Jump to content


Help Support AussieHomeBrewer!

http://aussiehomebrewer.com/store/

Photo
- - - - -

Plate Chiller, Hop Screen And Whirlpooling


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 christmas

christmas

    Kit Master

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 37 posts
  • Joined 05-October 10
  • Location:Perth

Posted 29 August 2011 - 01:34 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm putting an AG setup together over the next few weeks.

I'm having a bit of trouble working out what to do for the wort chilling phase. I have a plate chiller and a March pump that I plan to use. I'm planning on doing 10 gallon batches.

1) Is recirculation necessary for a plate chiller, or will I be okay going straight through and into the fermenter? If I need to recirculate, would it be best to fit an angled inlet so that whirlpooling can happen while it's chilling, or can I achieve this by just using a hose going over the edge?

2) I hear that the chiller can get clogged with hop material so I was looking at getting a bazooka screen or something similar. The issue I see with this is that it's going to go straight through into the centre of the kettle which is where the trub cone would build up if I whirlpool. I'd prefer to use a pickup tube with the inlet towards the wall of the kettle, but then I'd still need some sort of filter - would stuffing a bit of steel wool in the end do the job?

I'd like to keep things relatively simple if possible, but there seems to be so many different options out there for this and I can't make up my mind.

What do you guys do?

#2 Cannibal Smurf

Cannibal Smurf

    Brew Master

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 269 posts
  • Joined 21-November 08
  • Location:Gold Coast, Qld

Posted 29 August 2011 - 01:38 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm putting an AG setup together over the next few weeks.

I'm having a bit of trouble working out what to do for the wort chilling phase. I have a plate chiller and a March pump that I plan to use. I'm planning on doing 10 gallon batches.

1) Is recirculation necessary for a plate chiller, or will I be okay going straight through and into the fermenter? If I need to recirculate, would it be best to fit an angled inlet so that whirlpooling can happen while it's chilling, or can I achieve this by just using a hose going over the edge?

Straight to fermenter works fine for me, I don't pump it...I let gravity do the work.

#3 christmas

christmas

    Kit Master

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 37 posts
  • Joined 05-October 10
  • Location:Perth

Posted 29 August 2011 - 01:52 PM

Straight to fermenter works fine for me, I don't pump it...I let gravity do the work.


Thanks mate, what about the filtering side of things?

#4 Cannibal Smurf

Cannibal Smurf

    Brew Master

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 269 posts
  • Joined 21-November 08
  • Location:Gold Coast, Qld

Posted 29 August 2011 - 01:58 PM

I BIAB and use a hop sock, so I don't have any trouble with clogging. Sorry I can't be of more assistance in this area.

#5 argon

argon

    firmitas, utilitas, venustas

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,031 posts
  • Joined 08-May 09
  • Location:Brisbane

Posted 29 August 2011 - 02:11 PM

I have on of these hop blockers in my kettle and it works well enough at keeping all the hop debris and break material in the kettle. I have it on an elbow barb inside the kettle and it sits against the wall curving slightly with the pot. I can still whirlpool and have achieve a trub cone and be drawing clean wort through it.

@cannibal smurf... how high do you have the kettle outlet gravity draining through the chiller? Was thinking of getting one and using in my gravity system, but was thinking that flow won't be strong enough to push through the chiller when the kettle is only 600mm off the ground.

#6 sim

sim

    Beer God

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 481 posts
  • Joined 21-September 08
  • Location:NW Brisbane

Posted 29 August 2011 - 02:25 PM

1) Is recirculation necessary for a plate chiller, or will I be okay going straight through and into the fermenter? If I need to recirculate, would it be best to fit an angled inlet so that whirlpooling can happen while it's chilling, or can I achieve this by just using a hose going over the edge?

2) I hear that the chiller can get clogged with hop material so I was looking at getting a bazooka screen or something similar. The issue I see with this is that it's going to go straight through into the centre of the kettle which is where the trub cone would build up if I whirlpool. I'd prefer to use a pickup tube with the inlet towards the wall of the kettle, but then I'd still need some sort of filter - would stuffing a bit of steel wool in the end do the job?


