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Glycol chiller and counterflow chiller?

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Rob2010SS

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I'm pulling the trigger on a glycol chiller today. I started wondering about using the glycol chiller to chill wort after the boil. So instead of hooking up a ground water source to the CFC, I'd hook up the glycol chiller to the CFC and use that to chill?

Can it be done?

Any repercussions to this that I'm not seeing?
 
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Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

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Or, to not put such a strain on the glycol chiller, use ground water to get below 100*F and then switch to the glycol chiller to take it to pitch temps... Not sure if that's better?
 

breweer

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Or, to not put such a strain on the glycol chiller, use ground water to get below 100*F and then switch to the glycol chiller to take it to pitch temps... Not sure if that's better?
How big is the reservoir tank and how much wort are you chilling? I'd probably use your later method just to not ask so much of the unit.
 

Jag75

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I get mine down to about 90 then connect to the chiller and get it to pitching temp. Haven't had any issues doing this .
 

CodeSection

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FWIW, a friend who is a probrewer suggested when it gets warmer and my ground water is ~80F+, to consider cooling a starsan solution in my bright tank to ~40F and then run the solution through my CFC. He believes it would only require one pass and that the wort would be transferred directly into my CF10. Obviously, such as setup would require two pumps which I have. Since my bright tank can hold 20 gallons, I believe I have way more than enough water to chill the wort.

I will be trying this method in a couple of months when it gets warmer here in AZ. I suppose I could try using the ground water first to lower the wort temp to ~90F-100F by recirculating into the BK and then hook up the chilled starsan once I reach those temps. That process seems like more work involved.
 

TennBrewer

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I made a glycol chiller from a cooler and and AC, filled with 2 gallons of glycol and 4 gallons of water. I run the glycol through a CFC using a submersible pump to circulate the glycol in the cooler and another pump to circulate through the CFC. I use it only for chilling wort and by itself it cannot cool the wort to pitching temperature, the glycol solution temperature climbs rapidly (maybe I need a larger supply?) long before a 5-6 gallon batch is transferred. So, I put an IC in the kettle and use ground water in it to pre-chill the wort down to 100-125 degrees before chilling through the CFC. I can chill the wort almost as fast as the pump will push it. I used to use a plate chiller to pre-chill the wort which worked better than the IM, I could chill to lager pitching temps below 50 degrees very quickly.
 
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Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

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How big is the reservoir tank and how much wort are you chilling? I'd probably use your later method just to not ask so much of the unit.
The tank on the Icemaster Max 4 is 8 gallons and I'm on a half barrel system, although to date, the biggest batch I've done is 13 gallons post boil volume.
 
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Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

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I made a glycol chiller from a cooler and and AC, filled with 2 gallons of glycol and 4 gallons of water. I run the glycol through a CFC using a submersible pump to circulate the glycol in the cooler and another pump to circulate through the CFC. I use it only for chilling wort and by itself it cannot cool the wort to pitching temperature, the glycol solution temperature climbs rapidly (maybe I need a larger supply?) long before a 5-6 gallon batch is transferred. So, I put an IC in the kettle and use ground water in it to pre-chill the wort down to 100-125 degrees before chilling through the CFC. I can chill the wort almost as fast as the pump will push it. I used to use a plate chiller to pre-chill the wort which worked better than the IM, I could chill to lager pitching temps below 50 degrees very quickly.
Sounds similar to what I was thinking - chill with ground water to below 100 and use the glycol chiller to get to pitching temps.
 
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Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

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So all in all, it sounds like it CAN be done. Based on what @TennBrewer stated, it seems the approach of using ground water for the majority of the work and using the chiller below 100*F is the way to go.

Currently, it takes me a little over 20 minutes to chill down to 65*F with 8 gallons post boil. I have my eyes on the Brutus CFC in the future which should help, but for now, since I got the go ahead from SWMBO on the glycol chiller, trying to figure out how to use that to do it. 20 minutes is way too long, I need to drop that faster.

Thanks for the input.
 

WESBREW

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I get mine around 80 on a single pass through plate chiller in the summer. You can run it slow one pass into the fermentor, then chill the rest of the way with glycol.
 
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Rob2010SS

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I always run my CFC output back into the whirlpool port on the boil kettle for the last 10-15 of the boil to sanitize the chiller. I then turn on the water and let it chill while still running back into the whirlpool port at the end of the boil.

I know this is part of my problem with how long it's taking to chill. However, while I know that some cold break is good in the fermenter, I do it to try and let some/most of it drop and settle out during the final whirlpool.

It would probably be significantly quicker if I didn't do that...
 

lucianthorr

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@Rob2010SS Have you tried using your Icemaster to cool wort yet? I just picked one up and was planning to do the same thing. I wrote morebeer to ask if it was possible and they said I could go directly to a steel conical with the boiling wort and cool it with the Icemaster but everything I've read online seems to imply that's a bad idea. I loved the idea of using boiling wort to sanitize the fermenter but I'm planning to do something similar to what you're doing.
Counterflow chiller with ground water until my output temp is somewhere around 90-100 and then use the Icemaster to get to the final pitching temp.

If you've done it, how long did it take you to get to pitching temp?
 
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Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

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@Rob2010SS Have you tried using your Icemaster to cool wort yet? I just picked one up and was planning to do the same thing. I wrote morebeer to ask if it was possible and they said I could go directly to a steel conical with the boiling wort and cool it with the Icemaster but everything I've read online seems to imply that's a bad idea. I loved the idea of using boiling wort to sanitize the fermenter but I'm planning to do something similar to what you're doing.
Counterflow chiller with ground water until my output temp is somewhere around 90-100 and then use the Icemaster to get to the final pitching temp.

