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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * January 9, 2004 * Counterflow chillers < Previous Next >

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Andrew Bales (199.64.0.252)
Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2003 - 02:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I know this has been beat to death. I have 2 50ft immersions but I am getting tired of the 45+ minute wait for the cooling. So I am now possibly in the market for one and I have some specific questions about them.

1) Most that I have seen take 1/2" inputs and outputs. Do you guys downchoke those to 3/8" (standard beer hose size) on the way out? Or is that a why bother?

2) I am tempted toward the stub ones (maxichiller, chillzilla, stpats) becuase they are smaller. Negatives from real users on them?

3) How slow do you have to drain? Figure it depends on the tap water temp. So after a few batches you learn how to control the wort speed versus the tap water speed? Run it at half throttle or wide open?

4) Do any of you use the inline dial temp gauge or the inline waterflow temp meter? Or do you just keep your hand on the copper and make sure its cool enough.

5) Can I just run some hot tap water thru, and then fill with starsan for 30 minutes and then use? Then just rinse with hot water for a few minutes and hang it up empty?

6) WortWizard. Does this restrict input flow enough that I need to worry about not all the beer getting siphoned off the bottom of the boiler? I have 02 stone anyway, but more the merrier really.

7) First use here tap water would be 45F. How fast (tap and wort)would one of those chillzilla's run? Full throttle on both ends?
 

danno (63.224.229.237)
Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2003 - 02:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Lots o' questions there. I use a CCFC from St Pats. I suspect chillzilla uses will have siilar experiences:

1) Yes, I choke down to 3/8" mostly because the 3/8" vinyl hose is easier to manipulate. You could also use 1/2"

2) I don't see any negatives on the CCFC's versus the CFC's except cost and possibly length limit. With a home built CFC, you can make it as long as you want and thus, possibly, improve flow rates.

3) Rumor as it that you'll need some good head height to drain through the CCFC's, say about 4'. I use a pump because my 3 tier stand doesn't have the height. I run full water rate and throttle the pump flow back to about 50% to get 70°F water to the fermenter. My tap water runs about 50°F in the winter.

4) I use an in-line thermometer (CCFC).

5) I circulate water through mine after use and then some hot water with PBW. Rinse again, drain and leave it until the next brewing session. Before use, I circulate either a sanitizer like Iodophor or boiling water from the kettle.

6) The WW will work like a vacuum so if you lose your siphon, just tip the kettle so the wort finds the pick-up tube.

7) Again, I have to run at about 50% to get 70°F wort. It would sure be nice to see a side by side comparison of the major brands of CCFC's.
 

aleman (199.154.238.242)
Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2003 - 02:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

1) I do not choke down, I use 1/2 inch tygon tubing.

2) I use a maxichiller and I love it.

3) I run it wide open and shut the garden hose off half way through for ales and I leave the hose on all the way through with lagers. My tap water is very cold.

4) nope just let her buck.

5) drop the chiller in the HLT during the sparge.

6) wort wizard is silly IMHO.

7) trial and error......
 

Mike Kidulich (147.177.7.233)
Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2003 - 05:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

1) My kettle has an EZMasher, so I have to go from 3/8 to 1/2. I just stick a short piece of 3/8 into the 1/2 Tygon tubing.

2) I use a Heart's CFC, which I've had for several years, and it works great.

3) In the summer I have to let it gravity drain from the stovetop, since the cooling water isn't cold enough for full flow. In the Winter, I use my pump, and I can pretty much let 'er rip at full speed.

4) I use a Taylor thermometer with the probe stuck in a slit in the wort outlet as it enters the carboy. That way, I can remotely monitor the wort temp and adjust the water or wort flow to hit pitching temp.

5) I use the pump to clean the chiller. I run a couple gallons of hot water to rinse it out, then I recirculate hot PBW for 20 minutes or so, followed by another rinse. I blow the chiller out with CO2 to make sure it's dry, then put it away. I sanitize with Starsan by filling the chiller during the boil and capping the ends.

6) Don't know, never used one.

