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Old 05-08-2008, 10:25 PM   #1
Jonnio
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Default Should I immersion or CF?

Here is where I am at. I am looking down the line at building my AG equipment and my next immediately useable piece is a chiller.

I am doing partial mashes inside with about 4 gal boils right now in a cheap stockpot. I would kind of like to use whatever chiller I make for both winter time (when I will likely come back inside to the same setup) and down the road when I get a burner and keggle to go AG.

So my two options are

1) Build an immersion chiller that can work with the sink for winter, and then buy a cheap fountain pump (or other pump) to recirc ice water when I go AG.

2) Build a CF and do something to pour the wort through it and adapters for the sink for winter time with the plan on gravity feeding with the keggle down the road.

So my questions are basically:
Is everyone moving to CF because it is that much better (also see below)?

I have been reading that people are still pumping ice water through a CFC in the summer time because tap water stops doing the job, so doesn't it get kind of equipment intensive to have to pump ice water in one side and pump wort through the other and is it worth it?



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Old 05-08-2008, 10:34 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonnio View Post
Here is where I am at. I am looking down the line at building my AG equipment and my next immediately useable piece is a chiller.

I am doing partial mashes inside with about 4 gal boils right now in a cheap stockpot. I would kind of like to use whatever chiller I make for both winter time (when I will likely come back inside to the same setup) and down the road when I get a burner and keggle to go AG.

So my two options are

1) Build an immersion chiller that can work with the sink for winter, and then buy a cheap fountain pump (or other pump) to recirc ice water when I go AG.

2) Build a CF and do something to pour the wort through it and adapters for the sink for winter time with the plan on gravity feeding with the keggle down the road.

So my questions are basically:
Is everyone moving to CF because it is that much better (also see below)?

I have been reading that people are still pumping ice water through a CFC in the summer time because tap water stops doing the job, so doesn't it get kind of equipment intensive to have to pump ice water in one side and pump wort through the other and is it worth it?
Probably depends on the type of brewing you want to do in the future. If you will continue with 5 gal batches, I'd go with the IC. If you will be moving to 10 gal batches, I'd be more interested in the CFC.

Just my 2 cents.


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Old 05-08-2008, 10:51 PM   #3
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Probably depends on the type of brewing you want to do in the future. If you will continue with 5 gal batches, I'd go with the IC. If you will be moving to 10 gal batches, I'd be more interested in the CFC.

Just my 2 cents.
That is kind of what I was thinking too - right now I am thinking 5 gal, but I could see me sitting there one day and saying "self, you have a keggle, and a big burner, why are you doing all of this for 5 gal batches.

I do think that is at least a year down the road though.
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:58 AM   #4
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Having a spigot on you pot and or keggle is the place to start IMHO. Then you have the option to use gravity instead of pumps to move the wort.

A CFC is more efficient but you'll have the cold break inside your fermenter. A CFC is more difficult to clean, sanitize and clogs up easily.

An IC is easier to clean & sanitize plus it leaves the cold break inside the boil pot but may take slightly longer to chill the wort. and it's a little more work than a CFC is.

As far as I'm concerned brewing is a cold or cool weather hobby. I brewed last year in the hot weather but I won't be doing it again. Being around boiling hot liquid, a hot flame when the outside temp is in the 90's isn't exactly my idea of a good time. And doing it inside heats the house or barn up to much. It's fine doing it early in the morning or very late at night but I personnally just have too much I have to do in the summer and too many things I'd rather do. But to each his own. Trying to cool wort to 68*F and keep it there when the outside temp is in the 90's is just too much of a hassle and resource waster for my taste. Plus if the wort temp gets too high the beer tastes nasty. I'd rather talk about it or build my brewery when the weather is hot.

Anyway there's my $0.02 on IC's and CFC and hot weather brewing.

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Old 05-09-2008, 12:04 PM   #5
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That is a very good point on hot weather brewing that I never thought of. Thank you for the additional perspective.

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Old 05-09-2008, 01:30 PM   #6
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JZ has been raving about his whirlpool immersion chiller lately... (check out his mrmalty.com website for a writeup). I built myself a CFC because I heard it was "More Efficient"... but his whirlpool chiller gets the wort chilled super-fast. On the down side, it does require a pump. On the up side, if you start with an IC, then you can add the whirlpool later when you start doing beers that you need the super-fast cooling.

I plan on shortly getting a pump and then pumping the output of my CFC back into the kettle to whirlpool, which should give me a good hunk of benefits of the WIC. That said... the immersion chiller is /much/ easier to make. I'd go that route and plan on adding a pump to upgrade it to a whirlpool chiller in the future.

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Old 05-09-2008, 01:49 PM   #7
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Im going to have to through my support behind the IC also. I started with an IC then built the CFC cause I thought or heard it was more efficient. Maybe if you are using gravity and dont have any pumps then the CFC is the way to go, but I have since gone back to the IC and use a pump to recirculate the wort back into the kettle as I run cold water through the IC. The recirculation does several things that i like over the CFC.

The first and most important to me is that it drops below the critical 140 in probably 2-3 minutes. The second is that the cold break stays in the kettle. Finally, the whirlpool created by the recirc helps keep the final wort cleaner when I transfer to fermentor.

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Old 05-09-2008, 03:35 PM   #8
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Great info, I am glad I posted this - I will definitely be going the whirpool IC route as the upgrade when I go to outdoor brewing.

Is 50' of IC too much for a 5 gal pot?

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Old 05-09-2008, 03:47 PM   #9
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Is 50' of IC too much for a 5 gal pot?
It is a little big for a 5 gallon pot but that won't hurt anything. If you plan to move to a keggel sometime you might as well build it right the first time.
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:58 PM   #10
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After watching other people use an IC for a 10g batch and me using my CFC for a 10g batch - I realized that I have no use for an IC.

Of course, I have a decent stand that I can put my kettle on that is high enough to have a CFC and the fermenter. If you don't have the availibility to get the kettle up - you might want to rethink a CFC.



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