Counterflow wort chiller

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

GeorgiaMead

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
454
Reaction score
42
I am planing on building one... I have seen a couple some have copper wire wrapped around the inner copper tube and I have seen ones with just the copper tune in the hose... What are the benefits to having the copper wire and is it that much better?

Ad is a counterflow better than an immersion chiller?
 

seph

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
261
Reaction score
28
Location
Waterville
It depends on your setup. Is a CF better for me? No. I don't have a pump, and I don't have enough head pressure to get good flow through a CF. If you have, or plan on buying, a pump, you should be good to go.

And as for the copper wire, it ads some turbulence to the water to ensure good coverage for the water, and it also ads that separation between the wort tube and the water, so that the hose carrying the water doesn't bunch up.
 
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
4,711
Reaction score
802
Location
Atlanta
I've always used a CFC. Even when I had to gravity feed it. You just need to setup for it. The addition of a pump is great though !
 
OP
G

GeorgiaMead

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
454
Reaction score
42
Alright, them expensive lol, do counter flow work with gravity? If I could put a 3 foot drop would that wrk?
 

E-Mursed

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2011
Messages
878
Reaction score
126
Location
Westland
Gravity works well with mine. The slower rate of flow ensures effective cooling from 215 down to 50 degrees. I use my old IC as a pre-chiller in a bucket of ice water.
 

fmr_army

Banned
Joined
May 16, 2013
Messages
162
Reaction score
25
Location
Centreville
I built a short (10 foot) one that didn't provide enough cooling power. So I built a 20 footer. The first one took me about 2 hours to build, while the second one took about 30 minutes.

I don't use a pump for my wort - just let gravity pull it out, which provides a nice slow flow. I use a harbor freight cheapo submersible pump in a 5 gallon bucket with ice to recirculate the cooling water. When it gets too warm, I pause, dump the warm water and add cool water with some more ice.

It takes me about 20 minutes to chill the 6.5 gallons of wort from boiling to about 55 degrees. My immersion chiller took about 45 minutes, and I think my cold break wasn't as good. However, it still definitely worked!

On my first build, I was going to do the wire turbulent thing. I had a VERY had time trying to push the copper with the wire on it through my hose. I gave up after about fifteen minutes of pushing, sweating and swearing. In practice and at the small scale where we are, I'm not sure the turbulence really matters. My wort gets darned cold darned quick.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dan
OP
G

GeorgiaMead

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
454
Reaction score
42
Ok I was wondering if the turbulence was a huge factor and that answered my question. Should I get a high temp hose or just a cheap walmart hose work?
 

Hamaki

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2013
Messages
772
Reaction score
337
Location
Sierra Nevada foothills
I used an old hose I had laying around; don't need to worry about contacting the beer and the heat hasn't affected it yet. I gravity feed with about 2 feet from bottom of BK to bottom of CFC outlet. It works but occasionally it's very slow with the cold break partially clogging it. Last batch I had to "milk" out the last 1/2 gallon by massaging the silicone tubing connecting BK to CFC. I'm thinking of getting one of the cheap plastic Ebay pumps like this one http://www.ebay.com/itm/DC-12V-Elec...210?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a603d21a2
 
OP
G

GeorgiaMead

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
454
Reaction score
42
Thanks, I may go get the stuff tomorrow, I got a 50 dollar Lowe's card hopefully that will be plenty
 

savannahbrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
85
Reaction score
22
Location
Savannah
I would suggest you use a good hose. I remember when I built mine I read alot about people getting cheap hoses and having lots of problems. Sears sells black rubber hoses that I know alot of people use and it is totally worth it. I have found that particular hose to work great.
 
OP
G

GeorgiaMead

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
454
Reaction score
42
Ok thanks, how much do the T connectors run or who knows a good way to do this?
 
OP
G

GeorgiaMead

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
454
Reaction score
42
I got some clear PVC style plumbing tube and I am building my holler this evening, if u search counterflow wort chiller in YouTube it will look like that except with out the copper wire for turbulence
 
Top