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Am I using a Therminator wrong?

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jcryan2

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When I cool the wort I have been pumping the wort back to the brew pot until the entire batch has cooled to 70 degrees or the target temp. Then I move the wort to the carboy, pitch the yeast and wait.

Should the wort pass through the Therminator only once and go directly to the carboy?
 

dataz722

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The only way I have known it to be done is to just through that and straight into the carboy. The only reason I wouldnt do this is if it hadnt cooled enough in one pass.
 

icu812

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This is how I have been using my plate chiller. I pump the wort through the chiller for last 10 min of the boil to sanitize. At flameout I turn ON the water and recirculate into keggle until I reach 75* then I pump wort into the fermenters. A can have a 10 gallon batch cooled in about 12 min.
 

Lonnie Mac

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When I cool the wort I have been pumping the wort back to the brew pot until the entire batch has cooled to 70 degrees or the target temp. Then I move the wort to the carboy, pitch the yeast and wait.

Should the wort pass through the Therminator only once and go directly to the carboy?
I'd say that you are ahead of your time my friend! :)

It works like a charm and there are MANY reasons for doing it this way...

I reach the DMS Gspot in under 3 minutes and lager temps in under 20... That is all that matters. Trub is in the pot and sweet cold wort in the fermenter...
 

ScubaSteve

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I'd say that you are ahead of your time my friend! :)

It works like a charm and there are MANY reasons for doing it this way...

I reach the DMS Gspot in under 3 minutes and lager temps in under 20... That is all that matters. Trub is in the pot and sweet cold wort in the fermenter...
What is your method for filtering the wort?
 

kal

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A therminator should be able to chill 212F wort to pitch temp with a single pass. You don't need a second pass. There's no reason to recirc. The only reason to recirc is to sanitize the chiller before you start chilling but then you're doing that in the last ~15 minutes of boil.

Kal
 

Lonnie Mac

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A therminator should be able to chill 212F wort to pitch temp with a single pass. You don't need a second pass. There's no reason to recirc. The only reason to recirc is to sanitize the chiller before you start chilling but then you're doing that in the last ~15 minutes of boil.

Kal
You want to get the wort below 140 as utterly fast as posable in my view... This method gets your wort below the DMS threshold... My method (and Jamils also actually) will get ALL the wort below the DMS threshold in a matter of a few minutes...

The problem of cooling only the wort exiting the pot into the carboy is that all the rest of your wort is sitting in the kettle at damn near boiling producing DMS the whole time...

I want to get ALL the wort as cold as I can before transferring. Also if anything, this leaves all trub in the kettle...
 

ScubaSteve

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Actually, I have a full false bottom in my kettle... Details in my link below my friend! :) It works GREAT for me...
I'm pretty familiar with your rig....at least I thought I was :D....I think recircing with a plate chiller is a good way to deal with DMS issue (if it really is THAT much of a problem....I almost never make Pilsner).

I guess I never thought the false bottom would be able to keep the cold break from coming back into the plate chiller as you recirc. I could see that contributing to a premature sanitation/clogging issue.
 

Lonnie Mac

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I'm pretty familiar with your rig....at least I thought I was :D....I think recircing with a plate chiller is a good way to deal with DMS issue (if it really is THAT much of a problem....I almost never make Pilsner).

I guess I never thought the false bottom would be able to keep the cold break from coming back into the plate chiller as you recirc. I could see that contributing to a premature sanitation/clogging issue.
For me, going on over 50-60 batches now on Brutus, I simply haven't had a problem with clogging... Clog my arse... I just have never seen it... :) I am sure something gets through as in any chiller, but amazingly enough, my flow "strength" seems just a strong as it always was... My regiment as described in many places remains the same... I flush the crap out if it after brew day, empty all the water, place in a sub zero freezer until next brew day. The morning of, I go straight to the oven at about 450 degrees, then straight to Brutus, chill with my ice water regiment and repeat... About every 5 batches or so I'll do the boiling PBW treatment and back to the freezer...
 

ScubaSteve

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I like your freezer idea! I think there's something to be said for what grows in the chiller between brews.
 

remilard

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A therminator should be able to chill 212F wort to pitch temp with a single pass. You don't need a second pass. There's no reason to recirc. The only reason to recirc is to sanitize the chiller before you start chilling but then you're doing that in the last ~15 minutes of boil.

Kal
Well you might want to recirculate if you are interested in chilling all of the wort most of the way very fast for any reason (DMS, hop aroma) although if this is your concern and you have a pump anyway I can't understand the downside of an immersion chiller.
 

Lonnie Mac

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Well you might want to recirculate if you are interested in chilling all of the wort most of the way very fast for any reason (DMS, hop aroma) although if this is your concern and you have a pump anyway I can't understand the downside of an immersion chiller.
Though the question was about the Therminator, I would agree... An immersion chiller can do this job as well. (That's how I did it on Brutus 5 anyway) Maybe a bit slower, but do it just as well indeed in the end... To me it has always been more important to get the WHOLE batch chilled as fast as I can instead of just a portion flowing through my chiller on the way to a carboy... I'd rather chill the whole batch, let the trub settle out for an hour, then tx to my fermenter nice and clean...

Does all this matter? Meh, maybe... I think it does a little on our scale... We are all making beer... If you are making GREAT beer, then you want to do it the same way every time no matter what your method! :)
 

kal

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Good thoughts guys. I can see now why quick chilling of the whole batch may be beneficial.

I'm actually torn myself what option to choose. CFC can chill faster than IC but they're more work to clean. I like how easy IC is to clean.

