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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Therminator money pit
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:54 PM   #11
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I have been successfully using a Therminator for several years, and I have put over a pound of pellet hops in the boil before.

I don't have a filter on the bottom of the pot, and I don't use hose clamps and whatnot. I just put my mash paddle over the kettle, and hang the filter bags from it into the boil.

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Old 11-04-2013, 09:09 PM   #12
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Preface: I'm not trying to talk you into a plate chiller, and everyone's opinion varies. That said, I have yet to have an issue with mine.

To the OP, all you need is a 4" PVC coupler, a 4" hose clamp, 5 gal paint strainer, and double hook coat hook. Hang the spider off the side of the pot. Like I said, less than 10 bucks. If you want to get rid of the chiller, that's fine too. But it doesn't take much to make this thing work well. My cleaning regimen pushes PBW through it in both directions, then rinse and cap off the ends with camlock caps. Works every time, and again, knock on wood, no infections in 2+ years of use.

I might try this before blowing it all up. I made that contraption about 4 months ago but melted it after I put the lid on the BK. Lesson learned....

You say you put camlocks in place, what about the leftover liquid inside the plate? I can never seem to get mine totally dry and I think that "wetness" is not good to trap inside. I also push PBW (does it need to be hot?) through the chiller for a good 20 min while I clean everything else.

Also, where can I find a couple of camlocks or plugs? I'm pretty sure those were the yellow things I found on the floor in my shed when I cleaned it up last week. The trashman probably saw them and is now using it on his plate chiller.


If this doesn't work, rather than spending more cash on another filter, I really like that IC that Xpertskir mentioned. That thing looks like a beast.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:19 PM   #13
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I might try this before blowing it all up. I made that contraption about 4 months ago but melted it after I put the lid on the BK. Lesson learned....

Hang on a second. Let me just stop you right there. Why are you putting the lid on the BK?
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:40 PM   #14
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Hang on a second. Let me just stop you right there. Why are you putting the lid on the BK?
Agreed, you don't want to do that.

I take my chiller off the front of my rig, and dump it from side to side when it just has the water in it. Get it so it all comes out, then put these on the two camlock male pieces that are screwed on permenantly:



Yeah, it's not bone dry, but again, I've had no problems. I have heard some fill it with sanitizer before putting on the caps. I suppose you can do that.

I have a single tier with pumps, and hook this guy up. when I hit 15 min to go in the boil, I open everything up and start pushing wort through this. Once my boil comes back up (because it will drop while this absorbs heat from the boil), I then set my timer again at 15 min and finish up the brew. The chiller is sterilized and ready to cool everything down.

I put on quick disconnects for the water, one from the hose in, and then bought a cheapo hose for the water out. Run that into my backyard. My chilling takes a little longer, as lately I've been chilling down inside the brew kettle and getting a whirlpool going. Then, once the kettle is down to temp, I hook up a hose off the ball valve and directly into my fermenter.

My cleaning procedure goes like this:

Once I'm done with the last beer of the day (I try to double/tripple up brew day), I take my leftover sparge water and transfer it to my MLT. I always go with 13 gal of sparge water, regardless of how much I actually need to sparge with. I am guaranteed leftover water that is already warm. If brewing another beer, I have a jump start on getting my strike water up to temp, if not I have warm/hot water to add PBW to in my MLT and recirulate on pump 1. I then refill the HLT with about 5 gal of cold hose water.

Once boil is done and BK is emptied, I transfer hot PBW (about 150-160ish degrees) from MLT to BK, and set it up so it recirculates through pump 2 and my plate chiller. Then I transfer cold clean water from HLT into MLT and set that to recirculate in MLT/pump 1. Once BK is clean, drain, then transfer rinse water into BK and set to recirculate through plate chiller and pump 2. Put dust caps on Pump 1. Finish rinse and drain, then dust caps on Plate Chiller and dust caps on Pump 2.

I typically recirculate PBW for about 10-20 min, depending on how soiled the BK is. I have to have the dust caps because my one car garage is not only a brewery, but a woodshop as well.
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:06 AM   #15
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I see... said the blind man...

Thanks
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:11 AM   #16
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I don't have a plate chiller as I have a CFC.
Plate chiller is a CFC.
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:15 AM   #17
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I've been using a Therminator for 4 years. In fact, this past weekend I ran 3 10-gallon batches of pale ales and IPAs through it. No problem. I use a hanging hop spider.

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Old 11-05-2013, 02:45 PM   #18
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A hop spider seems to be the default solution to clogging issues of a plate chiller. Ive thought about using one, but I just can't believe there isn't a drop off in oil/acid extraction when using a hop spider, either for bittering or flavor.

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Old 11-05-2013, 05:44 PM   #19
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I've been using a Therminator for 4 years. In fact, this past weekend I ran 3 10-gallon batches of pale ales and IPAs through it. No problem. I use a hanging hop spider.
Same here and I don't have any screens on my boil kettle.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:38 PM   #20
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Hang on a second. Let me just stop you right there. Why are you putting the lid on the BK?
Honestly, I didn't have room to put it anywhere else, so I put it on there for maybe 5 minutes tops while I cleaned up my bench a bit. I didn't even fully put it on, just about 3/4 and the stupid thing still melted.

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A hop spider seems to be the default solution to clogging issues of a plate chiller. Ive thought about using one, but I just can't believe there isn't a drop off in oil/acid extraction when using a hop spider, either for bittering or flavor.
Yeah, I'm concerned about that as well, especially with the mesh screen size necessary to prevent pellets gunk from escaping the filter.
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