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Old 03-05-2012, 08:37 PM   #1
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I'm looking to buy one very soon and leaning towards a therminator. How do eBay and keg cowboy chillers stack up against the blichmann. I'm in Chicago so the ground water temp is cool enough. Currently doing five gallon batches, but will be expanding soon to 10 gallon + and I'd like a chiller that can handle my growth.

 
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:44 PM   #2
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Look at what Duda Diesel has to offer as well as what Rebel Brewer has. For ~5 gallon batches a 40 plate chiller will more than handle it quickly. If you ever plan on brewing larger batches you could go with something larger, if you want to spend more. I can get 6-7 gallons to under 60f in maybe 10 minutes with my Chillahog 4000. I do recirculate the wort for about 5 minutes before sending it into the fermenter. That's after the 5-10 minutes of running boiling hot wort through it to sanitize.

IMO plate chillers are a huge asset and you won't regret going with one. I only wish I had gotten mine sooner instead of making the IC's that I went through.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:45 PM   #3
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I don't have one, but what I have read about the cowboy ones, that if you don't mind it not having a name stamped on it, they work just as good.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:14 AM   #4
noreaster40s
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I just purchased a 20 plate chiller from Keg Cowboy and used it for the first time on Saturday. So much better than the immersion chiller I was using. I brew 5 gallon batches and if I had to do it over again I'd get at least a 30 plate chiller. I'm in MA and my water is cool enough but I had it running wide open from my faucet and had the output from the pump cut back quite a bit to keep it at about 70 degrees. Still much better and less water usage than the immersion.

 
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:35 AM   #5
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noreaster40s, if you have a pump, try running it back into the kettle for 2-5 minutes and then run it into your fermenter. I've found it much easier to get to my target temp with this method as opposed to just running it through the chiller once.
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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine

 
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:45 AM   #6
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Therminator is a great plate chiller. Many, many batches through mine.

Duda might work just as well, couldn't tell you. Might save a few dollars that way, but I've never worried about the dollars. Cost of doing business.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:22 AM   #7
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I bought the 12" 30 plate chiller from Dudadiesel. One of the best purchases I have made. See my thread http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/plat...er-wow-307329/

 
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Old 03-06-2012, 02:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacdan View Post
I bought the 12" 30 plate chiller from Dudadiesel. One of the best purchases I have made. See my thread http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/plat...er-wow-307329/
I just bought the same model. It's a beast for a lot less money than the little Blichmann chiller. I'll be mounting it vertically with the wort flowing from bottom to top to make sure it fills its side of the plates...

Cheers!

 
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:42 PM   #9
noreaster40s
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Golddiggie, what do you do about the cold break. I whirlpooled before I started running it through the chiller. If I recirculate it I won't be able to separate the cold break, will I?

 
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noreaster40s View Post
Golddiggie, what do you do about the cold break. I whirlpooled before I started running it through the chiller. If I recirculate it I won't be able to separate the cold break, will I?
I don't do a damned thing about the cold break. It goes in along with everything else that's in the wort that I can get out of the kettle. I left about a pint behind with the last batch, might be a bit more with the next since I'm thinking of going with one of my other dip tubes. I use a hop spider so I don't worry (at all) about hop matter getting into the chiller.

IMO/IME, using a hop spider means you don't need to whirlpool at all, since you don't need to try to separate things in the kettle/keggle before running them through the chiller.
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Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine

 
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