Counterflow Chiller

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I have a piece of 3m, inch copper tubing and thought about making a counterflow chiller. Just wondering what people think about using this, or if any one else uses this. Will it be effective enough.

I was thinking of either:

- recirculating the chilled wort for the first few minutes into the kettle to bring the wort temp down to say 40-50C, before directing to the fermenter.

- Chilling the wort, and putting in a fermenter, then running through again to chill further.

Is it a waste of time, or should I just go out and get a longer length.
get the latest copy of BYO, there's an excellent article on CF Chillers.
I have 18m of 3/8" copper tubing in my HLT that acts as a CF chiller (hot wort passes through the copper, cold water enters the HLT and overflows hot). It's probably more than necessary but I wouldn't have thought 3m of 1/2" copper would offer an awful lot.

If you are keen to try it though (building gadgets is fun), I'd suggest denting the copper pipe along its full length to increase its relative surface area and internal turbulence, and put it in a convoluted hose like washing machine drain hose, again to increase turbulence in the cooling water (turbulence will vastly improve heat transfer).

As for when to chill, you'll get the best value with the maximum temperature difference, ie going straight from the kettle into the fermenter. Circulating cooled wort back into the kettle will just prolong the time the wort spends at undesirable temperatures, and chillers become less and less effective as the wort becomes cooler anyway, prolonging the whole process. I'd adjust the flow rates so that you get your wort out at yeast pitching temp, splash it into the empty fermenter and pitch the yeast, and leave the rest of the wort close to boiling point until it gets through the chiller.

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