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Wort Chillers (again) Down To Two Final Products
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fseider



Joined: 10 May 2013
Posts: 156
Location: Two Naked Frogs Brewery; Reading, PA (USA); Interests: Beer, Frogs, Steampunk, Being Naked


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:32 am    Post subject: Wort Chillers (again) Down To Two Final Products Reply with quote


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OK, I know there are various wort chiller religions. But I'm hoping my request for thoughts will be fairly narrowed down. I am 50/50 on two finalists for my next generation chilling: (I already have a smaller plate chiller that I may use for prechilling, as well as a glycol unit. I'm just looking to take chilling to another level, but within some reason. This is a hobby after-all!)

http://www.dudadiesel.com/choose_item.php?id=HX9520 Specifically the B3-95A 20 plate (24 inch plate chiller)

OR

https://www.exchilerator.com/product/brutus-pro-counterflow-wort-chiller/ Brutus Pro Counterflow Wort Chiller, dual coil.



Removing the issue about cost or any concerns on plate chiller clogging (I am not concerned), any thoughts on which unit to go with? I am truly 50/50 on this.

Thanks,

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Two Naked Frogs Brewery, Winery, & Meadery
Reading, PA
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10604
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, German Pils, Belgian Dubbel, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Belgian IPA


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Either will work. Really up to you.

I don't like plate chillers for the reasons outlined here: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/wort-chiller

I don't like CFC like Exchilerator because they use PEX (a type of plastic) that (technically) isn't supposed to be exposed to UV/light.

YMMV

Kal

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fseider



Joined: 10 May 2013
Posts: 156
Location: Two Naked Frogs Brewery; Reading, PA (USA); Interests: Beer, Frogs, Steampunk, Being Naked


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
...

I don't like CFC like Exchilerator because they use PEX (a type of plastic) that (technically) isn't supposed to be exposed to UV/light. ...

Kal


Hmm, interesting - I did not know that! Now I do, and also verified that on other sites. Thanks for that useful tip Kal. Of course I can always house it in a pretty box or something. But that tips it to the plate chiller for the moment.

I have never had any issue with plate chillers, and always run a boiling back-flush through them pre and post. I just include it in my hookup as part of my prep and cleanup so it's not really an extra step. But I do understand the general concerns.

Any other thoughts from anyone?

Thanks,

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Fred Seider
Two Naked Frogs Brewery, Winery, & Meadery
Reading, PA
"What's in your goblet?!"
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Ozarks Mountain Brew



Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 743
Location: The Ozark Mountains of Missouri


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

my issues with plate chillers are getting clogged, I cant brew a hoppy beer and use one, I even bought a stainless filter to use before the chiller and it gets clogged too so mine is sitting on the shelf as well as the filter
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dp Brewing Company



Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 661
Location: Midwest

Drinking: Chocolate Taco, Raspberry Mango Cider, American X, Sandy Dunes

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PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not just go with the one Kal recommends with his build? I purchased one and have no complaints.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
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Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, German Pils, Belgian Dubbel, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Belgian IPA


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For complete details on the one I recommend and how to hook up the extra parts, see: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/wort-chiller

Been using it for almost 10 years now and if I had to do it all over again I'd get the same thing.

Kal

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pinbrew



Joined: 31 Oct 2014
Posts: 54
Location: Kemptville, ON

Drinking: Amber Ale

Working on: Electric Hop Candy Jr., Toy Soldier Stout, Crispy Pils


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What Kal and dp said. The copper convoluted counterflow chiller that's recommended is aces. Any money you save on cost will be eaten up in time first batch.
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Ozarks Mountain Brew



Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 743
Location: The Ozark Mountains of Missouri


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually use the HLT as a chiller since ground water here is 65ish most of the year I used 40 gallons of water to chill and decided to find another way to save on water so what I do now is freeze a 5 gallon bucket solid then add the solid ice inside the coils, fill it up with water and recirculate until my coils reach 35F to 40F, then I run the beer very slow through the coils into my carboy, it works very well for me
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itsnotrequired



Joined: 15 Sep 2015
Posts: 173
Location: central wi


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i use a duda plate chiller for ten gal batches but have the 30 plate model. no complaints. i use a hopstopper in the boil kettle, never had any clogging issues, even with hoppy ipas.
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rcrabb22



Joined: 23 Dec 2010
Posts: 462
Location: Illinois


PostLink    Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always wondered about plate chillers and the cold break created during the act of chilling. It must not clog the the chiller?
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dp Brewing Company



Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 661
Location: Midwest

Drinking: Chocolate Taco, Raspberry Mango Cider, American X, Sandy Dunes

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PostLink    Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The one thing I wish was different about my CFC is the length (insert joke here). I wish it was longer (and another joke here). I find the water coming back to the sink is still fairly cold. Almost like if the coil was longer that it would absorb more heat from the wort. Meaning I feel I'm wasting water that could of been used to cool more.
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rskarbo



Joined: 14 Apr 2015
Posts: 5
Location: Baja, Mexico


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:34 pm    Post subject: Wort chilling Reply with quote

