Author Topic: Best wort chiller for the money?  (Read 12274 times)

Offline jallen

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2012, 09:41:56 PM »
Martin has 2 great points.  I started with a Therminator when they first came out, but it can't cool the wort any colder than your tap water.  So in the Summers, when I brew lagers, I got a Duda 20-plate chiller that I put in-line.  The first chiller gets tap water and the second gets ice water pumped through it with a little sump pump.  Works like a charm.

And I highly recommend placing a thermometer on the wort output and use valves on both the water and the wort so you dial in the wort temperature.

So if you live in the Great White North, I would recommend one of the 20-plate chillers.  If you brew sometimes when your tap water is warmer than you want the wort, get a second 20-plate chiller.  It's still a lot cheaper than a Therminator or a Chillzilla.
Tom,
I am wondering if the 20-plate chiller is easier to clean than the 30-plate chiller. The more plates involved worries me about getting trub, break material, and hops trapped w/in the unit. Have you had any problems cleaning the unit with PBW and/or back flush setup? I also live in the Denver area and would like to buy only one chiller. I am thinking about getting the B3-23A 20 Plate Beer Wort Garden Hose Chiller with 1/2" male NPT so I can add quick disconnects.
Thanks!
James

Offline tom

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2012, 08:15:36 AM »
They will both require the same cleaning and sanitizing.
I backflush with the water hose and then pump hot PBW backwards through it for 30 minutes.  I sanitize either with StarSan or the oven (285F for 3 hours).

The 20 plate will be fine in the Winter, but in the Summer you can't chill any lower than the ground water temperature without using an ice bath.  In the Summer I set them up in series with the first getting ground water and the second getting ice water pumped with a sump pump.

I clean my pump and hoses every brew, so adding the plate chiller in-line is almost zero extra work.
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Offline Alewyfe

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2012, 09:19:55 AM »
For me, it's always a matter of what on the wish list is going to give the most bang for the buck. I've wanted plate chillers and pumps. I opted for one pump first. That lessened my chill time significantly and aided in moving stuff around without lifting. Second benefit is that I just use a 5 gal pail with ice water and run a short hose from that to my IC. In the warm summer months using my tap water I get down to around 80 with the IC in the wort. Then hook up the pump to the IC, pumping ice water through the chiller, I can get it down to where I need it for pitching either lager or ale yeast.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2012, 10:00:23 AM »
A friend had a good idea. He held one of those flexible ice packs wrapped around the input side of the IC above where it goes in the wort. seemed to help a bit. maybe knocked 5 minutes off chilling.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2012, 10:07:02 AM »
i am in the process of building a cross flow heat exchanger. i have a 2 gallon bucket with an inlet in the lid and outlet near the bottom. this i circulate ice water through via a submersible pump.  inside the bucket is about 20 feet of copper tubing that protrudes (both ends) through the sides. this i can pump the wort through. it will be getting a final test this weekend and if it works will add pictures.
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2012, 11:22:57 AM »
How are you guys keeping little hop debris out of your plate chillers?

I only use pellet hops with a Hop Stopper, but I still feel like it would clog a plate chiller. I'm currently running a CFC, so I'm just curious.
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Offline PSUhomebrewer

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2012, 12:05:35 PM »
Hop backs work great for filters for plate chillers. I'm pluming one in after my pump before the chiller (the standard for pumps atleast). Depending on what one you use you can use rice hull instead of hops to filter the wort when you do non hoppy beers.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2012, 04:59:55 AM »
I have had all the chillers out there just about, from a homemade IC to a chillzilla to a plate chiller. And the homemade IC is best bang for the buck by far. Much, much easier to clean and sanitize (just drop it in the boil for last 20 minutes, hose off before and after each brew). Costs about $40 to build, takes all of 5 minutes to construct.

Yes, in the summer you will not be able to chill below your water temp, and mine is in the 80's here in the deep south. I always have just be certain my fermenter is sanitized properly, run off my wort into fermenter and put in whatever temp controlled fermentation controller I am using and chill down to proper pitching temps next morning. A lot less stress, too, at end of long brew day.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2012, 06:04:34 AM »
fwiw, you are never able to cool below your cooling source temperature
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2012, 06:52:44 AM »
Hop backs work great for filters for plate chillers. I'm pluming one in after my pump before the chiller (the standard for pumps atleast). Depending on what one you use you can use rice hull instead of hops to filter the wort when you do non hoppy beers.

Yes, but you need whole hops for a hop back, no?

Also, rice hulls are not as efficient as hops for a filter medium. So I would be slightly concerned with debris getting in.
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Offline tcanova

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2012, 07:46:35 AM »
i am in the process of building a cross flow heat exchanger. i have a 2 gallon bucket with an inlet in the lid and outlet near the bottom. this i circulate ice water through via a submersible pump.  inside the bucket is about 20 feet of copper tubing that protrudes (both ends) through the sides. this i can pump the wort through. it will be getting a final test this weekend and if it works will add pictures.

A friend of mine in our club built one of these and it works quite well.

I use my RIMS to recirculate ice water through my submersion chiller and whirlpool and I can cool 10 gallons down in about 15 minutes.
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Offline PSUhomebrewer

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2012, 03:24:48 AM »
Hop backs work great for filters for plate chillers. I'm pluming one in after my pump before the chiller (the standard for pumps atleast). Depending on what one you use you can use rice hull instead of hops to filter the wort when you do non hoppy beers.

Yes, but you need whole hops for a hop back, no?

Also, rice hulls are not as efficient as hops for a filter medium. So I would be slightly concerned with debris getting in.


Yes you do need to use leaf hops for it. Rice hulls also get bagged when being used as a filter medium to prevent them from flowing out of the hop back. Also you can use more(by weight) rice hulls than hoos to increase the filtering capability of them. It was the most suggested way when I was looking at how to prevent stuff from going into the chiller.