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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > plate chiller be gone
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:50 PM   #1
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Default plate chiller be gone

I have a two zone plate chiller that I have used for many years. It works well, using cold water through one zone and glycol through the other to chill my wort. The problem is the thing is a pain to clean and a real weak link in my system. I run boiling acid and caustic through it. I run hot Oxyclean through it, but I never can see inside it. Additionally, all that cleaning takes a huge amount of time and energy. So I have changed its use. I have gone back to an immersion chiller in the brew kettle while I whirlpool. I use the plate chiller as a means to chill my water going into the immersion chiller. I can get the water right down to freezing and get a good, quick chill, even down to lager temps. The two big benefits are ease of sanitation and leaving cold break in the kettle where it belongs.

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Old 12-09-2010, 05:15 PM   #2
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The two big benefits are ease of sanitation and leaving cold break in the kettle where it belongs.
I think I achieve this goal with a grant pre-filter. Of course, cold break is still generated within the chiller itself but since I recirculate to sanitize and then drive the bulk down to pitch temp all the while passing the wort through the filter media (rice hulls) the break gets trapped before it makes a return trip through the PC.

My only indication that this is working is by comparison of the clarity of the caustics I use to clean before I began using the fileter and after. Prior to the grant, the cleaning solution I'd flush out of the chiller after brewday was nearly as cruddy as the wort on the kettle. Now, after the residual wort is pushed out by loading the chiller with cleaner, the effluent is as clear coming out as it was going in.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:03 PM   #3
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I think I achieve this goal with a grant pre-filter. Of course, cold break is still generated within the chiller itself but since I recirculate to sanitize and then drive the bulk down to pitch temp all the while passing the wort through the filter media (rice hulls) the break gets trapped before it makes a return trip through the PC.

My only indication that this is working is by comparison of the clarity of the caustics I use to clean before I began using the fileter and after. Prior to the grant, the cleaning solution I'd flush out of the chiller after brewday was nearly as cruddy as the wort on the kettle. Now, after the residual wort is pushed out by loading the chiller with cleaner, the effluent is as clear coming out as it was going in.

That is great. Sounds like a really good regiment. How is your grant configured (gravity feed and pump out?). Will love to hear the details.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:07 PM   #4
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So bp, no more glycol in your chilling regiment?

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Old 12-09-2010, 06:13 PM   #5
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I still use it in a couple ways. I use it with my fermenter and I use it to cool my chilling water. Like I said earlier, I run the chilling water through my plate chiller on its way to the immersion chiller. While I am doing this I run glycol through the second zone of the plate chiller.

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Old 12-09-2010, 06:18 PM   #6
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Aha, I gotcha. Seems brilliant, boosted cooling power ofa plate chiller but still able to whirlpool hop during the cycle. All this and the prev mentioned cold break, what's not to like?

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Old 12-09-2010, 06:25 PM   #7
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Aha, I gotcha. Seems brilliant, boosted cooling power ofa plate chiller but still able to whirlpool hop during the cycle. All this and the prev mentioned cold break, what's not to like?
Only took me 4 years to figure that one out! I really am happy with the system.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:33 PM   #8
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That is great. Sounds like a really good regiment. How is your grant configured (gravity feed and pump out?). Will love to hear the details.
Yes. Gravity fed from the kettle to the grant and then pumped out of the grant through the chiller and back into the kettle or into the fermenter when the temps are right.

I load the grant with rice hulls and recirculo-sanitize with the hot wort before turning on the chill water which is then continually recirculated until the kettle temp is down to 140 and the wort out of the chiller is at pitch temp.

A bit spendy but, was the best solution I could devise to keep my PC in service and stay away from in kettle screens, bags, or balls. All of which didn't measure up for me in terms of ease of use/cleaning.

The Grant: A B3 hopback fitted with TC and a vegetable steamer basket for a secondary screen (used to keep the filter media compressed).



The chiller: Sabco Chill-Wizard aka Therminator coupled to a March 809.



All connected:

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Old 12-09-2010, 06:38 PM   #9
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what's not to like?
Spending hundreds on efficient methods of chilling only to have it plug up with cold break or, the unknown. there is just no way to know beyond a reasonable doubt how well a brazed PC is getting cleaned.

Thus, you quickly find yourself resorting to the use of strong caustics to minimize potential clogs but then struggle with the added expense and risk associated with the use and storage. I bought 4 gallons of Acid Number 5 to get a price break on Hazmat shipping and not a day goes by that I don't worry about someone or something getting into it by mistake. It is an amazing cleaner but I hate how caustic it is.

And plate and frame chillers custom made to a similar size as a therminator or equal cost in the thousands.
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:10 PM   #10
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Nice looking set-up and your garage is WAY too clean

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