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 Home Brew Forums > Tips on getting the most from your wort chiller.
08-11-2012, 08:44 PM   #11
WharfRat
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Cerevisaphile You are teaching this in a classroom?
It's really never too early to instill sound brewing sensibilities in our youths.
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08-11-2012, 08:56 PM   #12
macleod319
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Alright, a little science from a power plant mechanic. Heat transfer in a condenser/cooler/wort chiller/etc. is boiled down to the basic following equation:

Q = mc(T2-T1)

Q=overall heat transfer in BTU/time

m= the mass flow rate of your cooling medium in vol/time
c= the specific heat transfer capability of your chilling surface (i.e. the copper surface of the wort chiller in this case)
T2= wort temp (higher temp substance)
T1= water temp (lower temp substance)

The only way to increase the heat transfer capability of your cooler (without structural modification) is to either:

INCREASE the mass flow rate of your cooling medium (not decrease) by turning the water flow up
or
INCREASE the difference in the two temperatures, by using a pre-chiller or some other way of getting colder water inside the chiller.

This can be proven with further explanation if required. Anyone that disputes this fact is temping the laws of thermodynamics, and I would like to hear an arguement against. Discuss.

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 Originally Posted by ChillWill Stock market crashed? Hurricane warnings? Job sucks? Weather sucks? Friends busy? None of that matters as I'm going to brew some beer with some loud rock music.

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08-11-2012, 09:01 PM   #13
macleod319
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by WharfRat 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
Perfect example of "structural mods", but one of the best ways to increase your cooling efficiency with an IC by maximizing the surface/stratification area you are cooling.
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by ChillWill Stock market crashed? Hurricane warnings? Job sucks? Weather sucks? Friends busy? None of that matters as I'm going to brew some beer with some loud rock music.

08-11-2012, 09:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by macleod319 *Crazy scientific discussion ahead* Alright, a little science from a power plant mechanic. Heat transfer in a condenser/cooler/wort chiller/etc. is boiled down to the basic following equation: Q = mc(T2-T1) Q=overall heat transfer in BTU/time m= the mass flow rate of your cooling medium in vol/time c= the specific heat transfer capability of your chilling surface (i.e. the copper surface of the wort chiller in this case) T2= wort temp (higher temp substance) T1= water temp (lower temp substance) The only way to increase the heat transfer capability of your cooler (without structural modification) is to either: INCREASE the mass flow rate of your cooling medium (not decrease) by turning the water flow up or INCREASE the difference in the two temperatures, by using a pre-chiller or some other way of getting colder water inside the chiller. This can be proven with further explanation if required. Anyone that disputes this fact is temping the laws of thermodynamics, and I would like to hear an arguement against. Discuss.

Ok not a thermodynamics expert and my only training with hydraulics is running Fire Pumpers, that said my little brain can see how running the water slower could prove to be more efficient. I’m thinking that the issue could be at the reduction going into the chiller. When running water full blast through a ¾” garden hose into a ½” or even a 3/8" fitting, you’re going to run into a friction problem. Water is incompressible so as it tries to squeeze more volume through a smaller line you will end up losing overall flow, and the friction at the reduction could add heat to the liquid. Also if there are any air bubbles anywhere in the system this will add cavitation, further reducing flow, generating more heat and in the long run leading to damage of the soft copper fittings. I believe this calls for some testing. Try running full bore through the chiller without being in hot wort and check the temp of the outflow over say 5 min, then dialing the flow back and running the temp checks again.
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08-12-2012, 07:16 PM   #15
macleod319
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SNIP...

Quote:
 Originally Posted by dover157 I believe this calls for some testing. Try running full bore through the chiller without being in hot wort and check the temp of the outflow over say 5 min, then dialing the flow back and running the temp checks again.
What you're suggesting is running liquid through the wort chiller in air and checking the discharge temp, right? (supposedly) Demonstrating friction losses due to heat?
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by ChillWill Stock market crashed? Hurricane warnings? Job sucks? Weather sucks? Friends busy? None of that matters as I'm going to brew some beer with some loud rock music.

08-12-2012, 09:33 PM   #16
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Macleod, that is exactly what I am thinking. My theory may be way off base but a test is the only way I can think of to prove or disprove it. If I had a chiller I would test it myself but that will have to wait. As for me when I get the setup I plan on running lower volume over longer time to save a little wetter, living in a desert and all it just seems like a wise choice.

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08-12-2012, 09:42 PM   #17
Schumed
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My tip is to ditch the immersion and spend the extra bucks on a Plate Chiller

I just recently did this after using an Immersion for a for years...can't believe I didn't do this from the get go considering a plate chiller is only a few more dollars more

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08-13-2012, 03:15 AM   #18
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Ok, in a different world. When I use to work on race engines we would put a reducer plate instead of the thermostat. You didn't want a thermostat because a closed thermostat caused back pressure on the water pump causing reduced available horsepower. You didn't want to just have full open because the coolant would flow to fast to pick up the heat and to release the heat though the radiator.

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08-15-2012, 01:41 PM   #19
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Family's in town this week, but I'll get to this over the weekend. I'll do two tests, one dry, one in water. Anyone have anything specific they would like to see? I'll document in pics.

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Quote:
 Originally Posted by ChillWill Stock market crashed? Hurricane warnings? Job sucks? Weather sucks? Friends busy? None of that matters as I'm going to brew some beer with some loud rock music.

08-18-2012, 12:45 PM   #20
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Wouldn't this test be as simple as two experiments: 1). Running water fast 2). Running water slowly; in two separate trials with the wort and water temperatures the same (different from one another but the same for each experiment). Then measure the time it takes to disburse heat from boiling to 70deg in both. Seems you could run the test twice or three times to be more scientific, but that would answer the question. Might save us some reading of scientific theorems. My money is still with the folks teaching brew science to a classroom of eager students. Enroll me please...

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