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I am asking for advice from the community.

In making my wet hop saison, I had a giant bag of whole cones in the wort, so that they wouldn't plug the wort chiller, which I used for the very first time. That was cool, I think I did that part correctly.

I thought I would be smart and I put my immersion chiller in ice water, +/-40F, then heading to the plate chiller (tap>>iced immersion chiller>>plate chiller). However, in running the wort out through the plate chiller into the fermenter, it came out at about 140F. And all of the break material ran out with the wort into the fermenter. I have subsequently chilled the wort to 80F, aerated with O2, and pitched the saison yeast starter. It's not showing any activity, but the starter took a couple days to start in the first place, so not worried about yeast health (yet).

When I have only chilled with the immersion chiller in the wort, I have been able to run it into the fermenter at 80F or less, and the break material goes to a fine-screen chinois which catches the material and hops, and then also aerates the wort at the same time.

Question: So, what should I have done differently with the plate chiller in order to get similar results? I am hoping for the awesomely cool wort runnings others talk about, and a lot less break material in the bottom of the fermenter before fermentation begins.
 

day_trippr

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If you want to drop break material in the kettle after chilling you need to give it time. 20 minutes or more may be required depending on batch size, vessel geometry, and actual wort temperature.

That said, I would be concerned about the wort exit temperature from your PC. You didn't mention your water temperature, which certainly affects performance. Also, make sure you have hooked your water flow and wort flow so they travel through the PC in opposite directions. While it's likely not as critical as a CFC, it's still going to make a big difference to have the flows running "counter" to each other.

fwiw, I have a Dudadiesel B23A (12", 30 plate) that can provide pitchable wort temperature from boiling input in a single pass - IF I set the wort flow rate properly (I usually leave the water flow full blast). I have a thermometer on the output which makes that easier. As well, my well water runs in the mid-50s year round, which obviously provides benefits...

Cheers!
 

Jtvann

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Same experience as day_trippr using the same chiller.

When doing a 1 pass to fermenter, break material goes in if I’m correct. Chilling is something that causes break material to fall out right? If it chills inside the plate chiller, 100% of the break material goes into the fermenter. Plenty of hop sludge will stay in the bottom of the kettle.

To my understanding if you want to exclude break material, you have to chill in the pot then let settle. Recirculating back to pot without doing one pass I mean. Then let things settle out and slowly transfer to the fermenter.

Its important to have water and wort flowing in opposite directions of each other. I oriented my chiller vertically and let the wort flow from bottom to top, and water from top to bottom. Water flow was as fast as possible, and wort flow as slow as needed to chill to temp I was looking for. Very slow for a single pass.

Im happy to be wrong and let someone correct me on any of that. Was just my experience.
 

seatazzz

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Something you might try, that I've done with decent results; run the wort through the chiller for about 5-10 minutes before turning on the water, with a sieve or mesh bag over the out hose back into the kettle to catch the break. Then turn on the water, after removing the sieve/bag. This gives the break time to settle to the bottom (where I'm assuming the port from your kettle is) and a lot of it will get caught in the sieve/mesh bag. Also a great way to do a hopstand/whirlpool. I don't do it often because lazy, but when I have I get clearer beer into the fermenter/keg.
 

eric19312

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There are two kinds of break...hot break which occurs during the boil and cold break which occurs during the chill. Good kettle pH and enough calcium in the water helps hot break, quick chilling and kettle fining with Irish moss or whirlfloc enhances cold break. Chilling inline to the fermentor is going to put cold break into the fermentor. If you are fermenting in a carboy/bucket you can let that settle and then rack off it to another carboy before pitching yeast. If you have a conical you can settle it and dump it before pitching yeast. Or in either case you can just leave it in the beer. Given time cold break will settle to a very thin layer...what you see an hour after starting to let it settle looks like thick trub but is still mostly wort. So getting rid of it pre fermenting is going to hurt your final yield.

as for the 140 F into fermentor you need to throttle the wort flow through the chiller until the wort leaving chiller is acceptable temp. 10F above temp water enters the chiller is what I would target using water from my hose bib. With your ice rig you should be able to get a decent flow at intended pitching temperature.
 
