Author Topic: Design for Immersion Wort Chiller  (Read 5940 times)

Offline nofunsally

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Design for Immersion Wort Chiller
« on: May 10, 2011, 10:52:31 AM »
Hello,
I switched to a 10 gallon pot a while back for my 5-6 gallon batches.  I had a 20 foot immersion chiller that I haven't even bothered to use with the new pot.  Currently, I let the wort sit over night to get down to temperature (no issues yet).  However, I'd like to get to pitching more quickly and I've had a 50 foot coil of 1/2 inch copper refrigerator tubing for a while now. 

My question: Is it better to make just one coil, or should I make an inner and outer coil?  For example, input water goes down inner coil and comes back up outer coil to exit?  Basically, I'd like to know if you all think there is a cooling advantage in an inner and outer coil?

Thank you in advance,
Mike

Offline denny

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Re: Design for Immersion Wort Chiller
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2011, 10:56:22 AM »
I don't think there is any advantage to your design.  It's total surface area and water temp that matter IMO.
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Offline weazletoe

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Re: Design for Immersion Wort Chiller
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2011, 11:00:39 AM »
 I do believe it will help if you have your cold water start from the top and down. Then, straight up to discharge. At least, it makes sense to me, since most of the heat would be at the top op the wort. That's how I coiled mine, anyways.  :-\
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Offline nofunsally

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Re: Design for Immersion Wort Chiller
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2011, 11:02:33 AM »
That what I was thinking, but there are plenty of people that do it the fancy way and before I got all bendy I wanted to check here (i.e. I am not a thermodynamics expert).  It will be much easier to keep it one coil. I was planning on the 'top down' approach due its ubiquity among homebrewers.

Thanks,
Mike

Offline euge

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Re: Design for Immersion Wort Chiller
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2011, 11:09:14 AM »
Just don't coil it too tightly. You'll be better off if the wort can circulate across the coils.
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Offline wiley

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Re: Design for Immersion Wort Chiller
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2011, 11:10:11 AM »
Check out the JZ (Jamil Zainasheff) chiller design if you have a pump in your brewing ensemble.. There's a couple of Youtube videos about the chilling efficiency you can get from combining a whirlpool with the chiller.

Cheers!

Offline richardt

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Re: Design for Immersion Wort Chiller
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2011, 11:32:23 AM »
I used 50 ft of copper tubing wrapped around a corny keg to make my IC.
I typically brew 10 gallon batches in a 20 gallon SS kettle.
The top of my coil tends to stick above the wort (no big deal) by an inch or so. 
Regardless, it still chills 10+ gallons in under 15 minutes to ambient temps.

If I had wanted more of my copper tubing immersed in the wort, I could have used a cylinder with a larger diameter (e.g., a 5 gallon Homer bucket).  However, when I was contemplating my design options, I was thinking that, long-term, I might like to use this IC as my "pre-chiller" and be able to place it inside a bucket or cooler of ice water--hence the tighter coil. 

I made a handle out of PVC pipe, wooden dowel fillers, and black electrical tape to avoid burns.  It makes manipulating the IC (i.e., whirlpooling) and lifting it out effortless and safe.
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Offline Will's Swill

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Re: Design for Immersion Wort Chiller
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2011, 07:38:11 PM »
Having an inner and outer coil vs. a single coil makes no difference if the coil is totally submerged either way and the wort is not agitated (i.e. no stirring or whirlpooling).  If you do stir or whirlpool, then the coil that's in the slow moving wort in a double coil system will only chill about 60% as well as the other, though perhaps you could whirlpool by introducing wort in between the inner and outer coil and keep both coils performing as well as a single coil.  What I mean is that if you agitate by, say, stirring with a spoon inside the inner coil, then the outer coil will not perform as well as the inner coil.  The opposite happens if you whirlpool and introduce the circulating wort outside the outer coil.  All this as opposed to a single coil that's as long as the inner and outer coil combined.

Wow that was confusing, I need a homebrew.
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Offline sharg54

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Re: Design for Immersion Wort Chiller
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2011, 11:34:14 PM »
I made mine using 50' of 1/4 inch od copper tube and made it a double coil cooling from the bottom up. Spaced the coils about  3/4 inch apart form the inner and outer coil sets with a stagger of about half an inch between each loop set as it comes up. Silver soldered a piece of tube between them to hold them apart and to keep spacing from deforming as it comes up.  1/4" tube has a thinner wall than the normal 3/8" I have seen a lot of people using so there is a better heat transfer. The spacing helps make for a larger cooling surface as compared to a traditional setup as the cooling threshold ( don't know the tech term) over laps each other and in effect covers more volume. I can take 6 gallons of wort at boiling and drop it to 70 degrees in about 15 minuets with just tap water at 52 degrees. I plan to add a secondary coil in an ice bath to lower my water temp even farther later down the road but for now it is working fantastic. You can almost watch the cold brake drop out of suspension as it cools.   
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Offline Will's Swill

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Re: Design for Immersion Wort Chiller
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2011, 05:05:37 AM »
I don't know if this is typical, but the 1/4" tubing I have is the same thickness as the 3/8" tubing I use in my chillers.  In any case, the heat transfer you gain from any change in thickness between 1/4" and 3/8" will be wiped out and then some due to the lower coolant flow rate and lower heat transfer coefficient of a 1/4" v. a 3/8" coil.  But do what works for you, of course.
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Offline Will's Swill

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Re: Design for Immersion Wort Chiller
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2011, 05:09:08 AM »
I do believe it will help if you have your cold water start from the top and down. Then, straight up to discharge. At least, it makes sense to me, since most of the heat would be at the top op the wort. That's how I coiled mine, anyways.  :-\

I doubt there's any measureable effect, unless your're using a REALLY slow coolant flow rate, but if there is, you would want the coolant to enter at the bottom and leave at the top.  You may get some counterflow effect that way.  That's how my coil is arranged, though again, I doubt it makes any appreciable difference.
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Offline hamiltont

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Re: Design for Immersion Wort Chiller
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2011, 07:37:37 AM »
I went with a double coil (plastic bucket - outer & coffee can - inner) primarily so it would be totally submerged in the pot, especially if I made a 5 gallon batch which I do once in a while. Not sayin' it's perfect but it gets the job done. Here are a couple pics. Cheers!!!



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Offline weithman5

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Re: Design for Immersion Wort Chiller
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2011, 07:54:14 AM »
there will be some but still little temperature stratification in the kettle.  and simply lifting and placing the chiller up and down a few times during cooling or giving the wort a stir will eliminate this further.  the faster the flow rate in the chiller, the colder the inlet water, and the more the chiller surface area will make the biggest impacts
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Offline denny

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Re: Design for Immersion Wort Chiller
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2011, 08:14:53 AM »
I do believe it will help if you have your cold water start from the top and down. Then, straight up to discharge. At least, it makes sense to me, since most of the heat would be at the top op the wort. That's how I coiled mine, anyways.  :-\

Barry, I've tried it both ways and it makes no difference at all.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 10:37:17 AM by denny »
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Offline dak0415

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Re: Design for Immersion Wort Chiller
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2011, 08:55:11 AM »
I do believe it will help if you have your cold water start from the top and down. Then, straight up to discharge. At least, it makes sense to me, since most of the heat would be at the top op the wort. That's how I coiled mine, anyways.  :-\

Bary, I've tried it both ways and it makes no difference at all.
+1 Especially if you are constantly stirring or you are using a recirculating/whirlpool jet.  Mine looks just like that!
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