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Brewing Topics => Equipment => Topic started by: amEIREcan on February 24, 2017, 10:15:40 AM

Title: In-line wort chiller
Post by: amEIREcan on February 24, 2017, 10:15:40 AM
I have a vision for an in-line wort chiller that I'm looking for input on whether or not it would really have enough chilling power to do the trick.

The design in essentially a liebig condenser that is fairly common in the distilling world. Anyone who isn't familiar with a liebig condenser, it is a tube that the hot liquid, distilled steam or wort in this case runs inside a closed compartment that the cold water flows in one port and out another. I'm imagining this being attached to a hose running from my kettle and with the help of gravity, the wort goes from the kettle, through the cooler and directly into my fermenter.

Will this creation have enough cooling power to cool bowling wort to 70 or so degrees? If this same design can cool vapour why not wort? Or does cooling wort require more energy because it is more dense than vapour? Or something scientific like that.
(https://s15.postimg.org/uyq8ijl87/liebig.png) (https://postimg.org/image/uyq8ijl87/)
Title: Re: In-line wort chiller
Post by: KellerBrauer on February 24, 2017, 11:18:29 AM
Greetings ameirecan - the simple answer to your question is 'yes'.  However, there are a number of factors that need to exist in order for this heat exchanger to properly remove heat from the wort.

First, one needs to consider size.  If you are going to use gravity, opposed to a pump, then the wort will need to be cooled to 70 degrees on the first pass-through.

Second, water temperature.  I use a Blickman plate cooler and during the winter months when the water temperature is around 45 degrees, I can cool 5.5 - 6 gallons of wort to 68 degrees in about 1.5 minutes on a single pass.  However, during the summer months when my water temperature is around 60 degrees, I need to recirculate back to my boil kettle for about 30-45 seconds before the wort is cool enough to dump into my fermenter.  My system is pumped and I have a series of in-line valves installed for this purpose.

Lastly, this device needed to have the ability to easily clean and sanitize.

So, again, the answer is 'yes' it will work, but.......

Hope this helps!
Title: Re: In-line wort chiller
Post by: amEIREcan on February 24, 2017, 04:58:00 PM
Keller,

Size did occur to me, I also imagined a Graham style chiller and have a coiled copper pipe instead of a straight pipe. That would increase the amount of time the wort is touching cool water. I just need to figure out the perfect balance of tube diameter and coil tightness so the tube won't kink.

Water temperature isn't a problem, I live in Scotland so even in the summer the cold water is pretty cold. Sanitising will be easy too, run a little star san solution through it and I'll be fine.

I do a little home distilling too so this design will come in handy for that as well.

Title: Re: In-line wort chiller
Post by: KellerBrauer on February 26, 2017, 05:58:33 AM
Greetings,

Some very rough calculations:

5 gallons liquid = 42 pounds at 212 degrees cooled to 68 degrees in a single pass would require 6,048 BTU's  (212 - 68 = 144 * 42).  Okay, now what?

Many additional unknown factors are required in order to design and engineer a heat exchanger for your purpose.
1) inner tube diameter, wall thickness, material composition, etc.
2) shell (outer tube) diameter, material composition, etc.
3) incoming water temperature range, average pressure, mineral content, etc.
4) distance between the outlet of the boil kettle and the inlet of the heat exchanger.*
5) ambient temperature range and insulation method.

* = The physical size of your heat exchanger MAY (depending on the above factors) prohibit gravity as the means of moving wort necessitating the need for a pump which adds a multitude of additional challenges and calculations.

Again, yes, your idea will work, but......

My opinion is to simply purchase a plate cooler for around $125 and a pump for around $100.  With these two items you can cool your wort under nearly every condition imaginable.  The engineering has already been completed for you.  Or, for even less money, use an immersion cooler.

Good luck!
Title: Re: In-line wort chiller
Post by: ricksephton on February 26, 2017, 05:20:23 PM
Why reinvent the wheel? There are some great counterflow chillers already made, as well as plate chillers. Cheers!
Title: Re: In-line wort chiller
Post by: amEIREcan on February 28, 2017, 03:27:19 AM
Why reinvent the wheel? There are some great counterflow chillers already made, as well as plate chillers. Cheers!

Because I do a little home distilling as well and I could have one piece of equipment do two jobs.
Title: Re: In-line wort chiller
Post by: durrettd on February 28, 2017, 05:56:32 PM
Bucket of ice water, pump, immersion chiller, and spoon.
Title: Re: In-line wort chiller
Post by: amEIREcan on March 01, 2017, 03:03:26 AM
Why reinvent the wheel? There are some great counterflow chillers already made, as well as plate chillers. Cheers!

Because I do a little home distilling as well and I could have one piece of equipment do two jobs.