7) My tap water was 51 the other day, and I was running pretty much full blast.
 

jim williams (68.0.214.107)
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 06:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

1)mine uses standard 1/2", but, that works for me since the barb on my kettle outflow is 1/2" and on fermenter.

2)My chilzilla is GREAT. love it. the only thing I don't like is that I would prefer that the wort in/outflow had a barb welded on, rather than just thinner tubing, and I don't like how both water in/out have male garden hose threads. it forces you to use an adaptor. if one was male, one female, you could more esily hook up hose. still easy. a step could just be avoided.

3)yep. depends on tap water

4) no. I have a thermometer welded into my sabco fermentor. I keep an eye on that, and adjust as needed.

5)I let it sit in a bucket full of iodophor solution. I generally have it sitting around anyway.

6)WW works well, IF you have enough water flowing through, since it works on a vacuum. works better with colder water, because you can have more water flowing faster. sometimes, my tap water needs to be running very slowly. maybe, a prechiller would be in order with the WW?

7) I'd say you could probably go full blast
 

Andrew Bales (65.28.61.181)
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 01:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So you guys run a pump to move the wort into the CCFC? I was planning to just open a vavle and let it run out of the boiler that would be 14 inches above the CCFC. danno's - Rumor as it that you'll need some good head height to drain through the CCFC's, say about 4'. Is this right? If so it really cramps my idea big time. I would like to redo my system, but did not intend to redo all of it. Right now I have a two level system (kegs of HLT and Boiler on a table; keg masher on a burner on the ground. The pics on the pic part of this web site) that uses a pump in a box to move the wort back up to the boiler from a grant bucket. I used to use the pump for temperature control [RIMS] and clearing the mash run off,but found that I really did not need it. Direct fire was easier for me. My system does not run off that fast. I was thinking of going back to using a RIMS type system with the pump but if I really need the push power to get the wort thru it I guess I will have to wait and plan. Plus the clean by recirc seems to be the standard and I don't have that option right now either. Need to start looking at disconnects and more electronics I guess.
 

Rob F (12.154.254.158)
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 01:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I brew on the steps of my deck, giving me all the gravity assistance I need. When I switched from a tall, narrow 30-qt kettle to a low, wide 55-qt kettle, I found I couldn't get the flow from the kettle to the CFC going. The change in kettles had reduced the head, so I had to get longer tubing and increase height of kettle over the CFC. Once the flow is started, however, I can raise the exit tubing up to kettle height before cutting off flow. I have about four feet from kettle to fermenter with the CFC about halfway between. But if you have a way to get the syphon started, I'm sure you can get away with less head. Less head will reduce your flow rate, though.
 

Steve Anderson (216.37.68.121)
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 02:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Andrew,

I had to move my boil kettle up to about 5 feet off of the ground when I started using a Chillzilla CFC in order to get my kettle to drain. I have recently purchased a WortWizard, but have not been able to try it out yet. I am hoping it will allow me to keep my boil kettle and burner on the ground while transfering the wort to the fermenter. I'm getting to old to lift a converted keg with 7.5 gallons of hot liquid in it 5 feet off of the ground.
 

JOHN K. LEE (206.66.239.111)
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 03:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

5 feet! I just bought a Phil's CFC. I don't have 5 to spare! Are you supposed to sit the chiller where the coils run vertically or horizontally. My homemade chiller( 25' copper coil in a bucket of ice) runs horizontally and I don't have a draining problem and it sits about 6 in. from the base of of my boil kettle. What's the deal here?
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 03:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Counterflow chillers require some height differential between the kettle and the fermenter if they are gravity fed. I would say four feet is a reasonable figure, although those who use chillers with greater diameters (such as the Sabco, B3 or St. Pat's chillers) tell me they get by with less. This is not an issue when using a pump, another reason to recommend the investment in one. Anyone who brews 10 gallon or larger batches will tell you that a pump makes brewing a lot easier.
 

Hoody (65.179.233.36)
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 06:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You bet, the pump is the way to go. I use it for everything in brewing. I tried to gravity chill but takes forever. My CFC works so well, I pump at full throttle. It saves a ton of time.

