Author Topic: Plate Chiller with Pump - Do You Recirculate or...?  (Read 948 times)

Offline philm63

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Plate Chiller with Pump - Do You Recirculate or...?
« on: December 29, 2013, 05:38:49 PM »
Got my Chugger pump a couple of months ago - still setting up the lines and fittings - and Santa just left me a shiny new plate chiller! Woo-hoo!!

For those of you using a plate chiller AND a pump; it looks like there are a couple of ways to set it up - running from kettle to pump to plate chiller to fermenter; or from kettle to pump to plate chiller and back to kettle until temp is reached, and THEN running it to the fermenter. So, the question:

Which method do YOU use, and why? Are there specific advantages/disadvantages to each method?
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Offline Alewyfe

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Re: Plate Chiller with Pump - Do You Recirculate or...?
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2013, 07:34:21 PM »
I'll go straight to the fermenter if the wort temp allows yeast pitching. In the warmer months,  sometimes I have to recirculate, then once the wort temp is down between 80-90F I will add an immersion chiller in a bucket of ice to the water hose going into the plate chiller to get the temp down enough for pitching. This is most often necessary if I'm doing a lager and want a pretty low pitching temp.
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Offline jaxplace

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Re: Plate Chiller with Pump - Do You Recirculate or...?
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2013, 11:15:22 AM »
Great question! Personally I would go directly to the fermenter. (Less chance of contamination).
In my system, which I have a HERMS with a plate chiller, I go from the boil kettle to my pump which pumps wert through my plate chiller then through the coils of my HTL which is filled with ice water, to my fermenter. I cool 10 gallons from boil to 65F in about 10 mins.
 

                                                                                               
« Last Edit: December 31, 2013, 06:55:12 AM by jaxplace »
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Offline In The Sand

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Re: Plate Chiller with Pump - Do You Recirculate or...?
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2013, 11:51:37 AM »
I go from kettle to pump to plate chiller to O2 to fermentor.  You should be able to go from 200+ *F to pitchable temps in about a 3 ft distance.  Obviously this will depend on the temp of the water going into the water port on the plate chiller.  In the summer I'll use prechilled water which I accomplish by submerging my IC in an ice bath.  Remember you can control the temperature by the flow rate, so make sure you have a ball valve on the outflow side of the pump so you can slow it down.
Trey W.

Offline Gribble

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Re: Plate Chiller with Pump - Do You Recirculate or...?
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2014, 02:38:11 AM »
If you have a thermometer on the outlet of your plate chiller, you can go straight into the fermenter and with the valve on the outlet of the chiller dial back the flow until you reach close to your fermentation temp.  I use a blichmann therminator and can pull it down to 65F even in the summer, in E WA, while transferring in 15 - 20 min.
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Offline philm63

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Re: Plate Chiller with Pump - Do You Recirculate or...?
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2014, 04:12:06 AM »
Thermometer for the plate chiller is on the way along with a Tee and cam-locks so hopefully my next brew will incorporate this new chilling system and I can run straight to the fermenter.

My first attempt yesterday was with just the pump and an immersion chiller in the kettle. I also had my Hop Rocket after the pump, and it had a 5-gallon paint strainer bag stuffed in it as sort of a filter. The hope was that while recirculating and chilling, I'd also be pulling all the gunk out of my wort leaving a nice clean wort into the fermenter. Nope, sorry, nothin'! Darn thing clogged within a couple of minutes and I had to pull it out of the circuit and continue chilling/recirculating without it. Next time maybe I'll try 3 or 4 stainless steel scrubbies stuffed into the Rocket and slow my flow down a little bit.
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