Quantcast

Which Plate Chiller Should I Choose ?

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

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Sciyan

Active Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
37
Reaction score
0
Hi

I'm about to add a plate chiller to my brewing system, but I don't know which one to choose. Maybe some of you already have one and have comments about it.

Here my 4 choices :


They look all good... can't decide...

Thanks
 

samc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
5,366
Reaction score
76
Location
Portland OR
I'd skip Blichman and figure out the others on price as they are all similar if not the same.
 

SankePankey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2009
Messages
904
Reaction score
21
Location
Hudson Valley, New York
I have the 30 Duda with mounting studs. A lot of HBS buy duda chillers and resell them.

I wanted the 40 and they didn't get the ones with mounting studs in time, so I got the 30 in stead. I'm happier with it actually, since where I have it, the 40 would be more in the way.

There are helpful files on the dudadiesel site to help you with a gravity drain situation if that's what you're doing. If you want to chill fast and do a gravity drain, then you'll need a larger chiller and faster and colder water.

I do a 15 gal recirculating plate chill (which I could find no help on calculating what to expect for times). At 5 GPM for both wort and 55* water, I'm getting around 12 minutes from 212 to pitch for the whole volume. Wort return arm positioning makes the difference.

For what you pay for a Blichmann, you could get a monster chiller from duda. The blick is nice though.
 

Sarrsipius

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2009
Messages
232
Reaction score
9
I have the one you list from homebrewstuff and couldn't be happier. I chill 10 gallons from boiling to 65deg in about 10 minutes. If I run a pre chiller in an ice bath on the chilling water I can do it in 5 or 6 minutes in mid August.

It should be mentioned that I use a large hop bag during the boil and also have tri clamp fittings. On the fitting for the wort in port I use a 1/8in mesh screen gasket to catch any large hop leaves or other stuff before it gets into the chiller. I think this helps avoid any buildup of debris over time. I think it's important to avoid running large amounts of break material or hops through a plate chiller to avoid clogging. But your miliage may vary.
 

cwilliams108

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2009
Messages
71
Reaction score
0
Location
Indianapolis, In
I had the 30 plate chiller from Duda on my rig and *for me* it didn't cool to pitching temps quick enough. So I upgraded to Duda's B3-23A 50 plate chiller which has not only 20 more plates but is about twice as long. By the numbers Duda gives, it's almost 3 times the surface area as compared to the 30. I was able to run 212F-68F without throttling the flow of wort on the first brew through it. This was important to me as even throttling the flow on the 30 I had to recirc. to hit pitching temps.
 

Julohan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 25, 2009
Messages
962
Reaction score
2
I had the mashmasters chill out. Worked very well, cooled better than my current duda. I then ruined the chillout (user error). The only thing that I did not like about the chillout was the barb fittings. I would had rather had threaded fittings like my duda has now for quick-disconnects.
 

emjay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Messages
12,773
Reaction score
1,716
Location
Toronto
I can't comment on which is best, as I've only owned one (and no doubt, most people are in the same boat), so all I can say is that my Blichmann works fantastically. Also comes with a useful mounting bracket, and was a cinch to put my quick disconnect fittings on.

I made my own back-flush hose though. It's cheaper and far more customizable that way, working in whatever configuration you want instead of just their fittings. For instance, I use a 5-foot hose with a female garden hose adapter on one end, and a quick disconnect on the other. The length and fitting configuration allows me to connect it straight to a wort port and bypass the entire water part of the chiller, while also still being able to attach it from the water-out to both the wort-in and wort-out. It's also the same hose I use to fill my HLT, so technically it was a non-cost. Although to fill the HLT, I guess many people fill it from the top without needing any fittings on the HLT side, but in that case, sticking a fitting on that hose is still much cheaper AND better than buying their 18" backflush hose.
 

rockytoptim

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
May 2, 2009
Messages
766
Reaction score
95
Location
Livonia, MI
I have the duda a diesel 50 plate chiller and it rocks. I can chill 10 gal from boiling to 60 degrees in one pas in 5 minutes. At the time it was winter and my ground water was mid 40's.
 

