Author Topic: CFC questions  (Read 6188 times)

Offline weazletoe

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CFC questions
« on: September 23, 2012, 05:50:24 PM »
I've been tossing around the idea of making a CFC. Is a pump necessary, or is gravity feed enough? Also, how long must it be to be effective?
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Re: CFC questions
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2012, 06:14:33 AM »
I gravity feed through mine, but it is slow. There is a lot of resistance in 25 or 50 feet of tubing and the heat transfer is definately not as fast as through a plate chiller.

Edit: This all depends on your water temperature too. Winter is awesome, summer not so much.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: CFC questions
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2012, 07:37:32 AM »
i set up a pump, though it is probably not necessary. and i haven't finalized it. i basically put a immersion chiller in a 2 gallon bucket and then put pipe fittings to connect a submersible pump to run ice water through.  i use foam ice packs and put them in my mash tun after the grain is out.  gravity drain back to the tun. 

incidentally, went out last night and the place had a drink - bloody mary with a gravity fed beer into it with a few strips of bacon in the bloody mary part.  thought of you
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Offline weithman5

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Re: CFC questions
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2012, 07:59:38 AM »




Some pics of the temp set up.  if i intend to use i will need to valve the kettle since the pump is not self priming. (i will likely get a march pump, but the pump in the picture is out of a keurig coffee maker and actually does fine)  the 2 gallon bucket holds the coils from the immersion chiller that you can see coming out of the side through the grommets.  if i did this over i would have brought them through the lid so i could just pull it out and use it as an immersion chiller easier. the big igloo is my mash tun (note i only do 2-3 gallons at a time) and works fine. i can fill it with ice packs that i keep in the freezer and just reuse.
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Offline denny

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Re: CFC questions
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2012, 09:10:52 AM »
Many years ago, I had one that I used without a pump.  Like was said above, it was slow but it usually worked OK.  Worked a bit better when I started using a WortWizard to move the wort through it.  But I eventually gave it away.  I found that the time it  took to clean and sanitize it was at least as much as the time I saved by using a CGFC rather than an IC.  I've used the IC ever since.  Once I started using a pump with the IC to do recirculated chilling the time it takes to chill came down to about 10-15 min.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: CFC questions
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2012, 09:51:10 AM »
If you use a whirlpool and the wort is relatively free of debris, you'll be able to use gravity flow.  I use a CFC without pumping, but I make sure the wort is "free of trub and hop particulate prior to chilling.  Trub or hop debris tends to clog the chiller rather quickly. Been there...done that...no fun.

Go for it.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: CFC questions
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2012, 10:04:49 AM »
Many years ago, I had one that I used without a pump.  Like was said above, it was slow but it usually worked OK.  Worked a bit better when I started using a WortWizard to move the wort through it.  But I eventually gave it away.  I found that the time it  took to clean and sanitize it was at least as much as the time I saved by using a CGFC rather than an IC.  I've used the IC ever since.  Once I started using a pump with the IC to do recirculated chilling the time it takes to chill came down to about 10-15 min.

i may actually pull the coil out of the bucket and just use it as an immersion chiller again, i havent decided, i made it just to see if it was possible. i think it is more of an overkill.
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Offline weazletoe

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Re: CFC questions
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 11:42:45 AM »
Well crap. If it takes you 10-15 min to chill with a CFC, I think I'll stick with my IC. I have my worth down to pitching temp in 15-20. Much faster in the winter. Actually, scary fast. Tap water here is ice cold even in the summer.
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Offline denny

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Re: CFC questions
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2012, 12:29:35 PM »
Well crap. If it takes you 10-15 min to chill with a CFC, I think I'll stick with my IC. I have my worth down to pitching temp in 15-20. Much faster in the winter. Actually, scary fast. Tap water here is ice cold even in the summer.

Yeah, my well water never gets above about 55-60, even in summer.  Much colder in winter.
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Offline weazletoe

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Re: CFC questions
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2012, 12:43:33 PM »
Gotta love mountain water.  ;D
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Re: CFC questions
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2012, 12:52:43 PM »
Well crap. If it takes you 10-15 min to chill with a CFC, I think I'll stick with my IC. I have my worth down to pitching temp in 15-20. Much faster in the winter. Actually, scary fast. Tap water here is ice cold even in the summer.

Sounds like a plan. I wish I could chill that fast.
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: CFC questions
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2012, 04:00:03 PM »
Yeah, my well water never gets above about 55-60, even in summer.  Much colder in winter.

Lucky you.. my ground water temp is hovering somewhere around 80.

I use my CFC and an IC in line. I pump from my kettle through my CFC (using groundwater) and from there into the IC which is sitting in an ice bath. I'll chill 12 gallons of beer out the other side in about 15 minutes to around 63F.

During a normal winter, no ice, no IC. During the summer - about 15 lbs.
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Offline dannyjed

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Re: CFC questions
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2012, 04:13:07 PM »
Yeah, my well water never gets above about 55-60, even in summer.  Much colder in winter.
must be nice..I have to wait till winter for 60
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 05:22:16 PM by dbeechum »
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Offline bluesman

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Re: CFC questions
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2012, 09:36:01 AM »
Right now my ground water is hovering around 66F which is okay for ales but I have to further chill for my lagers. I'll use a fermentation chest to chill down to 48F or so.  I've also used another method of prechilling the water in an ice bath with a small IC.  The ground water (66F) travels through a small IC in an ice bath then through a CFC chilling the wort down to lagering pitching temps of 40-50F in about 10-15min per 11 gallons of wort.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: CFC questions
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2012, 03:07:54 PM »
been thinking about this again the past day or so.  the whole reason i made the heat exchanger was because i made the electric kettle and didn't want the immersion chiller to sit on top of the element the last few minutes of the boil.  i thought this would be easier (and it was pretty easy) than shaping the ic to go around or over the element in some fashion.  but to really make the heat exchanger work well i would need to put a valve in the kettle.  not that money is a big deal but i am kind of frugal  the valve assembly would be about 30 bucks.  i bought the kettle for 4 and probably only another 15 wrapped up in the element and wiring.

my question - before i put the valve in, does anybody have an idea on how to configure the ic, bend it in a u shape or just suspend it an 1/2 inch above.  i really don't need much as it is only a four gallon kettle that is about 1/2 full at the end.
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