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Old 01-02-2010, 04:27 PM   #1
dekeduffy
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Default Wort Chillers - Immersion vs. Counterflow

I started brewing initially using ice baths to chill my wort. I was able to step-up to a hand-me-down immersion wort chiller about 2 years ago and I have been using that.

I'm looking into potentially picking up some new equipment. What are some of the benefits of immersion vs. counterflow wort chillers? I'm assuming time is the biggest factor, but wonder if there is more. Or if there are any requirements in using counterflow (need a pump, different connects, etc)?

If there is another thread that already covers this I wasn't able to find, please point me there.



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Old 01-02-2010, 04:37 PM   #2
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Wort_chiller


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Old 01-02-2010, 05:48 PM   #3
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There was just another thread on this. The main advantage of the immersion chiller is that it gets the WHOLE batch down at the same time thus reducing the window for DMS production. Also you get the cold break and can let it settle in the kettle. I don't know how much this is theoretical versus practical since many people seem to use all sorts of chillers to good effect.

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Old 01-02-2010, 05:54 PM   #4
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I use a plate chiller from http://www.dudadiesel.com/ and gravity feed it to my fermenter. No issues so far, I use a nylon paint strainer bag as a hop sock. It takes me roughly 6mins to chill 5gals to pitching temps.

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Old 01-02-2010, 06:04 PM   #5
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I use a home built all copper CFC and recirculate into the kettle until I'm under 150 on the input side (under DMS formation stage). Then I flow to fermenter. Obviously this requires a pump. Including the recirculating stage the entire volume of wort is at pitching temperature faster than with an immersion chiller.

Both types of chillers work fine...

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Old 01-02-2010, 06:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by wyzazz View Post
I use a plate chiller from http://www.dudadiesel.com/ and gravity feed it to my fermenter. No issues so far, I use a nylon paint strainer bag as a hop sock. It takes me roughly 6mins to chill 5gals to pitching temps.
Where does the hop sock go? I'm not familiar with what that is?
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Where does the hop sock go? I'm not familiar with what that is?
On the hop foot, duhhhh. It holds the hops during the boil so you can pull out all of the hop sludge before sending it to the fermenter. wyzazz uses it (probably) so the plate chiller doesn't get clogged w/hops after the first 10 seconds.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:15 PM   #8
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I just did my first batch with an immersion chiller. Up to this point, I have been using water and ice baths to chill my wort. When doing a full boil, it would take up to 2-2 1/2 hours to chill the wort barely down to pitching temps.

Holy Shnikeys!! With the immersion chiller, I was at pitching temp in 15 minutes. Absolutely amazing!

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Old 01-02-2010, 08:36 PM   #9
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Immersion chillers are simple, and work about as well as CFC or plate chillers IF IF IF IF IF IF IF IF IF IF IF IF IF the wort is constantly being exchanged over the surface of the chiller (via a pump or manual/motor drive stirring).

CFCs and plate chillers chill quickly but leave much of the wort hot for a while (perhaps contributing to DMS but almost certainly muting hop aroma from flameout additions). However if you recirculate with a pump, you can chill the whole volume quickly.

So the lesson to be learned is that all chillers have advantages and that the many of the disadvantages to any chiller can be solved with a handy march pump.

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Old 01-02-2010, 09:46 PM   #10
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This is down to personal preference of course. An immersion chiller is probably the most versatile. You can bring it to a friends house and use it no problem. The biggest performance factor with ALL chiller types is the temp of the incoming coolant and they can all benefit from icewater pumped with a pond pump unless your house water is 50F year round.



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