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Old 08-17-2009, 07:25 PM   #1
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Default chilling 40 gallons with therminator and march pump

During August 2009 with my 75-80 tap water I'm trying to chill 40 gallons of boiling wort by march pumping through a therminator. To assist, I'm using a 25' IC in ice batch to chill the chilling water to whatever temperature (haven't measured it). My water flow is pretty good, I don't know, maybe 5 gpm (again, haven't measured but it seems 'normal'). To get my wort to 70 I can baaaaaaaaarely open the march pump ball valve, otherwise the temp-to-fermenter is too high (I'd like to see it in the 60s but . . . ). Assuming my chilling water is around 50, is this normal? I guess I was assuming I could crank the wort through there and still get in the 60s? It's taking me an hour to chill 40 gallons and I just don't dig on that for many reasons. I see other posts of folks chilling 10 gallons in 10 minutes so that would put me at maybe 40 minutes. Anything i could be doing wrong? Should I check my gpm - could it be too low, too high?? Is there any time to be gained by recircing down to 140s with straight tap water and then chilling with ice?

Thanks HBTers.

Chris


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Old 08-18-2009, 01:09 AM   #2
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Not sure if you would save much time recircing back into the BK until 140 was reached. The time it takes to recirc would counter act the time saved from controling the flow. The decision I think lies with what is more important, the temp into the fermenter or the time to get it chilled. I think you could probably do about 50-55 minutes by recircing back into the BK and then going to the fermenter.

Ed


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Old 08-18-2009, 02:11 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, ed. I got the pump from you! Ten min isn't enough savings unless i happen to get some dms flavor. I'm willing to bite the bullet if 60 min chill for 40 gallons is what it is, but if I am doing something wrong I want to know! I guess the real alternative is a larger plate/frame chiller! I'm waiting to upgrade when i can just go to 10 bbls.
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:30 AM   #4
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Regardless of time, I would recirc back into the BK as Ed is saying simply to bring the entire body of wort down as quick as possible. Other than that, it's just a **** ton of ice and cold water.
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:52 PM   #5
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If your cooling time is already an hour, and you are not getting to the pitch temps you want, then recirc is the way to go. It will not speed up your cooling time, but if you recirc for 20 minutes I would think you would be able to then go full flow to the fermenter and hit your pitching temp.

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Old 08-18-2009, 03:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Brewmasters Warehouse View Post
If your cooling time is already an hour, and you are not getting to the pitch temps you want, then recirc is the way to go. It will not speed up your cooling time, but if you recirc for 20 minutes I would think you would be able to then go full flow to the fermenter and hit your pitching temp.

Ed
This is what I do. With the water temps as they are right now you have to recirc it back and drop the whole thing down some first. Then flow thru the chiller and ice bath.
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:38 PM   #7
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Here's what you can do to make your chilling system a 1-pass from BK->fermenter at full pump speeds.

Instead of using your IC as a way to pre-chill the cooling water, use it in-line as a post chiller in a bucket of ice water after the therminator. Run ground water through the therminator (this should get the wort to ~ ground water temps), and agitate the IC in the ice bucket until your flow is < 70' (I've got a thrumometer that helps with this, but you could also stick a thermo probe at the output as it enters the fermenter). For 40 gals, you'll probably go through a good bit of ice, but it should only take < 20 mins assuming your march pump can sustain 2 gals/min.

FYI - I do this with my 10 gal system and it works great.
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:15 PM   #8
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hmmm. I like parts of those ideas. don't want to run wort through my ic really but could try that. Anyone ever put the therminator in an icebath? Somewhere in here is my solution. Thanks for the suggestions and help. This forum is killer. Don't know what I'd do without it.
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:19 PM   #9
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hmmm. I like parts of those ideas. don't want to run wort through my ic really but could try that. Anyone ever put the therminator in an icebath? Somewhere in here is my solution. Thanks for the suggestions and help. This forum is killer. Don't know what I'd do without it.
I don't know about the therminator but my generic plate chiller from ebay gets pretty hot when its cooling, so I bet dumping the whole thing in ice water might help a little bit
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:54 PM   #10
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The true answer to this is to pump icewater into the therminator. There's no way you're getting your 85F tap water down to 55F in the prechiller unless you run it slow and agitate the coil in the icewater. Pumping the icewater directly avoids this temp gradient and puts 32F water into the chiller and that will allow you to run the wort at full bore.


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