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What Style Chiller is Best?

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CFC or Immersion Chiller

  • CFC Chiller

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thebull

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I'm moving to ten gallon batches and have to inlarge my cooling capacity. Immersion or CFC? I have quite warm H2O in the summer living in the sun belt.

Using the CFC and pump are you able to control the flow so you can pump properly cooled wort directly into the fermenting bucker or do you recirculate into the boiling kettle until the wort is cooled and then into the fermenter?
 

RichBrewer

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A lot depends on your means and current set up but a counter flow chiller is much more efficient. The disadvantages to counter flow are there however. It must be cleaned and sanitized which is a bit more difficult than an immersion chiller and hop material must be filtered out in some fashion to prevent clogging. There are many solutions out there to overcome these problems so I will definitely say the counter flow chiller is easily the best chiller.

The wort goes directly to the fermenter. Folks who have warm tap water will sometimes use an ice bath pre-chiller to cool the water.
 
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+1 Rich.

It depends on what you are trying to acomplish. I use a plate because it works in context with my setup. If I had a real brewpot instead of a keggle and hopstopper, I would most likely use an immersion chiller and recirculate like Jamil (mrmalty.com).
 

RichBrewer

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By the way,
I was considering plate chillers and counterflow chillers as the same thing. That's probably not technically correct but they both operate on the same principle.
 

anderj

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I just got a plate chiller off of craig's list for thirty bucks, tested with boiling water the other day and it works wonders. I know that the cleaning is a bit of a bear but with a hop bag in the boil and a hop screen in my kettle I think it will be ok. The kicker for me is the size, the last thing I need is another big piece of brewing gear. I think that I will pass my old IC down the line to some guys who are a few rungs below on the gear ladder.
-ander
 

lustreking

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I use a plate chiller and love it, but if you have very warm water, you may want to consider a bigger IC.

My plate chiller will get down to the input water temp with no problems, but you can't get it down below the temp of your input water.

What many people with ICs do, is get it down as low as it goes with regular water, and then switch to a submersible pump in a bucket of ice water to get it down lower.

Just a thought...
 

Bobby_M

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You can do the same icewater trick with the CFC. Chill half your wort down to say 80F on the way to the fermenter, switch over to icewater and cool the remaining half down to 50F. It should equilize to 65F. You could also run icewater the whole time and either throttle it for an exact temp or recirculate it back into the bin.
 

lustreking

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Bobby_M said:
You can do the same icewater trick with the CFC. Chill half your wort down to say 80F on the way to the fermenter, switch over to icewater and cool the remaining half down to 50F. It should equilize to 65F. You could also run icewater the whole time and either throttle it for an exact temp or recirculate it back into the bin.
Hey, that's a great idea!

I reread thebull's original post, and he mentioned using a pump, which I wasn't considering. He could also recirculate the output back into the kettle using a CFC and switch to icewater just like an IC.
 

lustreking

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thebull said:
Using the CFC and pump are you able to control the flow so you can pump properly cooled wort directly into the fermenting bucker or do you recirculate into the boiling kettle until the wort is cooled and then into the fermenter?
Ok, in my above post I answered the second part of your question. Here's what I do, which answers the first part of your question.

This is on the output of my plate chiller, it's a valve to throttle the flow of the wort, as well as a thermometer to measure the temp as it exits the chiller.

 
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