Which Plate Chiller To Get/avoid

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drsmurto

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Inline filter? Pull apart and clean?

I find a lot of brewers who complain about hops/trub getting in plate chillers don't understand the importance of a good whirlpool prior to running your wort out of the kettle. Or even the function of the whirlpool.

I have been using a plate chiller for ~5 years (a 20 plate from beerbelly to begin with but the last year or so I have been using a 30 plate), the only inline 'filter' is the beerbelly hopscreen. Never clogged it up yet. Pellets/plugs/flowers - used them all.

If you whirlpool properly and you have your pick up tube placed well, nothing should get in to the plate chiller. Some people use a hop bag, i do occasionally but they are not necessary.

That is the key, making suring clear wort is the only thing going through your chiller.

As for cleaning - immediately after use i flush in both directions a number of times with hot tap water. Drain. Before use I run sanitiser through it and drain. Conveniently, the time between turning off the flame, whirlpooling and chilling, is perfect for setting up the chiller and running a sanitiser through it. Connect to kettle and chill.

A few times a year i clean the brewery - kettle, false bottom, hop screen and chiller. I use a soaking solution of 'homemade' PBW (2:1 sodium percarbonate:sodium metasilicate) @60+C. Soak everything and flush through the chiller a number of times in both directions. Rinse with hot tap water. You could run through an acid based sanitiser at this point to 'neutralise' any remaining PBW but it's not necessary. Drain.
 

Blackened

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Thanks heaps everyone. I ended up ordering a "chillout" from eBay. Can't paste a link, iPhone won't let me. 30 plates, corrugated and SS barbs. I wasn't fussed about threaded fittings. Might have to get a batch of extract happening while I get the rest of the setup to something resembling functional. I think my old HLT is still good to go at least.
 

Helles

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I'm not sure if the plastic in these filters is food safe at boiling temps. I've enquired about it before and was told it was fine. Upon further research i found out that it was not and told the folks at ibrew. They said they use it at those temps and no problems - i dont think they understand the concept of food safe.

I've got the blichman therminator. Expensive but very good. I chill 55L to ale temps in about 10 minutes. A couple minutes more and i will get to 12 degrees for a lager. I use iced water as my cold liquor rather then tap water though.
They look like the bilge pump filter i have
Wouldn't use them as a pre-filter for wort though
 

Helles

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more plates the better
im using the mashmaster MKIII 30 plate one and youd have to try pretty hard to block it
i actually just ordered one of these as a pre-filter/mini hopback so i can throw pellets straight into the boil but if you use a hopsock then youll never have any problems
https://ibrew.myshopify.com/products/pump-pre-filter
These ones look like the bilge pump filter
Sorry dont know how to put the like in the post above
 

JaseH

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Got my plate chiller in the mail yesterday. I was a little disappointed though as I expected the flow of wort and water to cross over, but instead the water enters and leaves the same side of the chiller, as does the wort.

This is the model I got http://www.mashmaster.com.au/p/1141466/chi...--30-plate.html

For those with plate chillers, does yours have parallel in/out or crossover?
Thats how they all work mate, if I understand you correctly. In one end, out the other, wort one side, water the other. The plates inside will flood completely so no need to have diagonal in-out ports. The counterflow bit is what does the trick, make sure you feed the wort into one end and water into the opposite end, so they are flowing in opposite directions.
 

hotchilli

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Got my plate chiller in the mail yesterday. I was a little disappointed though as I expected the flow of wort and water to cross over, but instead the water enters and leaves the same side of the chiller, as does the wort.

This is the model I got http://www.mashmaster.com.au/p/1141466/chi...--30-plate.html

For those with plate chillers, does yours have parallel in/out or crossover?
The way the inlets and outlets are labelled on the photo are correct for a plate chiller. The "cross over" you mention is between the plates, not along the plates. The plates are set up so that they separate the wort and water in layers, ie: wort/water/wort/water/etc.....
 

Blackened

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Thats how they all work mate, if I understand you correctly. In one end, out the other, wort one side, water the other. The plates inside will flood completely so no need to have diagonal in-out ports. The counterflow bit is what does the trick, make sure you feed the wort into one end and water into the opposite end, so they are flowing in opposite directions.
ok thanks Frothie, the design specs for plate chillers I've seen would suggest otherwise.. but it's probably only a very minor effect on efficiency if any.
 

nathan_madness

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Mash Master MkIII 30 Plate! Used it for the first time on Saturday took the boiling wort to 20deg in one pass with the garden hose flat out and the tap out of the boiler fully open. Less than 10min to get 26L from 99deg to 20deg I was amazed and had no problems with blockage either BIAB or use a grain/hop blocker.
 

manticle

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Nathan: How many litres of water approximately?

