Zymurgy - Evaluating Wort Chillers

 

SEE THE CONTERFLOW WORT CHILLER PERFORMANCE SUMMARY

 



BREWERS RESOURCE
COUNTERFLOW CHILLER BREWERS RESOURCE
409 CALLE SAN PABLO #104
CAMARILLO, CA 93012
(800) 827-3983


TYPEA classic 25-foot long by three eights-inch outside diameter copper tube inside a garden hose.

COMPLETENESS Good. Complete with all fittings, but requires user to provide racking cane, wort supply tubing, wort outlet tubing, water supply tubing, water outlet tubing and clamps.

CLARITY OF INSTRUCTIONS Outstanding. Well-written instructions on use and cleaning. Includes warranty.

SAFETY >Average. We recommend the addition of hose clamps on hot wort fittings.

EASE OF USE Excellent operation.

EXTRAS Wort-Temp Monitor (thermometer unit) available for additional $18.95 makes outflow temperature monitoring simple.

EFFICIENCY Excellent.

BREWERS WAREHOUSE
COUNTERFLOW CHILLER BREWERS WHAREHOUSE
4520 UNION BAY PLACE N.E.
SEATTLE, WA 98105
(206) 527-5047


TYPE A 25-foot long by three-eights-inch outside diameter copper coil inside a four inch diameter by 15 inch long PVC pipe.

COMPLETENESS Good. Includes rackong cane and all hoses.

CLARITY OF INSTRUCTIONS Good.

SAFETY Excellent.

EASE OF USE The instructions specify, "Before chilling the wort, all hops must be removed to avoid clogging the unit," but don't recommend any specific methods. We found it difficult to start a siphon with this unit.

EXTRAS Aeration device on the cold wort tubing helps to provide proper oxygen levels. Flow control valve included. Temperature monitor available for an additional $45 make outflow temperature monitoring simple.

EFFICIENCY Very Good.

HEART'S
SUPER CHILLER

________________________
HEART'S HOMEBREW SUPPLY
5824 N.ORANGE BLOSSOM TR.
ORLANDO FL. 32810
(800) 392-8322

TYPE Seven-foot long by one-half-inch outside diameter helical copper tube inside a steel tube.

COMPLETENESS Fittings on wort flow tubing were lager than the standard diameter of a racking cane. We are able to make the tubing work by heating and softening the tubimg and securing it with a hose clamp.

CLARITY OF INSTRUCTIONS No instructions were provided.

SAFETY Excellent.

EASE OF USE Excellent operation.

EXTRAS A compact unit at six inches in diameter. A bracket makes the unit capable of being bolted to a brewing stand.

EFFICIENCY Outstanding.


PAGR 46 - Zymurgy Spring 1996

PHIL'S PHITTINGS
________________________
LISTERMAN MANUFACTURING CO.,1621 DANA AVE., PO BOX 12251, CINCINNATI, OH 45212-0251, (513) 731-1130

TYPEUser determined. We used a 25 foot by three-eights-inch outside diameter copper tube inside a garden hose and a 50-foot by three-eights-inch outside dieameter version.

COMPLETENESS Listerman Mfg. provides fittings only. Users must provide internal and external tubing, which allows a wide variety of possible user-defined configurations (overall length of copper coil, coil configuration, copper in copper design or copper in garden hose design, etc.).

CLARITY OF INSTRUCTIONS Excellent instructions on how to construct a counterflow chiller.

SAFETY User determined.

EASE OF USE User determined.

EXTRAS None provided.

EFFICIENCY Excellent with the configurations we used.

EVALUATION SUMMARY

To compare the chillers we used the following formula to calculate a vaule, Q, which takes into account all of the critical data. The term Q can be thought of as a mathmatical value that evaluates the ability of the chiller to cool the wort. The calculation uses water input temperature, wort input and output temperature, water flow rate and wort flow rate to arrive at a value. Efficiency of heat transfer is part of the calculation, thus overall, a higher Q reflects a more efficient unit that is capable of cooling wort faster with less water consumption. The results of our experiment are presented in table 1. The prices listed are taken directly form product inserts provided with the units or from the manufacturer.



E = Ti-Tf/Ti-Ci
Ti = initail wort temperature
Tf = final wort temperature
Ci = initial coolant temperature
E = efficiency
Wr = wort flow rate (in gallons per hour)
Cr = coolant flow rate (in gallons per hour)
CONCLUSION

All chillers performed well and were within the stated performance specifications. They are a tremendous improvment over slow cooling methods. In our trials the Heart's Super Chiller Clearly performed in a remarkable manner. Small and compact, it is capable of chilling wort faster using less cooling water with a more rapid wort flow. The classic design of copper line through a garden hose also performed well. Although the copper coil inside a PVC pipe designs look good, compared to the other design types they are slower and less efficient. This is not much of a concern when chilling typical five-gallon (19-L) batches, but may be less than desirable with larger batches. We can unequivocally state that all these products designs perform to stated specifications and are of uniform excelent Quality

We recommend that in all cases the brewer use hose clamps on all fittings. As hot water exits or hot wort enters the plastic tubing it can soften, work loose and may result in scalding the user.

The use of a counterflow chiller (either a unit that we tested, a homemade or homebrew shop made version) enables the brewer to quickly cool five gallons (19-L) of boiling hot wort to temperatures safe for yeast pitching within a matter of minutes. These units are easily sanitized (see p.44) and if properly used and cared for provide no risk of contamination. Furthermore, when using

 

SEE THE CONTERFLOW WORT CHILLER PERFORMANCE SUMMARY

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