The counter-flow chiller has been a great boon. Not only does it lock in hop aroma wonderfully and permit zero-minute additions, it also means that I can dispense with hot-cubing and pitch straight away.
Ideally when pitching straight into the fermenter I would like to have my wort at the Fermentis-recommended temperature of 25-27C. This gets the yeast going rapidly and ensures vigorous growth. Until now, controlling the temperature of the wort hitting the fermenter from the CFC has been quite cumbersome – I get the flow going and fine tune the final temp by varying the flow of cooling water. This invariable means running back and forth to my garden tap, which is at the end of a long hose. I don’t know if you’ve tried adjusting a garden tap finely, but it generally takes 5 or more trips to get it right. Annoying!
The solution – a flow control valve in the CFC…
Increasingly, my brewing hobby is looking like a poorly disguised ball-valve collecting hobby!