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General Category => Zymurgy => Topic started by: cornershot on August 21, 2013, 01:35:09 AM

Title: chiller performance: sep/oct 2013
Post by: cornershot on August 21, 2013, 01:35:09 AM
The geeks only section of the latest Zymurgy says a 25' immersion chiller with 65f groundwater will chill 5 gallons of boiling wort to 68f in ~10 minutes. Is this possible? I don't think my double chiller (2x25'x3/8"), could do this!
Edit- I missed this: length of immersed coil is 46'x3/8". I still have a hard time believing it's possible.
Title: Re: chiller performance: sep/oct 2013
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 21, 2013, 02:24:23 AM
The geeks only section of the latest Zymurgy says a 25' immersion chiller with 65f groundwater will chill 5 gallons of boiling wort to 68f in ~10 minutes. Is this possible? I don't think my double chiller (2x25') could do this!
what diameter?
Title: Re: chiller performance: sep/oct 2013
Post by: cornershot on August 21, 2013, 02:29:21 AM
The geeks only section of the latest Zymurgy says a 25' immersion chiller with 65f groundwater will chill 5 gallons of boiling wort to 68f in ~10 minutes. Is this possible? I don't think my double chiller (2x25') could do this!
what diameter?

The article doesn't specify the diameter used for the study but cites 3/8" diameter as "typical ".
Title: Re: chiller performance: sep/oct 2013
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 21, 2013, 02:38:28 AM
I can chill 10 gallons in 14 min in winter, 50 ft 1/2 inch.

Have not read that yet. Might be theoretical best case with circulating wort.
Title: Re: chiller performance: sep/oct 2013
Post by: cornershot on August 21, 2013, 09:52:07 AM
I can chill 6 gallons to 68f in 8 minutes in winter, circulating wort, with 55f water. No issue with the numbers on the colder chilling water. I just don't believe a 46'x3/8" IC can chill to 68f in 10 minutes with 65f water.
Title: Re: chiller performance: sep/oct 2013
Post by: cornershot on August 23, 2013, 12:18:54 AM
Brewed today and it took my chiller (basically 2 x 25' chillers running in parallel) 14 minutes to reach 68f with 65f water.  What am I doing wrong?
Title: Re: chiller performance: sep/oct 2013
Post by: In The Sand on August 23, 2013, 01:23:08 AM
Too many theoretical variables. You okay at that
Title: Re: chiller performance: sep/oct 2013
Post by: cornershot on August 23, 2013, 09:32:39 AM
Too many theoretical variables. You okay at that

I'm okay with the time it takes to chill. But the study in Zymurgy says they're getting it done in 10 minutes vs. my 14 minutes.
The variables:
They chilled 5 gallons, I did 5.5.

They used a 46'x3/8" coil. I use 2 separately-fed  25'x3/8" coils. Theoretically, this should give mine an advantage, at least enough to make up for the slight difference in volume.

We both used 65f water to chill.

I circulate the wort continuously, in the opposite direction of chiller flow.

My chiller flow rate is 3 gpm. So is theirs.

So how do they chill so much faster? Or do they? Perhaps the article is based strictly on calculations, with no scientific data, and is really just theoretical bs?
Title: Re: chiller performance: sep/oct 2013
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 23, 2013, 11:48:53 AM
Too many theoretical variables. You okay at that

I'm okay with the time it takes to chill. But the study in Zymurgy says they're getting it done in 10 minutes vs. my 14 minutes.
The variables:
They chilled 5 gallons, I did 5.5.

They used a 46'x3/8" coil. I use 2 separately-fed  25'x3/8" coils. Theoretically, this should give mine an advantage, at least enough to make up for the slight difference in volume.

We both used 65f water to chill.

I circulate the wort continuously, in the opposite direction of chiller flow.

My chiller flow rate is 3 gpm. So is theirs.

So how do they chill so much faster? Or do they? Perhaps the article is based strictly on calculations, with no scientific data, and is really just theoretical bs?
It does look like calculations were used for the graph. The data point for the immersion being below the counterflow is counterintuitive. You could e-mail Zymurgy and ask the question there, and I suspect the author would respond. Worked for me a while back when I had a question.
Title: Re: chiller performance: sep/oct 2013
Post by: denny on August 23, 2013, 03:47:33 PM
I use a 50 ft. 3/8" immersion chiller.  My ground water averages about 55F...a bit warmer at the height of summer and a bit lower in mid winter.  Before I started doing the recirculated chilling thing, it took bout 30 min. to go from boiling to 0F.  With recirculation it takes about 10-13 min.
Title: Re: chiller performance: sep/oct 2013
Post by: cornershot on August 23, 2013, 04:43:51 PM
The only unknown variable I can think of that might make a sizeable difference is spacing between coils. My coils kind of lay on top of each other which could reduce surface area and impede the flow of the circulating wort. My chiller's based loosely off JaDeD brewing's Hydra. http://jadedbrewing.com/collections/frontpage/products/the-hydra

Time to get out the soldering torch!
Title: Re: chiller performance: sep/oct 2013
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 23, 2013, 05:21:46 PM
The only unknown variable I can think of that might make a sizeable difference is spacing between coils. My coils kind of lay on top of each other which could reduce surface area and impede the flow of the circulating wort. My chiller's based loosely off JaDeD brewing's Hydra. http://jadedbrewing.com/collections/frontpage/products/the-hydra

Time to get out the soldering torch!
Spacing the coils will expose ll the area.

