Is 10-Plate Chiller Enough?

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kgranger

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Thinking about an upgrade to a plate chiller, and just wanted some thoughts on a 10 plate vs anything larger. My LHBS has a 10 plate on sale right now, hence the debate. I like how low profile it is compared to my counterflow chiller, and I am not really worried about hop clogging since I use a Hopstopper , and I know people complain about the cleaning side of things, but I already have that in my workflow with my counterflow chiller. Basically just wondering if 10 plates is efficient enough for 10 gallon batches, and is it going to give me noticeably better performance compared to a counterflow chiller to make the upgrade worth it?
 

IslandLizard

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It depends on the length and width of the plates.

Why not stick with your CF chiller, for maintenance sake? Do you need a larger one, perhaps?
 
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kgranger

kgranger

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I have the CFC that comes with a Spike Trio system, I think its 12ft long. The CFC is fine, just get mixed reviews about whether or not a plate chiller is better. Truth is, my LHBS is closing, and everything is on clearance. I still have a gift card there that I wanted to use up before it's too late, and they are almost out of anything else I would want to stock up on. If a plate chiller would be a worthy upgrade, I figured it would be a good spend. If it is only marginally better, I'll probably just stock up on consumables or something.
 

IslandLizard

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Is that a Shirron chiller? Long, narrow, and low profile (10 plates only)?
Like this: Shirron Plate Chiller

The longer plates are a benefit, providing more efficient chilling, compared to short plates.

For reference, I use a 30-plate chiller, short and tall (Duda Diesel). Likely a little less total effective surface as the Chirron. It does 10 gallon batches, but takes 2x as long as 5 gallon ones. ;)

Now, having 2 chillers in succession can offer some real benefits, especially if the 2nd one is fed with pre-chilled or ice water.
 

ITV

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I have the shirron plate chiller in the above post. Plate chillers are only effective as the temperature of the water going into it.

In the Chicago winter months, I don't have any problems chilling down to ale temps in one pass. For lager temps, or Chicago summer months, I recirc for about 5-10 minutes before pumping to the fermentor. Since I use an upright freezer as a fermention chamber, I have the ability to do the final chilling in the fermentation chamber.

I find that an inline filter works best to prevent clogging since it catches any "debris" that gets past the false bottom in my boil kettle. The inline filter needs to be rated for boiling temps. I use a homemade smaller version of this: Link
My version uses a boozka screen.

IMG_1123.JPG
 

day_trippr

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I have the shirron plate chiller in the above post. Plate chillers are only effective as the temperature of the water going into it.

Well...one could make the same comment regarding ICs and CFCs.

Wrt the number of plates and their length, I was going to ask the OP what their typical domestic water temperatures are when they are brewing. Cold water can make any chiller look good, while warm water may well bring ice into the process...which is never really a good thing...

Cheers!
 
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kgranger

kgranger

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The Shirron chiller is indeed the one I was looking at.
Wrt the number of plates and their length, I was going to ask the OP what their typical domestic water temperatures are when they are brewing. Cold water can make any chiller look good, while warm water may well bring ice into the process...which is never really a good thing...
Haven't taken an exact temp measurement, but I'd say it's probably in the mid 50s or so.
 

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