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Plate Chiller or CFC

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Robert:
Sooooo, my b-day is rollin around soon and SWMBO was trying to figure out what to get me. I was thinking one or the other. I live in Texas so tap water temp is not very cool in summer. Which in your opinion would be more efficient? I currently have 40 ft of copper twisted into a convoluted IC. Doesn't work too well for the 10 gallon batches.

dhacker:
The plate chiller will definitely use less water. . . It will also cost more to purchase. Some think a plate chiller is more prone to an internal buildup of gunk. That has not been my experience with my Therminator. I figure it is because I have a good cleanup/ back flush regimen after each use, AND I use a ring of braided SS hose on the BK wort pickup which snags the really big chunks. With Tejas water temps, I'd use your current coil as a pre-chiller in a bucket o' ice regardless!  ;)

maxieboy:
IMO, you can't go wrong with the Therminator! Here in MI, 10 gallons from boiling to pitch temp in 10 minutes(on a gravity setup), year round. The TX crew will have to chime in on the best way to get to pitch temp with 85* tap water. ;D Ice water, pumps, prechillers, all that hoo ha! Happy b-day and good luck!

brewboy:
I'd keep the IC and ask for a March pump to move the wort and some other pump to move ice water. Remember, tap water temps get into the 80's in the summer here in Texas.

Also, the march pump has other uses.

BarleynYeast:
I live in Las Vegas where we deal with near 90 degree tap water in the heat of the summer. I have a plate chiller (Sherron) as well as an immersion chiller with a recirculation arm. See More Beer     http://morebeer.com/view_product/9147/102204/Wort_Chiller_Recirculation_Arm_-_Option_Two

I brew 10 gal batches and used the plate chiller in the winter for the last few years with great results. But have found IMHO that the best way to get wort down to pitching temps in the summer is to chill in 2 stages. First I start with tap water through the immersion chiller and a march pump on the recirculation arm. After the wort gets down below 100 degrees (8 to 12 min) I switch out the tap water and reticulate Ice and water from an old 6 gal bucket using a $25.00 immersion water fountain pump. (apr. 10 pounds of ice for ales and 20 for lagers)

Yes it’s a pain, but I am transferring pitching temp wort in 20 to 30 min. when it’s 115 outside.

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