longer. There an element to this that I think I am not wording correctly.

It all seems to work for what we are doing but I am one of those types that has to know how it all works. Thanks for the info.

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