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Which counterflow chiller should I get?

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chrisinestes:
I'm upgrading my brewery this year. One of the two "big" things on the list is a counterflow chiller.  Something easy to clean & sanitize is at the top of my feature list. Which is the best to get?

Also, I've heard you need high temp hoses to handle the hot wort... what do I want to look for?

Thanks,
Chris

mthogan1997:
I made one with a garden hose and copper tubing for less than $30 and bought a shirron for $95. They both perform the same; the one I  bought is better looking. 

BrewArk:
I too made mine from a garden hose & copper tubing.  To sanitize, I run boiling wort through it before I turn on the cooling water (then I return the wort to the kettle).

IHBHS:
The one I made is  3/8 Copper tubing with the flare fittings going through the wall of a 5 gallon bucket.  There is a half inch valve in the bottom of the bucket is for the cooling water drain off.  It has a hose that hooks up to it to run it off elsewhere.  Gravity fed I can do 10 gallons in 20 minutes with running just a normal garden hose into the top of the bucket.  Cleaning it isn't that hard if you do it right after you right after you run wort through it after rinsing out your brew kettle of any plan matter.

majorvices:

--- Quote from: chrisinestes on April 26, 2010, 03:36:02 PM ---I'm upgrading my brewery this year. One of the two "big" things on the list is a counterflow chiller.  Something easy to clean & sanitize is at the top of my feature list. Which is the best to get?

Also, I've heard you need high temp hoses to handle the hot wort... what do I want to look for?

Thanks,
Chris

--- End quote ---

I hardly consider going to a CFC an "upgrade" from an IC for several reasons:

• A CFC is not easier to clean than a IC. With an IC you simply hose it off and plop it in the kettle 10-15 min. before the end of the boil. You can soak it in a vinegar solution to remove patina or a cleanser solution to remove trub/stone. Who the hell knows if the inside of a CFC is clean?

• Using an IC you can start cooling immediately after the boil is over. With the CFC you really need to wait at least 10-15 minutes before cooling to let break/hops settle. During this time SMM, the precursor to DMS can still being formed at hot temps but can;t be driven off. Also, hop utilization is still taking place, loosing aroma and gaining bitterness.

• With an IC you can leave most of the hot AND cold break behind in the kettle.

• With a CFC you can sometimes have a clog in the copper due to the length of tubing, depending on the ID.

I used a CFC for years and I prefer an IC much better. Way easier all around and big benefits on the quality of beer IMO. If you really want to upgrade consider getting a pump (you will need one for your CFC to work properly anyway) and try using Jamil's Whirlpool Chiller - http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php Or, simply keep a sanitzied spoon handy and Whirlpool it yourself from time to time. But personally I wouldn't recommend a CFC over an IC.

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