Beer Belly Wort Chiller

Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum

Help Support Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum:

a1149913

Well-Known Member
Joined
22/11/10
Messages
218
Reaction score
11
Location
Adelaide
Hey guys, i'm wondering if anyone has used/uses the beerbelly Stainless Plate Heat Exchanger? (http://beerbelly.com.au/chilling.html ).

I currently use 10m of copper coil and submerse it into my boiling pot to chill my wort but the heat exchanger is far less bulky and seems like it would be less hassle to clean/sanitise. Whats the flow rate like for gravity feed. Anyone got any pictures of their set up? presumably you would have to submerse the heat exchanger in cold water to get sufficient chilling of the wort.

Thanks, Jacob
 

Wolfy

Well-Known Member
Joined
18/12/08
Messages
3,872
Reaction score
64
Location
Melbourne
Plate chillers work by running the hot wort through one 'side' (via two in/out outlets) and cold water through the other 'side' (via another two outlets) so it's not something that you immerse in water.

There are lots of links, references and even YouTube videos of home-brewers using 30-plate chillers, either with a pump or gravity. If your kettle is high enough above the chiller, you should be able to drain the kettle as quickly as you your taps/hoses allow, while simultaneously chilling the wort to within 1-2 degrees of the tap-water-temperature.

It is less bulky and easier to manage, however since the wort flows through the plates inside the chiller (unlike immersing your copper coil in the kettle) it's actually harder to clean and maintain than your current setup, you also need to ensure that no hop or other debris gets lodged inside the chiller.
 

a1149913

Well-Known Member
Joined
22/11/10
Messages
218
Reaction score
11
Location
Adelaide
Ahhh i thought this was different to a counterflow chiller.

On the topic of filtering the wort to keep debris out of the chiller, has anyone used the beerbelly hop screen? (http://beerbelly.com.au/images/hopscreenstd.gif) I'm wondering if this is to only used with hop flowers and not hot pellets (those hole are quite large). Is there a particularly efficient way to filter hop pellets without getting the pickup blocked? Currently i just use a nylon "BIAB" bag to catch the hops as i fill the fermenter however this is just another point that is susceptible to causing infection.
 

Malted

Humdinger
Joined
15/5/10
Messages
2,301
Reaction score
115
Hello Jacob,
yes I use one of the exact items you are interested in.
Setup.JPG Chiller_1.JPG

After use, I flush it through the wort pipes in both directions with a garden hose flowing briskly. I drain the water and then refill with mixed Starsan solution and cover the outlets with aluminium foil and store until next use. Next use I tip out the starsan and will run a bit of hot wort through it before I turn the cooling water on.

I bought one of these plate chillers because I thought it was neat that it has 1/2" NPT female sockets in it to attach whatever fittings I desired. It is a reasonable unit.

However, I think (but I could be wrong) that it appears to be no different to countless plate chillers/ biodiesel heat exchangers on eBay.
I have also seen a mashmaster plate chiller in the flesh and it is a much longer and sexier item. I now have mashmaster plate chiller envy. It has barbed fittings on it but I don't think this would be a problem. I have used camlock fittings etc but am sort of moving back towards barbed fittings or some type of quick disconnect that I have not yet tried.

As for the flow rate of the plate chiller under a gravity feed, I can whack 25L through in a couple of minutes, it doesn't strip much heat out though with garden hose water around 20oC. I think it pulls the wort down to about 50oC if I run through slightly slower than flat out, maybe 70oC if flat out. That's quite fine if you just want to knock it down under hop isomerisation temps. I sometimes do this and return it to the BM for a much longer whirlpool and settling out time period. Then I run through the chiller quite a bit slower to reach about 24oC which is the best I can get without prechilling the cooling water.

I haven't really got prechilling the cooling water down pat yet. Submersing the chiller in cold water wouldn't really work very effectively unless you could circulate the water around the chiller unit and there appears to be better ways to do it. I'd suggest you pass the cooling water through your old immersion chiller that is placed in a container of ice slurry that is heavily salted. I'd reccommend a flow through temp guage of some sort to monitor the temp of your chilled wort pre-fermenter. It would be best to have valves on both the cooling water and wort outlets to regulate the flow, to control temps.

Just my 2c and I am sure you will get other ideas AND better ideas.
 

JaseH

Well-Known Member
Joined
6/11/11
Messages
573
Reaction score
81
I've got a Dudadiesel one from the US, pretty similar to the Beerbelly one by the sounds of it. I can get 27L of wort from boiling to 21oC into the fermenter in a few minutes using tap water. It works a treat!



Longer plate chillers are more effective at cooling than shorter ones. More plates allow less restriction of flow.
 

a1149913

Well-Known Member
Joined
22/11/10
Messages
218
Reaction score
11
Location
Adelaide
Hello Jacob,
yes I use one of the exact items you are interested in.
View attachment 54863

After use, I flush it through the wort pipes in both directions with a garden hose flowing briskly. I drain the water and then refill with mixed Starsan solution and cover the outlets with aluminium foil and store until next use. Next use I tip out the starsan and will run a bit of hot wort through it before I turn the cooling water on.

