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Old 02-03-2011, 03:00 PM   #1
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Default Need help with homemade plate chiller.

My buddy worked at a soda factory and still talks to the owner. The owner has a ton of these aluminum plates usaed to chill soda. Basically you lay it in an ice bath and pump liquid through 5 holes which snakes through the plate and then comes out 5 exit holes. My buddy said they use a keg and co2 to pump the liquid through.

I have three thoughts. One, I could probably use a regular auto siphon to pump the worth into the holes. This might not be the best as the siphon is plastic. My second thought is to use a pump and pump the worth through copper tubing into the holes. The last one is I could pour the sort into a 2.5 gallon keg and use o2 to push the worth through the beer out line of the keg throughout copper tubing into the holes of the plate.

What are your thoughts or concerns with this?

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Old 02-03-2011, 03:57 PM   #2
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My suggestion would be to avoid plastic on the hot side of the plate. I also wouldn't want to go through the trouble of pushing it though with CO2 (you would need to xfer the hot wort into a keg first, and risk hot side aeration). That leaves you with gravity or pump fed.. and either is fine.. .just keep in mind that you may have to move the liquid through the plate fairly slowly to get it to the desired temp, so pumping may be unnecessary. Gravity is free

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Old 02-03-2011, 03:57 PM   #3
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All your idea sound OK to me. The only problems I can think of would be pumping it to fast or using o2 at to high of a pressure and again moving it to fast through the chiller to cool it properly. I think your auto siphon would work just fine.

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Old 02-03-2011, 03:58 PM   #4
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My thought is to buy an actual plate or counterflow chiller and use the cold plate (that's what it's called) for a jockey box as it was originally intended. It's just not worth the hassle of trying to build a better mousetrap IMHO. Sure you could do it, but there are things out there that work so much better.

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Old 02-03-2011, 04:53 PM   #5
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There definitely are better options but this option is free for me

It just seems like it would work really well and pretty easy to clean.

Yeah I guess pressurizing a keg might aerate it too much. Using plastic might not be the best idea but I figure I could use copper tubing on the racking cane so it isn't rubber tubes but it is still a plastic cane.

Maybe it is better to buy something but I just liked the idea of having the chill plate cooling the wort down. It seems like it would work really well.

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Old 02-03-2011, 05:06 PM   #6
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It may work alright, but an immersion chiller would work better and you'd have an easier time of cleaning it.

If you want to chill better than that, you're really left with a plate chiller and a counterflow chiller.

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Old 02-03-2011, 05:24 PM   #7
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My buddy said this plate is what they use for soda guns at bars. The syrup and carbonated water (both at room temp) go through the plate which is in a sink full of water and ice. The carbonated water and syrup mix in the gun and come out as soda. Maybe I'll have to try and mess around with it to see how it works but I would think this would cool the sort faster than an immersion chiller seeing as the soda comes out pretty cold.

Cleaning might not be as easy but I would just need to run hot water with oxiclean through it right after using it.

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Old 02-03-2011, 05:27 PM   #8
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Cleaning might not be as easy but I would just need to run hot water with oxiclean through it right after using it.
Mmmm, watch cleaning aluminum with Oxygen based cleaners. It tends to eat it up pretty quickly.
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Old 02-03-2011, 05:32 PM   #9
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Cold plates are worth a little $$. Unless you'd piss off your buddy doing this, you might be able to trade it to someone for a smaller plate chiller or a CFC, something that'd require a little less futzing around to make it work.

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Old 02-03-2011, 05:40 PM   #10
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I don't think he would be mad. If I could sell it to get a nice set up, I would. He is also getting me kegs and all new fittings.

I was looking at some different chillers and some where $150+ which is too much for me right now...which is why I am trying to build one lol

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