If you've done it, how long did it take you to get to pitching temp?

Hey man. I have not done it yet. I'm using it right now for the first time for a lager but I did not set it up to cool wort right off the bat. This was my first 15g batch so I wanted to see how long it took my cfc to get it to temp first. I'll do this on my next one.
 

Jag75

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In the summer my tap water is warm as well . I get it wort down to 90 , transfer to my Spike then hook up to my glycol and within 15 min I'm ready to pitch . I've never tried transferring boiling wort to it and dont think I ever will.
 

lucianthorr

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Cool. I ended up spending yesterday building out a way to recirculate water from my cooler through my CFC. So I'm planning on buying a couple bags of ice before the next brew and give that a shot too. It just kills me how much water I send down my driveway every time I brew in the summer so hopefully this will help with that too. Stoked to give the glycol a shot though.
 

Dr_Jeff

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I send the exit water to a sprinkler in the flower bed.
Even though its hot, by the time it's divided up into small streams, then droplets, it cools enough to where it's mildly warn and doesn't hurt the plants.
Flower bed get watered, and the water doesn't get wasted.
 

WESBREW

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I send the exit water to a sprinkler in the flower bed.
Even though its hot, by the time it's divided up into small streams, then droplets, it cools enough to where it's mildly warn and doesn't hurt the plants.
Flower bed get watered, and the water doesn't get wasted.
thats what I did when I was brewing outside.
 

Bigredbeer

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I'm pulling the trigger on a glycol chiller today. I started wondering about using the glycol chiller to chill wort after the boil. So instead of hooking up a ground water source to the CFC, I'd hook up the glycol chiller to the CFC and use that to chill?

Can it be done?

Any repercussions to this that I'm not seeing?
Yes, first it won't work. Second if your chiller manufacture finds out you did it they'll void the warrantee. Guess how I know that. I'm not familiar with all the various suppliers but I can tell you that SsBT goes to some length to hide information on the limitations of their equipment. If you find that any equipment you have purchased from them is defective they will generally refuse to replace it but rather send you repair parts and insist that you fix it yourself. DON'T DO IT, there goes your warrantee. They also like to drag out the process as long as possible so you'll be forced to fix it your self with the same result. I've dealt with a lot equipment manufactures and have come to the conclusion that the biggest difference between them is not their equipment, although some stand head and shoulders above others in that respect, but rather the quality of their customer service because regardless of who you buy from at some point you're going to be dealing with their customer service. SsBT don't have any customer service anymore. Check out their User's Forum.
 

superiorsat

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No glycol needed. Chugger pump full throttle. One pass for input water temp, although it takes a few seconds to cool down outer pipe from high temp sanitary whirlpool run. Hot summer days( water temp 75+) I will take my copper herms coil and throw it in a bucket of ice water( busted up frozen milk jug of ice will do 15 gallon batch no problem). Winter time I have to drastically throttle back input water or you end up at 50 degree wort in seconds. $300 ish build. 1 gallon loss in tubing. If i want to recover I pour a pre-boiled gallon of water in at the end of transfer to recover wort from tubing. Built this for my future 100 gallon set up which I have recently completed. No problems what so ever with NEIPA's. Only put this up here for maybe a cheaper alternative than glycol although I have considered doing a second small counterflow chiller hooked up to my 1 ton glycol chiller.
 

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jddevinn

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When it's hot I cool water in the empty conical down to ~35F with the glycol chiller a day before brewing and then use the water to cool once the wort gets below 90-100F. Then drain the water and CIP sanitizer into the fermenter while the wort is resting 10 minutes after the cooling/whirpool.
 

Mad Mann

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I'm pulling the trigger on a glycol chiller today. I started wondering about using the glycol chiller to chill wort after the boil. So instead of hooking up a ground water source to the CFC, I'd hook up the glycol chiller to the CFC and use that to chill?

Can it be done?

Any repercussions to this that I'm not seeing?
Similar to other conversations... made my own AC glycol chiller but added a large 14 G cooler plus 300' of PEX tubing that I buried outside for thermal capacity. I chill down the tank and recirculate for the maximum benefit and can chill 11G with this set up.
 

breweer

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New issue with my home made glycol system. It’s hitting my set temp and the AC unit keeps running. Came out to half my reservoir tank and all the lines frozen solid. Got it all thawed out and turned it on and same exact thing. Been running for over a year just fine.

Any idea where to start this troubleshooting adventure?
 

breweer

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What are you using for a controller and how is it wired into the A/C?
Inkbird 308. Have the temp set at 32 with a +|-1 degree trigger. It even shows on the inkbird that it should be “heating”, yet the A/C unit continued to run.
 

breweer

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Sure sounds like a fault in the Inkbird. Can you hear the relay activate when the set point is reached?
I haven’t, though I haven’t been close by when it reaches that point so I’ll try to see if I can notice that today. Thanks for the idea!
 

breweer

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Sure sounds like a fault in the Inkbird. Can you hear the relay activate when the set point is reached?
Alright - caught it this morning and the Inkbird didn't respond to hitting the set point, so maybe it is on the inbird. Once I transfer what I have in the fermenter I'll test the system using another controller to see if that's accurate.
 
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