Ask Mr. Wizard

What are the keys to an efficient wort chiller?

TroubleShooting

Mark Moriarty • Rochester, New Hampshire asks,
Q

My homemade immersion chiller once worked wonders on extract brews. Since I’ve been mashing, its performance has dwindled. It usually 30–40 minutes to reach pitching temperatures. I’ve thought of building a counterflow chiller, but are they really that fast? Another thought I had, since I like the ease of immersion chillers, was to build another one using 1/2” copper tubing as opposed to 3/8”, so as to increase the surface contact area to the hot wort. Any thoughts?

A
So you want a techno-geek essay on heat exchangers? I’ll do my best here admitting up-front that mass and heat transfer are not subjects that I claim much expertise. But wort cooling
Response by Ashton Lewis.