The linked chiller - talk about surface area!
Title: Re: chiller performance: sep/oct 2013
Post by: weithman5 on August 23, 2013, 06:35:21 PM
Too many theoretical variables. You okay at that

I'm okay with the time it takes to chill. But the study in Zymurgy says they're getting it done in 10 minutes vs. my 14 minutes.
The variables:
They chilled 5 gallons, I did 5.5.

They used a 46'x3/8" coil. I use 2 separately-fed  25'x3/8" coils. Theoretically, this should give mine an advantage, at least enough to make up for the slight difference in volume.

We both used 65f water to chill.

I circulate the wort continuously, in the opposite direction of chiller flow.

My chiller flow rate is 3 gpm. So is theirs.

So how do they chill so much faster? Or do they? Perhaps the article is based strictly on calculations, with no scientific data, and is really just theoretical bs?
It does look like calculations were used for the graph. The data point for the immersion being below the counterflow is counterintuitive. You could e-mail Zymurgy and ask the question there, and I suspect the author would respond. Worked for me a while back when I had a question.


i have not read the full article, but i don't find it counterintuitive.  if they recirculated the wort with a paddle briskly around the immersion coils the heat transfer gradient could be significantly higher, including th e tranfer at the air interface and the wort kettle interface.  in fact, an argument could be made that this is significantly better than that from pumping a laminar layer through a counter flow or even a cross flow heat exchanger.
Title: Re: chiller performance: sep/oct 2013
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 23, 2013, 07:48:22 PM
Too many theoretical variables. You okay at that

I'm okay with the time it takes to chill. But the study in Zymurgy says they're getting it done in 10 minutes vs. my 14 minutes.
The variables:
They chilled 5 gallons, I did 5.5.

They used a 46'x3/8" coil. I use 2 separately-fed  25'x3/8" coils. Theoretically, this should give mine an advantage, at least enough to make up for the slight difference in volume.

We both used 65f water to chill.

I circulate the wort continuously, in the opposite direction of chiller flow.

My chiller flow rate is 3 gpm. So is theirs.

So how do they chill so much faster? Or do they? Perhaps the article is based strictly on calculations, with no scientific data, and is really just theoretical bs?
It does look like calculations were used for the graph. The data point for the immersion being below the counterflow is counterintuitive. You could e-mail Zymurgy and ask the question there, and I suspect the author would respond. Worked for me a while back when I had a question.


i have not read the full article, but i don't find it counterintuitive.  if they recirculated the wort with a paddle briskly around the immersion coils the heat transfer gradient could be significantly higher, including th e tranfer at the air interface and the wort kettle interface.  in fact, an argument could be made that this is significantly better than that from pumping a laminar layer through a counter flow or even a cross flow heat exchanger.

It was calculations in fig 4. Assumed 3 gallons per min. For both sides of the counterflow, which will be turbulent flow for the sizes used. Maybe a e-mail is in order.
Title: Re: chiller performance: sep/oct 2013
Post by: kramerog on August 23, 2013, 08:20:35 PM
I was a chemical engineer, now a patent attorney.  I have a copy of Perry's where the data they use comes from.  The article is purely a paper study.  Their calculations are reasonably accurate for doing comparisons among common cooling options.  I would not assume that they are accurate for other purposes.    I do not consider what they are doing "BS," but I'm not surprised that one person's real world data does not coincide with an estimate from a paper study.

Theoretically, counterflow cooling should always be faster than batch immersion cooling for same coolant flow rate and same heat transfer area assuming proper design because in counter flow the coolant exiting the cooler is cooling wort at the initial temperature.  In immersion cooling, very little of the coolant is cooling wort at the initial temp.
Title: Re: chiller performance: sep/oct 2013
Post by: weithman5 on August 23, 2013, 08:54:46 PM
I was a chemical engineer, now a patent attorney.  I have a copy of Perry's where the data they use comes from.  The article is purely a paper study.  Their calculations are reasonably accurate for doing comparisons among common cooling options.  I would not assume that they are accurate for other purposes.    I do not consider what they are doing "BS," but I'm not surprised that one person's real world data does not coincide with an estimate from a paper study.

Theoretically, counterflow cooling should always be faster than batch immersion cooling for same coolant flow rate and same heat transfer area assuming proper design because in counter flow the coolant exiting the cooler is cooling wort at the initial temperature.  In immersion cooling, very little of the coolant is cooling wort at the initial temp.

yes, but you are assuming stagnant flow around the immersion cooler.  if you move the wort around it is similar to a typical bi flow heat exchanger. i would argue that the volumetric flow rate from a paddle moving the wort around the immersion coil is probably on the order of gallons per second as compared to a pump pumping it through a heat exchanger.  similar to how air moves over an engine be it air cooled or liquid cooled.  as long as something is moving air over the fins it will cool faster.
Title: Re: chiller performance: sep/oct 2013
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 23, 2013, 09:02:18 PM
I was a chemical engineer, now a patent attorney.  I have a copy of Perry's where the data they use comes from.  The article is purely a paper study.  Their calculations are reasonably accurate for doing comparisons among common cooling options.  I would not assume that they are accurate for other purposes.    I do not consider what they are doing "BS," but I'm not surprised that one person's real world data does not coincide with an estimate from a paper study.

