Author Topic: How much chilling capacity is needed for 20 gallon batches  (Read 2254 times)

Offline dee

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I'm stepping up from 10 to 20 gallon batches (lots of friends involved in the consumption) and I've been using a 50 foot 1/2 inch copper wort chiller and pumping ice water through it.  It's been sufficient and usually takes 25-30 minutes to get to pitching temps.  I just purchased a 40 plate wort chiller and plan on pumping ice water through it with a fountain pump.  Will I need both the immersion chiller and plate chiller for that much wort or are the plate chillers as effective as advertised?  

Offline euge

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Re: How much chilling capacity is needed for 20 gallon batches
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2011, 12:26:50 PM »
Don't know about one pass chilling with the plate chiller. Reputedly, it ought to work if the flow is set right. You might need to drop the temp down with the IC before starting in with the ice-water and  PC though. Give it a few tries and report back.
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Offline stlaleman

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Re: How much chilling capacity is needed for 20 gallon batches
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2011, 04:01:43 AM »
If your chilling water is cold enough to chill the wort, it won't care if there is 5 gallons or 20 gallons. The heat exchange is fixed per flow. If you have to add ice to the cooling water to get it cold enough, be prepared to buy 4X the ice.

Offline mxstar21

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Re: How much chilling capacity is needed for 20 gallon batches
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2011, 04:27:36 AM »
I can pump out at 60-65 degrees with ice water through my plate chiller for a 5 gallon batch in less than 10 minutes.  I think more ice and you should be good depending on your set-up.  I use a pond pump submerged in ice water for water in.

Offline noodle

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Re: How much chilling capacity is needed for 20 gallon batches
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2011, 08:58:01 AM »
We use a 50 plate chiller with cold tap water (ground temp from a well) for our system. We chill at 1 gallon per minute. 20 gallons =20 minutes.


Offline richardt

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Re: How much chilling capacity is needed for 20 gallon batches
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2011, 09:07:25 AM »
Depending on how gadget-y you want to get, you could always use the 50 ft copper immersion chiller (IC) in ice water to pre-chill the water going into the plate chiller (PC)and recirculate back into the boil kettle (BK).  This would help you keep your break material from ending up into the fermentors (if that matters to you--to some, it does not).  It would also help you get your entire 20 gallons in the BK below 140 F more quickly (reducing the likelihood of SMS-->DMS formation as the 20 gallons of wort sits around at 210 F while waiting its turn to enter the chiller).  Two pumps would be required, ideally.


Offline weazletoe

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Re: How much chilling capacity is needed for 20 gallon batches
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2011, 06:46:08 PM »
Hey Dee, I can't answer your question, but you could answer mine... ;D I do 10gal batches, and plan to get a 40 plate chiller rel soon. How quick can you chill with 60-65* water?
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Offline mxstar21

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Re: How much chilling capacity is needed for 20 gallon batches
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2011, 11:05:24 PM »
I have a 30 plate chiller and its rating is 210 to 68 degrees in about 5 minutes.  The same company sells a 40 plate chiller and claims 2 minutes.  Those ratings are for 5 gallon batches.  I haven't timed mine, but I used an aquarium pump to push ice water through the chiller and got 60 degree wort between 5-10 minutes for 6 gallons.  I bought mine from hombrewstuff.com.

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Re: How much chilling capacity is needed for 20 gallon batches
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2011, 04:34:52 AM »
I personally haven't had much luck with plate chillers. They tend to clog on me. I use a Chillzilla with my 55 gallon blichmann (45 gallon batches) and chill in about 40 minutes or so by recircing back into BK. During the winter I can get to pitching temps but during warmer weather I have to use either additional cold water and leave fermenter to chill overnight.
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Offline dee

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Re: How much chilling capacity is needed for 20 gallon batches
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2011, 08:20:02 AM »
Hey Dee, I can't answer your question, but you could answer mine... ;D I do 10gal batches, and plan to get a 40 plate chiller rel soon. How quick can you chill with 60-65* water?
I ended up using both the immersion chiller and the plate chiller.  I recirculated the ice water through the plate chiller using a fountain pump and let the immersion chiller water exit into my garden (terrible drought in Georgia right now so the water was not wasted).  I used 120lbs of bulk ice ($9)and probably 45 gallons of water.  I kept adding ice to the chiller water as the return water reentered.  The total time from boil to 60 degrees for this 20 gallon batch of Kolsch was 25 minutes in 100 degree weather.  The whirlpooling return hitting the the 40 degree immersion chiller worked well.  I was worried the IM might work against the plate chiller if I didn't let the heated water exit the system.  All in all, it was well worth the effort and going from 10-20 gallon batches really makes the brew day productive (5 hrs. from grind to cleanup).  I have a bazooka screen but still used a hop bag to avoid clogging the chiller but I'm not sure how free floating hops would work.  I flushed the chiller in every direction with star san and didn't see any trub.  This is my first experience with pumps and plates but it seemed to work.  I used two separate mash tuns and batch sparged.  I figured the sparging process would go faster that way and helped me get to a boil faster.   Next purchase is twin jet burners.  Either way it worked.

Offline micsager

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Re: How much chilling capacity is needed for 20 gallon batches
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2011, 09:51:29 AM »
I brew 10 gallon batches, and use the Blichmann thermanator.  To allow for greater throughput, I place an ice pack on top of the plate chiller about ten minutes before and during transfer.  I get from 212 to about 60 degreees without any problems, and wide open valves.  I'm sure another ten gallons wouldn't change that at all.

Offline dbeechum

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Re: How much chilling capacity is needed for 20 gallon batches
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2011, 10:36:28 AM »
What's your groundwater temp?

For me, I use a Heart's Super Chiller - http://www.heartshomebrew.com/home_brew_beer.cgi?cart_id=5020663.12870*Tf6MX3&p_id=9002&xm=on&ppinc=dave2full

And then I run into an immersion coil sitting in a bucket of ice. During the late spring / early summer - I can chill 12 gallons down to 64F in 17 minutes with 9 lbs of ice.

I can only get away with using just water for ~2 months out of the year due to ground water temps. Stupid heat. :)
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Offline Norm!

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Re: How much chilling capacity is needed for 20 gallon batches
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2011, 01:45:16 PM »
Great topic here....I am going to step up from 5Gals to 10Gals in the very near future, currently I just use an immersion chiller with at first just a hose (ground water here is always above 60, most likely 70+) I try to hit 90F, then switch to ice water....any way My biggest question is,, I see a ton of cold break in the boil kettle this way (think egg drop soup) if I switch to a plate chiller or counter flow chiller....wheres that cold break gonna end up?  and how do most of you deal with that?
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Offline Will's Swill

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Re: How much chilling capacity is needed for 20 gallon batches
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2011, 06:05:01 PM »
I push through my counterflow into a bucket, let it settle, then rack to a carboy prior to pitching.
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