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Old 08-26-2014, 02:14 AM   #1
R_Sqrd
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Default Use HL Tank to Catch Cold Break?

So I'm weighing options for an AG HERMS setup and not sure how I want to go about chilling my wort. I'm leaning towards a counter flow over an immersion chiller, but my concern is for catching everything that falls out from the cold break. I saw one design where the counter flow fed back to the BK (which could also make for a whirlpool), but I know this won't cool the wort as fast as it could be if pumped through the counter flow chiller and directly into a fermenter - mainly because as the average temp of wort drops the temperature difference between that and the cold tap water drops (and rate of cooling is proportional to this difference in temperature). So, this leads to my question... what if I were to have the HL tank empty at this point and run the wort through the counter flow chiller and into HL thank, where it could whirlpool and catch everything form cold break. The HL tanks should be sterile... and from there, pump into the fermenter. Has anyone done this? Am I overlooking some key or critical here?



THANKS!

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Old 08-26-2014, 09:02 AM   #2
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sounds like a waste of time to me. the commercial guys knock down right into their fermenter, cold break included. gives the yeast something to munch on, and keeps wort out of your HLT (doubling your cleanup time). if you're bent on doing this, I guess it would work. you may want to install a screen on the HLT pickup.

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Old 08-26-2014, 01:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by R_Sqrd View Post
So I'm weighing options for an AG HERMS setup and not sure how I want to go about chilling my wort. I'm leaning towards a counter flow over an immersion chiller, but my concern is for catching everything that falls out from the cold break. I saw one design where the counter flow fed back to the BK (which could also make for a whirlpool), but I know this won't cool the wort as fast as it could be if pumped through the counter flow chiller and directly into a fermenter - mainly because as the average temp of wort drops the temperature difference between that and the cold tap water drops (and rate of cooling is proportional to this difference in temperature). So, this leads to my question... what if I were to have the HL tank empty at this point and run the wort through the counter flow chiller and into HL thank, where it could whirlpool and catch everything form cold break. The HL tanks should be sterile... and from there, pump into the fermenter. Has anyone done this? Am I overlooking some key or critical here?



THANKS!
The part in red is kind of true, BUT!! you get to "cool it" multiple times in the same time frame...more importantly, you can keep recirculating until you hit your target, where it may or may not be possible to reach the target in one pass the other way.

As far as the HLT idea, just seems like a lot of work for not much gain. I think an simpler/easier way might be to knock out to a 7 gallon primary bucket (sanitized of course) and let it set for 30 min-hour to drop the hot break, then transfer that to your real primary, pitch/oxygenate. You could do it, but I would separately sanitize the HLT after working near it with a bunch of grain during brewing (which is why I recommend a cheap separate vessel instead).
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Old 08-26-2014, 01:18 PM   #4
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I couldn't you recirculate from the chiller back into the BK to catch the cold break there. I don't think "catching" the cold break is necessary, btw...

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Old 08-26-2014, 01:26 PM   #5
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I'm with the others - I don't see the benefit. You'd have to make sure your HLT is thoroughly sanitized, and I don't see any real benefit. As others mentioned, there's no issue with allowing the break material into the fermenter. It's good for the yeast and won't affect clarity.

I recirculate back to my BK while chilling through a plate chiller, but I have a HopStopper screen on my BK's outlet valve to prevent break and hop material from escaping the kettle and clogging my chiller. I don't whirlpool at all (the HopStopper would prevent an effective whirlpool anyway). Once I reach the desired chilling temperature, I simply rack from my BK to the fermenter using a plain old autosiphon.

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Old 08-26-2014, 01:48 PM   #6
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I'm with the others - I don't see the benefit. You'd have to make sure your HLT is thoroughly sanitized, and I don't see any real benefit. As others mentioned, there's no issue with allowing the break material into the fermenter. It's good for the yeast and won't affect clarity.

