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How low can you go with your chiller?

My chiller is a CF similar to a “Chillzilla” that I have had for at least 13 years. The ground water right now is about 66-68°F. If I run the wort very slowly I’m lucky to get it under 75. Seems like it is getting warmer even though I am good about rinsing, cleaning, soaking… you get the picture.

The next step will be to use the immersion chiller that came with my 3B sculpture to pre-chill then go with the CF. A minor PIA but whatever works. I already tried running the ground water through the immersion in a tub of ice water to bring down the water temp some first. It works marginally well.

So what is the difference everyone gets between the ground water temp and the wort temp with your CF chiller or addition steps to help?

BTW I use gravity to run the wort through and open/close the ball valve on the kettle to adjust the flow.

This is very similar to my results. Right now my tap water is about 66* and I am barely getting it down to 75* with my CF (from B3). I use a pump to whirlpool while doing this.

I bought a cheap utility pump from Menards (pumps 1800 GPH) and submerse this in a bucket of ice water and then flow that ice water as my final pass into the fermenter.

I use a plate chiller, and if I crank up my tap water flow while choking back on the wort flow, I can get within a degree or two of tap temperature.

Thanks guys. Now at least I know it is not me or the chiller. Guess I will try running the immersion first next time then go through the CF.

Agree, within 10 degrees is the best I’ve been able to accomplish using my IC (and the last 5-10 degrees takes the longest). I’ve found that when the water supply isn’t cold enough to get all the way to pitching temps, immersing the fermenter full of the mostly chilled wort in a bucket of water and ice, gets you to where you want the temp to be in about 5 minutes.

My ground water is about 55 and we struggle to hit 65. 10 degrees seems about right.

I would imagine that at that point, the ambient air temp is heating the wort faster than the chiller can chill it.

Sunday, my ground water was 84! I use my chiller until it gets down to 115 which takes about 15 minutes then switch over to a pump with ice water and I get it down to 65 in another 12-15 minutes if I stir constantly.

Even in the winter I’m lucky if my ground water gets to 63 but then again, it never snows in my part of the south.

I pre chill with immersion chiller to between 90-100F. Then plate chiller with with ice water and pond pump to 56F to 60F.

i double ganged two Chillzillas - one with hose water that knocks the wort to 100df, and the second i recirculate a loop of ice water in my HLT - that can easily get me to 40-45df.

i’ve used prechillers in the past and was never satisfied with the results.

[quote=“Beerlord”]Sunday, my ground water was 84! I use my chiller until it gets down to 115 which takes about 15 minutes then switch over to a pump with ice water and I get it down to 65 in another 12-15 minutes if I stir constantly.

Even in the winter I’m lucky if my ground water gets to 63 but then again, it never snows in my part of the south.[/quote]
That is harsh - I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum. Tap water never gets above about 65, and can be below 40 in the winter. Much better situation.

Funny you mention that because I experienced just this the last time I brewed (7/30/13). I went out and wort was at 69*. Stirred, continued to chill, came back 5 mins later and the wort went to 70*… going the wrong way isn’t much fun!

[quote=“blatz”]i double ganged two Chillzillas - one with hose water that knocks the wort to 100df, and the second i recirculate a loop of ice water in my HLT - that can easily get me to 40-45df.

i’ve used prechillers in the past and was never satisfied with the results.[/quote]I am similar but run cold hose water to both. My ground water is low 60’s right now I suppose and I chill to 66-68. 22 gallons goes through at whatever speed it takes to keep under 70. In the winter, it takes me 6 minutes; in the summer, it takes me closer to 15 minutes. I use the March 809HS with the larger 815 impeller.

I use an immersion chiller and tap water to get down to about 110-105, then use a submersible pump in an ice bath to get down to pitching temps. Usually takes me about 15-20 minutes from flame out to pitching.

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