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Author Topic: Need your help using CounterFlow Chiller  (Read 2010 times)

Offline Chaps

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Need your help using CounterFlow Chiller
« on: December 14, 2020, 08:17:04 am »
Hey all!

I have been using and immersion chiller for years and just started using a counter flow....after a few batches I do not seem to have the technique down for this tool...for example. after whirlpool, I have tried to take the wort from the kettle to the fermenter through the chiller but it only reduce the temp to the low 100's F....I tired to recirculate back into the kettle but then have to do the whirlpool again to settle the trub...I am not sure what the proper method is yet...does anyone have any tips or links that can help me master the usage of the counter flow?

Thank you !!!

Offline rburrelli

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Re: Need your help using CounterFlow Chiller
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2020, 10:55:52 am »
You should be able to reach the temperature of the water source used in the counter flow. Are you sure about your input and output connections on the chiller?
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Offline HopDen

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Re: Need your help using CounterFlow Chiller
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2020, 11:06:22 am »
Hey all!

I have been using and immersion chiller for years and just started using a counter flow....after a few batches I do not seem to have the technique down for this tool...for example. after whirlpool, I have tried to take the wort from the kettle to the fermenter through the chiller but it only reduce the temp to the low 100's F....I tired to recirculate back into the kettle but then have to do the whirlpool again to settle the trub...I am not sure what the proper method is yet...does anyone have any tips or links that can help me master the usage of the counter flow?

Thank you !!!


Let me say that I have never used one. I use a plate chiller. Do you have the ability to control wort/water flow? If so, slow down the wort flow.

Offline Bob357

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Re: Need your help using CounterFlow Chiller
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2020, 11:53:21 am »
1. The wort and water need to flow through the chiller in opposite directions.

2. Slower wort flow through the chiller will result in cooler temperature into the fermenter.
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Online jeffy

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Re: Need your help using CounterFlow Chiller
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2020, 12:03:33 pm »
My ground water doesn't get colder than 70, so to get any cooler than about 90 I run ice water through the chiller after the ground water.
I use a counter flow to cool the batch while in the kettle and then run it through ice into the fermenter.
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Offline chinaski

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Re: Need your help using CounterFlow Chiller
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2020, 01:49:46 pm »
As others have said, to go cooler change the relative rates that the wort flows and the water flows.  The slowest wort flow and highest water flow will maximize the temp drop.  When I used mine, I run the wort through a Blichmann thru-mometer to ensure I was getting where I needed to go.  I don't use it anymore, so if you want the thru-mometer, let me know- I'll send it to you for cheap.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Need your help using CounterFlow Chiller
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2020, 05:24:45 pm »
Probably not what you want to hear, but an IC is way better than a CFC. An IC is much easier to clean and much easier to sanitize. If your water temp only get's you down to 80°F just use your fridge, ice water bath, fermentation chamber or whatever to get it down the rest of the way before pitching. I quit using my CFC about 5 batches after I got it and went back to using my IC.

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Need your help using CounterFlow Chiller
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2020, 05:58:51 pm »
+1 for the IC. I have a Hydra.

In warm wx I use a bucket of ice water and a pond pump in the last stage of chilling to get to pitch temp. In cold wx my ground water will get me there w/o the ice water and pump.

Mine is copper so I dose with Brewtan B at 16 min before adding the IC to the boil at 15 min.

Cleanup is as easy as hosing it off in the slop sink.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Need your help using CounterFlow Chiller
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2020, 07:45:05 am »
The best way to use a CFC is with a pump and to WP it back into the kettle. You almost have to have a pump to use an CFC at all. I was able to get the CFC I owned to work with a "venturi pump" but the head ache of it getting clogged and having to sanitize is prior to knock out as opposed to just setting the IC in the wort 10 minutes before was a huge PITA. Of course, with the pump I was able to WP it back into the kettle at the 10-15 minute mark to sanitize it with boiling wort but it was so much extra work I didn't see the point. Plus by the time your wort has cooled in the kettle on the IC you have dropped out so much hops and trub the beer is nearly crystal clear leaving even the cold break behind. (Oh, I know someone will chime in on how cold and hot break is good for beer - it's like clock work. Just sayin, pull some over if you want during KO.)

IC is one of the huge benefits that homebrewers have over the pros. No need to ever use anything else.

Offline RC

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Re: Need your help using CounterFlow Chiller
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2020, 11:50:48 am »
The best way to use a CFC is with a pump and to WP it back into the kettle. You almost have to have a pump to use an CFC at all. I was able to get the CFC I owned to work with a "venturi pump" but the head ache of it getting clogged and having to sanitize is prior to knock out as opposed to just setting the IC in the wort 10 minutes before was a huge PITA. Of course, with the pump I was able to WP it back into the kettle at the 10-15 minute mark to sanitize it with boiling wort but it was so much extra work I didn't see the point. Plus by the time your wort has cooled in the kettle on the IC you have dropped out so much hops and trub the beer is nearly crystal clear leaving even the cold break behind. (Oh, I know someone will chime in on how cold and hot break is good for beer - it's like clock work. Just sayin, pull some over if you want during KO.)

IC is one of the huge benefits that homebrewers have over the pros. No need to ever use anything else.

Hugely agree with all of this. Another advantage of an IC is that it gives you more flexibility and predictability with bitterness when it comes to late hopping. Even at max KO speed, it takes time to run all of the wort through the CFC (or plate chiller), which means any late hops are still being isomerized until all of the wort is drained from the kettle. And it's far easier and quicker to drop the temp to hopstand-temp (160-180o or whatever) with an IC, if you want to do that. With the hydra, it takes me literally less than a minute to drop the wort to ~160o.