System Upgrade

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

bcales

Tap This Homebrew
Joined
Jun 26, 2012
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
I sold the Harley! Now, I'm planing an upgrade to my system (basic/intro setup). I am anxiously awaiting SS Brewtechs Electric setup, but figured I can work on upgrading post boil

I am also looking at using the Glycol Chiller for cooling wort post boil. I know I can't use it directly, but I used to have a pool which allowed endless cold water to go through my wort chiller. Pool is gone, but figured I could connect a line from the glycol chiller to a large bucket of water, then pump that through my wort chiller. I want to move to plate chilling or a better method if any, just haven't researched

Current Setup: https://tapthishomebrew.com/tap-this-setup. Post boil items looking to upgrade:
  • Copper Wort Chiller
  • Big Mouth Carboy
  • Brewbit Temp Controller - sucks the business went under!
  • Freezer for fermentation (fish tank heater for winter)
  • Kegerator for serving

I mostly brew 5 gal, but will do 10 gal every now and then and with the intent of a Brite Tank to have 15 gal at some point.

Looking at SS Brewtech for:
  • Conical or Unitank
    • Looking at 7 gal for sure, but would like 14 gal or more too - I just have to accommodate 5 gal batches still
    • I like the idea of the Unitank for better pressurized transfers? and it looks cooler :)
    • Not sure of other pros/cons between the two besides cost
  • Brite Tank
    • Looking at the 20 gal, but not sure it it can be used for 5 gal batches?
    • Allowing me to condition/serve directly from it
  • Glycol Chiller
    • Looking at their new 3/8 hp unit
    • use for chilling wort, fermenting, and cooling brite tank
  • Wort Chiller or plate chiller or ?
    • pumps needed for plate or other.
I am interested in their Brewmaster Editions, mostly because I do plan on opening a brewery at some point and I figured I'd start learning on better systems and scale up as I move forward.

Looking for pictures of similar setup examples of conical/unitank, brite tank, glycol, and feeding a kegerator or keezer. Also, any lessons learned, do's/don'ts would be appreciated.
 

itsmymilkyway

Active Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2012
Messages
25
Reaction score
10
Location
houston
I would say layout your biggest headaches and go from there. Check out Jaded Hydra immersion chiller, thats next on my list bc in Houston it takes FOREVER to chill wort to pitching temps. And my wife just got me a Brew bucket which i think is a great half way point from a conical to move up. If youre just going to go for broke/all in on a single system thats another story.
 

doug293cz

BIABer, Beer Math Nerd, ePanel Designer, Pilot
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 14, 2014
Messages
10,176
Reaction score
6,195
Location
Renton
I would suggest looking at a counter flow chiller rather than a plate chiller. Plate chillers can clog up easily (many small passageways), and can be extremely difficult to clean. Counter flow chillers usually have a single, larger cross section flow path, so are less susceptible to clogging, and are much easier to get clean. Just my opinion, YMMV.

Brew on :mug:
 

schematix

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
6,432
Reaction score
4,555
Location
Chesterfield
I second that plate chillers are terrible at this scale (they are the best for commercial sizes though). I've been using mine exclusively for water for about 20 batches in a row now and it *STILL* blows out chunks. The Hydra i bought is nearly as fast as the plate but only takes 3 minutes to clean up vs 45 minutes.

You may also look at Stout for equipment. From what i've seen they are sturdier and come with a mirror polished vs brushed. The prices are right in the same ballpark too.

I just bought a CF15TW-COIL.... on its way.
 

augiedoggy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
10,205
Reaction score
2,238
Location
North Tonawanda NY
if you use hop spiders and recirculate your mash plate chillers can be problem free and still have the advantage of working better to chill faster than most comparatively prices and sized home brewing chillers.. I have had no issues of evidence of any sediment of clogging in my duda chiller after almost 5 years of use. I also chill directly to fermenters in one pass which I imagine can make a slight difference as far as cold break forming as it passes through instead of being repumped back through the chiller over and over as more and more of it builds in the wort..
without hop spiders or fine mesh hop bags (the cheap muslin socks wont work well as the hole size varies as you move them) though your asking for trouble.. This is why I just bought the sabco pro style plate chiller for the brewpub we are starting so we can dissassemble and clean since I dont count on whirlpooling to do wonders here.
 
Last edited:

schematix

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
6,432
Reaction score
4,555
Location
Chesterfield
Decided to give my plate chiller the PBW recirc of a lifetime this evening. 2oz PBW per gallon of RO water (yikes that was like a $3 wash) @ 160F. Both march pumps running in series wide open with the RIMS to keep things warm for 2 hours. The water was brown, chunky, leafy and grainy.

When i gave the chiller a cold water flush at the end chunks were STILL flying out. I have no idea when this thing will ever get clean.

But it did remind me how much work it is to clean. That was enough to convince me to not even bother trying it again. I can spray the IC off in 2 minutes.
 
Last edited:
Top