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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: jgl2ltts on April 14, 2011, 02:04:20 AM

Title: Wort Chillers
Post by: jgl2ltts on April 14, 2011, 02:04:20 AM
Immersion, plate, counter flow; what's the best type of wort chiller?
Title: Re: Wort Chillers
Post by: dbohn on April 14, 2011, 02:22:49 AM
I have an immersion chiller 50' of 3/8 copper, but I live in the NW and have a well. Works good for me!
Title: Re: Wort Chillers
Post by: euge on April 14, 2011, 02:48:47 AM
Immersion. Well because that's what I use...

My preference is because they are so easily sanitized. With the wort on the outside of the chiller, IMO an IC is more easily cleaned. Plus, immersion chillers are reasonably easy to build at home.

Users of the other types will reveal their comparative merits.
Title: Re: Wort Chillers
Post by: a10t2 on April 14, 2011, 03:46:07 AM
A CFC and a plate chiller are basically the same thing, and either will be more efficient than an immersion chiller. The advantage of the plate chiller is that it's going to be easier to clean, but it's also more likely to need cleaning IME.
Title: Re: Wort Chillers
Post by: jamminbrew on April 14, 2011, 04:03:46 AM
I have a 100 ft. 3/8 copper immersion chiller that I built. Cools the wort in 10 mins flat, from 210 to 60 degrees.  Easy to clean, easy to use.  But I think preference depends solely on what you like. Each has its pros and cons.
Title: Re: Wort Chillers
Post by: colinhayes on April 14, 2011, 06:42:35 PM
I have a 100 ft. 3/8 copper immersion chiller

How the hell do you fit 100' into your kettle?  I was barely able to get 50' of 0.5" into mine, and that required a double coil.
Title: Re: Wort Chillers
Post by: nateo on April 14, 2011, 08:04:45 PM
Chillers are all about surface area and flow. A "big" plate chiller on a homebrew level will have around 7ft^2 of surface area. 50' of 3/8OD copper tubing will have about 10ft^2 of surface area. More surface area means faster cooling, but lower flow means slower cooling. The problem with most immersion chillers is that the wort is mostly stationary, and would work a lot better if the wort were moving around. A plate chiller has the flow you need, but so would an immersion with a pumped whirlpool.

I would say this would be the "best" type of chiller for a homebrewer:
http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php
Title: Re: Wort Chillers
Post by: weazletoe on April 14, 2011, 11:07:59 PM
I have a 100 ft. 3/8 copper immersion chiller

How the hell do you fit 100' into your kettle?  I was barely able to get 50' of 0.5" into mine, and that required a double coil.

There is a HUGE difference between 0.5 and 0.375. I have a 0.375 chiller, at 50'. I Could easily fit a 100' in my kettle. But there is noy way 100' of .5 would come even close.
Title: Re: Wort Chillers
Post by: Will's Swill on April 14, 2011, 11:51:22 PM
My recent side-by-side use of a CFC and an IC has convinced me that the CFC can lead to a beer with more clarity*.  But I'll still use the IC occasionally when I'm doing 5 gallon batches, particularly if I'm not brewing at home, it's just easier to set up and use.

* I'm NOT saying you cannot get a clear beer with an IC.
Title: Re: Wort Chillers
Post by: jamminbrew on April 15, 2011, 12:51:22 AM
I have a 100 ft. 3/8 copper immersion chiller

How the hell do you fit 100' into your kettle?  I was barely able to get 50' of 0.5" into mine, and that required a double coil.
I have a large kettle, and the coils are wound somewhat widely, and very tight.
Title: Re: Wort Chillers
Post by: ibru on April 15, 2011, 03:00:30 PM
I've used an immersion since I started in the early '90s. The last 2 batches I have used my new counterflow and really liked it. In my system, it appears to be faster than the immersion (50' of 1/2" coiled copper). The only issue I see is cleaning and sanitizing. I've been recirculating from my conical through the pump and chiller back to the conical while boiling. Then after the beer is in the fermenter I run cleaner through it while cleaning my brew pot.

Both beers are nice and clear. The first one is almost toast.

Next test is a Kolsch, then a Czech Pils....

Beers!
Title: Re: Wort Chillers
Post by: Will's Swill on April 16, 2011, 01:40:37 AM
Yeah, I actually find it easier to clean the CFC than the IC.
Title: Re: Wort Chillers
Post by: Pinski on April 18, 2011, 04:50:31 AM
I find myself leaning toward a plate chiller, but I've been wondering how folks effectively clean them and prevent them from becoming clogged. Doesn't seem like it would take much to do that, clog it that is.
Title: Re: Wort Chillers
Post by: tom on April 18, 2011, 04:01:13 PM
I whirlpool the boil kettle and let it settle for 15 minutes.  That leaves most of the trub in the center of the kettle.  And I also have a Bazooka screen along the side of the kettle. 
I clean my pump and silicone hoses by pumping hot PBW through them for 30 minutes.  No added effort to add the plate chiller into the loop.  And I sterilize it in the oven.
Title: Re: Wort Chillers
Post by: rjharper on April 18, 2011, 06:00:16 PM
i've got 100ft of 3/8" copper tubing that i wrapped around a corny, connected to a 200 gph pond pump.  i fill a bottling bucket with cold water, drop the pump in, and when its half empty (having taking the real heat out) I drop 15lbs of ice into the bucket and let the ice water do the rest.  i'm boiling to 60F in 10-15 mins normally.  since i brew in the garage, cleanup is a breeze. i take the IC outside, and blast it clean with the hose.  on brew day, it gets a rinse in said bottling bucket of cold water.
Title: Re: Wort Chillers
Post by: blatz on April 18, 2011, 08:47:42 PM
I would say this would be the "best" type of chiller for a homebrewer:
http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php

+1 - after going from an IC, to a Shirron, to a Shirron + a CFC, to a Therminator + a CFC, I switched back to a 50' WIC ala Jamil.  I could not be happier.

that said, if you have really cold groundwater, a plate chiller might work for you, but you still have the problem of cleaning the dang thing out.  I like the simplicity and ease of the WIC.
Title: Re: Wort Chillers
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on April 18, 2011, 11:55:08 PM
It is all about surface area and heat exchange.
In 10 gal IC works pretty good.
This is not so true with my 210 gal brewpot.
I just ordered plate heat exchanger.