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Old 09-13-2008, 05:03 PM   #1
talleym0nster
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Default I've been stewing over pumps and chillers...

So I've been doing a bit of homework lately. Been reading up on Immersion chillers and counter flow chillers. Trying to decide which method i want to employ.

When using an immersion chiller, you can use either gravity or a pump.
Now there are two ways to use an immersion chiller:
1) Submerse the chiller in the hot wort and run cold water through it. (I'll call this method 1)
2) Submerse the chiller in ice water and run the hot wort through it. (I'll call this method 2)

Gravity fed is a pretty easy concept. But let's talk pumps.

When using method 1, you can just use a simple pond pump for the coolant.
But method 2 the pump will be in direct contact with the wort, so It would need to be a food grade pump, correct? Or could the same pump be used as in method 1?



Now when using a Counter Flow Chiller.....a couple questions:
How efficient is a gravity fed CFC over a pump fed one?
Can you use two pumps, one for the coolant and one for the wort?
Just one pump, for the wort or the coolant?


I have another question (and perhaps it has already been asked before and is already in use)

Could you pump your coolant through the CFC and into an immersion chiller and back through the CFC again, like in a closed loop? If so, what would you do with the wort? Cycle it through as well?

Now my gears are really turning....Could you use a pump just on the coolant line, and let the wort flow with just gravity? Keep recirculation the coolant as many times as needed for the wort to go through once? It would take a little bit of arithmetic but you could probably figure out the right speed of flow, diameter of tubing, length of tubing, etc to get optimum performance. heck, with a little trial and error you could probably almost get it dialed in to the point that when the wort came out into the fermenter it would be at perfect pitching temps.

What do you guys think?





Has all of this been covered before? I read quite a few posts concerning immersion chillers, plate chillers, CFC's pumps, etc. I'm just trying to put it all together now.



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Old 09-13-2008, 05:20 PM   #2
Chris K
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i went with a gravity fed counterflow chiller from the instructions here:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/counterflow-chiller-tutorial-51793/

i use a turkey fryer kit to do brews with a 7 gallon pot that i fashioned with a 3/8" DIY weldless spigot kit. i set up the burner and brewpot on a table (actually use a pair of sawhorsess w/ 3/4" plywood) and set the CFC on a smaller table or upsidedown bucket with the CFC outlet a few inches above the mouth of the carboy (or bucket).

the gravity works fine. i did a few trials with a wort wizard but didnt really see any benefit. when draining the brewpot i dont have the valve wide open, maybe 1/2 open at most.

using a smaller pot, i still wanted to do full boils and figured it might be a mess to use the immersion chiller in case it took up too much space and would cause the beer to overflow.

i will eventually upgrade to a larger brewpot, but will definitely be keeping the CFC.

YMMV



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Old 09-13-2008, 06:10 PM   #3
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gravity is dependant on vertical height. the slower the wort flows through a chiller the colder the output(depending on coolant temp.) In the Hell On Earth chiller test I employed both pump and gravity to test the difference. The HOE is a combination CFC with reverse IC.(oh I see you already found that thread)
On pumps if you are pumping wort not water it needs to be food grade and if the wort is hot it needs to be able to withstand the temp.
If you try to recirc the coolant you need a way of cooling the coolant as it will become to hot for recirc very quickly. The HOE is a single pass chiller, it will go from boiling to pitching temp in 15 min.

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Old 09-13-2008, 06:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerthirty View Post
the slower the wort flows through a chiller the colder the output(depending on coolant temp.)
So could the output of the chiller be fitted with a ball valve to regulate the flow, to slow it down?
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Old 09-13-2008, 06:18 PM   #5
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it could be, I have found that with as much 3/8"tubing(50 ft) that my wort flows through even with a pump the flow is fairly slow. a little less than 1 gallon per minute, so there was no need for a valve.

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Old 09-13-2008, 07:49 PM   #6
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If you ever use a pump for the wort it must be a food grade pump and be able to withstand temperatures in excess of 212F. The March pump everyone uses fits this use.



March Pump



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