Recirculating with an Immersion Chiller

I’ve already mentioned my new homebrewing system.  One feature I made sure to include was recirculating the wort with an immersion chiller.  Like a counterflow or plate chiller, this provides for very efficient cooling.  But it retains the advantages of an immersion chiller regarding easy sanitation, by dropping the chiller into the boiling wort for a few minutes.  The key is a pump to recirculate the hot wort over the chiller.

The copper immersion chiller is connected to tap water as normal.  The recirculating flow keeps the hot wort flowing over the chiller for improved efficiency.  In this picture I’ve raised the outlet above the surface to visualize the wort flow (normally I would try and keep it submerged to reduce hot side aeration).  A pump connected to the outlet of the kettle accomplishes the recirculation.  A six inch piece of half inch stainless tubing helps direct the flow and provides weight to keep it contained in the kettle – don’t ask how I learned that lesson.

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