I bought one of these plate chillers because I thought it was neat that it has 1/2" NPT female sockets in it to attach whatever fittings I desired. It is a reasonable unit.

However, I think (but I could be wrong) that it appears to be no different to countless plate chillers/ biodiesel heat exchangers on eBay.
I have also seen a mashmaster plate chiller in the flesh and it is a much longer and sexier item. I now have mashmaster plate chiller envy. It has barbed fittings on it but I don't think this would be a problem. I have used camlock fittings etc but am sort of moving back towards barbed fittings or some type of quick disconnect that I have not yet tried.

As for the flow rate of the plate chiller under a gravity feed, I can whack 25L through in a couple of minutes, it doesn't strip much heat out though with garden hose water around 20oC. I think it pulls the wort down to about 50oC if I run through slightly slower than flat out, maybe 70oC if flat out. That's quite fine if you just want to knock it down under hop isomerisation temps. I sometimes do this and return it to the BM for a much longer whirlpool and settling out time period. Then I run through the chiller quite a bit slower to reach about 24oC which is the best I can get without prechilling the cooling water.

I haven't really got prechilling the cooling water down pat yet. Submersing the chiller in cold water wouldn't really work very effectively unless you could circulate the water around the chiller unit and there appears to be better ways to do it. I'd suggest you pass the cooling water through your old immersion chiller that is placed in a container of ice slurry that is heavily salted. I'd reccommend a flow through temp guage of some sort to monitor the temp of your chilled wort pre-fermenter. It would be best to have valves on both the cooling water and wort outlets to regulate the flow, to control temps.

Just my 2c and I am sure you will get other ideas AND better ideas.
Thanks Malted. I'm surprised you dont get better cooling from the counter flow chiller. The main reason i chill just to get under isomerisation temps however with the immersion chiller i usually get to 25C in <5mins which is an added bonus!

I'm also curious, what is that round thing hanging of your brewmaster?
 

Malted

Humdinger
Joined
15/5/10
Messages
2,301
Reaction score
115
Thanks Malted. I'm surprised you dont get better cooling from the counter flow chiller. The main reason i chill just to get under isomerisation temps however with the immersion chiller i usually get to 25C in <5mins which is an added bonus!

I'm also curious, what is that round thing hanging of your brewmaster thing?
Like I implied, I think this plate chiller is too small. The other thing is that if you suck the wort out too quick you will suck up the trub and hop debris too. Slower flow gives them a chance to stay on the bottom. From 95oC to 24oC in one pass would be 5-10 minutes dependent upon trub and hop amounts.

The round thingy is a terrific device called a Blichmann Engineering 'Hop Rocket'. You can use it as a randal between your beer keg and beer tap with it stuffed full of hops or other stuff to infuse flavour into your beer. You can use it upside down like I pictured and shove some hops in it to infuse some flavour into your wort and it also acts as a great filter in this way to keep debris and junk our of the plate chiller. Here a link to more information from an Australian suppliler: http://www.ibrew.com.au/products/blichmann-hop-rocket
 

drsmurto

Well-Known Member
Joined
5/12/06
Messages
5,071
Reaction score
530
Location
Northern Adelaide Hills
I use the same one as malted (30 plate) and gravity fed get the wort to 20C in a single pass using rainwater that has not been pre-chilled.

At this time of the year in the chilly Adelaide Hills i can get it down to lager pitching temps by slowing the flow from the chiller.

I also use the hopscreen and it works a treat keeping hop debris and trub out of the chiller, helped by a good whirlpool prior to running it through the chiller.

Pic of my chiller setup attached, its the 20 plate but i now have a 30 plate.

 

a1149913

Well-Known Member
Joined
22/11/10
Messages
218
Reaction score
11
Location
Adelaide
I use the same one as malted (30 plate) and gravity fed get the wort to 20C in a single pass using rainwater that has not been pre-chilled.

At this time of the year in the chilly Adelaide Hills i can get it down to lager pitching temps by slowing the flow from the chiller.

I also use the hopscreen and it works a treat keeping hop debris and trub out of the chiller, helped by a good whirlpool prior to running it through the chiller.

Pic of my chiller setup attached, its the 20 plate but i now have a 30 plate.

Ahhh very good. I'm also up in Stirling where the water is freezing! Do you find the hop screen filters the fine particles from hop pellets? My whirlpooling can be hit and miss sometimes.
 

Malted

Humdinger
Joined
15/5/10
Messages
2,301
Reaction score
115
Ahhh very good. I'm also up in Stirling where the water is freezing! Do you find the hop screen filters the fine particles from hop pellets? My whirlpooling can be hit and miss sometimes.

Personally I find whirlpooling another of those bug bears. The longer you leave the wort to settle, the clearer it will be. However, I do not like to leave to wort above isomerisation temps for very long. This is why I sometimes do the quick pass and then let it sit for 1/2hr - 1hr or what ever I feel like before the final pass through. Fine particles will settle with the trub if given time and perhaps use of finings (whirlfloc etc).

