Author Topic: Plate Chiller and Hops  (Read 1455 times)

Offline Teetsy

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Re: Plate Chiller and Hops
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2014, 10:12:04 AM »
Wow I wasn't expecting so much help! I'm using an IC at this time but it's taking me 25 to 30 mins. plus alot of water to chill it to pitching temps. So I thought I would try a plate chiller to save time and water. I brew 5, 10, 15 gallon batches just depends on what i'm brewing. Could anyone tell me if I did use hop bags how much hop utilization would I lose? Can I compensate for hop loss? I really appreciate the input I'm getting! 

Offline yso191

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Re: Plate Chiller and Hops
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2014, 10:37:59 AM »
My experience is not in line with others' apparently.  I had an IC for a while and hated it - I found it cumbersome and inefficient.

I love my plate chiller.  It is much quicker and with just a couple of flushes of clear water it is clean.  I then pump a little sanitizer through it both after a brew and before I use it the next time.  Additionally with a plate chiller one doesn't have cool beer exposed to the air, potentially gathering airborne yeast & bacteria.  I know it doesn't happen much, but I like to eliminate every avenue of potential infection.  My wort goes from ~200* to 70* in an enclosed system.

I will say however that if one is just dumping hop (or other material) in the BK even in a sock, there would be problems.  I use a stainless filter for everything that goes in the boil (http://utahbiodieselsupply.com/brewingfilters.php), so I never get any vegetal material coming through.
Steve
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Re: Plate Chiller and Hops
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2014, 11:20:27 AM »
Wow I wasn't expecting so much help! I'm using an IC at this time but it's taking me 25 to 30 mins. plus alot of water to chill it to pitching temps. So I thought I would try a plate chiller to save time and water. I brew 5, 10, 15 gallon batches just depends on what i'm brewing. Could anyone tell me if I did use hop bags how much hop utilization would I lose? Can I compensate for hop loss? I really appreciate the input I'm getting!
What size IC? Do you stir or otherwise agitate the wort while chilling?

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Offline Teetsy

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Re: Plate Chiller and Hops
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2014, 11:40:41 AM »
Big Al I use a 3/8 dia. 50' and I do stir it.

Offline Teetsy

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Re: Plate Chiller and Hops
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2014, 11:44:03 AM »
Steve that looks like it will do the job. A little pricey but if it keeps the hop out of the chiller it's money well spent. Thanks!

Offline brewpotamus

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Re: Plate Chiller and Hops
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2014, 11:54:32 AM »
I have been brewing for a couple years now and I finally stepped my game up and bought a plate chiller. My question is how do you guys that have one filter your hops out to go through the chiller. I do use the pellet hops any information you guys can give me would be greatly appreciated.

I have both, and IC and a PC. the Plate chiller is simply awesome but, to get it dialed in, I used 12' of copper tubing running through a chill bath to pre chill the water. I used this same pre chill setup with my immersiion chiller with good results. I agree with the other post about batch size, 5gal is find with an immersion shiller but big batches go great with the plate.  As far as cleaning.. it's just part of the drill. I back/front/back wash my plate chiller with Carlson cleanser, then Star San and HOT water. both before and after a batch. I also let it soak in sanitizer for a day or so after... So far, so good.

Offline philm63

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Re: Plate Chiller and Hops
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2014, 06:25:38 PM »
I use a stainless filter for everything that goes in the boil (http://utahbiodieselsupply.com/brewingfilters.php), so I never get any vegetal material coming through.

Question: Do you use pellet hops, or whole leaf hops with this filter?

Like the OP; I've been researching filtering systems that would work for a "plate chiller w/pellet hops" set-up, and the one referenced in your post was a nice looking option until I learned they were designed to work with whole leaf hops and while it may work as well for pellet hops, what I read was that "if using pellet hops, some material will pass through this filter".

The Hop-Stopper, however, http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/hop-stopper will work with pellet hops. When I went straight to the manufacturer (Innovative Homebrew Solutions) they said, and I quote the manufacturer: "As for performance, the Hop Stopper will work great with your plate chiller. Plate chillers are the most efficient products for chilling available to homebrewers, but, as you well know, their Achilles heel is that even the smallest piece of debris will clog them. The Hop Stopper is designed to effectively filter any debris that might clog your plate chiller, even pellet hops."

These guys did an experiment with a BUTT-LOAD of pellet hops and even when the Hop-Stopper had a couple of inches of hop-sludge on it, it still managed to allow almost all of the wort to be pulled from the kettle.

When I start using my new plate chiller; I'll likely go with the Hop Stopper so I can run straight to the fermenter instead of recirculating (with my IC) like I do now.

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Offline yso191

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Re: Plate Chiller and Hops
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2014, 07:19:34 PM »
I use a stainless filter for everything that goes in the boil (http://utahbiodieselsupply.com/brewingfilters.php), so I never get any vegetal material coming through.

Question: Do you use pellet hops, or whole leaf hops with this filter?

Like the OP; I've been researching filtering systems that would work for a "plate chiller w/pellet hops" set-up, and the one referenced in your post was a nice looking option until I learned they were designed to work with whole leaf hops and while it may work as well for pellet hops, what I read was that "if using pellet hops, some material will pass through this filter".

The Hop-Stopper, however, http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/hop-stopper will work with pellet hops. When I went straight to the manufacturer (Innovative Homebrew Solutions) they said, and I quote the manufacturer: "As for performance, the Hop Stopper will work great with your plate chiller. Plate chillers are the most efficient products for chilling available to homebrewers, but, as you well know, their Achilles heel is that even the smallest piece of debris will clog them. The Hop Stopper is designed to effectively filter any debris that might clog your plate chiller, even pellet hops."

