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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Wort chiller or plate chiller?
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:17 AM   #1
Kmcogar
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Default Wort chiller or plate chiller?

I do 5 gallon batches as of right now. I might move to 10 gallon batches in the next well 8 months to a year. I have a good set up for 5 gallon and I just received a 15.5 gallon keg to convert into a keggle. I have a ...well.... Kind of crappy wort chiller(25ft 1/4 copper). It gets the job done in about 30 minutes. I would like to move it to 10.

So...plate chiller or wort chiller?


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Old 07-25-2012, 02:22 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmcogar
I do 5 gallon batches as of right now. I might move to 10 gallon batches in the next well 8 months to a year. I have a good set up for 5 gallon and I just received a 15.5 gallon keg to convert into a keggle. I have a ...well.... Kind of crappy wort chiller(25ft 1/4 copper). It gets the job done in about 30 minutes. I would like to move it to 10.

So...plate chiller or wort chiller?

Plate chiller = wort chiller.

Are you meaning immersion chiller? I've used an immersion chiller for years and moving to a plate chiller tomorrow. Gotta cut my brew day hours down and Oklahoma groundwater is HOT!


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Old 07-25-2012, 02:33 AM   #3
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My apologies. I meant immersion chiller. Yeah me too. I want to make my day shorter. What I I used a 1/2 inch 50ft immersion chiller. Would that make a big difference? Could I use my old chiller as a pre chiller and the cut my time in half or more?
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:39 AM   #4
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Immersion 212 to pitching 36-40 minutes. Plate chiller 7-10 on five gallon batches.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:43 AM   #5
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Even in summer time, my plate chiller does a solid job. Plus, I don't need to do anything but watch the temperature drop to get it to work well. Unlike with an IC, where you'll need to move it, or the hot wort, around in order to get better chill times. I've use both types (started with an IC, then graduated to a plate chiller).

One thing I will say, longer plate chillers kick ass. I went from a 'normal' length plate chiller (Rebel ChillHog 4000) to the long one from Duda Diesel (also 40 plates, but about half again as long) and chill times (in the heat of summer) were much better. I can hardly wait to use it in cooler months, or where ground water is of lower temperature.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:44 AM   #6
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Immersion chillers can be very slow if used on their own, but with a proper whirlpool they're very quick. I have both an immersion chiller and a shiron plate chiller, but I haven't bothered to pull out the plate chiller in ages. I find it tedious to clean.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:53 AM   #7
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Depends on the kettle. If you don't have a valve/spiggot on your kettle, a plate chiller won't be of much use. Once you have your keggle set up and are brewing larger batches, a plate chiller would make sense.

I'm thinking about making an immersion chiller for a 15 gallon kettle. I'd stick with 3/8" copper and just make it wider and more shallow. More copper surface area in the wort and not sticking out of it for faster cooling.

The problem is when I factor in the price of copper, fittings, and my time making it, I end up with the price of a plate chiller. The kettle has a ball valve so it would be easy to connect it to a plate chiller.

So I'll likely end up with a plate chiller vs another immersion chiller.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MalFet View Post
Immersion chillers can be very slow if used on their own, but with a proper whirlpool they're very quick. I have both an immersion chiller and a shiron plate chiller, but I haven't bothered to pull out the plate chiller in ages. I find it tedious to clean.
Ah! Cleaning a plate chiller. I've heard this can be a pain.
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:00 AM   #9
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Ah! Cleaning a plate chiller. I've heard this can be a pain.
PBW makes short work of it. Especially if you back flush on brew day. It's easy to keep it clean, you just need to remember to do it. If you want, you could even recirculate hot PBW through the kettle/keggle and plate chiller until it's clean to your satisfaction.

Recirculating boiling hot wort (on brew day) will sterilize the chiller pretty fast. Just remember to leave the chill water feed off while you do it.
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Old 07-25-2012, 04:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
PBW makes short work of it. Especially if you back flush on brew day. It's easy to keep it clean, you just need to remember to do it. If you want, you could even recirculate hot PBW through the kettle/keggle and plate chiller until it's clean to your satisfaction.

Recirculating boiling hot wort (on brew day) will sterilize the chiller pretty fast. Just remember to leave the chill water feed off while you do it.
May I ask how you know the last point?


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