ScubaSteve

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 21, 2007
Messages
3,673
Reaction score
91
I got one on ebay similar to the dudadiesel. There are several other sellers on Ebay with similar products, so you have more choices than you've listed. Just remember, after about 30-40 plates, it's overkill. Also, you have to look at the direction of flow in the hex. Not all of them are made the same way. In some, the wort goes back and forth across the plates until it finally exits. In others, ALL the wort is divided across the plates and simply travels across the hex one time. I hope that makes sense? The reason why it is important is because of the orientation of the chiller. You need to make sure you're utilizing all the plates.
 

samc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
5,366
Reaction score
76
Location
Portland OR
I had the 30 plate chiller from Duda on my rig and *for me* it didn't cool to pitching temps quick enough. So I upgraded to Duda's B3-23A 50 plate chiller which has not only 20 more plates but is about twice as long. By the numbers Duda gives, it's almost 3 times the surface area as compared to the 30. I was able to run 212F-68F without throttling the flow of wort on the first brew through it. This was important to me as even throttling the flow on the 30 I had to recirc. to hit pitching temps.
Finally found another person with the same results on the 30 chiller that I usually see. I really don't want to buy another chiller however.
 
OP
Sciyan

Sciyan

Active Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
37
Reaction score
0
Finally found another person with the same results on the 30 chiller that I usually see. I really don't want to buy another chiller however.
After reading on plate chiller, I think a good chiller is the one that fit your need, but I think the 30 plates from Duda is a good one !

I took all the data from Duda and compare it with other plate chiller available on the net (unfortunately some data are though to gather).

In pdf file, data are sort by surface. In yellow my favorite. Those without a brand are model from Duda.

(it's possible I made mistake with retail price).

View attachment Plate chiller.pdf
 

Naz

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
19
Reaction score
1
Location
Athens
cwilliams108 - We're having the exact same problem & we're looking at a bigger chiller, possibly the same 50-plate unit you use. Question i have is are you hooking up your garden hose to the water side and letting it run full-blast or do you have some kind of tank with water in it you pump thru the chiller?
 

cwilliams108

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2009
Messages
71
Reaction score
0
Location
Indianapolis, In
No chiller just hose water through 1/2" copper to a 3/4" valve then through the chiller. Only problem is I think it's getting it too cool. I have had much longer lag times on the last couple of brews since I started using the new plate chiller.
 

adx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2007
Messages
923
Reaction score
27
Location
Scaggsville, MD
Once your ground water gets too warm it doesn't matter how many plates you have. Next brew day I'm going to have to get out the old immersion chiller to use as a pre-chiller.
 

Naz

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
19
Reaction score
1
Location
Athens
And down here the ground water is hot. Forecast temps for the next week? 98, 96,98,99,98,96! So, this is the rig we've created to tackle the problem of both hot H2O and trying to keep the water bill reasonable - city water. Basically a 30G cooler filled with ice water @ around 35F pumped into the smaller cooler via a pond pump (rated @ 600 GPH, but I seriously doubt it) that has a Dudadiesel 30 plate chiller. Wort-warmed H2O flows into the yellow igloo filled with ice H2O to lower the return water to where we can send it back into the 30G cooler. The system works, just very slowly, so I'm thinking three things - 1) More powerful pond pump, 2) bigger plate chiller both longer and more plates and 3) less-restrictive piping - try to keep the whole system 1/2" the whole way through. Does this sound OK or does anyone think I'm waaaayyyy off base here?
SAM_1780.jpg

SAM_1779.jpg

SAM_1781.jpg
 

emjay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Messages
12,773
Reaction score
1,716
Location
Toronto
Naz said:
And down here the ground water is hot. Forecast temps for the next week? 98, 96,98,99,98,96! So, this is the rig we've created to tackle the problem of both hot H2O and trying to keep the water bill reasonable - city water. Basically a 30G cooler filled with ice water @ around 35F pumped into the smaller cooler via a pond pump (rated @ 600 GPH, but I seriously doubt it) that has a Dudadiesel 30 plate chiller. Wort-warmed H2O flows into the yellow igloo filled with ice H2O to lower the return water to where we can send it back into the 30G cooler. The system works, just very slowly, so I'm thinking three things - 1) More powerful pond pump, 2) bigger plate chiller both longer and more plates and 3) less-restrictive piping - try to keep the whole system 1/2" the whole way through. Does this sound OK or does anyone think I'm waaaayyyy off base here?
<img src="https://www.homebrewtalk.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=27781"/>

<img src="https://www.homebrewtalk.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=27782"/>

<img src="https://www.homebrewtalk.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=27783"/>
A single cooler would be slightly more effective I think, and much simpler... the heat exchange should be the same (the heat capacity of water isn't magically changed by doing this...), except your system loses efficiency every time water is transferred between coolers.

