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A Chiller For The Chiller

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dicko

Boston Bay Brewery
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Hi all,

Well my long weekend brew plan didnt quite go to schedule.
I have recently moved my brewery to another spot in the shed and as such I had to use the garden hose to drain the wort chiller water out onto the lawn.
I hooked it all up and all was well until the PVC casing that is the housing for my wort chiller exploded.
What I didnt realise, that in the end of the garden hose was a fitting with a non return valve in it, and as it filled the CFWC it built up pressure because the water had nowhere to go.
Well, that was the end of Mondays brew plan and that left me with 46 litres of wort that I had to cool in the sink with a 25 litre pot. :angry:
Very pi$$ed off. :angry:

So onto the question;
I have decided to build another CFWC along the style of a copper pipe inside a garden hose.
I am also making a cooler that consists of a copper coil inside a container of anti freeze that I will put in the freezer and run the tap water through this and then onto the CFWC.
My question is;
Has anyone done this and if so do they want to post the success/failure/ pitfalls etc of their system?
I would be pleased to receive inputs from anyone with info or thoughts on this idea.
Cheers
 

sosman

beerling
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dicko said:
So onto the question;
I have decided to build another CFWC along the style of a copper pipe inside a garden hose.
I am also making a cooler that consists of a copper coil inside a container of anti freeze that I will put in the freezer and run the tap water through this and then onto the CFWC.
My question is;
Has anyone done this and if so do they want to post the success/failure/ pitfalls etc of their system?
I would be pleased to receive inputs from anyone with info or thoughts on this idea.
Cheers
[post="56210"][/post]​
Dicko, haven't done it myself but lots of US brewers add a post chiller on their system. I think they generally just use the bucket of ice water and don't bother with the anti-freeze.
 

Darren

Beer Dog
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Hi Dicko,
I know nothing about anti-freeze. Best to ensure that it cannot corrode your coil.
Sounds like a great idea though
cheers
Darren
 

dicko

Boston Bay Brewery
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Hi Darren,

Thanks for the reply.
Since we have sold our fishing business I have a couple of small freezers just sitting there begging to be used in my brewery.
I am considering a 10 metre length of 1/2" copper inside a vessel of about 30 litres of anti freeze that will live almost permanently in the freezer.
I will put a temp control on the freezer if necessary but I wondered if anyone had set up a system similar to this.
The object is to get the cooling water as cold as possible but I do realise that the anti freeze may not freeze but the water inside the pipe might if the temp gets too low.
I dont intend to pump the anti freeze through the CFWC but only to push tap water through the coil in the anti freeze so as to get the tap water really cold.

Isn't this hobby just great :D

Cheers
 

Darren

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Thats a great idea. You could just set your fridge to just below pitching temps and let it fly.
 

Andrew

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Dicko,
Maybe also try 'convaluting' your internal copper pipe ie; get some pliers and squash the tube a bit flat, then squash it again at 90 degrees to the previous...the turbulent flow of the wort is supposed to help the rapid cooling tremendously.

Cheers!
 

dicko

Boston Bay Brewery
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Thanks Andrew,

I am making my CFWC now so I will have a look at doing that.
How far apart would you need to perform the crimping?

Cheers
 

Batz

Batz Brewery...Hand crafted beers from the 'Batcav
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G'day Dicko
Glad to see your still building the brewery , I don't think we will ever stop the upgrades.

I pass my tap water through a water chiller (drinking fountain) works well , of course the water up here is hot azz to start with , yours sounds a top idea.

I thought it was cold enough when I visited you but :blink:


Batz
 

dicko

Boston Bay Brewery
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Hi Batz,
I have had this idea for quite a while just lying idle in the back of my head along with the damaged brain cells, so when the original CFWC blew to bits ( I will post the pics ) I thought there is no time like the present to start the ball rolling with this project.

It was reasonably cool when you were here last year but we seem to get a longer and hotter summer as the years go by and I am sick of lifting the fermenter into the fridge to cool, particularly if it has got 50 litres of wort in it.
I should point out to you also, that since you were here I have sold the cold room and now use a 3 door display fridge that I got from a supermarket when they were upgrading their fridge equipment.

