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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Plate chiller: Where does the cold break go?
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:58 PM   #1
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Default Plate chiller: Where does the cold break go?

My local home brew club is doing a group buy for some DudaDiesel plate chillers, and I'm considering picking one up. Up until now, I've been using a homemade copper immersion chiller that takes about 20-30 minutes to chill 5 gallons of beer. The plate chiller I'm looking at would chill that same 5 gallons in about 2.5 minutes.

I'm assuming that's plenty fast in order to achieve a good "cold break." My question is, where would that "cold break" material manifest? Wouldn't it end up inside the chiller? How do you clean it out? Is there a risk of it clogging while I'm in the middle of chilling a batch? Or will it materialize in the fermenter, after it's exited the chiller?

How does this work, anyway? What happens with the cold break material when using a plate chiller?

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Old 12-12-2012, 08:04 PM   #2
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Use a hop spider to prevent clogging of the chiller.

For the hot/cold break material, that will simply pass through the chiller without issue. It might be reduced in size (particle size) after running through the chiller.

Proper cleaning of the chiller (backflush on brew day, then a soak with PBW in it does wonder) will make it last a long time.

I would actually email DD your questions, so you get the answers you're looking for. But, IMO, the above is all true. I've been using a hop spider to keep the hop matter out of my plate chillers. I think DD even makes their beer chiller lineup so that they are even less clog-prone than other makes.

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Old 12-12-2012, 08:18 PM   #3
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I use a hop blocker on a Blichmann boil kettle, it keeps most of the protein break from transferring through the pump and chiller. As previously mentioned, backwashing the chiller and soaking is a must as well.

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Old 12-12-2012, 08:33 PM   #4
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BTW, if your IC takes 20-30 minutes to chill 5 gallons of beer [in Canada], either it's so small it's pitiful, or you're using it wrong.

I'm using a large/long 40 plate chiller from DD and even with still adjusting it for where I live now (last few times the hose run was 50') I can still chill 7-8 gallons in <12 minutes (to 60F or below) I'll be using it again this weekend in the new setup (basement brewing) where the water is a higher flow rate, and shorter hose run. Plus, with not running outside, it should be cooler. I expect sub 10 minutes between the recirculation and getting all the wort into the fermenting vessel. That's to under 60F too.

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Old 12-12-2012, 11:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
BTW, if your IC takes 20-30 minutes to chill 5 gallons of beer [in Canada], either it's so small it's pitiful, or you're using it wrong.
It's all about groundwater temperature. Mine is regularly in the 70s. Even if your groundwater is 65, it's going to take you at least a half hour to chill to that temperature with groundwater alone.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daksin View Post
It's all about groundwater temperature. Mine is regularly in the 70s. Even if your groundwater is 65, it's going to take you at least a half hour to chill to that temperature with groundwater alone.
The OP is in Canada, which HAS to have cooler ground water than where I am in New England. Even when it's been hot (here) for a while (during a summer heat wave) I can still chill my ~7 gallons of boiling hot wort faster. I might not hit my <60F goal, but I'll at least to about 65F. Luckily, that only happens once, or twice, a year. Rest of the time it's easier.

With an IC, you need to either stir the wort that's chilling or move the IC as water runs through it. Otherwise, you're in for much longer chill times.
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