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Old 10-05-2008, 05:13 AM   #1
G-E-R-M-A-N
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Default Help me decide which style chiller.

Well first off let me state that I have a shirron plate chiller, that I am thinking of ditching.

I live in Houston, where the water can be high in temp, so naturally I also took precautions to run the water side of the chiller closed loop with ice water.

I jumped into brewing a while back, and have only brewed 1 batch so far. Let just say that I did not get the results from my shirron chiller, that I wanted. I had issues with getting the temp down in a reasonable amount of time. It took way too long.

The flow from my march pump slowed down to a trickle. It just seemed like the shirron got clogged with hopps or debris.

So after everything was finnally transferred, I took the chiller to clean it. I forced water in reverse and kept getting debris. I have cleaned it several times, and still getting debris. It is like there is another dimension in there somewhere. I finnally told myself, that if it is going to be this hard to chill and clean it, that I am going to go with another method.


So after all of this I am thinking of two different setups.

One would be to use a Chillzilla in conjunction with my pump. I would think this would be good if I step up to 10 gal batches in the future.

Another option would be to go with a 50ft immersion chiller, and also use 50ft coil as a prechiller on ice. (this might seem like overkill, but our summers are hot here)

Sorry if this post seems like it is going all kinds of different directions, but I am just trying to get a good solid setup and the shirron has just made brewing more complicated.

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Old 10-05-2008, 05:20 AM   #2
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have you seen Ed Worts set up??? he also lives in TX (I think) and he has a great set up where he resirculates ice water through his IC using a pond pump. I think he is happy with it.
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Old 10-05-2008, 06:59 AM   #3
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I would make another attempt at getting your existing equipment to work. Do you use hop bags or have a good kettle screen? If you don't crank down the pump, you will definitely get compaction around your filtering device. What does your kettle setup look like?

KD

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Old 10-05-2008, 12:06 PM   #4
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I have the Chillzilla and it works great in conjunction with a pond pump in the summer. Very fast and easy in the winter.

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Old 10-05-2008, 01:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by korndog View Post
I would make another attempt at getting your existing equipment to work. Do you use hop bags or have a good kettle screen? If you don't crank down the pump, you will definitely get compaction around your filtering device. What does your kettle setup look like?

KD
I am using a 40 quart polarware with valve. I have a false bottom for it, but did not use it that time because I was doing partial mash. I realized that scorching the extract at the time was going to be a problem with the false bottom. At the time I did not have a valve to slow the flow down on the pump, because the were on back order. I honestly dont feel like walking on eggshells with flow rate if there is going to be a possiblity of clogging again. How slow is slow enough?

Also do hop bags work with pellet hops?
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Old 10-05-2008, 03:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-E-R-M-A-N View Post
I am using a 40 quart polarware with valve. I have a false bottom for it, but did not use it that time because I was doing partial mash. I realized that scorching the extract at the time was going to be a problem with the false bottom. At the time I did not have a valve to slow the flow down on the pump, because the were on back order. I honestly dont feel like walking on eggshells with flow rate if there is going to be a possiblity of clogging again. How slow is slow enough?

Also do hop bags work with pellet hops?
Yes, fine meshed bags work well with pellet hops. I would consider a bazooka screen or hopstopper too. The pump at full flow will probably cause you problems no matter what method you eventually choose; you really need a valve on it. I assume you are correctly Placing the pump between the kettle and the chiller. I use a Therminator, not a Schirron btw; maybe your chiller is a bit more touchy.

I understand not wanting to go through the trouble of experimenting real-time, so maybe the IC or 'zilla is the right play. You should consider a system for moving wort around the immersion chiller if you go that route. There are many good threads here discussing Jamil's whirlpool IC.
Good luck.
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Old 10-05-2008, 04:50 PM   #7
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I use the Shirron. I do have a homemade hopstopper which has about 100 square inches of fine stainless wire screen surface area. Even with that, the screen will plug up on 100% pellet hops. I need to use at least part of the hop schedule as leaf hops. It does however keep the Shirron relatively clean and flowing freely. I don't have quite the water temp problem that you do. My tap water is now at 72F. My current MO is to run the wort full speed through the Shirron and let the temp fall where it may. I did a batch yesterday and cooled 5 gallons to about 85 F in just under 20 minutes. I then further cool the wort (refrigirator) in the fermenter to pitching temp.

My next upgrade will be a recirculating whirlpool immersion chiller:
Whirlpool Chiller

I have most of the bits, except for one, I just haven't got a round tuit.

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Old 10-05-2008, 05:15 PM   #8
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I think that one of the key points to take away from this discussion, is that you NEED to be doing something about the material that you are pulling from your kettle, no matter what method of chilling you use. You do not want all that debris in your fermenter. Get that problem taken care of, and you will probably find that your current method works just fine. In the mean time, I would put that chiller to boiling in some PBW and see if you cant get it cleaned out properly.

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Old 10-05-2008, 05:21 PM   #9
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I think that one of the key points to take away from this discussion, is that you NEED to be doing something about the material that you are pulling from your kettle, no matter what method of chilling you use. You do not want all that debris in your fermenter. Get that problem taken care of, and you will probably find that your current method works just fine. In the mean time, I would put that chiller to boiling in some PBW and see if you cant get it cleaned out properly.
Well I am doing an all grain batch next, so I will not have the problem of not using any filter method from my kettle. (false bottom) I have also considered using leaf hopps instead. I am sure that a false bottom would cover the debris aspect dont your think?

On the first run I had to pull the false bottom because the extract began to scorch.( live and learn) What do people do that are running extract out of curiosity?

ALSO I forgot to mention that I recirculated the wort via pump to kettle in a loop untill down to temp. I really had to do it this way because of no controll of flow from pump. (not that I think it would have been cool enough if i had went strait to the carboy anyway.)
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Old 10-05-2008, 05:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-E-R-M-A-N View Post
Well I am doing an all grain batch next, so I will not have the problem of not using any filter method from my kettle. (false bottom) I have also considered using leaf hopps instead. I am sure that a false bottom would cover the debris aspect dont your think?

On the first run I had to pull the false bottom because the extract began to scorch.( live and learn) What do people do that are running extract out of curiosity?
I would go ahead and recirculate the wort until you see that it is running nice and clear, and then start running it through the chiller. I have been thinking that, when I finish building my new system and move from my home built counter-flow chiller to a plate chiller, that I will recirculate the chilled wort back into the pot, until the entire pot is as cold as I would like it to be, and then pump to the fermenter.

My thought on that is to
1. lower the entire batch below 140 as quickly as possible, to eliminate the chance of DMS production.
2. see if this will help filter out some of the cold break and keep it from making it into the fermenter.

don't know if it will work, but i am looking forward to running some tests
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