Edited for clarity.
 

Wolfy

Well-Known Member
Joined
18/12/08
Messages
3,872
Reaction score
64
Location
Melbourne
The round thingy is a terrific device called a Blichmann Engineering 'Hop Rocket'. You can use it as a randal between your beer keg and beer tap with it stuffed full of hops or other stuff to infuse flavour into your beer. You can use it upside down like I pictured and shove some hops in it to infuse some flavour into your wort and it also acts as a great filter in this way to keep debris and junk our of the plate chiller. Here a link to more information from an Australian suppliler: http://www.ibrew.com.au/products/blichmann-hop-rocket
Sorry if it's off-topic, but you're not the first person I've seen that uses their hop-rocket up-side-down. What is the advantage of using it wrong-way-up (other than the outlet is on the bottom)? I assumed that by having it the right-way-up, it fills up, and then the infused wort comes out the top (with no risk of hot-side aeration) and you'd only tip it over when the kettle is drained to get all the wort out of the rocket?
 

Malted

Humdinger
Joined
15/5/10
Messages
2,301
Reaction score
115
Sorry if it's off-topic, but you're not the first person I've seen that uses their hop-rocket up-side-down. What is the advantage of using it wrong-way-up (other than the outlet is on the bottom)? I assumed that by having it the right-way-up, it fills up, and then the infused wort comes out the top (with no risk of hot-side aeration) and you'd only tip it over when the kettle is drained to get all the wort out of the rocket?
Most definately not the first person Wolfy. I happily admit I got the idea from someone on this forum doing the same thing but am sorry I can't remember who I got the idea from!
Others may have differing ideas but for me the advantage is that I dump a handfull of whole hop flowers into the device (in the upside down manner) and they act as a a filter given the perforated screen underneath them. I can pull the lid (or base as it is meant to be) off at any time to sort out any blockages in the valve between it and the Braumeister (I now use a hop sock). Also the hop and sediement cake in the device remains stationary if I stop or reduce the flow. Perhaps if used in the upright manner the hops and sediment would sink down if you slow or stop the flow and thus stir it up and relase particulate matter through?
I am not sure about hot side aeration, it is something I know little about and hence am not too worried about it, ignorance is bliss. Fair call though.

Edit for more thoughts.
 

drsmurto

Well-Known Member
Joined
5/12/06
Messages
5,071
Reaction score
530
Location
Northern Adelaide Hills
Ahhh very good. I'm also up in Stirling where the water is freezing! Do you find the hop screen filters the fine particles from hop pellets? My whirlpooling can be hit and miss sometimes.
The holes in the hop screen will allow fine particles through, when using pellets in large amounts i tend to use a hopsock although i do find a good whirlpool does settle out nicely - any problem with hit and miss whirlpooling shouldn't be blamed on the hopscreen, rather the user...... ;) Brew more, whirlpool more, drink more, brew more..... practice makes perfect!
 

Wolfy

Well-Known Member
Joined
18/12/08
Messages
3,872
Reaction score
64
Location
Melbourne
If your going to buy a chiller why not buy a good one? One made for chilling beer and not some bio diesel adaption, spin off.
Because they are the same? ;)
"The plate heat exchanger (PHE) was invented by Dr Richard Seligman in 1923 and revolutionised methods of indirect heating and cooling of fluids. Dr Richard Seligman founded APV in 1910 as the Aluminium Plant & Vessel Company Limited, a specialist fabricating firm supplying welded vessels to the brewery and vegetable oil trades."
From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plate_heat_exchanger
 

Murcluf

The Mystical Meerkat
Joined
18/10/06
Messages
784
Reaction score
1
I have a 30 plate chiller from Beerbelly and have no issue with it easy to use etc, the only point I can see outside of a good hefty whirlpool. Would be as Smurto said, is to have a hop screen because I have more issue at that end then at the chiller end. It's a hell of a lot easier to shut a tap and disconnect a hose an flush out chiller and hose. Then then clear an outlet pipe with 40lt of wort on top of it.
 

Batz

Batz Brewery...Hand crafted beers from the 'Batcav
Joined
8/8/03
Messages
12,731
Reaction score
1,418
Because they are the same? ;)
"The plate heat exchanger (PHE) was invented by Dr Richard Seligman in 1923 and revolutionised methods of indirect heating and cooling of fluids. Dr Richard Seligman founded APV in 1910 as the Aluminium Plant & Vessel Company Limited, a specialist fabricating firm supplying welded vessels to the brewery and vegetable oil trades."
From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plate_heat_exchanger

You can't taste any fuel type tastes? Diesel perhaps?
 

sama

Well-Known Member
Joined
27/9/07
Messages
366
Reaction score
3
Basic prechiller of mine

IMAG0271.jpg
 

Batz

Batz Brewery...Hand crafted beers from the 'Batcav
Joined
8/8/03
Messages
12,731
Reaction score
1,418
Sorry bit naughty tonight.biodiesel_cartoon.jpg
 

Latest posts

Top