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If you want to drop break material in the kettle after chilling you need to give it time. 20 minutes or more may be required depending on batch size, vessel geometry, and actual wort temperature.

That said, I would be concerned about the wort exit temperature from your PC. You didn't mention your water temperature, which certainly affects performance. Also, make sure you have hooked your water flow and wort flow so they travel through the PC in opposite directions. While it's likely not as critical as a CFC, it's still going to make a big difference to have the flows running "counter" to each other.

fwiw, I have a Dudadiesel B23A (12", 30 plate) that can provide pitchable wort temperature from boiling input in a single pass - IF I set the wort flow rate properly (I usually leave the water flow full blast). I have a thermometer on the output which makes that easier. As well, my well water runs in the mid-50s year round, which obviously provides benefits...

Cheers!
I just purchased a Dudadiesel 12, smaller than yours I think. I whirlpooled the late addition for 20 minutes, during which the kettle cooled without assistance to about 180F. The break coagulated a lot, but didn't settle in a center cone, maybe because of the bag of hops messing with the wort currents.

The water temperature was about 75F from the tap into the immersion chiller (in the ice bath), so I estimate water into the plate chiller at about 40F.

I hooked it up according to the diagram, but I think, based upon what you said about full blast water flow is that I didn't have the water on fast enough. That seems to be the one change I can make.

I am also going to need to figure out a way to get hops in for whirlpool without clogging the plate chiller, might need to invest in a hop spider, because I think the bag is messing with the break.
 
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There are two kinds of break...hot break which occurs during the boil and cold break which occurs during the chill. Good kettle pH and enough calcium in the water helps hot break, quick chilling and kettle fining with Irish moss or whirlfloc enhances cold break. Chilling inline to the fermentor is going to put cold break into the fermentor. If you are fermenting in a carboy/bucket you can let that settle and then rack off it to another carboy before pitching yeast. If you have a conical you can settle it and dump it before pitching yeast. Or in either case you can just leave it in the beer. Given time cold break will settle to a very thin layer...what you see an hour after starting to let it settle looks like thick trub but is still mostly wort. So getting rid of it pre fermenting is going to hurt your final yield.

as for the 140 F into fermentor you need to throttle the wort flow through the chiller until the wort leaving chiller is acceptable temp. 10F above temp water enters the chiller is what I would target using water from my hose bib. With your ice rig you should be able to get a decent flow at intended pitching temperature.
Thank you to all for the great advice, it looks like throttling the wort and blasting the H2O is the main secret. I don't use a pump, so I don't think I can run the wort through a filter in order to whirlpool and clean out the break. It never occurred to me to rack it again before pitch, off of the break. I will consider this as an option if I am disappointed in the beer after this fermentation finishes.

It's fermenting well, the saison smells like lemons. I love being a member of ALSA (Air-Lock Sniffers Anonymous).

Reevesie
Thank you!
 
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Vale71

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Im happy to be wrong and let someone correct me on any of that. Was just my experience.
You called? :p;)

Hot break: forms during boil and settles quite rapidly in the kettle, the main issue being effectively separating it from the wort so that it doesn't get into the fermenter (whirlpool).

Cold break: forms during wort chilling and settles very, very slowly (a few centimeters per hour) because of the microscopic size of its particles (0.5-1.0 micron). Separating it with homebrewing equipment is just impossible as even if chilling before transfering to the fermenter it could take longer than one day for a significant amount to settle in the kettle and you don't want to wait that long before pitching yeast. Once yeast is pitched cold break will stick to the yeast cells and will with time drop out with the settling yeast.

What this means in practice is that cold break will make it into the fermenter no matter what chilling method you use, hot break can and should always be separated before transfering to the fermenter regardless of the chilling method used.

As to the performance issue with a plate chiller, small plate chillers have rather low chilling capabilities unless you're so lucky as to get ice-cold water out of your tap. Direction of flow is very important as you can easily lose 20°F if you connect it wrong but if everything is hooked up correctly and your tap water is as cold as it's going to get for the time of the year than all you can do is throttle the wort flow until you get a somewhat acceptable performance, even if that means going very slowly.
 
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