These guys did an experiment with a BUTT-LOAD of pellet hops and even when the Hop-Stopper had a couple of inches of hop-sludge on it, it still managed to allow almost all of the wort to be pulled from the kettle.

When I start using my new plate chiller; I'll likely go with the Hop Stopper so I can run straight to the fermenter instead of recirculating (with my IC) like I do now.

I use hop pellets.  And with my IPAs that means when the hops expand they basically fill the filter.  I have to drop the filter down to hang on the lip of the keggle opening at that point to get all the hops in the wort.  That is at a little over half a pound of hops.  I've been very impressed with the filter.  There are no discernible hop particles in the wort.
Steve
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Re: Plate Chiller and Hops
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2014, 07:33:58 PM »
I've been using a duda diesel plate chiller for a little over a year now and about 30 batches.  It's never clogged on me.  I do use a stainless hop spider for in my kettle.  I typically use pellet hops, but not always.  I have not had to redo any of my recipes I seem to be getting the same hop utilization as I had been with my IC.  I actually run my pump from the mash kettle through the plate chiller for the entire boil.  At the end of the brew day I run hot water through each way for about 5 mins.  Every 5 or 6 batches I'll recirc hot PBW through.. Usually don't see too much from it... but I did the first few times (probably because I wasn't rinsing it very well when I first got it).

I will still use my IC sometimes if I'm brewing indoors and don't feel like setting up the pump etc.. or I have a moment of stupidity and dump my hops in the kettle and forget to use my hop spider lol.  But really being able to chill my wort in a single pass as fast as I can pump it into the fermenter is such a relief for me.  Time savers are my favorite homebrew equipment upgrages and my plate chiller has been just that. 
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Offline philm63

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Re: Plate Chiller and Hops
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2014, 12:01:27 PM »
I use hop pellets.  And with my IPAs that means when the hops expand they basically fill the filter.  I have to drop the filter down to hang on the lip of the keggle opening at that point to get all the hops in the wort.  That is at a little over half a pound of hops.  I've been very impressed with the filter.  There are no discernible hop particles in the wort.

That is comforting because I really liked the design of that stainless hop-spider; looks pretty simple to clean when compared to the Hop-Stopper, and <@ dfkfick>; if you're seeing pretty much the same hop utilization with it vs. without, I'm sold!
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Online dkfick

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Re: Plate Chiller and Hops
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2014, 12:14:09 PM »
Yeah I have one of those big stainless ones that just hang in the middle of your kettle.  It's pretty much containing the majority of the kettle volume within it anyways.  I have the 8" version of this:
http://www.stainlessbrewing.com/Hop-Spider-with-seam-welds_p_158.html
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Online Jeff M

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Re: Plate Chiller and Hops
« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2014, 12:34:37 PM »
Yeah I have one of those big stainless ones that just hang in the middle of your kettle.  It's pretty much containing the majority of the kettle volume within it anyways.  I have the 8" version of this:
http://www.stainlessbrewing.com/Hop-Spider-with-seam-welds_p_158.html

+1  I love Zachs Spider. works great, and i have the jumbo version and never have utilization problems that i can tell.  They are also very easy to trim if it happens to be a bit to long:)
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Offline yso191

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Re: Plate Chiller and Hops
« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2014, 03:24:06 PM »
I use hop pellets.  And with my IPAs that means when the hops expand they basically fill the filter.  I have to drop the filter down to hang on the lip of the keggle opening at that point to get all the hops in the wort.  That is at a little over half a pound of hops.  I've been very impressed with the filter.  There are no discernible hop particles in the wort.

That is comforting because I really liked the design of that stainless hop-spider; looks pretty simple to clean when compared to the Hop-Stopper, and <@ dfkfick>; if you're seeing pretty much the same hop utilization with it vs. without, I'm sold!

I can't tell the difference (pre/post), so I assume my utilization is the same.  And yes it is very easy to clean - just hose it off.  I think I have had to take a scrubber to it only once.

I also use it during my runoff from the Mash Tun.  I never vorlauf.  I just put the hose inside the filter and open the valve all the way.  The filter catches all the grain which I just dump back into the MT then hose the filter off, and put it in the Boil Kettle.  It works great!
Steve
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Offline In The Sand

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Re: Plate Chiller and Hops
« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2014, 11:13:21 AM »
I use a Blichmann Therminator and made a hop stopper with some mesh I purchased from McMaster Carr. I've never had any issues with my chiller clogging. I don't really like my hop stopper because I can tell it is going to have a shelf life. I was toying with the idea of using a false bottom type design with a small enough mesh size to catch pellets. I use a keggle and I thought maybe I could cut the mesh round and then down the middle and add hinges so I could squeeze it down into the keggle. If my imagination works right, I may be able to rest it down in the beveled out part of the keggle that sits a good 8" or so above the keggle bottom. This would give me the most possible surface area. What do y'all think?
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Offline deathlylost

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Re: Plate Chiller and Hops
« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2014, 12:52:19 AM »
I've been using a plate chiller for about a year now and it's great. Prior to using, I run hot water through it and soak it in some sanitizer. On top of using mesh bags for my hop additions, I run my wort through a clean and sanitized mesh bag just before running throughout the plate chiller. After cooling the wort, I immediately run clean water though the chiller until it comes out clean. This works really well to keep the chiller clean as well as prevent clogging.


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