Hey, im redesigning and ive been looking at some of this stuff lately too. at the moment i pump recirculate/whirlpool with a side pick-up, and i intend to keep doing so.

the recirc dangle over the side can be a bit hit and miss iv found, but if you have something to hold it in a nice position that would be fine. im probably going to put in a weldless angled inlet, just for ease.

cant comment on the chiller getting clogged, but ive found that bazooka screens can clog if you recirculate for a long time (and with a big load o stuff like coriander seeds and lots of trub). id say definatley pick-up from the side, and once a whirlpool is going most of the clogging stuff should be held in the centre away from pick-up. i dont think stuffing a filter in the pick-up is a good idea, it will clog alot quicker than a bazooka (if your reciculating), but perhaps a big bunch of steel wool or what ever around the pickup would achieve that idea?

im trying to avoid using a hop sock. i havent used a hop screen from beer belly, so im not sure if they work any better than a bazooka, but they look pretty sweet.

goodluck,


sim

#7 argon

argon

    firmitas, utilitas, venustas

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,031 posts
  • Joined 08-May 09
  • Location:Brisbane

Posted 29 August 2011 - 02:36 PM

One thing that jumps to mind when talking about recircing before emptying the kettle is to recirc back into the kettle through a hop sock... that is when you return your hot wort back into the kettle it goes into a hopsock. That should catch any hop debris or break material in the bag, which then could be removed from the main wort. So allow the pickup to catch anything and spit it into the bag prior to chilling.

#8 Cannibal Smurf

Cannibal Smurf

    Brew Master

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 269 posts
  • Joined 21-November 08
  • Location:Gold Coast, Qld

Posted 29 August 2011 - 02:47 PM

@cannibal smurf... how high do you have the kettle outlet gravity draining through the chiller? Was thinking of getting one and using in my gravity system, but was thinking that flow won't be strong enough to push through the chiller when the kettle is only 600mm off the ground.

Outlet of my keggle is same height (roughly) as top of fermenter, takes approx 5-10mins for single batch to transfer (never timed it). One of the best investments I've made, much quicker than my 'pooler cooler' (copper immersion chiller dropped in the pool with wort pumped through it)

One thing that jumps to mind when talking about recircing before emptying the kettle is to recirc back into the kettle through a hop sock... that is when you return your hot wort back into the kettle it goes into a hopsock. That should catch any hop debris or break material in the bag, which then could be removed from the main wort. So allow the pickup to catch anything and spit it into the bag prior to chilling.

Tried this once, never again...ended up with a hop sock full of wort that wouldn't drain out cos the sock was clogged with break material.

#9 argon

argon

    firmitas, utilitas, venustas

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,031 posts
  • Joined 08-May 09
  • Location:Brisbane

Posted 29 August 2011 - 02:58 PM

Outlet of my keggle is same height (roughly) as top of fermenter, takes approx 5-10mins for single batch to transfer (never timed it). One of the best investments I've made, much quicker than my 'pooler cooler' (copper immersion chiller dropped in the pool with wort pumped through it)

Cool thanks mate, plate chiller might be on the list for xmas then... I'm happy to stick with gravity for the time being and good to know the chiller can work as a bolt on solution.

Tried this once, never again...ended up with a hop sock full of wort that wouldn't drain out cos the sock was clogged with break material.


Ok, nice to know that sock idea doesn't work without trying to do it myself.

#10 Parks

Parks

    wort jockey

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,487 posts
  • Joined 24-September 07
  • Location:Kenmore, Brisbane

Posted 29 August 2011 - 03:16 PM

I have some very recent experience with this on the weekend.

Thought great, new March pump, recirculate through everything and create a whirlpool - fail! As I worked out DO NOT recirculate through your plate chiller until after you have whirlpooled. It clogged badly.

So in the end I disconnected it and chucked the fermenter in the fridge to cool down over night.

Now I'm very keen to get my stand build so I can use valves to direct the wort instead of disconnecting hoses.

#11 DrSmurto

DrSmurto

    Beer God

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,782 posts
  • Joined 05-December 06

Posted 29 August 2011 - 03:58 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm putting an AG setup together over the next few weeks.

I'm having a bit of trouble working out what to do for the wort chilling phase. I have a plate chiller and a March pump that I plan to use. I'm planning on doing 10 gallon batches.

1) Is recirculation necessary for a plate chiller, or will I be okay going straight through and into the fermenter? If I need to recirculate, would it be best to fit an angled inlet so that whirlpooling can happen while it's chilling, or can I achieve this by just using a hose going over the edge?

2) I hear that the chiller can get clogged with hop material so I was looking at getting a bazooka screen or something similar. The issue I see with this is that it's going to go straight through into the centre of the kettle which is where the trub cone would build up if I whirlpool. I'd prefer to use a pickup tube with the inlet towards the wall of the kettle, but then I'd still need some sort of filter - would stuffing a bit of steel wool in the end do the job?

I'd like to keep things relatively simple if possible, but there seems to be so many different options out there for this and I can't make up my mind.

What do you guys do?