I suppose you get the benefit of the additional water capacity by using every cooler you have (or is that the whole point?), but the benefit is actually very small, since as you said, the water itself is too warm... it's the ice doing the real work. The only way your setup would see much benefit at all over just using the single large cooler is if you filled ALL the coolers to capacity with ice. And even then, only because you already have all the equipment... otherwise, you could do nearly as well by just topping off the cooler with that extra ice when it gets too warm.
 

Beerrific

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2007
Messages
5,537
Reaction score
61
Location
Georgia
And down here the ground water is hot. Forecast temps for the next week? 98, 96,98,99,98,96! So, this is the rig we've created to tackle the problem of both hot H2O and trying to keep the water bill reasonable - city water. Basically a 30G cooler filled with ice water @ around 35F pumped into the smaller cooler via a pond pump (rated @ 600 GPH, but I seriously doubt it) that has a Dudadiesel 30 plate chiller. Wort-warmed H2O flows into the yellow igloo filled with ice H2O to lower the return water to where we can send it back into the 30G cooler. The system works, just very slowly, so I'm thinking three things - 1) More powerful pond pump, 2) bigger plate chiller both longer and more plates and 3) less-restrictive piping - try to keep the whole system 1/2" the whole way through. Does this sound OK or does anyone think I'm waaaayyyy off base here?
What is the temp of the ground water? Using just hose water at a decent flow I can get the beer to ground water + 2 degrees through the plate chiller running as slow as gravity will push (takes about 10-15 minutes for all 5 gallons).

Once the ground water is above 70 this is what I do except I do not return the wort-warmed water to the ice bath. I feel that wastes the ice (the water is quite warm). Instead I put the hose in the container and balance the tap water coming out to equal what the pond pump is pushing. I end up using more water in the end, but I collect that to water the tomatoes anyway.

Doing this I can get a 5 gallon batch to any ale pitching temp easily using 20 lbs of ice. I have the 40 plate duda diesel chiller, although that should not change the amount if ice, etc. just the cooling rate.

EDIT: i also don't use any coolers. I put the ice/water in an old fermenting bucket and run the tube right out over the top. I use 1/2'' on all the chiller connections and 3/8'' silicone tubing everywhere else.
 

samc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
5,366
Reaction score
76
Location
Portland OR
Seems overly complex. Are you chilling down to near groundwater temps before introducing the ice water? That seems to be the most efficient way to do it. Two pass!
 

Naz

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
19
Reaction score
1
Location
Athens
Much thanks for everyone's feedback! :) To everyone's points, hadn't thought of putting the plate chiller in the big cooler, but i guess since I've already modified the smaller cooler i'll stick with it. We just put ice water in there to keep the chiller cool - one of my partners swears this helps, but I dunno. The Igloo in back contains about 40 ft of black hose in a coil - kinda like an immersion chiller - that is submerged in ice water to chill the return water before going back into the main 30G cooler. This came out of previous days when we tried to simply run the warmed water back into the cooler. Bad idea! And we do keep and extra bag or 2 on hand just in case. The ground water is currently about 85 degrees, and it's probably not going any lower any time soon. Samc, we've been transferring straight from flame out to chilling with very little down time. Perhaps we should let it sit for a bit before beginning transfer? Thing is that we're doing 15G batches and even though the rig works, the rate we need to keep the wort flow at is just way too slow. That's why im thinking that we need a bigger chiller with more capacity and a more powerful water pump to circulate the cold water through faster to transfer more heat energy. Again, thx for everyone's input!
 

mredge73

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 21, 2011
Messages
1,337
Reaction score
231
Location
La Porte
Just chiming in.
I love my Dudadiesel 40 plate chiller. I can cool my 10gal batch in under 10 minutes (gravity fed).
I have an old immersion chiller that sits in a bucket of ice water in order to cool my ground water some before running through the plate. Works well enough.
 

Beerrific

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2007
Messages
5,537
Reaction score
61
Location
Georgia
The Igloo in back contains about 40 ft of black hose in a coil - kinda like an immersion chiller - that is submerged in ice water to chill the return water before going back into the main 30G cooler.
I bet this is slowing the flow a lot. Why not just run the hot water back in at this point and just more ice in the big cooler? Ice is ice either you are cooling in the igloo or in the big one, does not matter. Or you could flow into the igloo and let gravity drain the water from there into the big one, just make sure you keep it mixed and it should cool down better than with the copper. (Copper is great if you need to keep the liquids separate, but here you don't so take out the insulation of the copper.)

