Author Topic: Blichmann Therminator wort chiller  (Read 6095 times)

Offline micsager

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Blichmann Therminator wort chiller
« on: January 20, 2011, 11:54:34 AM »
Well, I have made the move from immersion to plate chiller.  UPS.com says my new therminator will be here tomorrow.  Gonna brew this weekend, and try this thing out. 

Any advice from any of you that may have one?

Offline tom

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Re: Blichmann Therminator wort chiller
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2011, 12:10:16 PM »
I clean my pump and hoses by pumping hot PBW through them for 30 minutes. I backflush the Therminator and then put it in the loop.

I sanitize it with starSan or in the oven at 285F for 3 hours. I put it in the oven the night before on time-bake and it's sterile, cool and ready to go in the morning.
Brew on

jaybeerman

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Re: Blichmann Therminator wort chiller
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2011, 12:13:57 PM »
You'll love it.  With winter tap water I can run a 10 minute whirl and then directly transfer to fermenter at pitching temp but with summer water I have to recirculate for a while before the transfer.  Do you have an inline thermometer for the wort outlet side? 

Offline micsager

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Re: Blichmann Therminator wort chiller
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2011, 01:54:30 PM »
You'll love it.  With winter tap water I can run a 10 minute whirl and then directly transfer to fermenter at pitching temp but with summer water I have to recirculate for a while before the transfer.  Do you have an inline thermometer for the wort outlet side? 

I don't.  Also, I planned on using it full gravity with no pump.  Will that work?  (I have the top tier stand)

jaybeerman

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Re: Blichmann Therminator wort chiller
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2011, 03:06:44 PM »
I don't.  Also, I planned on using it full gravity with no pump.  Will that work?  (I have the top tier stand)

The inline thermo is very nice but not necessary.  I use a pump and I don't know what your tap water temps are but I imagine that if you throttle the flow of the wort you can get it to work.  If you're not using a pump you may have a harder time cleaning the chiller.  Make sure that as soon as you finish brewing, run tap water full bore through the plate chiller in reverse direction (i.e. backflush).  It also helps to switch from hot to cold and back a few times, that seems to loosen things up quite well.  

If you (anybody with experience) don't have a pump but use a plate chiller, what are your cleaning/sanitizing methods?
« Last Edit: January 20, 2011, 10:02:21 PM by jaybeerman »

Offline Hydro

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Re: Blichmann Therminator wort chiller
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2011, 03:49:38 PM »
It is imperative that you protect your Therminator from getting clogged with the hops and trub from your wart.  I have not attempted to use gravity to drain the hot wart, I use a March pump.   When I was talking with the local home brew store, "Brewmasters", they felt that it would take at least a 4 ft gravity drop down, to enable that to work.   

Please take a look at the following link that was recommended to me to help control and protect your Therminator, before you start brewing with it. 

http://www.homebrewchatter.com/board/showthread.php?t=2550&highlight=hop+stopper

For the Love of Beer,
Hydro

On Tap Now:
1. Irish Red Ale
2. American Amber Ale
3. Kolsch
4. Scotch Ale
5. Strong Scotch Ale
6. Key Lime Pie (11%) Chilled to 29 deg. F. you can not even taste the alcohol.

It is time to start brewing again.

Offline micsager

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Re: Blichmann Therminator wort chiller
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2011, 04:22:06 PM »
It is imperative that you protect your Therminator from getting clogged with the hops and trub from your wart.  I have not attempted to use gravity to drain the hot wart, I use a March pump.   When I was talking with the local home brew store, "Brewmasters", they felt that it would take at least a 4 ft gravity drop down, to enable that to work.   

Please take a look at the following link that was recommended to me to help control and protect your Therminator, before you start brewing with it. 

http://www.homebrewchatter.com/board/showthread.php?t=2550&highlight=hop+stopper


Your comment about the 4 foot drop concerns me.  Did those folks talk specifically to the therminator, or any plate chiller?  The Blichmann website talks all about "low restriction, perfect for gravity systems"  I sent them an email, to ask there thoughts.

Offline kerneldustjacket

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Re: Blichmann Therminator wort chiller
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2011, 04:50:24 PM »
I have one, and use gravity alone.
I have successfully used it with my kettle as low as 2 foot, but extra height helps.
I think the best results gravity-wise are when the kettle bottom is above the carboy/bucket top.

