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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Chillers and Stir Plates > Different take on wort chilling
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:22 PM   #11
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After my first failure with the frozen/blocked piple, I tried again but this time I let the wort fill up the coil first. Then I put the ice in the tub. this worked well for cooling as the wort came out around 75 degrees. However since I was gravity feeding and only using 3/8 pipe it was very slow to come out. It took between 15-20 minutes for ~4.5 gallons of wort to make it through. With that kind of performance, its not worth it. I either need to change the pipe to 1/2 inch or pump it through, but either way the initial design needs improvement. I still feel there is some merit in using the ice/water on copper pipe as a heat exchanger, just need to tweak the design and keep testing it.

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Old 11-26-2012, 04:11 AM   #12
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I've been thinking about this idea for about 2 days now and came across this thread. I like the idea. My thought was to use 1/2 inch vinyl high temp tubing instead of copper, $$. Also use longer length of tubing. Keep us posted. Thx.

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Old 11-26-2012, 04:32 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by anteup View Post
I've been thinking about this idea for about 2 days now and came across this thread. I like the idea. My thought was to use 1/2 inch vinyl high temp tubing instead of copper, $$. Also use longer length of tubing. Keep us posted. Thx.
Your high temp vinyl will not transfer heat like copper or stainless.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkj7295 View Post
After my first failure with the frozen/blocked piple, I tried again but this time I let the wort fill up the coil first. Then I put the ice in the tub. this worked well for cooling as the wort came out around 75 degrees. However since I was gravity feeding and only using 3/8 pipe it was very slow to come out. It took between 15-20 minutes for ~4.5 gallons of wort to make it through. With that kind of performance, its not worth it. I either need to change the pipe to 1/2 inch or pump it through, but either way the initial design needs improvement. I still feel there is some merit in using the ice/water on copper pipe as a heat exchanger, just need to tweak the design and keep testing it.
Try using a March pump to send the wort through it, and recirculate back into the kettle initially. That should allow you to get to a lower temperature, without having the output valve at a trickle.

BTW, I can chill over 7 gallons of boiling hot wort to about 60F via a plate chiller in less than 15 minutes (7.5 gallons typically takes under 13 minutes). Just something to compare performance with. I'm looking forward to seeing what winter water temperatures do for me.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:10 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by GrayDog
My question is if you already have your HERMS coil in your HLT and it has done it's job during the mash and sparge, could you fill the HLT with cold water, ice if needed, and cool your wort by by circulating through the HERMS after the boil?
I do this and like it.

During the boil, i have used the last of my warm water in the HLT for cleaning the MLT so the HLT is empty. I hook up my BK to a pump, through the HERMS, and back into the BK and run it for 10 to 15 mins. This sanitizes the inside of the HERMS with boiling liquid and establishes an almost closed system for transitioning from the boil to fermentation.

When the boil is finished, I fill the HLT with cold tap water and start pumping again. The temp of the HLT (65) and the BK (210) start to average out. When the HLT gets to 100 degrees, i dump 5 gal and pour in another 5 gal of cold tap. I have to do this 2-3 times, in order to get the BK to about 110. I do it one more time and then dump a bucket of ice into the HLT and give it a stir. I slow the HERMS output ball valve to a trickle and move the hose from the BK to a carboy. It comes out of the herms at about 80 degrees.

A CFC or plate chiler would work if I had plumbing in my garage but since I don't, this method seems to work really well.

Hope this is helpful to someone. I had asked the exact same question as I was building my HERMS e-brewery but it didnt really make sense until i did a couple of batches.

All I want to do now is buy a 25' RV water hose to run from the sink faucet in the bathroom to my brewery on brew-days(tired of running 5gal buckets back/forth)....oh, and set up a "T" with hoses so I can evenly fill two carboys at once.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:15 AM   #16
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So what's the advantage? Why do this over a conventional immersion coil?

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Old 11-26-2012, 11:26 AM   #17
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Less equipment so more storage space and equipment costs

For me, it is better because I dont have anywhere to drain the water with an immersion chiller.

Im not saying either way is better/more efficient/etc--just answering his question that a HERMS is a totally viable option.

(I stuck with stainless steel for my coil, even though it is way more annoying to work with, just because I didn't want to use copper with boiling temperatures.)

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Old 11-26-2012, 06:04 PM   #18
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How does this takes up less room than an immersion, plate, or counterflow chiller.

There is zero issue with copper at water boiling temp

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Old 11-26-2012, 07:16 PM   #19
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This is called a reverse immersion chiller. As already mentioned, the quantity of ice required to chill an entire batch is the downside. Just like with a typical immersion chiller, you have to keep the liquid moving around the coils because you get a lot of stratification if it is allowed to sit still.

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Old 11-26-2012, 09:17 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtVandelay View Post
How does this takes up less room than an immersion, plate, or counterflow chiller.
I think NewBrewB was referring to his setup as opposed to the OP's. I too use my HLT coil as a wort chiller instead of a plate or immersion chiller because the 75F ground water temperature here in Tampa would mean I'd be wasting lots of water as the wort temperature gets close. Assuming perfect heat transfer, it takes 25 gallons of water to get 1.050 OG wort from 210F to 76.73F.

I've already got a heat exchanger, so why add more equipment? Using my HERMS coil and HLT, I use 5 gallons of water to get my wort to ~140F, then dump that and add a new 5 gallons and insert my ice packs into the water. My ice packs are just 64floz juice containers filled with salt water that I keep in the freezer. A 70F pitching temperature would not be achievable with an immersion, plate, or counterflow chiller just hooked to a garden hose and takes only 10 gallons plus some forethought to freeze the ice packs.

An advantage over a straight immersion chiller is that there's seriously bad heat transfer if the fluid in the boil kettle is stationary. You'll easily use twice as much water unless you have something to circulate the wort in the kettle. Because my HERMS HLT already recirculates the water in it, there's really good heat exchange.
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