No doubt a longer CFC would extract more heat, but I think the water coming out of yours should be hot. Is your tap turned up to max? Maybe slowing down the flow of wort would help. Naturally, the slower you you run the wort the more water you'll waste trying to get anywhere near fermentation temp. I brew in Baja Mexico and face the same warm tap water problem mentioned by Ozark (above). I came up with the same solution he did; I turned my HLT into an ice water bath. During the boil while cleaning the MT I remove the outflow valve and attach it to the the "OUT" port of the HERMS coil. After the wort goes through the CFC it gets pumped to the "IN" port of the chilled HERMS coil. The temp sensor on the outflow valve lets me monitor and regulate the temperature of the wort as it leaves the HERMS coil on it's way to the fermentor. Maybe next time I'll use ice blocks like Ozark but I typically go through 3 bags of ice cubes getting 12 gallons of wort down to 68F. I've never timed it but I think I can move a batch of wort into the fermentor ready for aeration and yeast in 10 or 15 minutes. Considering my tap water temp, this wouldn't be possible without the ice water. Thanks again for this incredible system Kal. It's completely revolutionized my brewing. Mug
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dp Brewing Company



Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 661
Location: Midwest

Drinking: Chocolate Taco, Raspberry Mango Cider, American X, Sandy Dunes

Working on: Nothing


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My water is around 150-160 coming back to the sink at first, but that drops fairly quickly as the wort temp drops in the kettle as I whirlpool. I was more talking about after I get below 100 degrees in the kettle. That is where it would be nice to have a longer coil to extract more temp of the cold water.
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mjo2125



Joined: 27 Feb 2017
Posts: 238
Location: Dayton, OH

Drinking: Pale Ale, Yorkshire Bitter, Mango Blonde Ale

Working on: Retro American Lager


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Getting back to the original thread – plate chiller vs. counterflow chiller (shell and tube): My perspective is from industrial applications which may have a scaled parallel with home brewing. I’m an engineering contractor for the Oil & Gas Industry. Over the past thirty years, I’ve seen hundreds of heat exchangers in service. The vast majority of heat exchangers used in the oil and gas industry are counterflow (shell and tube exchangers) with smooth-walled ID tubes to facilitate cleaning. They make up for the efficiency with surface area. I’m sure the convoluted ID tube in home brew counterflow chillers works just fine with no issues. Wort plus trub is a lot cleaner than crude oil!

I’m installing a couple of industrial plate and frame exchangers (e.g. plate chillers) made by Alfa-Laval in a refinery application. The installation will include a spare off-line plate and frame exchanger due to maintenance concerns with cleaning. Interestingly, Alfa-Laval makes a small plate and frame (plate chiller) exchanger – they hold the lion’s share of the global heat exchanger market – I would not be surprised if they are a supplier for Blichmann’s “Therminator” branded plate chiller.

Plate and frame exchangers are relatively rare in US oil refining (dirty services) but are being tried in limited applications due to high efficiency and a small footprint. Plate and frame (plate chillers) are more numerous in the pharmaceutical industry where processes are clean.

The brewers I know who use plate chillers and counterflow (shell and tube) chillers have no complaint when it comes to cleaning. It seems like it comes down to a personal preference. It would be interesting to see what a used plate chiller looks like dismantled…
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windquest



Joined: 13 May 2018
Posts: 24
Location: Apache Jct, AZ


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I am in the final stages of building the new brewery, I am in the same boat as the OP. I followed the links Kal posted which adds to the confusion.....not all are convoluted CFC's. I anticipate using a Hop Spider and probably a bazooka screen to cut down on the crud, but I am not sold on the plate chiller and the ExChiller has the longest tubing, and therefore the largest contact area. While the PEX tubing is obviously a potential problem, my question is if I enclose it completely (no UV) is it then a viable player? I don't know if the convoluted supply water is as good as convoluted wort, but the extra 12 feet of contact area could be helpful for those of us with high ground water temps. And a Kal has stated more than once, cool it down to 80 and put it in the fermentation chamber until morning and pitch the yeast then. In that case I guess it doesn't matter if its convoluted or not. Straight tubing is obviously easier to clean than twisted copper, but is really a problem? And then the question, everything is stainless steel except the chiller..yes copper has a better heat transfer, but is stainless better? Still on the fence.

Henry
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Ozarks Mountain Brew



Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 743
Location: The Ozark Mountains of Missouri


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it will all equalize to a difference in the 2 temps, the longer the better but not much difference really it catches up and the warm over takes the cool eventually

so a typical brew day for me would start at noon and end at 6pm and anytime in the spring summer or fall the wort ends up at 80F so I just add that to the chamber over night and pitch the yeast the next day, its at 60F by morning
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10604
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, German Pils, Belgian Dubbel, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Belgian IPA


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

windquest wrote:
the ExChiller has the longest tubing, and therefore the largest contact area.

Doesn't matter. Chilling efficiency is about how it's built, what it's made of, how thick the walls are, etc.

Quote:
Straight tubing is obviously easier to clean than twisted copper, but is really a problem?

No.

Quote:
everything is stainless steel except the chiller..yes copper has a better heat transfer, but is stainless better?

Copper is better for a CFC for the reasons you stated as the two temps (water & wort) are far apart, so the heat transfer coefficient matters.

CHeers,

Kal

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mjo2125



Joined: 27 Feb 2017
Posts: 238
Location: Dayton, OH

Drinking: Pale Ale, Yorkshire Bitter, Mango Blonde Ale

Working on: Retro American Lager


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

going off topic a little bit - The BIG Brothers of plate and counter flow chillers... industrial plate exchanger below and counter flow exchangers above it being installed. For it's size, the plate chiller is much more efficient (and expensive) but the jury is out on how often it will need to be cleaned...


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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10604
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, German Pils, Belgian Dubbel, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Belgian IPA


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoa. That would chill a lot of beer. Wink

Kal

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windquest



Joined: 13 May 2018
Posts: 24
Location: Apache Jct, AZ


PostLink    Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When the temp is 115 and my ground water is at 90 I could use that and brew all summer.....except that the brewery is outside under an awning.
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