I bought a 30 plate MM a while back but haven't set it up yet but when I do I aim to reserve and re-use the water.
 

JaseH

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Nathan: How many litres of water approximately?

I bought a 30 plate MM a while back but haven't set it up yet but when I do I aim to reserve and re-use the water.
In my experience, as a rough estimate, I'm probably doing about a 3:1 water to wort ratio at the moment to get down to around 20C. Like Nathan, I gravity drain wort through the chiller into the fermentor with the kettle tap open full. The return water from the chiller I dump back into my HLT and a 25L bucket which I then use for cleanup as its already heated. I maybe dump 30-40L onto the lawn whilst I'm chilling to prevent the bucket and my HLT from overflowing, but no reason you couldn't save that if you wanted.

I haven't tried tuning the flow to maximise the water efficiency so could probably get this down a little without much cooling loss if I wanted.
 

nathan_madness

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Nathan: How many litres of water approximately?

I bought a 30 plate MM a while back but haven't set it up yet but when I do I aim to reserve and re-use the water.
Hmmm would not have a clue. Just had the tap flat out and got the misses to water the garden for 10 minutes. I had a mate helping me and he is keen to get one and was concerned about the amount of water. He came up with the suggestion of using a bilge pump in his pool and pump that through the chiller or recycling it through an icy bucket of water.
 

JaseH

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I've heard of guys that use tank water and circulate the water back into their water tanks - so no loss!
 

eamonnfoley

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Most spores are heat resistant so will tolerate boiling water for a long time so in this context it wouldn't make a difference.
At 90C you will need a reasonably large contact time to even kill all normal bacteria. I haven't got the chart handy but it may need an hour plus. Your better using boiling 100C for 20 mins+ and circulate through. I use wort and circulate it through the chiller, hoses etc.

I put the cleaned chiller in the oven at max (higher than 170C) for 60 + mins. You will sterilize the chiller with dry heat. I do this every batch before the circulation of wort through it during the boil.
 

JaseH

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Starsan, 3 minutes.
Yep, I generally just throw some star san into the water remaining in my HLT, then recirc it through the chiller for the last 10min or so of the boil to sanitise.

End of the day, I throw some nappy san into the water in my HLT, backflush/recirc that through the chiller for a while whilst I'm cleaning up. Then flush/recirc again with water, drain it and thats it until next brew day. This way I'm cleaning all the lines and the pump at the same time.
 

kevin_smevin

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At 90C you will need a reasonably large contact time to even kill all normal bacteria. I haven't got the chart handy but it may need an hour plus. Your better using boiling 100C for 20 mins+ and circulate through. I use wort and circulate it through the chiller, hoses etc.

I put the cleaned chiller in the oven at max (higher than 170C) for 60 + mins. You will sterilize the chiller with dry heat. I do this every batch before the circulation of wort through it during the boil.
It will pasteurize. I've been doing it this way for about 2 years now. Now contamination so it's good enough for me.

Just did a quick google search. Milk is pastuerized at 90 degrees C for 0.5 seconds.
 

nathan_madness

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Starsan, 3 minutes.
I found it easy to connect my hose to the wort out and blast it backwards for about 5 min then modified a plastic bottle to take a barb fitting and filled the bottle full of PBW mix and pushed it through the chiller then drew it back. Did that a couple of times. Then filled the chiller with starsan and shook it around for 5 min then flushed with boiling water. My main concern was leaving starsan in the chiller may cause pitting.
 

drsmurto

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I found it easy to connect my hose to the wort out and blast it backwards for about 5 min then modified a plastic bottle to take a barb fitting and filled the bottle full of PBW mix and pushed it through the chiller then drew it back. Did that a couple of times. Then filled the chiller with starsan and shook it around for 5 min then flushed with boiling water. My main concern was leaving starsan in the chiller may cause pitting.
Starsan before use is what i assume Nick meant. And I agree, that is all I have ever done.

Leave it for the same contact time recommended for fermenters etc. Drain. Now it is ready to use.

Not sure why so many people here are going to so much trouble when a no rinse sanitiser is all that is needed to sanitise a clean plate chiller.
 

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