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Old 05-22-2012, 05:00 PM   #1
rivertranced
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Default Whirlpool chiller: fluid mechanics questions

I'm about to add a 1/2" return to my IC, and am wondering what the optimal position is to create a whirlpool. The photo below will illustrate all of my questions.

Is it better to have the return higher or lower in the cooling wort? In many of the photos I've seen, the return outlet is about 1/2 way up from the bottom of the IC. Would putting it lower move more liquid and create a stronger whirlpool, or will it encounter more resistance?

Also, I've seen some people create a curved return that parallels their chiller. Is there any benefit to that, or would a straight pipe work equally well? I'm assuming that in either case you want the return to be at a 30-45* angle compared to the wall of the kettle.

Finally, would having 2 returns significantly improve the whirlpool over one?



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Old 05-22-2012, 06:10 PM   #2
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I'm no engineer, but my bet would be that you wouldn't see a significant difference when using any one of those options over another. The point is just to keep the wort moving, so that there's maximum exposure to the surface of the IC. There may be small theoretical advantages, but my guess is that the real-world differences would be too minute to even notice.

The one thing that makes sense to me would be to not have the return too low, since you run the risk of having the wort come out of the return and right back into the intake. But even so, as long as the wort is moving, you should be fine.



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Old 05-23-2012, 02:54 PM   #3
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I think you may be right, however I've seen a fair amount of discussion around the effect of a change in flow direction around pumps, so thought this might make a difference in the efficacy of a whirlpool. Thanks for the response!

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Old 05-23-2012, 07:18 PM   #4
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This is how mine is set up - works pretty nice. I cut my cooling time by almost half and with the pick-up tube oriented to the side I get almost no trube/hops into my fermenter. Kinda hard to tell by the photo, but the recirc arm is about half way up the IC.



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Old 05-23-2012, 07:39 PM   #5
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I put mine half way up as well ... Pics on page 2 here http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/dutchs-dualing-ics-321116/



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