Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Which is better: pre-chiller/immersion chiller or the full length immersion chiller?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 05-02-2013, 12:13 PM   #1
mtnagel
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 6 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,943
Liked 177 Times on 139 Posts
Likes Given: 162

Default Which is better: pre-chiller/immersion chiller or the full length immersion chiller?

Let say I have 50' copper tubing. Which is better:

1) One 50' immersion chiller or
2) Cutting into into two sections to have a pre-chiller and an immersion chiller. For example a 30'-35' immersion chiller and a 15'-20' pre-chiller that will go into ice water to cool the tap water before going into the longer section of immersion chiller in my beer

I hadn't really thought about it and it seems like most people just go with the longer immersion chiller without the pre-chiller, but I borrowed a friends who did the latter option and it got me thinking which would be better.

Let's assume my water is 40's-50's in the winter and maybe low to mid 60's in the summer (not really sure; never measured it). Based on those estimates, my gut tells me it would be better to have option 2 in the summer, but it probably wouldn't matter much in the winter. But curious what everyone thinks.

__________________
mtnagel is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-02-2013, 12:46 PM   #2
govner1
Raconteur
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
govner1's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,749
Liked 201 Times on 168 Posts
Likes Given: 8

Default

Why not make a counter flow chiller?

__________________
govner1 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-02-2013, 01:07 PM   #3
mtnagel
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 6 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,943
Liked 177 Times on 139 Posts
Likes Given: 162

Default

Isn't that more complicated/expensive and requires a pump to pump the beer through the tube?

__________________
mtnagel is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-02-2013, 01:23 PM   #4
thadius856
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
thadius856's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Marysville
Posts: 2,270
Liked 543 Times on 247 Posts
Likes Given: 155

Default

If your water is really that cold, thank the beer gods.

My tap is as low as 58 in the winter, up to the low 70s in the summer.

The warmer the ground water, the more effective the pre-chiller.

__________________
Was this post helpful? Don't forget to click 'Like'!

Thadius Miller, Project Manager -> RaspberryPints

Before you build a keezer, look at this!
Chest Freezer Spec Sheets and Layout Drawings (15 models and counting)
thadius856 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-02-2013, 01:27 PM   #5
Demus
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,197
Liked 151 Times on 123 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

As a Florida brewer, I'm cursed with warm tap water much of the year. My gut says you'd be better off with the 50' immersion most of the year. If you go with the pre-chiller option, don't bother with the ice water until your wort is down below about 90 degrees. It doesn't help much when the wort is hot anyway. As the temperature differential becomes smaller, it definitely helps. I use a plate chiller and immersion pre-chiller ice water set up after WAAAAY to many long chill times....

__________________
Demus is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-02-2013, 01:36 PM   #6
mtnagel
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 6 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,943
Liked 177 Times on 139 Posts
Likes Given: 162

Default

Wow, I'm terrible at estimating water temperatures apparently because I just measured the water at work and it's 73F. I don't even know how that's possible because it's been barely that warm air temperatures here, so I don't see how it's warm. I know it's definitely colder in the winter, but not sure how low now. So maybe a pre-chiller would be better for those last 30 degrees or so.

__________________
mtnagel is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-03-2013, 02:59 AM   #7
Demus
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,197
Liked 151 Times on 123 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

Do you work in a fairly large building? You could be measuring the temp of water that's been inside the building long enough to be room temp...

__________________
Demus is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-03-2013, 03:55 AM   #8
SavoryChef
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 8 reviews
 
SavoryChef's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Sparks, NV
Posts: 847
Liked 97 Times on 69 Posts
Likes Given: 34

Default

I would not go with 3/8", go thicker.

__________________

My Cellar http://www.cellarhq.com/cellar/Savorychef

Untappd: Savorychef

SavoryChef is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-03-2013, 02:11 PM   #9
mtnagel
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 6 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,943
Liked 177 Times on 139 Posts
Likes Given: 162

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Demus View Post
Do you work in a fairly large building? You could be measuring the temp of water that's been inside the building long enough to be room temp...
Yes, very large. Great point. Now I need to measure my home temp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SavoryChef View Post
I would not go with 3/8", go thicker.
Well sure, that was just an example.
__________________
mtnagel is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-04-2013, 02:37 AM   #10
Demus
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,197
Liked 151 Times on 123 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnagel View Post
Yes, very large. Great point. Now I need to measure my home temp.
It's all about temperature differential. Almost any ground water will be way cooler than freshly boiled wort. A pre-chiller doesn't make much difference when the temps are high. But as they converge the rate of cooling slows. Once the differential is 20 degrees or less it's very slow. You should be fine in Cincy most of the year but it gets pretty toasty there in the summer. You may find it difficult to chill much below 80 which is pretty high for pitching yeast. A pre-chiller type setup can get you that extra 20 degrees to get down into the 60's. Do you ferment in a fridge or other temperature controlled space? Temperature control is really the biggest factor in making great beer at home...

__________________
Demus is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Size and length of immersion chiller and HERMS coil mpcluever Equipment/Sanitation 12 03-16-2012 01:11 AM
Pre-Chiller w/ Smaller Tube Diameter than Immersion Chiller? Apulver Equipment/Sanitation 2 12-22-2011 01:56 PM
Immersion chiller advice. Or, length vs. width... supermoth DIY Projects 18 05-25-2011 03:04 PM
50ft immersion chiller or 30plate wort chiller? molsonG Equipment/Sanitation 66 03-31-2011 01:36 AM
Leaving immersion wort chiller during the length of the boil? ramz7887 Equipment/Sanitation 5 07-12-2009 07:28 AM