Counter flow chiller experiences

I have a Chillzilla or at least a clone of one CF chiller. First I can’t seem to get the wort cold enough. I use my immersion chiller to help pre-chill the tap water that is at about 65° right now by dunking it in a plastic bin of ice water. Run the water full bore and restrict the wort flow to slow it down. Still lucky to get mid to mid to high 70s. Can’t figure what is going wrong. Have had the thing for years. Would larger diameter garden hose help? The restriction at the copper tubing would still be the same.

Also some tips for them. I always rinse it well after use and sometimes dunk it in no-rinse cleaner (One Step). Yesterday before use I as usual first dunk it in the same then blow some hot water through then repeat. After the first run some disturbing gunk blew out. I grabbed my “trumpet brush” a small brush on a long wire I think may be actually for keg dip tubes and ran it through from both ends multiple times. It took another soak in cleaner and blowing it out with hot water before it was clear. I always allow it to fill with boiling hot wort and sit for a few minutes before turning on the water and have never had an infection.

My new clean up is now to soak overnight in cleaner and as hot water as possible then rinse and blow out the water with my compressor.

I don’t know anything about the chillzilla, but I know something about heat transfer. How long is the chiller? What’s the inner diameter of the hot-side tube? Also, do you have an idea how hot the cooling water is when it leaves the chiller?

If you have to throttle down the hot wort and max out the cooling water flow rate, then either the inner tube diameter is too large or the outer tube diameter is too small for the length of chiller.

To sanitize mine, I circulate wort through it for the last 15 minutes of the boil. Then to clean it, I wash out the pot, fill it with hot water, heat it to boiling again (or until I get tired of waiting), and pump the hot water through the CFC and out onto my driveway to clean out everything. It’s been working well so far…

Try running the ice water from your plastic bucket through the CFC. If you’re pumping the chill water, you can recirculate. If you’re using gravity, I guess you’d have to catch the used chilling water and pour it back into the ice water reservoir.

I recirculate ice water through an immersion chiller in the boil kettle and direct the return flow into a container of ice inside my reservoir. I use five containers of ice plus as many ice cubes as I remember to collect from my refrigerator ice maker.

I’ve never been confident in my ability to sanitize a CFC. My immersion chiller sits in the kettle during the boil so (I assume) it’s sanitary. If I stir the wort during chilling it cools quickly; since I’m lazy, and stir only occasionally, the wort cools eventually.

I got tired of messing around with my boiled worts earlier this summer, because city water was 70+ degrees, and couldn’t bring them down. So now I put the batch in my mini frig. overnite to cool to pitching temp. Before I put it away I rob a qrt. of wort, to a gallon bottle, and pitch my yeast vial in it for a overnite starter[ 11-12 hrs.] Next day I pitch to full batch when starter is at high krausen. The batch has been active in a few hours. Seems to work really well so far Mark, pretty strong ferments. I think they call this method a ‘virgin starter’.

I have twin ChillZillas and found that sometimes there must be a blend of air and water going thru it. That means that the inner 1/2" tube is not fully surrounded with water. To remedy that, I put a valve on the exit chiller water and throttle it down to add some back pressure and ensure that the chiller is full of water.

This past weekend at my son’s house, we had trouble with his single ChillZilla chilling low enough. With the wort trickling out, we were able to get into the lower 60’s. I advised him to do the same thing so he could run the wort thru faster.

[quote=“MullerBrau”]I have twin ChillZillas and found that sometimes there must be a blend of air and water going thru it. That means that the inner 1/2" tube is not fully surrounded with water. To remedy that, I put a valve on the exit chiller water and throttle it down to add some back pressure and ensure that the chiller is full of water.

This past weekend at my son’s house, we had trouble with his single ChillZilla chilling low enough. With the wort trickling out, we were able to get into the lower 60’s. I advised him to do the same thing so he could run the wort thru faster.[/quote]
So you are throttling the tap water? I guess that makes sense and easy enough with garden hose to just use a shut off and partially close it. Any advise as to how much, like a little bit or half? Guess I need to build an inline thermometer to measure the wort temp as it exits.

I was all set to try recirculating the ice water with my spare March 809 but without placing the tub of ice water above the chiller could not keep it primed.

[quote=“HD4Mark”][quote=“MullerBrau”]I have twin ChillZillas and found that sometimes there must be a blend of air and water going thru it. That means that the inner 1/2" tube is not fully surrounded with water. To remedy that, I put a valve on the exit chiller water and throttle it down to add some back pressure and ensure that the chiller is full of water.

This past weekend at my son’s house, we had trouble with his single ChillZilla chilling low enough. With the wort trickling out, we were able to get into the lower 60’s. I advised him to do the same thing so he could run the wort thru faster.[/quote]
So you are throttling the tap water? I guess that makes sense and easy enough with garden hose to just use a shut off and partially close it. Any advise as to how much, like a little bit or half? Guess I need to build an inline thermometer to measure the wort temp as it exits.

I was all set to try recirculating the ice water with my spare March 809 but without placing the tub of ice water above the chiller could not keep it primed.[/quote]I’d guess that I have it throttled to about 75% open. I definitely have online thermometer setups on mine and my sons.