Theoretically, counterflow cooling should always be faster than batch immersion cooling for same coolant flow rate and same heat transfer area assuming proper design because in counter flow the coolant exiting the cooler is cooling wort at the initial temperature.  In immersion cooling, very little of the coolant is cooling wort at the initial temp.
Old MechE here. In Table 2, he has the counter flow with slightly higher Area for the study, the U is roughly a wash. My quandary is how does the immersion suddenly perform better than the counterflow with just a 5F change in cooling water? I think it has to do with the definition of the Delta T avg for an immersion. I might have to pull my dusty Heat Transfer book off of the shelf.
Title: Re: chiller performance: sep/oct 2013
Post by: kramerog on August 23, 2013, 09:03:55 PM

Theoretically, counterflow cooling should always be faster than batch immersion cooling for same coolant flow rate and same heat transfer area assuming proper design because in counter flow the coolant exiting the cooler is cooling wort at the initial temperature.  In immersion cooling, very little of the coolant is cooling wort at the initial temp.

yes, but you are assuming stagnant flow around the immersion cooler.  if you move the wort around it is similar to a typical bi flow heat exchanger. i would argue that the volumetric flow rate from a paddle moving the wort around the immersion coil is probably on the order of gallons per second as compared to a pump pumping it through a heat exchanger.  similar to how air moves over an engine be it air cooled or liquid cooled.  as long as something is moving air over the fins it will cool faster.

I'm not assuming stagnant flow.  I'm assuming that the water in the pot cools over time due to the immersion cooler.
Title: Re: chiller performance: sep/oct 2013
Post by: weithman5 on August 23, 2013, 09:13:29 PM
so are you assuming that the water in the pot (being cooled) is moving only under natural circulation?
Title: Re: chiller performance: sep/oct 2013
Post by: kramerog on August 24, 2013, 03:12:37 PM
so are you assuming that the water in the pot (being cooled) is moving only under natural circulation?

The reason I say that countercurrent should theoretically always be better is because the flow of coolant through a countercurrent chiller is always exposed to wort at the initial temperature (~212 F), while an immersion chiller is only exposed to ~212 F for a very short moment because the immersion chiller cools the entire mass of wort.
Title: Re: chiller performance: sep/oct 2013
Post by: kramerog on August 27, 2013, 08:50:20 PM
I was a chemical engineer, now a patent attorney.  I have a copy of Perry's where the data they use comes from.  The article is purely a paper study.  Their calculations are reasonably accurate for doing comparisons among common cooling options.  I would not assume that they are accurate for other purposes.    I do not consider what they are doing "BS," but I'm not surprised that one person's real world data does not coincide with an estimate from a paper study.

Theoretically, counterflow cooling should always be faster than batch immersion cooling for same coolant flow rate and same heat transfer area assuming proper design because in counter flow the coolant exiting the cooler is cooling wort at the initial temperature.  In immersion cooling, very little of the coolant is cooling wort at the initial temp.
Old MechE here. In Table 2, he has the counter flow with slightly higher Area for the study, the U is roughly a wash. My quandary is how does the immersion suddenly perform better than the counterflow with just a 5F change in cooling water? I think it has to do with the definition of the Delta T avg for an immersion. I might have to pull my dusty Heat Transfer book off of the shelf.

I think you are onto something.  I would expect that the curve for the immersion cooler would curve upwards a lot more given a 3 degree F temperature approach.  I'm fairly sure that the immersion cooler equation is incorrect unless there is a very complicated equation for Delta T avg because the immersion cooler operates at non-steady state.
Title: Re: chiller performance: sep/oct 2013
Post by: albionwood on August 28, 2013, 09:00:49 PM
It's that "delta T avg" that points to the problem.  It is apparently an attempt to get around the problem of thermal gradients within the wort; the simplified linear equations assume the only gradients are between wort and cooling water.  For plate chillers this assumption is probably justified, as the distances between plates are small and the wort velocity probably results in complete mixing (within each channel).  For counterflow chillers it may be untrue but probably not far enough off to cause major error.  But for an immersion chiller, the assumption is not justified unless the wort is completely mixed at all times, such that the temperature at any point is very close to the average temperature.  Unless you stir really vigorously and continuously, this is far from true; there is a significant thermal gradient within the wort (from the center of the kettle to the chiller coils) and this greatly increases the time to chill the wort.  (The time required for heat to travel through the wort toward the chiller coils is nowhere accounted for in the equation; and the actual gradient at the coil/wort contact is much lower than the equation assumes.)

Failure to recognize, identify, and examine all the assumptions behind a mathematical model is the #1 cause of model failures.  That is the best and most lasting lesson my hydrogeology prof (Michael Campana) taught me many years ago.