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Old 07-23-2011, 09:44 PM   #1
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Default Wort chiller question

Just finished building a typical copper immersion wort chiller. I tested it and it works fine, but I was wondering if the flow rate was important. When I hook it up to the water tap, the flow is fast. When I use the 158gpm pond pump, the flow is steady, but not as fast. I was going to use the pond pump to pump ice water through the chiller, as the tap water is probably not all that cold at this point. Any thoughts?

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Old 07-23-2011, 09:48 PM   #2
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If you want to save on ice, you can knock it down to around 100 degrees (ish) with the tap water, then swap over to the bucket with the ice. That way you're not "wasting" ice on the initial cooling, where your tap temps are ok.

I use full tap water pressure to chill mine. I haven't experimented with the flow rate because I'm fortunate to have very cold tap water year round.

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Old 07-23-2011, 09:49 PM   #3
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Steady flow is good. Probably over thinking. Just have fun.

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Old 07-23-2011, 11:04 PM   #4
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You will probably want to use a slow flow rate. Give the water flowing through the chiller a chance to soak up the heat. You will get very slightly better performance with a higher flow rate, but at a cost of using vastly more water. Especially when you are using the pond pump and ice water, the slower the better to make the most of the cold water.

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Old 07-23-2011, 11:14 PM   #5
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If you agitate the wort with the chiller while its cooling it will become more efficient because the chilled wort closest to the coil will be moved away and allow for better heat transfer rather than letting the coil sit in one place.

+1 on using tap water and switching to the pump at about 110 - 120 deg. to finish with ice bath. I make ice blocks using tupperware containers a few days before i brew.

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Old 07-23-2011, 11:28 PM   #6
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Yes, agitation during cooling will speed it up too.

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Old 07-23-2011, 11:30 PM   #7
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Thank you all. This will be my first full boil with extract after 11 successful partial boils. The brewery officially moves out to the garage tomorrow. Brewing a saison which is about the only thing that can handle this weather.

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Old 07-23-2011, 11:35 PM   #8
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What is the temp of the water when it comes out of the chiller? Is it close to the temp when it goes in? If so, you can slow the chiller down. The water coming out, especially at first, should be pretty warm. That's the heat transfer that your going for.

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Old 07-24-2011, 02:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrregularPulse View Post
What is the temp of the water when it comes out of the chiller? Is it close to the temp when it goes in? If so, you can slow the chiller down. The water coming out, especially at first, should be pretty warm. That's the heat transfer that your going for.
Sounds like slow is good then. I'll go with the pond pump since the tap was blowing through pretty fast. Thanks.
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Old 07-24-2011, 03:49 AM   #10
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What size and length chiller did you build? If you went with 50 feet of 3/8 or 1/2 inch, you can probably go full blast with the tap. By the time the water goes through the chiller, it'll be boiling, or as hot as the wort around it. Ive used 50' of 3/8 and 1/2 inch and tested the outlet water. Both were the same. I do bigger batches now so I stepped up to 1/2. But thats me. You could test the outlet water when you first turn the water on and see how close you are to boiling. If youre much lower, dial it back a little. Its probably no big deal to just dial it back from the beginning, but you could just be wasting time.

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