||01-18-2010 05:23 AM
I almost pulled the trigger on a plate chiller a month ago. I read a thread on the green board showing the difficulties some folks were having getting them clean and how much stuff actually stayed in there after a pretty thorough cleaning routine. The really thin passages grab solids very easily, not to mention the corrugation gives it that much surface area to grab onto. I figured copper tubing ought to be much easier to clean.
I wouldn't go with the large copper for a CFC, it isn't all about surface area. 3/8" really does seem to be the magic number and a 25 foot cfc can cool the wort as fast as you can pump it through (provided you are pumping cooling water equally as fast as possible too).
To make a 25 footer you usually have to buy enough material that you can make 2. A fifty footer would be way too long and cripple your flow rates.
With 25' I get about 1.15 GPM. If you want a higher flow rate you can run two 25 footers in parallel. You ought to zip through a 5 or ten gallon batch in no time flat with that configuration.
To help with the complete draining, I made a long spigot that brought it out and down to the size of my fermenters. So it just siphons what ever is left in there now.
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