Author Topic: blichmann thermonator. Didnt help  (Read 796 times)

Offline zman51

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blichmann thermonator. Didnt help
« on: August 22, 2017, 03:18:39 PM »
I live in Central Florida and obviously it is hot outside this time of year. Previously I have been cooling my wort using an immersion 50' 1/2" coil chiller. I had this in a bucket of ice and then it fed into a 25' immersion chiller that was in wort, put in 15 minutes before flame out for sterilization. I would say tap water temp right now is 84'ish. With way I was doing it getting it down below 80f before 20 minutes was challenging and would eat up 30 pounds of ice in process.
So last week I purchased a Blichmann therminator plate chiller which was suggested by local brew supply. Kind of pricey but guaranteed it would work more efficiently.  So Sunday, I still used the 50' immersion in bucket filled with ice and it then fed to plate chiller. At 23 minutes, the wort was only down to 85 and again ate up 30 pounds of ice.

Are these results surprising. Is it possible I am not doing it right. The plate chiller clearly says water in and water out. Is flow rate highly important? The two immersion chillers actually worked a little better. Any suggestions much appreciated.

Z

Offline blatz

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Re: blichmann thermonator. Didnt help
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2017, 03:33:47 PM »
yeah, I live in So Fl and that is one of the main reasons I got rid of the Therminator, and went back to a 50' 1/2" coil in the kettle, using hose water until I hit about 90df, and then switched to a sump pump closed loop with a bucket of ice water as the feed (JamilZ's method).

That said, in 2012 I switched to an all electric rig and use 2 Counterflow Chillers back to back - one uses tap water, and the second is a loop of ice water - wort can run out as low as 45 if I want it to
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Offline Bob357

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Re: blichmann thermonator. Didnt help
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2017, 06:59:02 PM »
Are you cooling down as far as you can get before adding the ice?

My ground water gets into the mid to high '70s during the summer. I use a 25' x 3/8" chiller and the same size for a pre-chiller, but don't add the ice until the wort gets down to about 120 degrees. I constantly stir the wort with the chiller and that really speeds up the process. I then add ice to the pre-chiller bucket and continue to stir with the chiller, also stirring the ice with the pre-chiller from time to time. Heat transfer works much better if the fluids are moving across the coils.

 I have found that slowing down the water flow after adding the ice helps too. Not sure if would help with your larger pre-chiller. Once the wort gets to 85 or 90 I cover the kettle and leave the chiller running while I let the trub settle out for 20 minutes. I get under 80 on 100+ days and easily to 65 or so in the spring and fall and use less than 10 lbs. of ice from the ice maker in the fridge.

Beer is my bucket list,

Bob357
Fallon, NV

Offline zman51

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Re: blichmann thermonator. Didnt help
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2017, 07:11:38 PM »
Interesting. So just let the tap water bring it down initially and then add the ice. I will give that a try.

Offline jeffy

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Re: blichmann thermonator. Didnt help
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2017, 07:29:40 PM »
I gave up trying to cool the entire wort down to pitching temps in bulk.  I recirculate and cool with well water until I get about 90F, then add another chiller recirculating ice water and run the wort directly to fermenters.  If I pump the wort slowly I can hit lager pitching temps.  I am currently using a Blichman Therminator for the ice run, but I used to be successful with 20 ft of copper tubing immersed in ice water on the way to the fermenters.
I had to stop using the Therminator for the original recirculating because it clogged up so easily.
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Offline TENNISPROROB

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Re: blichmann thermonator. Didnt help
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2017, 11:10:18 PM »
I gave up on the pre chiller. I live in California where the ground water is in the 80's. Now I use a 50 ft. chiller with tap water until its around 100 or so then pump the wort through my old pre chiller, which is submerged in an ice bath very slow directly into the fermenter.

Offline Bob357

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Re: blichmann thermonator. Didnt help
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2017, 01:32:32 AM »
Interesting. So just let the tap water bring it down initially and then add the ice. I will give that a try.

You'll get a lot more mileage out of your ice. 
Beer is my bucket list,

Bob357
Fallon, NV

Offline zman51

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Re: blichmann thermonator. Didnt help
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2017, 01:31:12 PM »
Thanks all,

New ideas to try.