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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Plate Chiller for HERMS
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Old 03-13-2008, 12:47 PM   #1
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Default Plate Chiller for HERMS

Has anyone used a plate chiller as a HERMS exchanger? Judging by how efficiently mine cools, I would think it would be very effective in reverse. I guess you would have to use some kind of screen or grant to keep it clean.

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Old 03-13-2008, 04:02 PM   #2
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It would work but probably not practical. A copper coil is nice in that it won't clog and it's cheaper. A external exchanger also requires the heating liquid to be pumped in, which is another expense. Many will use the HLT as the heat vessel because you already have to heat the water for sparge. Some will use a dedicated vessel fired by an electric element, but I'm unaware of any major benefits of this because you have all that heat in the HLT already that took energy. I suppose it might be easier to automate the temp with an element.

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Old 03-13-2008, 04:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
It would work but probably not practical. A copper coil is nice in that it won't clog and it's cheaper. A external exchanger also requires the heating liquid to be pumped in, which is another expense. Many will use the HLT as the heat vessel because you already have to heat the water for sparge. Some will use a dedicated vessel fired by an electric element, but I'm unaware of any major benefits of this because you have all that heat in the HLT already that took energy. I suppose it might be easier to automate the temp with an element.
Yes, but I would still be using the HLT water. I have a Therminator and pumps anyway, so I was just thinking that since this thing kicks ass on the cooling, why wouldn't it do the same on the heat side? Joh Blichmann wrote this:

Larry, it would technically work, but the higher protein load and particulate load will make cleaning it a lot harder. Obviously the warranty is for use as a wort chiller....


Sincerely,

John Blichmann
Blichmann Engineering, LLC
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Old 03-13-2008, 04:31 PM   #4
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I wouldn't feel comfortable pumping the wort with that much particle matter through a plate chiller. With the amount of grain and protein I see when I start recirculating, I think it would clog up really fast, and I'm not sure you would be able to get it all cleaned out. I think the only way I would consider it is if it were filtered again with something finer than your lautering filter.

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Old 03-13-2008, 05:38 PM   #5
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+1 on the clogging and cleaning. It might be fun to try though.
Is a copper coil not doing the trick? I get great heat transfer with my HERMS coil.

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Old 03-13-2008, 06:08 PM   #6
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Don't have a copper coil, but i thought this would be faster, and since I already have one, it might be fun to try. I am building a direct fire rig right now, but in case I feel the need to go HERMS, I thought this would be an interesting option. I can't see that much more clogging than boiled wort if I screen it properly; but maybe I'm wrong about that.

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Old 03-13-2008, 06:32 PM   #7
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I'm going direct fire now but I can't help but think I'll convert over to an HLT based HERMS. I can already anticipate problems with getting a low enough flame for direct heat.

The one benefit of using the plate would be that you're bringing your heating water directly to the transfer surface whereas you'd need an agitator/stir mechanism in the HLT to make sure you don't get stratification near the coil.

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Old 03-13-2008, 06:41 PM   #8
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You are right, it might be fun. Will you let us know how it turns out?
What kind of system are you building?

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Old 03-13-2008, 07:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foppa78
You are right, it might be fun. Will you let us know how it turns out?
What kind of system are you building?
This kind.


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Old 03-13-2008, 07:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
The one benefit of using the plate would be that you're bringing your heating water directly to the transfer surface whereas you'd need an agitator/stir mechanism in the HLT to make sure you don't get stratification near the coil.
Yes, I would think that you would get very fast ramps. I think you could use a love controller on a solenoid valve and pump to automate.
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