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Anyone Serving Hot Kegs Through A Plate Chiller?

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Steve the Zymologist

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Just trying to design my setup of a keg system. Planning to have a keg and gas next to the fridge and running the beer line in through the side, through a plate chiller to a Pluto gun. May have the plate chiller in a tub of water??? Planning to naturally carb the keg and just use enough gas to push the beer out.

Any foreseeable problems with this setup???
 

Sammus

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Yeah, plate chillers aren't really designed to chill like that. Maybe itll work if you pump subzero glycol back through the counterflow plates?

I think most people use purpose built cold plates that are designed to cool down beer on its way to a tap (like what's in a jockey box), they're big aluminium sheets and you usually sit them in an esky full of ice. They get the job done from sitting in the shade, I dunno about a hot keg in the sun though.
 

BPH87

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The owner of my local home brew shop - Toowoomba Home Brew Shop (no affiliation etc, etc),

Takes hot kegs with him camping and else where and uses to plate chillers/cold plates to run the beer through. He keeps the plates in a Waeco/Engel and with the taps mounted into the Waeco and it works a treat!

Maybe give him (Pete) a call and ask him a few questions?

Cheers,

Ben
 

Thefatdoghead

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Just trying to design my setup of a keg system. Planning to have a keg and gas next to the fridge and running the beer line in through the side, through a plate chiller to a Pluto gun. May have the plate chiller in a tub of water??? Planning to naturally carb the keg and just use enough gas to push the beer out.

Any foreseeable problems with this setup???
Keeping the beer warm or hot (where you live) will reduce the life of the beer.
 

Punkal

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When serving you also want to keep turbulence from keg to tap to a minimum, turbulence will cause CO2 to escape solution and you will have a lot of head problems, a plate chiller is about as turbulent as you can get. You are chilling it at the same time so that will counter it a little but you will be fighting an uphill battle.

The immersion coil type designs are better. Good luck with what ever you decide to do.
 

NewtownClown

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Would a plate chiller actually hold enough beer long enough for it to chill? Pretty sure my plate chiller holds less than 500 ml and as Punkal points out, it is no smooth ride....
 

black_labb

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You will also need to seriously increase the pressure to the keg so that the beer absorbs the correct volume of co2, which will push the beer even quicker through the rough plate chiller.

If you wanted to go through with the idea I'd suggest a counter flow chiller recirculating cold water via a pump within the fridge. this way you would have much less turbulence. Still doesn't solve the issue of the gas pressure, but I guess if you used a longer line length (long cfc) or a smaller diameter tubing within the cfc you could adjust to have the right amount of flow restriction to counteract the high pressure.

Alternatively you could always find a way to cool the kegs. Using a compressor and some clever bits of copperwork and other parts you could create a heat exchanging device that removes the heat from one part of the copper tubing and transfers it to the other part. If you located the cool part of the coils inside an insulated box and the hot ones on the outside you would be able to cool the kegs in the box. You could probably even mount the taps to the box so it is all one unit. here are some details on the concept http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refrigeration
 

Steve the Zymologist

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Matho, was thinking more likely the cold plate type and even running the one keg through both product lines??? That way getting twice the cooling ???
 

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Hi there,

I see lots of issues. Sorry, I spend about most of sept/oct/nov at brewing festivals infront of a magic box, and there are a few things to note;

* water is bad. Warm beer goes in, cold beer comes out. Ice melts, the more it melts the worse the box works. Water is also a poor conductor unlike glycol, having it run through a water bath in a fridge with a static household fridges will be heavy going if you pour more than a few pints.

* coils vs plates - plates work much better. Not all plates are made equal, there are soda plates with about 6 feet of coil, per the micro matic part you need at least 15-18 feet

* ambient temps change - sounds silly but the higher the temp the more head pressure required to stop the gas coming out of solution and cups of foam. But there is a maximum, get over the 30's, where you need more than 220 odd kpa and your bound for trouble. Easy solution, have the keg in the fridge. Constant temp and constant pouring.

Easiest way, keg in fridge.

Scotty
 

Steve the Zymologist

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Cheers Scotty. I guess keeping the keg in the fridge also saves drilling a hole in the fridge too!!! Will have to look into that
 

hoey2000

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Hey mate had a go at this myself using an external kegging system. In the end i was using a 100 foot rolled copper chiller in ice water and was only getting beer at 6-8 degree's, from a keg that started 25ish degree's. As far as gas goes you could feel the reduction in carbonation significantly. Use a fridge! Or if your going external use a chilled keg in an ice bath and a 50 foot copper chiller in ice.. and your beer will be perfectly chilled to awesome drinking temp.

Tom
 

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Cheers Scotty. I guess keeping the keg in the fridge also saves drilling a hole in the fridge too!!! Will have to look into that
Drill a hole for the gas lines, ebay/gumtree has lots of fridges at cheap prices if you need a second or bigger one. Much easier and a lot less gas used if you get the beer right in the fridge than vis versa. The other golden rule with magic boxes is if you are running multiples theres always one tap that works like crap, and it is usually one of the most popular beers ... as well as any carbonation issues usually resolve themselves 10 minutes from the end of the festival after hours of pain ... ;p

Scotty
 

Andyd

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Hey mate had a go at this myself using an external kegging system. In the end i was using a 100 foot rolled copper chiller in ice water and was only getting beer at 6-8 degree's, from a keg that started 25ish degree's. As far as gas goes you could feel the reduction in carbonation significantly. Use a fridge! Or if your going external use a chilled keg in an ice bath and a 50 foot copper chiller in ice.. and your beer will be perfectly chilled to awesome drinking temp.

Tom
I was running through a copper coil when I first started brewing... not a good move as it turns out - finished beer isn't friendly to copper and you end up with tainted beer...

Stainless coils are definitely the way to go there.

Andy
 

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