BTW, my CFC is just a home built style, soft copper inside a garden hose. Maybe some day I will upgrade to the B3/St.pat's model, but for now I am happy just to have a CFC.

Jason.
 

JOHN K. LEE (206.66.239.111)
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 06:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Could someone give me a link on one of these pumps? Just kinda wondering how much they cost....for future reference.
-J.K.L.
 

Ken Anderson (24.55.255.75)
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 07:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

B3 has an ad on BYO that lists them on sale for $119.
 

ELK (67.164.195.57)
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 08:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

How much wort is left in these CFC'c?. I see in many pictures and on the brewtree websight where the coils are vertical.. I guess I need that pump now!!!
Also where did I see a water use comparison of the chillzilla and other chillers?
Sometimes I wonder why I do all this..
Thanks
ELK
 

Jeff McClain (137.201.242.130)
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 08:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Very little (especially if you simply use fresh water to push out all the left over wort after you drain your kettle). If not, then 1/3 to 1/2 gallon is left in most of the CFC coils, max.

-JM
 

Jim Keaveney (64.12.96.42)
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 08:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

i used to use gravity and it took a long time. i only had about 2 1/2 feet. but the temp was always good. when i finally got a pump this past summer, it was so much easier except that the wort is way too hot at full blast. i thought with the cold weather i would not have a problem but something strange happened last brew seesion. i did not bother to tighten the hose on the outlet barb of the kettle since it was a snug fit. it was dripping just a bit. the temp of the wort was around 72F. after awhile, i was filling my 2nd fermentor and tightened up the hose because the dripping was a bit more. i took a temp reading and the wort was now coming out at 90F! wtf? was the pump pulling air into the line and helping slow down and/or cool the flow?
 

ELK (67.164.195.57)
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 08:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

May be it was getting clogged.. ITs this a problem with the cold breaks occuring in the CFC. My IC has this clear gelatinous looking stuff on it sometimes. I am looking at the CCFC at B# for 109 but worry about this 4' which makes me need a pump for sure.
 

Tim W (56.0.84.111)
Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2003 - 08:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ELK
you might think about getting a WortWizard with the CCFC from B3 . I would think it would pull the wort through just fine . With a little bit of engineering you might be able to use the same water driving the WW to cool the CCFC .
 

Mike Kessenich (165.189.92.23)
Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2003 - 09:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I bought the CFC with thermometer from the Brew Tree people and used it for the first time last weekend. Aside from the fact that it leaked like a sieve before I tightened every connection on the thing, it worked extremely well. I went full throttle through it and came out at 75F into the fermentor. We do have cold water in WI though!
 

D. Fraser (66.213.202.10)
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 04:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I got the chance to use my new WortWizard last night, or kinda, not really when I think about it. This was my first full wort boil and first legitimate AG mash, my last 5 have been partials so there was not a change in the process just more grain to deal with. I was caught off guard by the difference in temp. change from top to bottom of the mash in a 5gal. gott. Thought I had it right on until I discovered that the bottom was at 140.

Any ways back to my main topic the WortWizard caused so much back pressure in my $25 homemade CFC that all the connections that had clamps started to leak and ones that without clamps completely blew off praying water all over the kitchen and my roommate. Had no extra clamps so I went back to my tried and true siphon method. It takes 20min. but I can get the wort from the kitchen stovetop to a 25' CFC sitting on a stool and into the fermenter on the floor at 68 to 64 deg. with only 3' feet of drop. I think from now on I will test my new toys before using them on my brew and avoid spraying water on the roommate, who was stoked just to be a part of it all after doing a kit once 7 years ago.
 

Swede (159.178.52.222)
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2003 - 04:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

For what its worth, I have the st pats CFC...I put the flow from the keg to wide open, and the motor on high (actually only has one speed)....anyway, the wort coming out in the other end is at yeast temperature....really quick and awesome, and the cold break looks like someone put a dozen eggs in the boil.

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