Snake River Brewers - A Homebrew Club Serving Boise, Nampa, and the Treasure Valley of Idaho
Snake River Brewers
A Homebrewing Club Serving Boise, Nampa, and the Treasure Valley of Idaho.
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Author Topic: Plate Chiller  (Read 12438 times)
flyinglow
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« on: May 15, 2015, 11:41:37 AM »

For those that have plate chillers, looking for feedback.

How big of a plate chiller did you go with? (# of plates)

Long or short chiller?

Connector style and why?

Using ball valves or not?

Anything I need to know?


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J
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2015, 12:30:27 PM »

I purchased an 18" 20 plate chiller.

I attached some hose disconnects for the water side.  Simply used the same QD's as the rest of my system on the wort side.  That way I can connect any line to it for cleaning and what have you.

Ball valve is on one of the lines going into the fermenter.  I just found it easier to control there. 

I think there is concern for too much trub in the chiller.  I put one of those pickup tube screens in my kettle to keep it out.  I also whirlpool to try and keep out the trub.  I worry that the trub will collect, plug and cause the chiller to become inefficient. 

I also always flush, back flush, and flush again with PBW, hot rinse, and starsan after every brew.  Before use I run boiling water through it and let it sit during my boil.  I don't like to run wort through it cause it seems to plug up the kettle screen.
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dale
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2015, 02:00:00 PM »

I have one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Chill-Out-40-Plate-Wort-Chiller/dp/B003IS9L60

I got it at Homebrewstuff, it was a special order or something that someone changed their mind on, so I got it for about $20 less than the Amazon price. I didn't pick this one out specifically, it was just available at a good price.

I don't have quick disconnects, but it doesn't seem to be a big deal, no leaks, anyway.

Like J says, I spend a lot of time cleaning it. I keep some water boiling in my HLT to run through it afterwards, and once it's running clear, I recycle the water back into the HLT and let it run while I'm cleaning up other things, so maybe 15 or 20 minutes, adding some PBW or oxyclean part way through, then finishing with a star-san rinse. This also keeps my pump and hoses nice and clean. I've read about people baking them to make sure they were sterile, and I've also read about people flushing them with Drano, which supposedly is the same as caustic with bleach added. I haven't done either of these, but I'm tempted to try Drano just to see what comes out. I would think an acid wash on occasion would be a good thing to do since there could be a beer stone build up after a while. Maybe star-san is acidic enough to take care of it?

I use a stainless braid in the bottom of my boil kettle, which does a great job of keeping hops and trub out of the chiller. Anything small enough to go through the braid will certainly go through the chiller.

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flyinglow
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2015, 08:20:41 AM »

I know that Bob has an inline thermometer on his, what are you guys using for monitoring temps? Say if you need to pitch at 67 are you bringing it down to 63 as temps may rise string there while you fill up 5 or 10 gallons?
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PaulJenkins
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2015, 08:48:00 AM »

I use a Blichmann ThruMometer. I've included a picture, you can see it between the chill plate and the fermentor. I pump ice water through the chill plate.


* IMG_2525.jpg (635.27 KB, 2000x1333 - viewed 110 times.)
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2015, 09:53:23 AM »

I use a Blichmann ThruMometer. I've included a picture, you can see it between the chill plate and the fermentor. I pump ice water through the chill plate.

I use the same. I usually run the pump wide open and recirculate back into the boil kettle to whirlpool until the kettle temp is below 140F, then adjust the pump flow so the thrumometer has the right temp, then divert the wort into the fermenter.
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In dog beers, I've only had 1.

When in doubt, add more hops.
BroncoBob
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2015, 02:23:58 PM »

I use a Blichmann ThruMometer. I've included a picture, you can see it between the chill plate and the fermentor. I pump ice water through the chill plate.

Yes....love my Blichman Thrumometer.  My biggest hassle in brewing was always the chill part.  Even with 5 gallon batches, it would take 30 minutes to cool to 70 degrees with my immersion chiller.   Now it takes about 10 minutes per carboy.  Pretty sweet.

http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B007R81DNG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I got the long 20 plate version which was recommended by several club members......
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BroncoBob
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2015, 02:27:00 PM »

I use a Blichmann ThruMometer. I've included a picture, you can see it between the chill plate and the fermentor. I pump ice water through the chill plate.

Hey Paul, how do you like your Blichmann Kettle?  I really like mine a lot!!!  I have a 15 gallon boil kettle and 10 gallon mashtun.
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Homebrewers Creed:

Relax, Don't Worry, Have Another HomeBrew!
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