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Old 03-18-2013, 01:01 PM   #1
mbaker33
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Default Plate Chiller/Sanitation

Hey Guys,

I've had a plate chiller for a while, but until recently hadn't used it much. I've found, and I'm sure anyone out there that uses one can relate, that no matter how much I back flush and re-flush, I always get more crap coming out of it. The only thing that seems to make a bigger difference is hotter water with PBW. I was wondering if anyone has any tips on how to get the thing clean, once and for all.

Thanks,

Mark

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Old 03-18-2013, 02:37 PM   #2
mpcluever
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This seems to be working really well for me.
I rigged a system using garden hose splitters that allows me to switch the flow through the chiller so each cycle goes through both ways repeatedly.

Flush with water
180° PBW
Flush with water
180° Sodium Hydroxide
Flush with water

Electric 3-Way valves are en route to replace the garden hose splitters so I can just flick switches to change up the flow.

Here's the other side of my pump box

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Old 03-18-2013, 05:07 PM   #3
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I have had my chiller for a year and was having the same issue. It was the pellet hops that would get stuck in there. I strictly use the fine mesh bags for pellets, and no more floaters coming out at all.

Btw, that pump box is super cool.

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Old 03-18-2013, 06:53 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies! I've thought about doing the muslin bag approach with my hops, but I've read that hop utilization can go down dramatically in those cases so I had never gone that route.

mpcluever, a little more information on the box would be great! I don't mind doing things manually at all, but it would be interesting to see how the entire thing works. I understand the concept for sure, but would like some more of the specifics.

BTW, I believe we have the exact same chiller from DudaDiesel on Ebay!

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Old 03-18-2013, 08:03 PM   #5
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The box is an old block shortening shuttle. All food grade stainless with wheels. Figured it would be perfect as a pump box. The flow switcher works great to switch the flow direction when cleaning my chiller without having to remove hoses and leak water all over the floor. I can switch dozens of times each cycle without making a mess. I'll post a better pic when I get home tonight. It's all hose splitters right now so you can probably kind of follow it. Basically there's 2 inputs on the left (hose water to flush and recirculating from the pump), 2 outputs on top (waste water and recirculating back to the kettle) and the 2 on the bottom connect to the chiller. Then just by opening and closing valves, I can flush, recirculate, and switch the flow up all without removing a hose.

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Old 03-18-2013, 08:26 PM   #6
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Yeah, I have had the same concerns regarding the bags and utilization. I have a FB in my boil keggle that works great for screening cones, so I really try to use fresh hops only. Of course, not 100% possible.

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Old 03-19-2013, 03:17 PM   #7
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Hey guys, I baked the thing for about an hour last night at 375* and then ran PBW through it both way for a good 20 minutes or so each way. That seemed to push a good amount of stuff out. The water went from almost perfectly clear to puke green within about 30 seconds of the initial flush. I think before I brew again, I'll bake it one more time the night be fore and pump boiling water through, and then hot PBW and then rinse with same temperature water and soak in StarSan with my bucket. I'll probably also recirculate my wort through it for the last 10 minutes of the boil, just for good measure.

mpcluever, I would like to get a better idea of how your stuff is hooked up and how it works. If you could post a video that would help a lot. It sounds like that's exactly what I am looking for.

Thanks again!

Mark

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Old 03-19-2013, 03:36 PM   #8
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I will. I was out until late last night and forgot to take a better picture. You're right though, a video would probably work better.

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Old 03-19-2013, 04:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpcluever View Post
I will. I was out until late last night and forgot to take a better picture. You're right though, a video would probably work better.
No worries, I understand, sometimes life gets in the way of good intentions.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:48 PM   #10
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OK so I finally got some video of the flow switcher.


Basically, there's 2 inputs on the left and 2 outputs on the top. The 2 on the bottom hook up to the chiller and that's where the flow gets switched. This way I can flush, recirculate, flush, recirculate, flush all while switching the flow back and forth without ever removing a hose.

Pardon my cousin at the very end. Had a hell of a time getting those guys quiet for the video and keeping a straight face while they're dancing and gyrating just off camera. Real mature friends I have...
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