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Old 03-30-2010, 06:19 AM   #1
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Default Tips for cleaning a plate chiller

I just bought a used plate chiller. It didn't come with directions. I ran cold water through it to test it out, and now I can't figure out how to empty it completely. No matter what I do I can still hear water sloshing around in there.

I have an air compressor and I have even tried blasting the water out.

I've see a backflow hose on a website, how does that work? If you use a plate chiller, how do you get all the water out of it?

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Old 04-01-2010, 12:21 AM   #2
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please take this info with a grain of salt. I don't own a plate chiller but looking at getting one from dudadiesel.com

I have read that backflushing(back flow) is running sanitizer/ boiling water in thru the "out" side of the chiller to potentially dislodge any trapped particles.

Hope this helps

J

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Old 04-01-2010, 02:03 AM   #3
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I have the same problem with mine. I haven't even touched it in 6 months, but picked it up and shook it just now, and some water droplets came out.

I'm not going to worry about it, and I wouldn't risk an air compressor. I have seen the amount of oil that comes out of some, and don't want that near my beer.

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Old 04-01-2010, 02:14 AM   #4
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I don't get all the water out. Why would you?

I have a therminator plate chiller. I pump boiling wort through it for the last 15 minutes of the boil. Sanitized.

When I'm done brewing, do a quick hose-out of my boil kettle, then refill it with water and a couple of scoops of oxyclean. I reverse the wort connections to the chiller (quick disconnects) so that the water is flowing in the reverse direction and let my pump push that through for a few hours. Then I let it sit overnight.

Next day, I just drain the best I can by tilting and dumping a bit. I don't try too hard. So far, NO problem.

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Old 04-01-2010, 04:17 AM   #5
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I'm getting a chiller. You let your pump run for a few hours!? I can't spend hours. Surely it doesn't take that long to get it clean. If it does then i think i will just stick to the immersion

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Old 04-01-2010, 12:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by oldschool View Post
I'm getting a chiller. You let your pump run for a few hours!? I can't spend hours. Surely it doesn't take that long to get it clean. If it does then i think i will just stick to the immersion
It's an electric pump. I turn it on and go do something else for a while.

Probably a few minutes would suffice. But it's no harder for me to let it run for a while, so that's what I do. The idea is just to back-flush the chiller to push out any hop residue or other coagulated proteins that might have lodged in the chiller's convoluted pathways.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:46 PM   #7
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I have never backflushed mine with any cleaner. I just run some water through it after use. Every other brew or so place it in the oven on self clean. Anything organic turns to ash and is easily rinsed out.

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Old 04-01-2010, 02:03 PM   #8
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I run PBW clone through mine after chilling (I have it to clean my other equipment anyway), and then backflush with a garden hose to rinse. Good to go. A little bit of water is left in the chiller but it isn't an issue as long as you recirc boiling hot wort for a few minutes to sanitize the chiller and your lines. The key is to make sure it is clean before storage since a dirty chiller is certainly going to be more difficult to heat sanitize.

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Old 07-12-2011, 01:35 AM   #9
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I have the 40 plate chiller from kegcowboy and for the life of me can’t get it clean!! I run 160-180 degree water with PBW for 30 minutes normal flow direction, 30 minutes back flush, then rinse with 20 gallons of same temp water then flush with garden hose pressure for 10-15 minutes, then drain and store. Come back a week later and still get chunks and floaties coming out of the chiller. Anyone have a better way to clean a plate chiller???

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Old 07-12-2011, 02:25 AM   #10
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You need to keep the chunks/floaties out from the start by filtering the flow with screens, bags or whatever method works best. Once in they are hard to displace - try either baking it in oven as hot as you can, cleaning cycle if you have it turns everything to ash. Or you can use caustics (lye) being careful. Once you finally get it cleaned --- filter!!!!

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