Kal
 

Jonnio

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Good thoughts guys. I can see now why quick chilling of the whole batch may be beneficial.

I'm actually torn myself what option to choose. CFC can chill faster than IC but they're more work to clean. I like how easy IC is to clean.

Kal
you can always do an IC and then add a whirlpool option down the road. That is what I am doing as soon as I get a pump.
 

BrewerBill

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In another thread I recently asked, "...any thoughts about pumping my hot wort through the CFC and back into my brew kettle via my whirl-pooling rig, (basically a long copper L, that causes the wort to whirlpool), recirculating till the whole batch is cool, then draining into the fermenter using the kettle valve.".

I didn't get any positive responses in that thread, so I'm glad I stumbled on this one. To me, it made sense to sanitize, chill, whirlpool, and leave the cold-break behind in the kettle, then xfer to the fermenter.
 

Bobby_M

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I do agree that you don't want wort sitting around for too long between 140-212F but recirculating isn't the only way to avoid it. If I run my pump at full bore, I can empty 11 gallons into the carboys in less than 10 minutes. Of course, if you're working with 70F coolant water, it's not going to happen but that's what winter brewing and pumped ice water is for.
 

stevehaun

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I brew 35 gallon batches. In the past, I used a chillzilla and my well water is 55F all year round. It takes me about 55 minutes to chill 38 gallons of wort to 70F. I do not have a problem with DMS, but I boil my ales and dark lagers 90 minutes and my pilseners 120 minutes. I recently sold my chillzilla and bought a therminator with the hope that it will significantly cut my chilling time. I have never considered considered chilling via recirculation until my wort temp reaches 140F. It is an interesting concept. My only concern would be the cooled wort getting infected. It seems safer from an infection standpoint to keep your wort hot until just before it hits the fermenter. DMS can be prevented by using a longer boil.
 

ScubaSteve

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DMS isn't that huge of a deal....unless you're doing Pilseners or using Pilsener malt...and large amounts of wort stay too warm for long periods of time. It CAN be a problem with other beers and malts.....but long boils, etc. can help counteract this. I think 20 mins is a perfectly acceptable range of time to chill a batch, and the truth is that most of us are chilling in 8-15 minutes no matter which style of chiller you use. A major brewery would LOVE to chill this quickly...they're the ones who are faced with the DMS problem because of the sheer volume of a batch, and I think that has created paranoia in the homebrewing community. I think it gets WAY too much attention.

The main benefit of a whirlpool is the mixing of thermal layers in the wort...it prevents stratification and lowers temp much faster. Leaving hops in the kettle is a distant second. I know from experience that cold break isn't detrimental to the beer...whether you leave it behind or dump it right in the fermenter, it doesn't matter; I actually think my beers have gotten better just letting it go right in.

It's really all about what you can live with.
 
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jcryan2

jcryan2

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I've got a direct cold water line from the house supply to the Terminator and a direct drain line into the house system as well. After cooling the wort I backflush and front flush the Therminator for ten minutes at full line pressure. I've not seen an problems with crud being left in the chiller.
 

ScubaSteve

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I've got a direct cold water line from the house supply to the Terminator and a direct drain line into the house system as well. After cooling the wort I backflush and front flush the Therminator for ten minutes at full line pressure. I've not seen an problems with crud being left in the chiller.
You won't "see" any crud.....but many have reported boiling their chillers or using caustic and having all kinds of crap come out... which would lead you to believe there's stuff that won't be removed with a flush/backflush. If you can pulse the water going through, that'll work really well too.

You'll probably be fine even if there is crud still in there....but some folks just can't stand the thought of it.:D
 

schweaty

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What about an overnight soak in oxyclean? I like the idea of running boiling water through it before chilling. Also like the store it in the freezer and then using the oven before use. Great tips!
 

ScubaSteve

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All this craziness is precisely why I didn't get a plate chiller. No piece of gear should be THIS high maintenance, except for maybe once a year when you want to do a real thorough job.
 

kal

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All this craziness is precisely why I didn't get a plate chiller. No piece of gear should be THIS high maintenance, except for maybe once a year when you want to do a real thorough job.
I have to say I agree. I hear of people loving the quick chill times of the Therminator but then they spend all that extra time doing (a) a reverse backflush (b) putting boiling water through it (c) baking it in the oven (d) cleaning it in Oxyclean overnight (d) storing it in the freezer, (e) hot caustic / acid rince, (f) cooking it in a pressure cooker, etc.

As other have said pretty much any good chiller (IC, plate, CFC, etc) will chill a batch fast enough such that it isn't an issue so I don't understand why someone wants to reduce their chill time from 15 to 10 minutes but then add a half an hour of extra cleanup.

I'm setting up what most would consider a 'cost no object' brew setup and while I already own three Blichmann 20 gallon Boilermaker pots and love the build quality, the Therminator's actually about the LAST chiller option I'm considering. Or more accurately, plate chillers are last on my list. (I'm sure the Therminator's an excellent plate chiller). The front runner right now is an immersion stainless 50' 1/2" unit. We'll see...

Kal
 

schweaty

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I've used IC's and ice bath on my past batches and ALL of them suffered from chill haze. They were cloudy after I decant them, about 20 minutes later they warm up and are crystal clear. I'm willing to put in the extra work the therminator requires to get the results I want.
 

ScubaSteve

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A CFC will drop a mean coldbreak as well. You may want to looking into whirlfloc or Irish moss if you're not already using it. That'll go a long way to prevent chill haze.
 
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