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Old 12-18-2013, 01:05 AM   #1
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Default How Clean is Your ChillPlate?

Evening HBT,

Been using a chill plate for awhile? Always had the dark cloud in the back of your mind on how clean is clean with all the sealed plates?

After brewing I run mine through the gambit...PBW both forward and reverse....baking it at 300 degrees and higher for 60+ minutes.....running sanitizer... all the normal ways that we have learned over the years with a chill plate cleaning and sanitizing. Tonight my eyes got opened....

SWMBO bought me an early Christmas gift of a steamer cleaner system. Mainly to assist in cleaning my brewing equipment, but I think she has some other ideas to use it for!

I took my chill plate and ran 215 pressurized steam through it for about 5 mins. (This is when my plate got tooooo hot to hold onto.) **If you do this, use an oven mitt or towel to protect your hands!**

Below is what was blown out of my plate after 5 mins. I plan on running it for about 10-20 mins until my mind is settled and then I will go back through the gambit again!

I'm not posting this as an anti-chill plate, just a reminder to clean and then clean again of your brewing components.

residue.jpg  
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:14 AM   #2
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That's why I don't use chill plates. People can say "I've never had a problem with mine" all they want but you never know if you can't see it!

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Old 12-18-2013, 05:21 AM   #3
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If you can't taste it or see it, is it really a problem?

OP: out of curiosity, what plate chiller do you use?

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Old 12-18-2013, 06:01 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ChocolateMaltyBalls View Post
If you can't taste it or see it, is it really a problem?

OP: out of curiosity, what plate chiller do you use?
My thoughts exactly... I have two plate chillers, and I've only used a plate chiller. *knock on wood* I have yet to experience any type of infection. I make damn good beer.

And I'll bet money it has crap all up in it.

Post the steamer I'm interested in what it is
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:11 PM   #5
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I'll have to get the model number on the steamer, but its a WAGNER. It has the ability to hold 48oz of distilled water and 30mins straight steam use.

I used it as a test to "see" how clean a plate chiller is and was surprised. No off tastes or smell from it, but there were definately particles left in there. I have the duda diesel plate chiller and luv it! This just gives me another avenue to insure cleaning procedures are being above standard.

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Old 12-18-2013, 05:20 PM   #6
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I run sodium hydroxide through my chiller. Using PBW I would still be getting junk coming out after 3, 4, 5 cycles. 1 cycle with sodium hydroxide and every time I doubt myself and do a 2nd round, nothing comes out.

IMO heat is the only way to sanitize a plate chiller just because you can't see what's in there. The slightest bit of goop in there will mean that a chemical sanitizer will not kill everything in that spot.

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Old 12-18-2013, 06:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
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If you can't taste it or see it, is it really a problem?
This.
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:23 PM   #8
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Heat (circulating liquid) will sanitize a plate chiller, as will steam, as the temperature eventually reaches around boiling temp.

Sanitizer MAY work but if you have caked on crud accumulated inside the chiller, the sanitizer may fail to reach the deepest innards of the chiller.

PBW is mostly a surfactant, which means that the crud is dislodged from the innards of the chiller. At that point, they may or may not be small enough to be removed.

Lye (sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or historically potassium hydroxide (KOH)) will break down the membranes of organic compounds, and will in turn liquefy them. This is probably the best "crud remover", however this comes with risks: risk of contacts to skin/eyes, risk of chemical reaction with the material used for the plate chiller, etc.

Personally I do not like the idea of baking the plate chiller in an oven because, while it may sanitize the chiller, it will also harden the crud inside the chiller to the point where it will not dislodge anymore, or at least, not easily.

I've had a plate chiller for over a year now, and I have never used lye, but I have used a hot oxy-clean solution a few times.

I normally back flush the chiller with a large amount of alternating hot & cold water. At usage time, I run hot wort through the chiller prior to turning on the water, in an effort to sanitize it. The chiller will reach an internal temp of 200F.

I've never had off flavors from the chiller - at least that I've been able to detect...

MC

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Old 12-27-2013, 09:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misplaced_Canuck View Post
Personally I do not like the idea of baking the plate chiller in an oven because,
while it may sanitize the chiller, it will also harden the crud inside the chiller to the point where it will not dislodge anymore, or at least, not easily.

MC
We normally recommended baking it after doing a lye wash for exactly the opposite reason. Some things can become more permanently lodged as you stated, while other contaminants will burn out and be easier to flush out. Its usually proteins which run the risk of becoming more lodged; if you melt those out first with lye then baking can knock out anything else.
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:30 PM   #10
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So mods, feel free to delete this if it breaks any forum rules, but hopefully this is appropriate:

Would anyone be interested in a plate chiller which could be disassembled and reassembled for cleaning, even if it cost a good bit more? Over here at Duda Diesel we've been considering coming out with just such a line, but never had because they would cost anywhere from 2-4 times more. Obviously that cost wouldn't be right for everyone, but are there enough big brewers out there with really hoppy brews needing this option?

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