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Subject: Plate chiller Setup
Author: Hecktorb
Jul 14th, 2012
10:43 am
So I just finished my first 10gal batch using a march pump and plate chiller my concern is that I had my kettle hooked to the pump then to the chiller and then to the fermenter. Previously I used an inmmersion chiller so what I did was put the IC in an ice bath then hooked that to the plate chiller, the thing is my wort never cooled down, any advise on what might have been the problem with that? BTW cool water was coming out of the chiller but my wort never got below 100' F
Subject: Re: Plate chiller Setup
Author: redbrew
Jul 14th, 2012
11:41 am
Let me see if I can help. Are you sure that you had the wort going to the wort in connection and so on? (I know, silly question) because it seems to me that if you got everything working right that your water exiting the plate chiller would be warm or hot.
Subject: Re: Plate chiller Setup
Author: ggrid
Jul 14th, 2012
2:27 pm
Do you have a ball valve on the outlet side of the pump? You will need one to throttle the flow down so you don't run into what you are describing here. Also I would highly recommend an inline thermometer on the outlet side of your plate chiller to help you decide to keep whirlpooling or if it's cool enough for the fermenter.
Subject: Re: Plate chiller Setup
Author: Hecktorb
Jul 14th, 2012
6:17 pm
My connection are the way they are supposed, I do have a valve to control the outgoing flow. Im missing the thermometer though.

Here's my question, do the flow rates from both wort and water have tho be tha same? Or should one go slower the the other, if this is the case which should go slower?
Subject: Re: Plate chiller Setup
Author: redbrew
Jul 14th, 2012
6:32 pm
Not being all that familiar with plate chillers, I would think that you would want the wort going thru the chiller slower than the water.
Subject: Re: Plate chiller Setup
Author: ggrid
Jul 14th, 2012
6:56 pm
You don't necessarily need an inline thermometer but you don't want to be putting the wort into the fermenter until the temp is at pitching temp, otherwise what's the point? You will want to throttle the wort flow back so that the temp going into the fermenter is in the correct range. You may have to recirculate back into your boil kettle for several minutes to help cool it down. I only brew five gallon batches any more and it takes about fifteen minutes total from boil to pitching temp. I blast the cooling water as high as I can and throttle the wort until the inline thermometer reads 68-70. You could just sanitize a thermometer and read temp as it comes out of the tubing.
Subject: Re: Plate chiller Setup
Author: osubrewer
Jul 15th, 2012
5:06 pm
I use a March pump (815) and a plate chiller as well. I have the ball cock valve mounted to the output side of the plate chiller. When running off to the fermenter: control the valve on the output side of the pump to slow the flow down a lot. Make the garden hose for the water source to run wide open high speed.

The only time I have trouble bringing the temperature down to pitching temperature is in the summer when it is very hot outside, like near 90 degrees or hotter. What I have done to cool the wort better on the warmer days is to cool the input water source to the plate chiller using the immersion chiller. You run the garden hose to the immersion chiller. Put the immersion chiller into a bucket with ice covering it completely. Add water to the bucket so you have ice water in the bucket. Hook the output end of the immersion chiller to the input of the plate chiller. That way your input water source to the plate chiller will be much colder so that you can get a good cold break.

Hope that helps.
Subject: Re: Plate chiller Setup
Author: Hecktorb
Jul 15th, 2012
5:11 pm
Thanks a lot

I pretty sure now that theproblem was the flow rate, I was running the water way to slow as I previuosly did when I used an IC toc ool my 5 gal batches
Subject: Re: Plate chiller Setup
Author: BryansBrew
Jul 16th, 2012
1:18 pm
agreed with the above. I've done 5 to 45 gallons with plate chillers and depending on the water temp, you have to limit the flow until you reach the correct temp. Looking back, I should have gotten the blichmann (or similar) plate chiller rather than the cheapo shirron which has fewer plates.

I've gone back to IC in my 5 gallon batches because it's just easier all around. Nothing to sanitize and it cools just as quickly at the plate chiller.
Subject: Re: Plate chiller Setup
Author: brewboy_BB
Jul 16th, 2012
1:25 pm
IC's work great, but take it from someone that forgot to turn on his recirculating pump last week while chilling 11 gallons of wort. That makes a BIG difference in the cooling time.
Subject: Re: Plate chiller Setup
Author: BryansBrew
Jul 16th, 2012
1:28 pm
over 5 gallons and I'd agree. I've never recirc'd mine. I don't even have a vale in my kettle. I just pour it right into the fermentor. Simple is better.
Subject: Re: Plate chiller Setup
Author: brewboy_BB
Jul 16th, 2012
1:40 pm
"I just pour it right into the fermentor. "

Take it from someone whose back is getting worse. Someday you'll find another way to transfer 5 gallons. I still lift wort and hot water in buckets, but I'm starting to rethink this for the future.
Subject: Re: Plate chiller Setup
Author: BryansBrew
Jul 16th, 2012
1:49 pm
If I can't lift a 5G kettle, I won't be able to lift sacks of grain, fermentors, or kegs. I'll probably retire from the hobby at that point. It's hard work and thankfully there's now an ample and wide supply of craft brews, not like when I started.

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