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Old 07-15-2012, 02:09 AM   #1
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Default First All Grain batch completed - Question 2 about the plate chiller

So during my first all-grain batch I was using a new plate chiller that we just bought. The plate chiller has barb fittings for half inch ID tubing. We were using half-inch Inside Diameter silicone tubing (that we purchased from morebeer.com).

When we attached the hose to the barb fittings on the chiller, they were not fitting very snug. So once we opened the valve on the brew pot, it started leaking from the fitting. During the entire cooling process we had to have one person firmly pushing the hoses up against the plate chiller so that it would not leak.

Has anyone else had such a problem with connecting the tubing to the plate chiller barb fittings? I suppose that I'm going to have to get some small hose clamps and attach the tubing with the clamps to ensure that it doesn't leak.

The other issue was that I just could not get it to chill properly. I had a lot of problems regulating the wort flow rate. I was just using gravity. I know that when I took a class at my local homebrew shop - they actually used a pump to push the wort through. They used a plate chiller as well and were able to dial in the rate and get a good consistent target temperature out of the chiller. Has anyone else noticed better results in using a pump instead of just relying on gravity?

Is there any references to what the flow rate of the garden hose water and flow rate of the wort?

Appreciate any input

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Old 07-15-2012, 01:21 PM   #2
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I know Duda Diesel has some reference charts on their website to give estimate of wort outflow temp given different water temps and flow rates on both the cooling side and wort side. This should be helpful.

I use a pump coming from my keggle to push beer to the chiller. You will def. need some hose clamps, especially when you introduce the pump. The pressure will shoot hot wort everywhere.
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:31 PM   #3
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Maximize the chilling water flow and leave it there. Slow down the wort flow until your target temp is met. Of course, the wort output wont get below the temp of the chilling water.

Make sure the wort is entering on the OPPOSITE side as the chilling water. This is why a plate chiller is called a counterflow chiller: the two fluids need to be going in opposite directions. Occasionally, when I am in a hurry, I hook them up going in the same direction and it doesn't cool at all.

Get some cheap quick disconnects. Makes the job much easier. Since you have barbs, you'll have to connect a stub of tubing, then the quick disconnect. Hold the tubing onto the barbing with cable tie or hose clamp.
- Andrew
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