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Old 05-07-2009, 04:07 AM   #1
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Default Recirculating wort through CFC?

I'm trying to chill my wort as quickly and efficiently as possible after the boil, while leaving as much waste (hot break, hops, etc) in the kettle as possible. I think the best way to do this is to chill the wort while it is in the boil kettle, then let it settle for a while, then runoff into the primary using a pickup that is a few inches up from the bottom of the kettle.

I have a pump and a CFC, its pretty easy to pump the wort through the CFC back into the kettle. I've tried this a few times now and it works. My concern is the "temperature profile" my wort sees. In the beginning it leaves the kettle at about 220F, goes through the CFC, and exits the CFC at about 80F. Then it goes back into the boil kettle which, at the beginning, is still about 220F. Eventually the temperature difference between the wort leaving the CFC and the wort in the kettle is 0.

Are there any undesirable effects from doing this? I haven't noticed any but haven't been brewing long and don't have much experience on which to reflect.

One mechanical problem I have with this is that the hops will partially clog the crosshairs in my QDs, but I just read another post about cutting out those crosshairs with a Dremel. I think that will solve the hop problem.

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Old 05-07-2009, 01:55 PM   #2
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You would cool faster if you reduced the wort flow rate so the exit temperature is lower and only one pass is required.

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Old 05-07-2009, 02:11 PM   #3
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Here's what I do, and it really works great.

1) I recirculate for just a few mins which rapidly drops the temp of the entire kettle, then it's into the fermenter.

2) After my CFC, I have a post-chiller (copper coil submerged in an ice bath). This allows makes it a 1-pass deal to get down to pitching temps with the pump at full throttle. Our ground water is downright hot here in the summertime, and I've found this to be more effective than using it as a pre-chiller to the CFC's coolant water. Also, once your kettle temps get closer to the temp of the chilling water the overall heat transfer really slows down unless you use ice somehow.

10 gals, into the fermenters in 10 mins.

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Old 05-07-2009, 02:20 PM   #4
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I start by running the wort through the CFC with a pump while it is still boiling to sanitize it.

Then, I use it as a whirlpool, with the water on. Then straight through the cfc into the fermenter.

I started doing this after having the trub clog up the CFC, now if that happens it is early on, not when I have 4 gals remaining!

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Old 05-07-2009, 02:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrr81765 View Post
I start by running the wort through the CFC with a pump while it is still boiling to sanitize it.

Then, I use it as a whirlpool, with the water on. Then straight through the cfc into the fermenter.

I started doing this after having the trub clog up the CFC, now if that happens it is early on, not when I have 4 gals remaining!
I do a similar method. During the summer I expect to not get down to the 60ish I usually like to pitch at so I'll recirculate for a few minutes (with water off) at "flameout" I'll turn off the heat and turn on the water, continue to recirculate for a couple minutes. I'll then start to pump to the fermenter, after it is in the fermenter it may still be 70-80. I then put it in my chest freezer and tape the temp probe to the side. I let the freezer regulate it down into the 60's before I pitch. This doesn't usually take more than a couple hours.
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:32 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. It seems that with all of those methods the cold break and hops end up in the fermenter. I've found that when I let everything settle in the boil kettle for about 20 minutes, there's a lot that settles out and I can prevent that from getting into my fermenter - I'll leave up to a gallon in the kettle that I just pour out after I get the rest into my kettle. Do you guys runoff everything into the fermenter?

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Old 05-08-2009, 11:09 AM   #7
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The cold break is not harmful if it ends up in the fermenter. There's a bunch of ways to filter the hops out. This is what I use.

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Old 10-18-2011, 03:36 PM   #8
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Lil Sparky, can I ask where you got the mesh bag for this setup?

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Old 10-18-2011, 03:39 PM   #9
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i would think a paint strainer bag from any hardware store could work. i use a 5 gallon one for biab

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Old 10-18-2011, 04:09 PM   #10
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Lil Sparky, can I ask where you got the mesh bag for this setup?
I use a 5G paint strainer bag from Lowe's.
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