Counterflow Wort Chiller Build (and use)

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Trippel-A

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Is there any benefit to the counterflow hose chiller vs a chiller plate? I know the latter could be more expensive, but it would take so much less space, yes?
 
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Tiber_Brew

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Is there any benefit to the counterflow hose chiller vs a chiller plate? I know the latter could be more expensive, but it would take so much less space, yes?
A tubular CFC has a circular cross section that doesn't tend to trap debris and microbes. A plate chiller has more surface area, and is thus more efficient, however at the cost of having "nooks and crannies." It's the irregular geometry of a plate chiller that give it more surface area, but also may trap unwanted material and microbes while also increasing risk for clogging during use.

Many people use both types with success. You must decide what's best for you.
 

wbarber69

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Plate chillers are just as good. it's up to what you want/can afford. a plate chiller is only about 10-20 bucks more than building your own counterflow. microbes and what not, really aren't that big a deal. It's about what kind of space you have. that and a conterflow runs a bit faster is you use large enough tubing. it's not really apples and oranges, it's more about preference. I went with plate chillers because of convenience, then because I won a contest and got one 75 percent off. but if I had more from and didn't win that prize I would have built a counter flow
 
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Tiber_Brew

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microbes and what not, really aren't that big a deal
I disagree. There are a couple key differences that must be kept in mind when making your decision, and during use. Neither is a wrong choice, but they are not the same.

For example, one of the reasons I continue to use a CFC at home is so that I can recirculate through the chiller during whirlpool to cool the wort for hop stands, spices, etc. I would never recirculate hops or spices like orange peel through a plate chiller. If that capability isn't important to you, maybe consider buying a plate chiller.

FYI, there are a plethora of threads discussing CFC vs. plate chillers if you'd like to read more
 

wbarber69

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I disagree. There are a couple key differences that must be kept in mind when making your decision, and during use. Neither is a wrong choice, but they are not the same.

For example, one of the reasons I continue to use a CFC at home is so that I can recirculate through the chiller during whirlpool to cool the wort for hop stands, spices, etc. I would never recirculate hops or spices like orange peel through a plate chiller. If that capability isn't important to you, maybe consider buying a plate chiller.

FYI, there are a plethora of threads discussing CFC vs. plate chillers if you'd like to read more

I recirculate through my plate chillers just fine, all it takes is a whirlpool and side pickup. if I go too heavy on the pellet hops I just use my hop infuser as a pre filter with rice hulls.
 
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I recirculate through my plate chillers just fine, all it takes is a whirlpool and side pickup.
I've personally witnessed that exact process clogging plate chillers, both on homebrew and commercial scales. By all means, if it works for you, keep it up. I would not formally recommend anyone recirculating hops or spices through plate chillers.

if I go too heavy on the pellet hops I just use my hop infuser as a pre filter with rice hulls.
I'd rather not concern myself with that, but it may just be me. It just seems unnecessary when you can have a worry free setup for cheaper.
 

Trippel-A

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I'm also trying to weigh my theoretical preference for a DIY solution with the reality of not having time to do it right, practice the welds, etc.
 

Trippel-A

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It's something I want to learn, actually. I just don't know when I'll find the time.
 

wbarber69

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Like I said, if I had the choice of building a cfc or paying for a plate chiller, id make a cfc. but the plate chiller was basically free. I've just learned not to buy pellet hops, ever.
 
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Like I said, if I had the choice of building a cfc or paying for a plate chiller, id make a cfc. but the plate chiller was basically free. I've just learned not to buy pellet hops, ever.
I don't think anyone here would blame you, or anyone, for buying a plate chiller. The only claim I take issue with is comparing them as the same, and with the same capabilities. They are in fact different, with different pros and cons, and neither is objectively better than the other. Determining which design is right for you will depend on what your needs are.
 

stever1000

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I started making one today without reviewing the order of the steps... I have the copper tube inside the hose and rolled it into shape, zip tied it nice and neat and realized...

Should I have soldered all the pieces onto the copper tube first? I imagine the torch will melt the black hose as I solder the copper?
 

JLeuck64

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Yes you should solder up as much of it as possible before installing those end pieces. What I did was solder up both end pieces separately then install them and solder the ends, where the 3/8" copper tubing pushes through the end caps.
HTH
 

Calypso

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I'm working on this build and ran into a snag. I went to check the fit of the Ts on the copper pipe / hose, and the reducer is too big? I bought the 1/2 to 3/8" reducer that you listed. And I swear that I bought 3/8" copper coil. Where did I go wrong, and how can I fix it? Thanks!

IMG_20160918_151913.jpg
 

Calypso

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Also, I realized today that the hose I bought is rated for up to 160F. Is that going to be okay, or is it going to melt when the hot water comes out the far end?
 

RedlegEd

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Also, I realized today that the hose I bought is rated for up to 160F. Is that going to be okay, or is it going to melt when the hot water comes out the far end?
Hi. I don't think it will melt. I believe the rating is for pressure at that temperature. The only time you'll have a really hot (i.e. 212°F) liquid going through the inner piping is when you sanitize 10 minutes before flame out by recirculating boiling wort through the core. Otherwise, once it's in use, you have cold water buffering the outer hose against the inner core. Ed
:mug:
 

stever1000

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I installed a temp gauge on the wort outlet, I recirculate into the kettle until the temperature reaches 68F on the gauge then I transfer to fermenting bucket

If the water is cold enough, I can chill directly into the fermenter :mug:
 
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