But yeah, 30 plates might be under sized for 15 gallon batches.
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
34,207
Reaction score
13,230
Location
☀️ Clearwater, FL ☀️
My Blichmann works great. I bought it a couple years ago, well before I knew of the Duda Diesel products.

If I did it again, I'd try that larger 50-plate model from Duda. I think. Have to check out what mechanisms they use to max the turbulence. I think Blich has rippled plates or something.

One thing to mention: the blich goes to bed wet after each use (every other week or so). I store in an outdoor cabinet here in FL. Not a drop of rust. They build these things out of quality SS. Maybe Duda is same, dunno.
 

emjay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Messages
12,773
Reaction score
1,716
Location
Toronto
Irrenarzt said:
Big fan of my Blichmann
Indeed. It's very satisfying when my Therminator allows me to cool 6gal to less than 60° in under 5 minutes, with pretty minimal water use.
 

emjay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Messages
12,773
Reaction score
1,716
Location
Toronto
passedpawn said:
My Blichmann works great. I bought it a couple years ago, well before I knew of the Duda Diesel products.

If I did it again, I'd try that larger 50-plate model from Duda. I think. Have to check out what mechanisms they use to max the turbulence. I think Blich has rippled plates or something.
I believe Blichmann has some sort of chevron design stamped into the plates.
 

Naz

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
19
Reaction score
1
Location
Athens
Duda's website has an illustration showing (supposedly) the internals of its chillers and the plate look to have a chevron design stamped into their plates as well. Methinx I'm gonna increase both my cooling capacity with a larger chiller and try a greater-flowing pump. Pump i can get today, chiller I'll hafta order, but it should only take a few days to get it here. I'll definitely let everyone know how it works out. In the meantime, any additional ideas are certainly welcome. Thx again for everyone's input! :0)
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2010
Messages
2,523
Reaction score
2,661
Location
Lancaster
i have the B3-23A 30 Plate Beer Wort Garden Hose Chiller from duda.. that thing does its job and then some.. i used to have a counterflow chiller and the exit water felt like it was in excess of 120 degrees, though the exit water of my duda is just warm and cools 5 gallons much faster.. i would say if you add on their hose barb options the barbs aren't very long though and i really had to wrench down my clamps on silicone to keep them from popping off.. a future upgrade would be for me to figure out how to fit sanitary fittings on there to keep the same as the rest of my hardware, can't go wrong with the duda quality though!
 

Naz

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
19
Reaction score
1
Location
Athens
i have the B3-23A 30 Plate Beer Wort Garden Hose Chiller from duda.. that thing does its job and then some.. i used to have a counterflow chiller and the exit water felt like it was in excess of 120 degrees, though the exit water of my duda is just warm and cools 5 gallons much faster.. i would say if you add on their hose barb options the barbs aren't very long though and i really had to wrench down my clamps on silicone to keep them from popping off.. a future upgrade would be for me to figure out how to fit sanitary fittings on there to keep the same as the rest of my hardware, can't go wrong with the duda quality though!
Went ahead with the B3-23A 30. According to Duda the inceased length should help improve chilling effectiveness, so we'll see. Hope yer right! Also, we have Camlocks on everything because it makes everything so much easier to connect and disconnect. Bargainfittings.com always has everything in stock and for good $$$.
 

bnmir

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
309
Reaction score
10
Location
Pittsburgh
So how easy is it to accidentally clog a plate chiller? What kind of prefiltration is necessary to use one without fear of clogging when using pellet hops?
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
34,207
Reaction score
13,230
Location
☀️ Clearwater, FL ☀️
So how easy is it to accidentally clog a plate chiller? What kind of prefiltration is necessary to use one without fear of clogging when using pellet hops?
I've never had it happen. I've used mine in about 30 batches. I use pellets tossed into a hop spider, so most of the hop residue doesn't get to my chiller.
 

Naz

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
19
Reaction score
1
Location
Athens
So how easy is it to accidentally clog a plate chiller? What kind of prefiltration is necessary to use one without fear of clogging when using pellet hops?
We also use a Hop Stopper similar to this:

hop_bag 003.jpg

and have had no trouble with bits of pellet hops getting caught up in it. Having said that, make sure you thoroughly rinse and clean your plate chiller after every use, preferably as soon as you're done transferring to your fermenter/carboy. Dont forget to sanitize before you use it!
 

Latest posts

Top