Counter flow chiller vs. immersion chiller?? - Home Brew Forums

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Old 09-17-2011, 12:51 AM   #1
BigJim_inFLA's Avatar
Aug 2011
Lakeland, FL
Posts: 110
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Long time extract brewer thinking about moving up to all grain and larger than 5 gal. batches. I have always used an immersion chiller to cool my wort, but I see many of the larger all grain rigs using CFC's. So my questions are:

1. Do CFC's cool better or quicker than IC's?

2. Doesn't the cold break end up in the fermenter with a CFC?

3. Are CFC's harder to keep clean/sanitize?

4. Do you lose some wort in a 25 or 50 foot CFC?

5. If I was thinking of whirlpooling in the BK, would an IC be better? (leave cold break in BK-whirlpooling while cooling will increase the efficiency of IC.)

At least at first I will be using the IC that I have, but I'm looking forward to what I might need in the future.

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Old 09-17-2011, 01:55 AM   #2
benbradford's Avatar
May 2007
Denver, Colorado
Posts: 1,010
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1. yes
2. depends on if you cfc back to bk, or staight to fermenter, or if you filter
3. if you have a pump and pump cleaner, boiling water, and sanitizer... really a clean in place, so ease is arguable
4. Yes
5. Probably not better

To think of...

An immersion chiller can double as a herms if you have a pump... I guess a counterflow chiller coudl to, if you had two pumps.
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Old 09-17-2011, 05:27 AM   #3
damnitbeavis's Avatar
Oct 2010
Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 118
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1. no. Size matters, not type so much. a large immersion chiller will chill faster than a small counterflow chiller. I use immersion chillers for 30 gallon batches.
2. Unless you rack from the receiving vessel to another fermenter, after allowing it to settle out.
3. yes. an immersion chiller is sanitized by putting in your pot. takes 2 seconds. CFC is more complicated by design, although benbradford does have a point, you can just pump boiling water through it and this will probably get you pretty close to sanitized.
4. a small amount. If your cfc is constructed correctly it will probably be negligible.
5. opinions will differ. You can use a CFC to do the same thing, just put the output back in the pot at an angle, but flow will be limited by the length of the CFC. I use an immersion chiller (two, actually) and recirculate wort to create a whirlpool as you describe. It works pretty well despite our warm tap water.

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Old 09-17-2011, 09:33 AM   #4
ruffdeezy's Avatar
Feb 2009
New West, BC
Posts: 403
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Do some research on a plate chiller. Best way to go in my opinion. But that's just one option.

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