Author Topic: Interesting immersion wort chiller design  (Read 6403 times)

Offline anje

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Interesting immersion wort chiller design
« on: October 23, 2012, 02:22:57 PM »
Now that the weather has turned cool enough that I'm not wishing I had space for a chest freezer/fermentation chamber, I'm thinking my next upgrade has to be a wort chiller.  May yet make my own, but I know copper prices have definitely affected the build cost on these.

Anyway, I came across this contraption on ebay. Curious if anyone's tried something along these lines instead of the standard cylindrical coil design?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-WORT-CHILLER-DESIGN-PEAK-EFFICIENCY-/110841991716
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Offline euge

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Re: Interesting immersion wort chiller design
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2012, 03:08:54 PM »
Interesting. A bit obsessive but if the claims are true then the price is very good!
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Re: Interesting immersion wort chiller design
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2012, 03:11:13 PM »
It's pretty. 57 bucks is not a bad price either. Other than that it's marketing. Sure ICs have hot and cold spots.that's why you stir.i would part a pc of my home made one but it's super ugly. It works though. last brew took 14 gallons of water to get to 80*
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Offline mihalybaci

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Re: Interesting immersion wort chiller design
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2012, 04:01:53 PM »
The only thing that should really matter is the chiller surface area, 50 feet of copper coil will chill the same no matter what the design. As already mentioned, just make sure to stir to get an accurate temperature.

Offline euge

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Re: Interesting immersion wort chiller design
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2012, 04:30:10 PM »
I've given up stirring. Doesn't seem to really affect the chilling rate after an extensive comparison. Besides I run the water through a sprinkler and my yard benefits.

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Online mtnrockhopper

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Re: Interesting immersion wort chiller design
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2012, 06:14:20 PM »
Well, they are talking about water efficiency.  Since it uses a smaller diameter tube, water will flow more slowly, so I suspect that 300% less water does not mean 300% faster cooling. Rather, since it is smaller tubing the water is closer to wort temp when it exits. This would get the most cooling per gallon, but you could do the same by just slowing the flow through another chiller.  All of that turning probably does create turbulence in the cooling water, which might help too.  Overall, though, I'd say many homebrewers are more concerned about time than water use.  It is pretty though.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Interesting immersion wort chiller design
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2012, 07:58:33 AM »
Rather, since it is smaller tubing the water is closer to wort temp when it exits. This would get the most cooling per gallon, but you could do the same by just slowing the flow through another chiller.

From what I have read on the subject you get better cooling by having maximum flow through the chiller.  I am not an engineer, so don't ask for any detailed explanation and I'm too lazy to search for a citation.

I have not, however, changed my practices and I do not run my IC with maximum flow.  I tried it once or twice and decided I'd rather use less water, or the perception of less water since I've not measured the amount I actually use.
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: Interesting immersion wort chiller design
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2012, 08:01:53 AM »
Rather, since it is smaller tubing the water is closer to wort temp when it exits. This would get the most cooling per gallon, but you could do the same by just slowing the flow through another chiller.

From what I have read on the subject you get better cooling by having maximum flow through the chiller.  I am not an engineer, so don't ask for any detailed explanation and I'm too lazy to search for a citation.

I have not, however, changed my practices and I do not run my IC with maximum flow.  I tried it once or twice and decided I'd rather use less water, or the perception of less water since I've not measured the amount I actually use.

you get faster chilling at max flow. I do use the max flow and it works fine. Like I said I use about 15 gallons to chill 5 gallons down to 80*. It's really all about moving the wort past the chiller coils so that the cold wort around the copper moves away and lets hot wort in to cool down. The smaller diameter tube does likely make a big difference though. if you double the surface area of the tube you quadruple the volume inside which means you are pushing 4 times as much water through but only twice as much is making good contact with the heat exchanger
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Re: Interesting immersion wort chiller design
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2012, 08:48:31 AM »
The only thing that should really matter is the chiller surface area, 50 feet of copper coil will chill the same no matter what the design.

Wrong if the wort is not agitated!

The design is interesting theoretically but ultimately the best design depends on the configuration of the cooler and the vessel so as to eliminate hot spots assuming you are not actively stirring the wort.  I tried initially to make a 4 leaf clover design with 3/8"  but it was unable to bend the copper without kinking it.  Ultimately I settled on 2 parallel overlapping coils of 3/8" copper connect to 1/2" headers. 

I wonder how long it would take for the 20 gallons of water to pass through a 1/4"  line?  Could take a while which is annoying when you want to finish up your brew day,
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Interesting immersion wort chiller design
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2012, 08:48:46 AM »
that design does not impress me. there are some subtleties to configuration but rather trivial.  surface area, cooling water temperature and flow rate are what are key.  you will cool faster with faster cooling flow rate but will use more water. you can cool slower with very slow rate such that the outlet temperature is very near wort temp. you can cool faster by having colder inlet temp, hence i recirc my cooling water through foam ice packs, of course i have to use energy freezing these.  also 1/4 inch tubing is not that expensive and if you are careful not to kink it is easy to use.  1/2 probably better
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Offline anje

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Re: Interesting immersion wort chiller design
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2012, 08:50:44 AM »

you get faster chilling at max flow. I do use the max flow and it works fine. Like I said I use about 15 gallons to chill 5 gallons down to 80*. It's really all about moving the wort past the chiller coils so that the cold wort around the copper moves away and lets hot wort in to cool down. The smaller diameter tube does likely make a big difference though. if you double the surface area of the tube you quadruple the volume inside which means you are pushing 4 times as much water through but only twice as much is making good contact with the heat exchanger

That's along the lines of my thinking. In terms of chilling, it seems to me that you'd be better off with a few more feet of tubing at a smaller diameter than with a larger diameter tube. (To a point anyway. If you get to the point where the water in the tube is practically the same temp as the wort, more length is obviously not going to help much.)
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Interesting immersion wort chiller design
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2012, 09:19:12 AM »
Definitely overthinking it...
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Re: Interesting immersion wort chiller design
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2012, 01:32:25 PM »
Rather, since it is smaller tubing the water is closer to wort temp when it exits. This would get the most cooling per gallon, but you could do the same by just slowing the flow through another chiller.

From what I have read on the subject you get better cooling by having maximum flow through the chiller. 

That's my point. When most people say 'better chilling' they mean faster, but whoever makes that chiller is talking about water use and not speed. It may chill more slowly, but use less water.  If you want fast chilling, you want the tubes filled with the coldest possible water through the entire length. If you want to maximize water efficiency, you want hot water leaving the chiller because each gallon has absorbed more. But I doubt it can compete with a counterflow chiller for water conservation.
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Offline beerbrewinwizard

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Re: Interesting immersion wort chiller design
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2012, 07:40:12 PM »
The design is kind of ugly but I guess that is not important if it were to work better. However I don't think it would work better than my 50 ft 1/2 copper submursion rig. I use a pump to recirculate from a 72 qrt cooler. I can chill five gallons from a boil to below 80F in about 12 min and a ten gal kettle in about 18 min. For 5 gal I put 2 twenty lb bags of ice in the cooler but the 10 gets 4 bags. I have used 6-1/2 gal of the the cooler water for a second batch of wert leaving several gal for the chill. Then I add starsan to the cooler to sanitiaze my equipment. I have seen a copper coil chiller that is called a rib cage (youtube)design and it looks more promising than this thing.

Offline dzlater

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Re: Interesting immersion wort chiller design
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2012, 04:27:45 AM »
How does 20/46 = 300% ?