I had tears in my eyes when the cold room left but it had to go with the fishing business :(

Cheers
 

nonicman

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Hi Dicko,
I've mucked around with a pre chiller for the cooling water. I use an imersion chiller though. After moving to QLD the tap water can be a bit too hot. I first tried an immersion chiller in a 30 litre bucket of iced water, the tap water running through a copper immersion chiller in this bucket then through the immersion chiller in the hot wort. It didn't seem to work too well, but that could be due to shortness of the immersion chillers. For the last few brews I have joined the immersion chillers together. For chilling I use the tap water untill it gets between 40 - 50 C, then using an old pond pump I pump the iced water from the 30 litre bucket through the chillers. After around 10 - 15 litres, depending on the temp of the out flow, I place the outlet hose into the bucket of iced water. I can now get the wort to 20C, before 30C was the best I could get. Maybe with a CFWC pumping the iced water through could be an option. Hope this helps.

Jason
 

Ross

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Nonicman,

I'm on tank water, so use the same method as you, using a bilge pump - get the wort down to 18c with no problem at all :beer:
 

warrenlw63

Just a Hoe
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Dicko,

Sorry to hear about your chiller. I saw a picture of it in the gallery a while back and sat there in envy. Makes you sick in the guts to see hours of effort destroyed in a couple of seconds. :(

I've made the mistake of using non-return hose fittings on the exit side too and had hoses blowing off my chiller and bascially blasting tap water all across the garage. These days if they're non-return hoses it's pretty easy to just pull the plastic plug out of the fitting with a pair of pliers and be done with it.

Not sure if anti-freeze is corrosive to copper or not (I'd doubt it). IIRC it's OK on most metals provided that it's changed regularly.

If you're worried about it you can always try metho and ice. Although it's not as effective as anti-freeze it does help lower the freezing point a little.

A day or two before brewing I usually fill an esky with water and some metho and just leave it in the freezer until it becomes a brine.

I just put an immersion pump in and run it through my chiller (immersion) to get the wort down a few more degrees.

Good luck with it.

Warren -
 

dicko

Boston Bay Brewery
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Thanks for the feedback guys,
My ultimate aim is to be able to achieve lager pitching temperatures if at all possible.
My situation at the moment is that if I have a day to brew and then cool the wort in the fridge to lager temp, I find that overnite is too long at times and then quite often I have to work the following day and dont have the time to aerate and pitch before going to work.
Generally with an ale it only takes a few of hours in the fridge as I usually achieve about 24 to 26 deg c through the chiller with tap water in the summer.
I will be getting the parts this week to build the thing so I will soon know how it goes.
Cheers
 

MAH

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Considering that about 40% of original equipment radiators for cars and trucks plus 90% of aftermarket radiators are made of copper, I don't think anti-freeze would be corrosive to copper.

Cheers
MAH
 

SteveSA

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G'day Dicko! How's God's country?

I've used a similar concept a couple of times. I set my 18m immersion chiller (1/2") in a 25L bucket of ice water and run a short hose to a CFWC. It only made a couple of degrees difference though.

The biggest problem I found the ice water warmed up too quickly and not enough water passing through the pre-chiller was making contact with the inside of the tubing. I was surprised how quickly the ice water increased in temp.

The result was the temperature of the water from the pre-chiller didn't reduce significantly. To get any real difference I think the ice water (or anti-freeze) needs to be moved constantly and if possible use convoluted copper or similar as the pre-chiller. This should prevent stratification.

Another thing to think about is the distance between the pre-chiller and the CFWC. Keep this as short as possible and insulate if you can. It will do you no good to chill the water only to have the temp increase in transit.

Regards,
Steve
 

Andrew

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Hi Dicko,
With a convoluted cfwc I would think that the theory is the more turbulent the flow, the greater the potential surface area of the wort you are able to present to the wall of the pipe. Therefore the closer the crimps/flat sections in the pipe, the turbulent the better.
I've only seen this right-angle flattening thingy done on much larger diam pipe in a winery, for their size they simply flattened it a bit by sticking it in a vice, then turing it 90 degrees and repeat process etc.
Should work on smaller diam copper with vice grips preset to desired crush thickness?
The commercial almost look like they are made frome square copper tube and twisted in a spiral.
Hope it helps
Cheers.



Cheers
 

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