I whirlpool and use a hopscreen in the kettle. Straight through the plate chiller via gravity in a single pass and into the fermenter. Same speed (and same water usage) as no chilling minus the botulism :P

Never blocked my plate chiller up yet no matter whether i use pellets, plugs and/or flowers.

#12 christmas

christmas

    Kit Master

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 37 posts
  • Joined 05-October 10
  • Location:Perth

Posted 29 August 2011 - 04:10 PM

Thanks everyone!

So what I'm thinking is don't bother about recirculating for now. Whirlpool after flame out, then pump through the chiller (or just use gravity). Use one of the hop screens from craft brewer and have it angled off to the side to avoid the trub cone. If I find it doesn't cool enough on one pass I can look into recirculating.

If anyone thinks this mightn't be the best approach please let me know!

#13 laskoman

laskoman

    Amateur Brewer

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Joined 11-May 10

Posted 29 November 2011 - 11:53 PM

I bought a plate chiller and am scared to use it because I can never get the water out of it at the end and the water just sits there until I do my next brew. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to clear the water out of it? ....I have tried shaking it and holding it upside down but that doesn't work. Am thinking I bought too small a plate chiller.

#14 vortex

vortex

    Beer God

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 396 posts
  • Joined 25-October 11
  • Location:Adelaide, SA

Posted 30 November 2011 - 06:29 AM

If the plate chiller isn't cooling the wort enough, cool the cooling water down before it goes into the plate chiller - one idea i've had was building an immersion chiller and sticking that in a bucket of ice, water and salt (this causes the water to be very cold, below freezing if the right ratio is used) and chilling the cooling water before using it to cool the wort.

Just a thought experiment more than anything, but that's how I plan to do mine when I build my AG setup; I can't see why it wouldn't work :) Hopefully it can be done without freezing the coolant water!

#15 adryargument

adryargument

    Beer God

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 829 posts
  • Joined 27-January 11

Posted 30 November 2011 - 08:08 AM

Cool thanks mate, plate chiller might be on the list for xmas then... I'm happy to stick with gravity for the time being and good to know the chiller can work as a bolt on solution.


Ok, nice to know that sock idea doesn't work without trying to do it myself.


Works great with a kitchen strainer, may not remove all the break but it does wonders when there's a bit to much hop debris that is clogging the plate chiller.

#16 DrSmurto

DrSmurto

    Beer God

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,782 posts
  • Joined 05-December 06

Posted 30 November 2011 - 09:31 AM

I bought a plate chiller and am scared to use it because I can never get the water out of it at the end and the water just sits there until I do my next brew. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to clear the water out of it? ....I have tried shaking it and holding it upside down but that doesn't work. Am thinking I bought too small a plate chiller.


Some people put it in the oven to dry out.

I flush mine (20 plate) with hot tap water in both directions a few times to rinse it then store it on its edge to drain.

#17 briby

briby

    Partial Man

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 124 posts
  • Joined 18-July 08
  • Location:geelong

Posted 01 December 2011 - 03:32 AM

I bought a plate chiller and am scared to use it because I can never get the water out of it at the end and the water just sits there until I do my next brew. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to clear the water out of it? ....I have tried shaking it and holding it upside down but that doesn't work. Am thinking I bought too small a plate chiller.


Rotate it backwards and forwards, outlet/inlet top to bottom a couple of times so water can run out of the channels, a few drops left aren't a worry, it is stainless?.

#18 briby

briby

    Partial Man

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 124 posts
  • Joined 18-July 08
  • Location:geelong

Posted 01 December 2011 - 03:46 AM

Hi everyone,

I'm putting an AG setup together over the next few weeks.

I'm having a bit of trouble working out what to do for the wort chilling phase. I have a plate chiller and a March pump that I plan to use. I'm planning on doing 10 gallon batches.

2) I hear that the chiller can get clogged with hop material so I was looking at getting a bazooka screen or something similar. The issue I see with this is that it's going to go straight through into the centre of the kettle which is where the trub cone would build up if I whirlpool. I'd prefer to use a pickup tube with the inlet towards the wall of the kettle, but then I'd still need some sort of filter - would stuffing a bit of steel wool in the end do the job?

I'd like to keep things relatively simple if possible, but there seems to be so many different options out there for this and I can't make up my mind.

What do you guys do?



Never look like having trouble with my 20 plate chiller. My process, whirfloc or similar, whirlpool, tilt the kettle (Brewmeister), gravity into the chiller, a bit of break/hop debris, have about a lt left. But the first thing cleaned is always the chiller. Like the good Dr. a few good squirst with tap water both ways has always been enough.