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Old 08-11-2010, 05:02 PM   #1
Oct 2005
Roseville, CA
Posts: 81
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I know this is somewhat of a tired subject but here goes. Does anyone use a a plate chiller instead of Jamil's immersion chiller and recirculate back into the kettle making a whirlpool? I am looking for a success story of this type of system working. I guess the big question is that when I start pumping the whirlpool to form the cone wouldn't I be pumping all the hop pellet trub into the plate hx and therefore clog it? What is the method of avoiding this? I can see pumping hot wort straight back into the kettle (avoiding plate hx) until I form a cone and can pump clear wort into the hx to chill the temperature. Would a strainer or the Blichman Hop Stopper be necessary if I create a nice cone with a pumped whirlpool?

Any advise from someone who uses a whirlpool with a plate hx is greatly appreciated, I am switching over to using a pump for the first time and a little nervous about the procedure.

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Old 08-11-2010, 06:01 PM   #2
May 2010
Tooele, UT and IA, Utah and IA
Posts: 40
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+1 to this question...i am going through the same issue. I whirlpool hot, then chill. I've been whirlpooling in the kettle for the past few brews, and it works great. My plate chiller has not clogged yet-'cept for those bitter orange peels...my plan is the same as yours, but since i'm switching to a indirect heat herms system, i can first run the hot wort through the ice-laden HLT before going back to the kettle to form the WP. I figure i'll get some cold break this way, then after a 20' rest with WP, i'll plate chill it.

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Old 08-11-2010, 06:15 PM   #3
Bigscience's Avatar
Sep 2009
Woodinville, WA
Posts: 626
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I tried to recirc through my CFC to get the temps down. The problem I had was that the return was around 65F. It took a really long time to get the kettle temp down. It might have worked if I was recircing ice water through the chiller and had a lower return temp. For now, it's way quicker for me to just do one pass through the CFC into the fermentor. I can do 11 gal in 18 minutes.

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Old 08-27-2010, 08:48 PM   #4
wuertele's Avatar
Oct 2009
Menlo Park
Posts: 133
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I have had the same experience as Bigscience. Before reading Jamil, I used gravity to xfer boiling wort through my Therminator to my fermenter. It always took 10 minutes or so to do 10 gallons.

Then I read Jamil and thought "more complex = better". Oops. I plunked down a C note for a march 809 and recirced through my Therminator back into a tangentially-aimed tube at the top of the boil kettle. It took almost a half hour to get my temperatures down, and the whirlpool didn't work for S***. I think there were two problems: 1) the Therminator backflow pressure is enough to prevent the march pump from generating a decent whirlpool, and 2) the efficiency of the Therminator is greatly reduced by the fact that it is cooling wort of a much lower average temperature.

I still have the goal of using my Therminator and getting a whirlpool simultaneously. I've bought the 1/8HP little giant pump for the whirlpool, and I'm plumbing my HLT into the Therminator water inlet along with a 1/12HP little giant pump so that I can throw 100lbs of ice into the HLT and circulate freezing water through the Therminator. The combination of the ice and the pumps should improve the cooling performance significantly. I doubt I'll be able to chill and transfer in 10 minutes like I could before, but I might be able to trade that speed for a reduced amount of cold break in the fermenter.

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Old 08-27-2010, 09:36 PM   #5
May 2010
Las Vegas
Posts: 55

Pardon me for asking, but what would be the point of recirculating through a plate chiller?

Snoworshine seems to be interested in removing trub, but why not just whirlpool hot without recirculation and then chill?

If trying to minimize chill haze and DMS why not just use an immersion chiller? The benefits of the whirlpool chiller are that it cools the entire batch at once instead of a small portion at a time and that a medium to large immersion chiller will have more surface area than a plate chiller anyway.

*Cools my brew in an ice bath.

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Old 08-28-2010, 03:29 AM   #6
Jan 2009
Posts: 4,998
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I pump the hot wort through my CFC and back to the boil kettle and it works very well. The CFC is a hybrid DIY and not a plate chiller and it's constructed of 1/2" ID hard copper pipe. The large ID allows a high flow rate which IMO is the key to a rapid chill and a strong whirlpool. I can drop the temp of a 12 gallon batch from near boiling to below 140F in about 4-5 minutes. The rate varies considerably with the temp of the tap water, especially from about 100 F to pitching temperatures.

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