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Shirron Plate Chiller Review and a follow up question...

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ReverbbqBrew

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Positives:

Last night used my new Shirron Plate Chiller for the first time, and I must say, it cooled the wort to pitching temp from a full boil faster than I thought humanly possible.

I had the garden hose running full blast, water temp around 40-45 degrees or so...and ran the 5 gallon batch of wort from my converted keg kettle's spigot using the wonders of gravity, thermoplastic tubing, and stainless steel disconnects (those aint cheap!), and in less than ten minutes the fermenter was full of 55 degree wort.

I was kind of curious if it would get clogged. I used hop pellets...loads of Centennial...and I didn't use a hop bag or strainer of any kind. No clogs. And a pretty easy clean afterwards.

Negatives:
To echo a previous thread on the Shirron, the only thing that was a pain about the whole thing was that the water-in water-out fittings on Shirron are 5/8" Male, so I was forced to castrate the male end of a garden hose and use a female hose repair kit to make a hose that was able to take cold water from the outdoor water faucet (also a male) to to the chiller.

Why two males? Why the sausage fest? Why Shirron? Why?

Questions:

I am in process of building a brew sculpture with a hot water tank with burner, a rubbermaid MLT, my fifteen gallon converted keg kettle, the Shirron Plate Chiller, and at the bottom, my fermenters and I'm wondering...can I run this system using gravity to propel the liquid?

With the Shirron Plater Chiller, wouldn't I need a four or even five tier system? Am I doomed to buy a pump?
 

Lil' Sparky

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As long as you can get the wort flowing with gravity, you don't need the carboy to be below the chiller, it will continue to siphon from the kettle. A pump sure is nice, though.

Also, I would highly recommend using a hop bag or some kind of filter. Those plate chiller passageways can get clogged up pretty easy, and there may be hop debris stuck in there you can't see.

This has worked pretty well for me.

 
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ReverbbqBrew

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Thanks for the info.

That makes sense, that once its flowing, it will continue to siphon. I've learned I should should never underestimate the power of ye olde gravitas.

And that's a great hop bag too. A must build.

Thanks for everything!
 

PseudoChef

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You didn't need to cut the garden hose up, you could just buy a male/female connector available in the garden section of any hardware store.

Also, don't be deceived by what you think is an "easy" clean. You need to PBW that guy relentless after each use, then flush with water, then bake dry.

I know it's the green place, but here's an interesting read: http://www.brewboard.com/index.php?showtopic=68822
 

MrFebtober

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Two male ends made sense to me because I use washing machine hoses instead of garden hoses. Then again, I do my brewing in close proximity to a utility sink. I suppose things would be different if I had to brew further away from a spigot.
 
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