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Old 08-07-2012, 08:02 PM   #1
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Default Tips on getting the most from your wort chiller.

I thought i would post this up to give some ideas on how to make your wort chiller more efficient. The biggest thing is i see people who buy one with the kitchen faucet type of adaptors. This is fine if your house is cool enough so you cold water is..well cold ! In the summer for some there house is in the 80s to high 70s. your water and pipes will be too !

Before you buy a wort chiller check your water temps. You may find water coming out of your hose faucet "witch comes from the ground pipes" will be colder than when it runs into your house. I was for me so i went the hose connector route.

One trick i tested was to put a ball valve on the end of my hose. something i stumbled on rather than knew. I added a ball valve so i could turn the water on at the chiller. this way if i had a leak or spray i was in control right there. What i found out is if you dial back the water flow. You give the water enough time to "soak" the heat before coming out of the chiller. Full blast did not cool as fast. Cooling 4g of wort on 15 min to 65deg.

It was interesting just how fast the wort temp dropped by doing this. Also i did stir the wort while cooling.


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Old 08-07-2012, 08:07 PM   #2
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"What i found out is if you dial back the water flow. You give the water enough time to "soak" the heat before coming out of the chiller. Full blast did not cool as fast."

Sorry, I think this is false. I believe the opposite to be true.

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Old 08-07-2012, 08:21 PM   #3
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What i found out is if you dial back the water flow. You give the water enough time to "soak" the heat before coming out of the chiller. Full blast did not cool as fast.
Have to agree with Pilgarlic. It's certainly not linear, but the higher the volume of water going through your chiller the faster it will chill. You reach a point of really poor efficiency, but it always will be faster the more water you pass through.

The best way to improve the effectiveness of an IC is to continuously stir.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:25 PM   #4
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"What i found out is if you dial back the water flow. You give the water enough time to "soak" the heat before coming out of the chiller. Full blast did not cool as fast."

Sorry, I think this is false. I believe the opposite to be true.
I do this test every year in my class room. This may not work from a kitchen sink faucet because of displacement. But from a water hose to 3/8 copper tubing "which speeds up flow" it does work. if the water coming out at full blast is luke warm. Compared to dialing it back and its coming out hot. Where is the heat transfer coming out the most ? Im not talking about cutting it off down to a trickle. But enought that the water can absorb the heat and carry it away.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:31 PM   #5
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the water coming out at full blast is luke warm. Compared to dialing it back and its coming out hot. Where is the heat transfer coming out the most ? Im not talking about cutting it off down to a trickle. But enought that the water can absorb the heat and carry it away.
You are transferring heat to a much smaller amount of liquid. If you transfer the same amount of heat to 5G of water and 50G of water, the 5G of water will be much warmer. It doesn't mean that the 5G of water was more efficient in transferring the heat.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:33 PM   #6
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What you're not factoring in is the calories removed/volume of water through the chiller. If you could slow it to a drop, it would likely be scalding. But it's removing very little heat from the wort because it's a very low volume. The same holds true at every point in the change in the flow rate. The relationship does not reverse at higher rates of flow. The higher the rate of flow, the greater the temperature differential, the greater the heat exchange.

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Old 08-07-2012, 08:36 PM   #7
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I do this test every year in my class room.
(edit: you're teaching this to kids?)


It's not the water that cools the wort. It's the surface area of the copper that the heat is transfered to. The goal is to keep the full length of copper tubing at as close to the tap water temperature as possible.

The temperature of the water coming out the end is only relevant with respect to the volume of that water. One degree of heat removed from your 5 gallon of wort and transferred into 10 ounces of water will produce hotter water than if it was transferred into 10 gallons of water. But it's still just one degree.

Edit to say:
Ideally you'd want the water coming out the end to be almost the same as going in. Efficient use of water, no. Effective, yes.
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:23 PM   #8
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It doesn't even make common sense that you wouldn't want the water in the chiller to be as cold as possible, which is only possible by increasing water flow.

Simple example:

With 100% heat transfer and the chiller static (not flowing) and filled with 100 degree wort and 50 degree water, both liquids will normalize to 75 degrees over time.

NOW, speed up the water flow, and the wort is continuing to cool downwards, but the 50 degree water is constantly being replaced by more 50 degree water, so it IS NOT normalizing in the direction of the wort tem, so the static wort will chill to 50 degrees over time.

Slowing down the water flow certainly DOES NOT increase the cooling efficiency of the wort chiller.

Flip flop the variables, and you'll see that slowing down the WORT flow certainly DOES increase the cooling efficiency of the wort chiller!

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Old 08-11-2012, 07:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BronxBrew View Post
I do this test every year in my class room. This may not work from a kitchen sink faucet because of displacement. But from a water hose to 3/8 copper tubing "which speeds up flow" it does work. if the water coming out at full blast is luke warm. Compared to dialing it back and its coming out hot. Where is the heat transfer coming out the most ? Im not talking about cutting it off down to a trickle. But enought that the water can absorb the heat and carry it away.
You are teaching this in a classroom?
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:43 PM   #10
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One thing I believe has helped my cooling times a bit is modifying the coil of my chiller to fill my kettle. I staggered the coils, pulling the bottom one right, next one left, etc etc, so that there are fewer pockets in the wort that are far away from the copper. Made my chiller look pretty janky, but I think it trims off a few mins and thus saves some water

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