I wash it by back-flushing with water as soon as possible, then run PBW through it using a sump pump sitting in a 5 gallon bucket, then rinse again and drain as well as possible.
Brew day, it gets an iodophor rinse just prior to use.
John Wilson
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Savannah, GA

Offline lonnie mac

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Re: Blichmann Therminator wort chiller
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2011, 05:17:17 PM »
My advice as always is between uses, after your flushings, brewings, cleanings, is to store the dang thing upside down in your deep freezer. No nasties will grow there. I take it out the morning of brew day to thaw, give it a security flushing, draining and then submerge it in my StarSan bucket until I need it for recirculation ice chilling. Pellet hops in a bag or a hop stopper is a must with these things. Keep the wort going into the Therminator clean and it will serve you many years of happy brewing.

Around every five or ten batches, I have always baked it in my oven at 400 deg for an hour for safe measure.

Offline Hydro

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Re: Blichmann Therminator wort chiller
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2011, 05:46:57 PM »
Your comment about the 4 foot drop concerns me.  Did those folks talk specifically to the therminator, or any plate chiller?  The Blichmann website talks all about "low restriction, perfect for gravity systems"  I sent them an email, to ask there thoughts.

I was talking with them about the Therminator at the time. 
For the Love of Beer,
Hydro

On Tap Now:
1. Irish Red Ale
2. American Amber Ale
3. Kolsch
4. Scotch Ale
5. Strong Scotch Ale
6. Key Lime Pie (11%) Chilled to 29 deg. F. you can not even taste the alcohol.

It is time to start brewing again.

Offline bluesman

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Re: Blichmann Therminator wort chiller
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2011, 06:41:46 PM »
All great advice. I boil mine for 10 minutes prior to each use. To clean I use hot tap water and flush both ways for 5 minutes. I think it's probably one of my most coveted gadgets of all. I like the ease of use and handling. I also like the fact that I can cool my wort down to 60F in ten minutes.
Ron Price

Offline micsager

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Re: Blichmann Therminator wort chiller
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2011, 08:27:09 AM »

I was talking with them about the Therminator at the time. 

Well, I got an email back from Blichmann.  They tell me it should work just fine, as they have specifically designed it for lor restriction.  UPS has it delayed until tomorrow, I'll start brewing around noon, and hopefully it'll get here in time to try it out. 

Offline maxieboy

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Re: Blichmann Therminator wort chiller
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2011, 02:30:32 PM »
Got mine shortly after it came out. Love it. Backflush immediately after use. Sanitize w/ Iodophor before each use. I boil mine occasionally( every 4 or 5 batches). 2.5 ft. of head on my gravity system. Thrumometer on output. From boiling to ale pitch temp in 10 min!
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Offline micsager

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Re: Blichmann Therminator wort chiller
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2011, 04:10:56 PM »
Your comment about the 4 foot drop concerns me.  Did those folks talk specifically to the therminator, or any plate chiller?  The Blichmann website talks all about "low restriction, perfect for gravity systems"  I sent them an email, to ask there thoughts.

I was talking with them about the Therminator at the time.  

Well, finally got all the hose connections right and used my new therminator this past Saturday.  I had to slide the burners up on my Top Tier to make sure I still ahd room to get wort into my buckets.  But, from the ball valve in my boil pot to the Therminator is only a drop of about 6-7 inches, then into my buckets.  

My well water isn't very cold, so I could only open the valve half way.  But then, I put a cold wet towel with an ice pack on top of the Therminator, and I opened it up all the way.  Very cool gadget, that's for sure.  
« Last Edit: February 14, 2011, 04:16:28 PM by micsager »

Offline Hydro

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Re: Blichmann Therminator wort chiller
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2011, 05:28:44 AM »
Thanks for the update:  Tell us more about the flow rate that you had with only a 6-7 inch drop.

Your comment about the 4 foot drop concerns me.  Did those folks talk specifically to the therminator, or any plate chiller?  The Blichmann website talks all about "low restriction, perfect for gravity systems"  I sent them an email, to ask there thoughts.

I was talking with them about the Therminator at the time.  

Well, finally got all the hose connections right and used my new therminator this past Saturday.  I had to slide the burners up on my Top Tier to make sure I still ahd room to get wort into my buckets.  But, from the ball valve in my boil pot to the Therminator is only a drop of about 6-7 inches, then into my buckets.  

My well water isn't very cold, so I could only open the valve half way.  But then, I put a cold wet towel with an ice pack on top of the Therminator, and I opened it up all the way.  Very cool gadget, that's for sure.  
For the Love of Beer,
Hydro

On Tap Now:
1. Irish Red Ale
2. American Amber Ale
3. Kolsch
4. Scotch Ale
5. Strong Scotch Ale
6. Key Lime Pie (11%) Chilled to 29 deg. F. you can not even taste the alcohol.

It is time to start brewing again.