Plate Chiller

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Re: Plate Chiller

Post  Paul on Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:56 pm

Thanks all for the advice! I am using a Mach pump. I think it works as it should as it transfers hot water from the hot liquor tank to the mash tun just fine. Tricky to prime at times I will agree. I suspect my chill plate may be plugged up pretty badly. The first few batches of APA that I brewed had a lot of hops and cold break that maybe got into the chiller. That was before I started using a hop bag. I have used the pump to run cleaner and hot water through the chill plate at times. Someone on another post suggested baking the chill plate in an oven at 200-250 degrees with pbw and water soaking in the chill plate to get it cleaned out. That worked for them. I might try that to see how much gunk I get out.

Paul
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Re: Plate Chiller

Post  randi philleo on Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:22 pm

Hey Paul,

What kind of pump do you have running the wort through your plate chiller? If its not a blockage of hops and wort, I'd bet that your pump is either not at the right elevation or you're not getting all the air out when you turn it on. Some of those pumps can be pretty particular.


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Re: Plate Chiller

Post  Mike Philleo on Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:10 pm

Paul wrote:I am a fairly new brewer and have been using a 30-plate plate chiller. I have never used an immersion chiller or other counter-flow chillers. I have some concerns about the plate chiller. My main concern is getting the chiller clean after using it. It appears that some hop leaves and/or other cold break material gets into the plates when transferring the wort into the fermenters. I have tried cleaning the chiller by running water and cleaner through the chiller and back washed it many times, and it continues to produce particles of debris. My wonder with the thin chill plate chambers is does it ever get clean??? Is it possible that the chiller has enough debris that it might contaminate the wort??? Also it takes 30-45 minutes to chill a 5 gallon batch to 75-80 degrees with a slight trickle into the fermenter. Is this normal? Are there other experiences similar or suggestions!

Thanks!

Paul
Hi Paul, good to have you on the forum here.

I've used plate chillers for some time, so I'd be happy to address your questions. To start off, in my experience, it is unusual for chilling with a plate chiller to take as long, or move as slowly as you mentioned. It should pump as quickly as allowed, determined by how much you have the inlet valve opened (if any). If there is no valve, or you have it wide-open, you may already have a blockage. I would recommend you get some PBW close to boiling in a kettle and allow your chiller to sit immersed in it for a couple hours. That should loosen up any blockages and address any contamination issues you might have. My recommendation is to run hot PBW solution through the chiller after every use or use the immersion technique I mentioned above. Hopefully, that helps you out a bit. If you have any other questions, I can try to address them for you.
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Re: Plate Chiller

Post  r@fink on Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:14 pm

I don't use a plate chiller, but I have seen videos where folks pump the water and cleaner with a self starting racking cane. This would give a good flushing because you can give strong bursts of the liquid. I think a good soaking with PBW would loosen up the material before flushing also. Cheers.
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Plate Chiller

Post  Paul on Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:04 am

I am a fairly new brewer and have been using a 30-plate plate chiller. I have never used an immersion chiller or other counter-flow chillers. I have some concerns about the plate chiller. My main concern is getting the chiller clean after using it. It appears that some hop leaves and/or other cold break material gets into the plates when transferring the wort into the fermenters. I have tried cleaning the chiller by running water and cleaner through the chiller and back washed it many times, and it continues to produce particles of debris. My wonder with the thin chill plate chambers is does it ever get clean??? Is it possible that the chiller has enough debris that it might contaminate the wort??? Also it takes 30-45 minutes to chill a 5 gallon batch to 75-80 degrees with a slight trickle into the fermenter. Is this normal? Are there other experiences similar or suggestions!

Thanks!

Paul
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