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Old 01-31-2011, 07:37 AM   #1
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Default Counterflow Chillers flat or coiled?

Hi all, I'm gathering info before I start to build my own brew rig and have a question about chillers. I like the counter flow chillers but have question about the design. Has anyone done any testing between a coiled counter flow and a flat counter flow chiller? Which is a better design? Or, does it make any difference? What do ya'll think?

Thanks, Pinworthy

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Old 01-31-2011, 11:47 AM   #2
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The shape shouldn't matter if you are planning on a chiller made from a copper tube inside a garden hose, The pipe will never be completely straight nor centered in the hose, so there will be sufficient turbulence to aid heat transfer.

Just be certain that the final shape will allow for complete draining if you are going to be storing the chiller in an area that freezes. I formed my chiller to fit in an available area on my brew stand, now I have a problem getting it to drain. I've got to redesign it to correct this. Good thing that copper can be bent a couple of times as long as you don't kink it.

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Old 01-31-2011, 01:19 PM   #3
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Aren't they all coiled? I've not seen a flat CFC. Can you show me an example of one? I assume by "flat," you mean a 2-D spiral instead of a 3-D coil. Right off the bat, I would go with a coiled CFC because it seems to be much easier to make and allows for longer length, I guess.

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Old 01-31-2011, 09:54 PM   #4
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I have used the same chilling setup both ways. It is a 3/8" copper tube inside a 5/8" hose with compression fittings on it. It was large and bulky as a spiral (used a corny keg to wrap it uniformly).

When I remodeled my first brew rig, I made it lay flat and built a box about 3" deep by 18"X18". The thing still works great and hangs on my brew rig in an aesthetic place.

I came to my senses when I remodeled again and got a plate chiller. It takes much less room and works great.

I'll say that the copper tubing never collected too much goop and was easy to clean while the plate chiller requires more attention to cleaning but looks slicker.

Have fun.

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Old 02-01-2011, 02:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthBound View Post
Aren't they all coiled? I've not seen a flat CFC. Can you show me an example of one? I assume by "flat," you mean a 2-D spiral instead of a 3-D coil. Right off the bat, I would go with a coiled CFC because it seems to be much easier to make and allows for longer length, I guess.
Check out Robert A. Haskell's Chiller design at this page.
http://breweryconstructionguide.com/index.html

He gives options for both an immersion chiller and a flat counter flow chiller.

The only real difference I can see would be the cost of a flat chiller being higher due to higher number of fittings required compared to a coiled chiller.

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Old 02-01-2011, 02:37 AM   #6
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Member Catt22 uses a flat type http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/counterflow-wort-chiller-115344/

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Old 02-01-2011, 03:03 AM   #7
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Here's the one I built for my single kettle rig... and here's a link to the PMBS build thread...

This thing works so well I have to throttle back the chill water pressure to about 30-40%... Chills the wort to pitching temp as fast as I can drain the kettle.. 11G in about 8 mins... I run hot break, cold break, and whatever else through it.. then just refill the kettle with Hot PBW and scrub the kettle lightly as it drains through the chiller.. run 5G of sanitizing water through it into the various things that need sanitizing (carboys, parts bucket, etc)... gravity drains completely...

Easy as pie.. I love it... Very happy...







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Old 02-01-2011, 04:24 AM   #8
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Wow, that's really cool!

Which one's cheaper? Which one's easier?

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Old 02-01-2011, 04:44 AM   #9
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cheaper is going to be the rubber hose CFC for sure all that copper is not cheap however given the situation it works great for r8rphan's application.

-=Jason=-

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Old 02-01-2011, 06:01 AM   #10
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It would have been a heck of a lot cheaper had I built it about a month or so earlier when I had first determined to do it.. In the wait, copper prices went through the roof.. effectively doubling the cost of the project (or close to it)...

But now that it's done, the pain in the wallet is quickly forgotten, and all that remains is a big smile when I can dial in my chill to within 1 degree as I simultaneously fill two carboys at the exact same rate..

And cleaning and sanitation is 10 times easier.. Gravity allows everything to be cleaned at once and then sanitized at once, using gravity to move the liquid from one thing to another...

So glad to be done with that damned cumbersome and messy immersion chiller... Happy camper now...

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