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Manowarfan1

Countterflow vs Immersion - pros and cons?

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Howdy all - I have about $90 on amazon credit for some books i sent in to them and am looking for the most bang for my buck in terms of brewing. Obviously living out east now especially in summer, ground water temps are not helping with chilling down wort very quickly so I am thinking of getting a chiller. Not sure I am ready for a plate chiller and all it's potential hassles and other expenses (pumps etc) so just want to start out simple.

I can get either a counterflow or an immersion chiller for what I have available as a credit balance. For the time being I am just doing brew in a bag/stovetop mashes, although I may have a propane burner at my disposal (unless it is still in my garage in Colorado), and right now am just using a 15 quart pot but i do have a 32 quart (both aluminum, no valves etc) to use as well. May have access to an outside hose hookeup or could be kitchen sink.

What do you chilling pros think? Pros? Cons? Something I have not considered equipment or hassle wise?
Thank Ye Muchly
Cheers
jeff

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This is something your really need to think about.

1. Do you have a pump?
2. Are going to stay forever with your current rig setup?

Do not forget the plate chillers, recirculating immersion chillers either

do go with 1/2" tubing of 50' if you go with the immersion type chillers

How deep is your well? Mine is 200' and the water is 55* year round. I just got a 1/2" 50 foot recirculating immersion chiller. This type of chiller recirculates the wort against the coils. Leaving the break material in the middle of the kettle. It also requires a pump.

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Hey Bob -
As far as the water supply around here goes, I honestly dont know much about it other than the fact taht the water coming out of the hose or the taps is purty warm compared to what I was used to in Colorado (snow melt runoff from reserviors for the most part) but it comes out of the taps at 79F.

I will likely not outgrow the 5 gallon batches (that I hope to do with my 8 gallon aluminum pot) for a while, if all is going well in a couple of years time I may look at trying an electric brewery to do 10 gallons etc.

Don't have any pumps, connections or anything.

I will definitely go with 1/2 inch diameter, as I will need all the help I can get with current water temps. Eventually if I get a pump down the road and can add an ice bath or some other form of cool water source for pumping or recirculating that will be great. For now, this will probably be the only thing I have going - just trying to shave off a lot of precious time in cooling phase (even though I have not yet had a problem, knock on wood).

Plate chiller would be great - and I could get one for the amount of the credit, but I have no pump, and not sure about cleaning and care without being able to do things like backflow etc. So it seems (though I dunno, which is why I come to the knowledge of the Borg) that it would likely be an immersion or a counterflow (which to me seems like an immersion chiller wrapped in a hose).

That help clarify my situation any better?
Thanks again
jeff

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without a pump you are limited to immersion chillers, all the other require a pump to work

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Thanks Bob - guess I will look into the 50' 1/2" copper immersion chillers. Can be had for the amount of credit I have and I can get adapters for the sink for indoors use and it comes with garden hose connections. This should work (hopefully) in current 15 qt pot but if not, I move up to the 32 qt and start making more 5 gallon batches :)

Cheers
jeff

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Jeff I am mistaken a counterflow will work without a pump. Regardless of the type you choose you will be limited by the water source temp. If you have any plans of brewing 5 plus gallon batches you need to consider what will be the best chiller for your needs. I pretty much went from MR B sized batches to 10 gallons in a year, settling on 6 gallons. I bought a lot of new equipment needlessly since I did not plan ahead.

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