Author Topic: Sanitizing counterflow chiller, will this work?  (Read 1180 times)

Offline trapae

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Sanitizing counterflow chiller, will this work?
« on: July 09, 2016, 02:46:13 PM »
 I'm thinking about finally switching from using from immersion chillers ( first one goes through an ice bath to the second one that is in my kettle ) to a counterflow chiller.   Currently I put my immersion chiller in the last 15 minutes of the boil to sanitize it and run my pump the last 15 minutes as well and circulated boiling wort back through a whirlpool arm I have attached to my chiller.
 So if I do away with my kettle immersion chiller,  I would place a whirlpool port/arm into the bottom of my kettle.   And here's what I'm thinking:  The last 15 minutes of the boil I will run boiling wort from my kettle to my pump and through the CFC and then back through the whirlpool port in the kettle to sanitize everything. I will have a three-way valve  coming out of the CFC so after flameout and after whirlpooling step when I'm ready to fill my fermenter, I just turn of the three-way valve the other way and fill the fermenter.

 Question is:
1.   I'm worried that running boiling wort through my pump, the CFC, and back will dissipate so much heat that I will have a hard time keeping the boil up. I do use natural gas though. Does anyone do this and have any experience?
2.   I often use a large amount of pellet hops especially in whirlpool. I usually just throw the hops right into the kettle and do not use a spider or bag. Has anyone had any major problems with the CFC clogging?
3.   Any other better ideas for my system or anyone have a great way to do all this?

Thanks
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Sanitizing counterflow chiller, will this work?
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2016, 04:56:40 PM »
A short loss of boil is not that big a deal.  Much of the value of the boil is to simply mix the wort.  You'll do that with your pump.

Offline duboman

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Re: Sanitizing counterflow chiller, will this work?
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2016, 05:33:19 PM »
I do this and it works fine, the boil issue is not a big deal.

I use a hop spider to keep the hop debris out of the chiller and pump, clogs can certainly happen and are a PITA to deal with

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Offline smkranz

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Re: Sanitizing counterflow chiller, will this work?
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2016, 10:04:53 PM »
Question is:
1.   I'm worried that running boiling wort through my pump, the CFC, and back will dissipate so much heat that I will have a hard time keeping the boil up. I do use natural gas though. Does anyone do this and have any experience?
2.   I often use a large amount of pellet hops especially in whirlpool. I usually just throw the hops right into the kettle and do not use a spider or bag. Has anyone had any major problems with the CFC clogging?
3.   Any other better ideas for my system or anyone have a great way to do all this?

Thanks
1.  The volume of your boiling wort should be plenty to keep any slight heat loss from circulation, from killing your boil.  Dial the valve off of the chiller back to a very slow flow.  All you need to sanitize the chiller and pump is heat, not a lot of flow. 

2.  If your chiller is a plate chiller, use a hop spider or a boil screen to keep as much of the hop residue and trub out of the chiller as possible.

3.  There are other ways to sanitize your chiller...boil it...put it in the oven...soak in StarSan.
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