Originally Posted by worxman02
I'd guess that it would still be pretty effective for whirlpooling. It will introduce some restriction into the system and create a bit of backpressure on your pump. I'd give it a shot since you already have the copper and I'm assuming the pump. Someone else will have to chime in on the impact of the silicone tubing and pump wear/stress.
Are you currently stirring the wort during chilling? Just stirring with a spoon helps to prevent temp stratification.
What size batch are you trying to chill? I just used my 50ft 1/2" IC on a 10 gallon batch yesterday and my Oregon tap water got the batch down to 65ºF in 20 mins. I did use a paint mixer chucked in a drill on very slow speed as a cheap way to create a whirlpool since I don't own a pump. I had my thermometer in the wort the whole chill and I could see a distinct difference in temps when I had the drill running and when I did not. It evened out the temp so much which really helped to chill it fast. I got down to below 140 in about 5 mins or so.
What is the temp of your water going through your IC during both seasons? That might also be why your chiller is not working as well as you would like. You might want to use your pump to recirculate ice water through your IC if your ground water temps are high, especially in the summer and use the paint mixer method like I did to create a whirlpool.
I'll be putting a ball valve on the outlet of my march pump. From everything I've read you can throttle down the output with no ill effect, so I guess in retrospect that will be fine.
I'm currently doing 6gal batches and my water ranges from 62f (now) to 72-74F (summer) so cooling can take 15-20min easily. I do stir, but I'd like to automate that process to free me up from constantly stirring. If I was going to add a per chiller, I'd probably just go straight to a plate chiller and keep the IC as a per chiller.
I guess assuming there isn't enough pressure when going from 1/2" silicone down to 3/8" copper to rupture the silicone I don't have much to lose by trying..