Is a spiral really the most efficient shape for a wort chiller? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:12 PM   #1
Grinder12000
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Is a spiral really the most efficient shape for a wort chiller? I'm just thinking out loud here because at a meeting we were talking about making a wort chiller and how to bend it.

BUT - is it the best shape? Why not a cone like a top with more longer rings near the top where the warm wort rises. Or why not like a spider web or some other pattern. Is a spiral just a default shape?


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Old 01-19-2010, 06:14 PM   #2
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Spiral is easy to build and clean.

There have been many iterations of all manner of spagetti strung chillers.

Spiral is easier.



 
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:26 PM   #3
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Well, spiral is better than straight. In order to improve on this you would need sharper corners to create more turbulent flow. You could do this is by using elbows. A lot of elbows. The small gain in efficiency would probably not merit all of the soldering.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:04 PM   #4
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I would think the more surface area of the chiller in contact with the wort the better. If you shape it like a top you rob the chiller of surface area.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:05 PM   #5
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A spiral chiller that is about the same diameter as the pot will produce a strong flow down the sides with an upwelling in the middle. But I stir my wort, so it hardly matters.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:59 PM   #6
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david-42 - that was what I was getting at - how does the wort flow when it's being chilled. Granted any gains are going to be minimal but I was curious what the MOST efficient way would be.

I don't understand why the down flow would be on the sides and up in the middle. What would cause this
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinder12000 View Post
david-42 - that was what I was getting at - how does the wort flow when it's being chilled. Granted any gains are going to be minimal but I was curious what the MOST efficient way would be.
My simple spiral chiller cost me 30 bucks, took less than 5 minutes to assemble and chills 5 gallons of wort from boiling to 70 degrees in about twenty minutes. A more efficient iteration of this design might cool 10% faster. That's two minutes. That's not worth worrying about, in my opinion.
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I don't understand why the down flow would be on the sides and up in the middle. What would cause this
It's convection currents forced by cooler, denser wort sinking around the cooler, displacing the warmer wort to the surface.

 
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:18 AM   #8
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I was talking about this with an enginerd at work that came from the nuclear energy world. He said the heat exchangers they use look more like a gatling gun (revolving barrel machine gun) they don't move but thats the best I can explain it w/o pics.

I've gotta agree... the amount of labor involved is not worth the small gains.

 
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyin View Post
I was talking about this with an enginerd at work that came from the nuclear energy world. He said the heat exchangers they use look more like a gatling gun (revolving barrel machine gun) they don't move but thats the best I can explain it w/o pics.

Sounds like a shell and tube design. Catt22 made something like this. There is a thread around here somewhere...
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:21 AM   #10
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WHY WHY WHY do people think I'm worried about making something faster - All I'm wondering is WHAT the most efficient configuration is.

I get quoted and STILL people respond with basically using my words!


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