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Old 01-03-2005, 08:25 PM   #1
cosmotini
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Default wort chiller types

It's my understanding there are two types of wort chillers, immersion and counterflow.

The immersion chller sits in the wort and cold water is run through the copper coil?

With the counterflow chiller, the cold water/ice is outside the coil and the wort runs through the copper coil into the fermenting bucket?

Is there an advantage of one style over the other?

My kit came with the counterflow type where the wort is run through the copper. How do you clean / sanitize it?

Thanks,

Dennis

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Old 01-04-2005, 03:55 PM   #2
Janx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmotini
It's my understanding there are two types of wort chillers, immersion and counterflow.

The immersion chller sits in the wort and cold water is run through the copper coil?
Yes. It is easier to use because it sanitizes itself by sitting in boiling water. It is limited as to the capacity it can effectively chill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmotini
With the counterflow chiller, the cold water/ice is outside the coil and the wort runs through the copper coil into the fermenting bucket?
Sort of. The beer goes through an inner copper coil. That coil is inside of a garden hose or vinyl hose. In this vinyl hose, water flows in the opposite direction from the beer allowing for a *much* better transfer of heat. So beer goes in the top of the inner coil and out the bottom, and cold water goes in the bottom of the outer hose and out the top.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmotini
Is there an advantage of one style over the other?
Immersion -
Advantages - simplicity to make, clean and use. Less risk of sanitation issues.

Disadvantages - limited to about 5 gallon batch. Less efficient water use. (Unless you use the outflow to clean or something)

Counterflow -
Advantages - works much better and you aren't limited to small batches.

Disadvantages - must be religiously cleaned to avoid infection problems. Finer adjustment to rates of flow required to make sure you don't over chill or under chill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmotini
My kit came with the counterflow type where the wort is run through the copper. How do you clean / sanitize it?
My procedure with my counterflow chiller is to run bleach solution through it, then an iodine solution, then use it to chill the beer. After I'm done, I immediately flush it out and run a bleach solution through it again before storing it. Because chilled wort touches the inside of the copper tube, a place that is very hard to clean or inspect, the counterflow chiller can be a dangerous vector of contamination unless you clean it very well. A beer line cleaner should be run through it occasionally to remove any deposits of wort.

Are you *sure* your chiller is not an immersion chiller? If it is a single coil of copper with no outer hose, then it is not a counterflow chiller. If it's a coil of copper with hose fittings on the ends, then you have an immersion chiller.

If that's what you have, just put it in the boiling kettle about 15 minutes from the end of the boil. That will sanitize it. When you turn off the heat, just connect an inflow and an outflow hose and start running water through it. The outflow water will be very hot so be careful.

Hope that Helps!

Janx
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Old 01-05-2005, 02:03 AM   #3
cosmotini
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I checked with the place I got the beermaking kit and wort chiller from.

The owner designed the chiller and has it manufactured to his specs.

He said it's a "kind of" counterflow chiller in that the wort runs through the copper tubing but instead of the tubing being in a jacket and running cold water, the chiller is mounted inside of a 5 gallon bucket that ice and water are put in. The copper coil is immersed in the cold bath. As the wort runs through the tubing, it's cooled to about 70 - 75 degrees. A nice feature of this design is that you don't waste a lot of water with it. I'll let you know how it works when I use it in a few days.

Dennis

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