I recirculate back to my BK while chilling through a plate chiller, but I have a HopStopper screen on my BK's outlet valve to prevent break and hop material from escaping the kettle and clogging my chiller. I don't whirlpool at all (the HopStopper would prevent an effective whirlpool anyway). Once I reach the desired chilling temperature, I simply rack from my BK to the fermenter using a plain old autosiphon.
If you recirculate you must be using a pump; why go with the autosiphon for the transfer to the fermenter?
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Old 08-26-2014, 02:02 PM   #7
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If you recirculate you must be using a pump; why go with the autosiphon for the transfer to the fermenter?
I agree, why the autosiphon?
Why not just move the output of the pump to the fermenter? Or move the pump in to the fermenter and let it gravity feed from the BK?
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broadbill
If you recirculate you must be using a pump; why go with the autosiphon for the transfer to the fermenter?
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I agree, why the autosiphon?
Why not just move the output of the pump to the fermenter? Or move the pump in to the fermenter and let it gravity feed from the BK?
To get every last drop of wort out of the boil kettle.

As I mentioned, I have a HopStopper affixed to the outlet port of my boil kettle. This basically consists of a pickup tube that extends from the outlet port all the way to the center of my boil kettle, and enshrouded in a frisbee-shaped stainless steel mesh that prevents hop gunk and break matter from getting to the pickup tube and out the valve (thus keeping my plate chiller clean).

The problem is that when draining from the valve, even with the pickup tube, I lose suction with several quarts remaining in the kettle. This is because once the HopStopper gets caked on with hops and break matter, the wort is unable to pass through the screen to the pickup tube as fast as the wort is draining through the tube. I've tried throttling the flow waaaaay back, but no matter what, I always lose suction once the wort level drops below the top of the HopStopper's screen.

So I instead stop recirculating and switch to an autosiphon (since once I'm done chilling, I don't care about a little break material getting into my fermenter) and rack to the carboy. This lets me tilt the kettle and get every last drop of wort without having to worry about losing siphon due to the wort's inability to flow through the HopStopper (which is caked with hops and break material).
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:25 PM   #9
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To get every last drop of wort out of the boil kettle.

As I mentioned, I have a HopStopper affixed to the outlet port of my boil kettle. This basically consists of a pickup tube that extends from the outlet port all the way to the center of my boil kettle, and enshrouded in a frisbee-shaped stainless steel mesh that prevents hop gunk and break matter from getting to the pickup tube and out the valve (thus keeping my plate chiller clean).

The problem is that when draining from the valve, even with the pickup tube, I lose suction with several quarts remaining in the kettle. This is because once the HopStopper gets caked on with hops and break matter, the wort is unable to pass through the screen to the pickup tube as fast as the wort is draining through the tube. I've tried throttling the flow waaaaay back, but no matter what, I always lose suction once the wort level drops below the top of the HopStopper's screen.

So I instead stop recirculating and switch to an autosiphon (since once I'm done chilling, I don't care about a little break material getting into my fermenter) and rack to the carboy. This lets me tilt the kettle and get every last drop of wort without having to worry about losing siphon due to the wort's inability to flow through the HopStopper (which is caked with hops and break material).
Okay, I can see it now, thanks for the explanation.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:47 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by SimonHucko View Post
sounds like a waste of time to me. the commercial guys knock down right into their fermenter, cold break included. gives the yeast something to munch on...
Quote:
Originally Posted by kombat View Post
The problem is that when draining from the valve, even with the pickup tube, I lose suction with several quarts remaining in the kettle. This is because once the HopStopper gets caked on with hops and break matter, the wort is unable to pass through the screen to the pickup tube as fast as the wort is draining through the tube.
Thank you all for your suggestions and candid feedback! This pretty much answers my question - I'll be leaving the HL tank alone and going with a setup similar to kombat's, except I may look into another method of filtering and draining so i can pump the wort out and leave little behind. I'm open to ideas a suggestions.

Thank again!

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