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Counterflow chiller flow restriction

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Merkur

BJCP #B1441
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Hi. I have a Spike 20 gallon kettle with a Northern Brewer Stainless Steel counterflow chiller and Blichmann Riptide pump. I have two problems which both point to a flow restriction in the counterflow chiller.
1) when I whirlpool with the chiller in the loop, the whirlpool strength is a fraction of what it is without the chiller. This means I have to whirlpool first, then hook the chiller in and run the chiller. This adds time to the brew day and some wort loss when connections & disconnections are made.
2) when I am doing the cleaning cycle on the kettle with the Spike 1.5” TC CIP ball, it spins very fast and I can’t even lift up the lid a crack to look inside as cleaner sprays out. I can hear the ball spinning. If I loop in the counterflow to clean that at the same time as the kettle, the CIP ball hardly rotates and stops. I can lift the kettle lid and see the ball with liquid coming out but not with enough force to spin the ball.

I have tried this with shorter hoses and with the pump and counterflow on a crate next to the kettle so they are in the same plane as the top of the kettle and the pump doesn’t have to lift the fluid more than a few inches. I have also ensured that the system does not have any air bubbles in it.

Am I asking too much of this counterflow? The wort pipe OD is advertised as 3/8” so the internal pipe diameter is probably closer to 1/4” diameter, whereas without 18’ of 1/4” pipe in the pump loop, it’s all 1/2” pipe and fittings.

It would sure be nice to clean and whirlpool with the counterflow chiller in the loop as my brew-buddy does with a similar configuration except with a 30 plate Duda Diesel plate chiller.


Thanks,

Paul
 

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Merkur

Merkur

BJCP #B1441
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That's a good paper on wort chilling. Thanks for the link.

I did check to see what the specs were on the Exchillerator which was my second choice. While more efficient due to the larger length of larger diameter pipe, the inner wort-carrying pipe is the same diameter as the Norther Brewer SS one I have. 3/8" OD/1/4" ID so it would have the same flow restriction - maybe more due to it having 25' of pipe instead of 18'.
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bjhbrew

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I have the same counterflow chiller and use a chugger pump to recirculate the wort as it cools. The restriction does slow the flow down considerably but I find that the kettle trub still collects in the center of the kettle as long as I give it time to settle after turning off the pump.
 
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The best way to achieve the best of both worlds is to plumb your system with a L port 3 way ball valve with a purge vent. You now have ability to go direct to WP or through the chiller with just a quarter turn on the valve. The only time I move hose location is from WP to fermenter. Please don't mind the mess
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bypass picture.jpg
 
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