Author Topic: Plate Chiller or CFC  (Read 4801 times)

Offline Robert

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Plate Chiller or CFC
« on: November 04, 2009, 05:19:23 PM »
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.
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Offline dhacker

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Re: Plate Chiller or CFC
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2009, 05:30:26 PM »
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!  ;)
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Offline maxieboy

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Re: Plate Chiller or CFC
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2009, 05:33:43 PM »
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!
« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 05:42:55 PM by maxieboy »
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brewboy

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Re: Plate Chiller or CFC
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2009, 06:05:54 PM »
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.

Offline BarleynYeast

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Re: Plate Chiller or CFC
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2009, 06:19:43 PM »
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.

Offline Robert

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Re: Plate Chiller or CFC
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2009, 06:32:53 PM »
March Pump...good idea. That should be about in the price range I was looking at. Thanks all.
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Offline Dale Hair

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Re: Plate Chiller or CFC
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2009, 07:16:51 PM »
Robert a CFC or plate chiller is not going to work very well with our water temps.  You already have an IC chiller.  I have always used a 5 gal bucket with a pond pump in it to pump through my IC and keep my water flow into the bucket to keep up.  When my water out temp get low I add ice to the bucket.  I hope that made sense. In other words get a 5 gal bucket, a $20 pond pump and a bag of ice.

Offline Robert

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Re: Plate Chiller or CFC
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2009, 10:14:55 PM »
Thanks Dale! Good to see you posting on this site too! I've been meaning to give that a try. Every time I see that $20 pump at Harbor Freight I think about a set up like that. But then I hear Cody getting his brew down to 44º with his CFC and I get jealous.
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Offline dhacker

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Re: Plate Chiller or CFC
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2009, 05:29:45 AM »
But then I hear Cody getting his brew down to 44º with his CFC . . . .

44!! :o   Why??!! 
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Offline Robert

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Re: Plate Chiller or CFC
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2009, 07:59:25 AM »
I dunno. Maybe he'll join and tell us. ;)

 I think he said he pitched at 48º by the time it was all said and done. It was a doppelbock.
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Offline skotrat

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Re: Plate Chiller or CFC
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2009, 08:01:46 AM »
But then I hear Cody getting his brew down to 44º with his CFC . . . .

44!! :o   Why??!! 

My well water is about 48-50f all year long. I slow down my water flow pretty heavily to get the pitching temps that I need.

Offline jamilz

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Re: Plate Chiller or CFC
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2009, 05:21:05 PM »
I'm partial to the immersion chiller with the whirlpool. I wrote an article for Zymurgy about it maybe a couple years ago. I have some info on my website on how/why:

http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php

I hope my post was helpful. If not, please send me an email.

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Re: Plate Chiller or CFC
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2009, 05:27:53 PM »
Jamil, I took what you did one step further and plumbed in another port (output) into my keggle. I added an elbow to it to shoot the wort around the sides.

It works great and thanks for the idea.

Offline Robert

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Re: Plate Chiller or CFC
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2009, 05:44:19 PM »
I read about it Jamil. It seemed cool, but if you saw my homemade IC, you'd probably be embarrassed for me and my lack of metal shaping skills.

I like BB's idea and if I find a March Pump wrapped up on my b-day, I think I'll def go that route.
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Offline Dale Hair

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Re: Plate Chiller or CFC
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2009, 07:50:16 PM »
Robert which ever way you go you still need ice water to chill down that low which means a pump.  I would invest in a march pump or motorized stirrer to circulate the wort while using the IC  With this you could lower the batch of wort to whatever temp you want so you can experiment with different hopping methods, or just bring the entire batch down to below 170 very quickly.