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Old 04-18-2012, 09:57 PM   #1
nicholaswebber13
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Default E-Herms as a chiller?

Hi there!

Has anybody ever thought of using there HLT with a HERMS coil as a chiller? Basically fill it up with cold water and ice and recirculate the post boil hot wort through it to chill it? I just thought of this but was wondering if anybody else is doing it out there?

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Old 04-18-2012, 10:30 PM   #2
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Yes that is exactly what I do. Fill HLT with ice + water, then slowly fill/drain at a constant rate (static volume).

A big plus for me over an IC is no sanitzation worries and super easily clean up (i pump hot water thru the system during cleanup)

I re-circ back to the BK to whirlpool as well, which helps clear the wort.

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Old 04-18-2012, 10:38 PM   #3
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Yep, I did it. Once.

It takes 42 pounds of ice to chill 6 gallons of boiling wort in my system by doing that. Since the whole point of having a brewstand with pumps and the HERMS was to avoid lifting, I did it once and then bought a CFC.

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Old 04-18-2012, 10:50 PM   #4
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What are the specs on the herms coil? size? length?

I have 1/2 x 50ft soft copper, i get 10 gallons down to 70 in about 20min.

I dont use purchased ice, I just have a large closed jug I throw into the freezer and reuse it on brew days.. My water is also around 40-45 deg F so that helps as well

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Old 04-18-2012, 11:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Yep, I did it. Once.

It takes 42 pounds of ice to chill 6 gallons of boiling wort in my system by doing that. Since the whole point of having a brewstand with pumps and the HERMS was to avoid lifting, I did it once and then bought a CFC.
You probably could have used less ice if you only put water in there to get it down to around 100 before you put ice in it. Same thing with ice bath chilling, I was using 12 pounds or so but when I started using water first I only needed maybe 3 or 4 pounds of ice.
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:31 AM   #6
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Check out some of Borderij Kabouter's "ditches" builds. I have one based on his design in my gallery, which uses the HLT as cold water tank, and circulates water through the heat exchanger in the BK, while also circulating the wort through the heat exchanger in the HLT. It's crazy fast, but requires alot of water and ice management.

The HLT as cold source with wort running through it is a great way to chill, it will require alot of agitation and ice in the HLT however. It would work much better if you could chill to below 150 with tap water, then change to the iced HLT recirculation. It slows down your cooling when you continuously heat up your cold water source.

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Old 04-19-2012, 12:33 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone for your responses!

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Old 04-19-2012, 02:15 PM   #8
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I was originally going to make my HEX moveable between the HLT and BK so that I can use it as an immersion chiller, similar to this guys setup:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/e-h...s-pics-310259/

But now that I bought two pumps instead of one, I am planning on doing what you are talking about, and using the HLT as chilling vessel. I figure I can have one pump recirculating wort through the HEX and back to the BK. The other pump will recirculate the water in the HLT to keep it agitated. I’ll use water from the tap to bring the temp down from boiling quickly (maybe to 130-140) then transfer the (now heated) tapwater over to my (emptied and shop-vacced) MLT and add oxyclean to clean it. Then fill the HLT up with new tapwater and add ice to bring the wort down to pitching temps. Once the wort is at pitching temp, transfer to fermenter. Then transfer Oxyclean solution from MLT to BK to clean it. Use the second batch of chill water in the HLT as a rinse (starsan optional) through the MLT and then the BK.

At least this is how I picture it going in my head. There might need to be more than one batch of chill water, and it would probably be best to just keep the tapwater flowing constantly so I have the highest temp differential (maybe cycle the first 10 gallons into the MLT since it will be the hottest, then just dump or recirc the rest until I get down to 130-140).

One thing I think I will definitely need here is a hop spider. I can see things getting very ugly if the pumps/HEX gets clogged up.

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Old 04-20-2012, 03:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpr121 View Post
I was originally going to make my HEX moveable between the HLT and BK so that I can use it as an immersion chiller, similar to this guys setup:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/e-h...s-pics-310259/

But now that I bought two pumps instead of one, I am planning on doing what you are talking about, and using the HLT as chilling vessel. I figure I can have one pump recirculating wort through the HEX and back to the BK. The other pump will recirculate the water in the HLT to keep it agitated. I’ll use water from the tap to bring the temp down from boiling quickly (maybe to 130-140) then transfer the (now heated) tapwater over to my (emptied and shop-vacced) MLT and add oxyclean to clean it. Then fill the HLT up with new tapwater and add ice to bring the wort down to pitching temps. Once the wort is at pitching temp, transfer to fermenter. Then transfer Oxyclean solution from MLT to BK to clean it. Use the second batch of chill water in the HLT as a rinse (starsan optional) through the MLT and then the BK.

At least this is how I picture it going in my head. There might need to be more than one batch of chill water, and it would probably be best to just keep the tapwater flowing constantly so I have the highest temp differential (maybe cycle the first 10 gallons into the MLT since it will be the hottest, then just dump or recirc the rest until I get down to 130-140).

One thing I think I will definitely need here is a hop spider. I can see things getting very ugly if the pumps/HEX gets clogged up.
I have a suggestion for your situation. Reverse the pumps and flow situation and you will have a more manageable chill. I have tried both ways and here's what helps:
dedicate one pump to recirculating the wort in the kettle only. This is the "jamil-chiller" setup you may know about.
one pump pushing cold water from the HLT through the immersion chiller in the BK.
During the first part of the chill, you can route the chilling water out into a separate vessel so that you don't warm up the HLT. (keep in mind during this time that the HLT does not need to be agitated whatsoever)
At a certain point route the spent chilling water back into the HLT, which will allow you to add back ice to make up the water you lost, and it will keep the HLT temp even to make full use of the ice.

Pro's for the jamil-chiller setup with HLT cold tank are:
Your plumbing changes during chill are minimal
No extra sanitizing of post-boil equipment is needed
Comparatively simplified cleaning

For those reasons I think the removable HEX, which can be re-purposed as an immersion chiller in the BK, is the ideal HERMS setup.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:02 PM   #10
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Hmm. That was how I was originally planning on setting it up. Please don’t take the following comments as argumentative at all, it is not my intention. I would like to hear additional feedback from everyone with experience either or both ways. I am legitimately trying to come up with a solution that will work best for my process, and others with similar setups.

Here’s my rationale on your three Pro’s:

Quote:
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Your plumbing changes during chill are minimal
I use silicone hoses with camlocks on all vessels so it will be just swapping connections, which isn’t terrible. If I am going to reuse the chilling water as cleaning solution, wouldn’t I have to swap out just as many connections if I moved the HEX into the BK? I sketched out a flow diagram (I may try to upload it later) and either way the only “mid-flow” change I will need is to move the output hose once my MLT is filled up. I did discover that I will need 3 additional female camlock hoses, but they will not need to be silicone for the chilling water.
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No extra sanitizing of post-boil equipment is needed
Sanitizing wouldn’t bother me since I can just recirculate boiling wort into/out of the HEX during the last 15 minutes of the boil.
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Comparatively simplified cleaning
Cleaning, I guess you got me…. But, I could just pump Oxyclean then rinse water through the HEX after the wort is in the fermenter, prior to pumping to the BK. I guess I could make the point that it will be easier to clean the inside instead of outside, since I can be sure that there is considerable flow over the entire surface area of the inside diameter of pipe during transfer of ~15 gallons of oxyclean, as opposed to soaking or scrubbing all of the external surface area.
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