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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Plate Chiller efficiency problem
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:36 PM   #1
midnightbrewing
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Default Plate Chiller efficiency problem

I have a pump-fed 40-plate chiller on my brewstand, and it took me 90 minutes to get my 10-gal batch down to 85 degrees at a trickle.

I've gotta be doing something wrong, but I can't figure out what.

groundwater is 55-60 degrees year-round here, and I've set up a recirc for the cooling water, adding ice for my most recent batch. cooling water was never higher than 65 degrees, but I couldn't cool efficiently at all. very frustrating.

in the photo, you can see the setup, the trickle of wort at 85 degrees.

ball valve coming off the pump before the chiller restricts the flow. I recirculate/whirlpool for 15 minutes after knockout, then turn things into the carboys.

any advice?


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Old 01-05-2013, 11:14 PM   #2
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Make sure you're chill water is going the opposite direction. Also, you should try to restrict AFTER the chiller. Restricting before means you have a trickle going through and much of the surface area in the chiller isn't touching wort. By restricting after the chiller, the entire chiller is full of wort.


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Old 01-06-2013, 02:04 AM   #3
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I'd agree to make sure your cooling water is flowing opposite the wort flow. In your pic, that would mean your cooling water should enter the top. I used my Therminator today and it was a dream, 6 gallons pumped through at almost full flow. Took about 5 minutes to chill to 66*. I wish we had groundwater this cool year round!
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:11 AM   #4
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Don't restrict the cooling water. I run it almost full speed but the wort is restricted until I get the temp I'm looking for.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:15 AM   #5
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Why are you not recirculating the cooled wort back in to the kettle? That'll improve hop flavor / aroma.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:40 AM   #6
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thanks for the feedback. The water is flowing correctly, unrestricted. I am indeed recirculating wort back to the kettle for 20-30 minutes (depends on beer type) after knockout. I will move a ball valve post-chiller and see if that helps. don't know how I haven't thought of that yet!
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:22 AM   #7
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I'm new at this but it seems to me that you have a problem with your setup. I have a blichman plate chiller and gravitate my wort directly into the fermenters, through the chiller, immediatly after the boil. Ball valve wide open, 10 minutes, 75*F. This works best when the wort is actually going into the "in" port. I tried it the other way the first time


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