Chillers

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by jeffpn, May 18, 2015.

  1. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Today, I pulled out my old immersion chiller. My goal was to leave the cold break behind. It worked fantastically. Here's my question: how many of you have gone from an immersion chiller to a counterflow/plate chiller, and back to the immersion chiller?
     
  2. SwampWater

    SwampWater Member

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    I have. I am on a well and thought the plate chiller was great. After awhile I was getting off flavours that wouldn't go away. I used PBW, star san and thought I was giving it a good clean. The last time I used it, I drained a litre or so through the plate chiller and then hooked up my old immersion chiller to finish. The plate chiller sample had an off taste right away. I never used it again. I still don't know what happened and will never use a plate chiller again.
     
  3. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    Just like the immersion chiller you need to boil through it right before using it or its not stylized
     
  4. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    I have thought about using a plate chiller but have always hated the idea of having to clean what I can't see. So I have stuck to the immersion chiller. I run 2 - one in a 5 gal bucket with ice that then runs into the chiller in my pot. Works great!

    I have been in the market for a new pot and figured if I bought one that had a spigot that I might build a mini plate chiller - my idea is to take a small cooler and run copper piping though it (like a serpentine) and out the other side. Hot wort would run through the serpentine which would be covered in ice and then into my other pot where I would then use the method described above.

    What do you think? Possible? How would I keep it sanitized? run sanitizer through it the same way I would wort?
     
  5. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    My first chiller was a copper coil that was inside a 5 gallon bucket full of ice water. That's the same concept of the counterflow chiller I now have. The wort flows inside the copper tubing. The way I cleaned that, and the way I now clean my counterflow chiller, is to siphon soapy bleach water through the lines, and then force tap water through to rinse. I have never had an infected batch in 20 years of brewing. I think your idea will work fine to sanitize. Consider putting rock salt in your ice water to make it colder. Remember making ice cream?
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'd think a plate chiller would be subject to "dead" areas where liquid accumulates but doesn't move. I, too, am a bit leery of using equipment I can't see in my beer. Boiling it would be an option to sanitize but that seems like way too much trouble to me when I can just dump my copper tubing coils into the hot wort, hook it up to my faucet and chill my beer....
     
  7. SwampWater

    SwampWater Member

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    I ran boiling wort through it every time I brewed. Something got in there and wouldn't leave.
     
  8. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I prefer cleaning my counterflow chiller over the immersion chiller. It's also easier to use, in my opinion. I'm wondering about siphoning into a temporary pot with the counterflow, and then siphon into the fermenter to leave the cold break behind. Anyone ever do that?
     
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I just let the kettle stand, cold, for a couple of hours undisturbed to let the cold break settle. I use a kettle with a valve so I tilt the kettle, valve down, and let the gunk settle into the "dead space". Gives me much cleaner wort and beers without a "harsh bitterness" I was getting before discovering this trick.
     
  10. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    your right Nosybear, it is a pain to boil everything before you brew and takes up to and extra 2 hours to get back up to your mash temps. but I have piece of mind knowing "not guessing" my system is clean and sterilized. just one more thing I don't have to worry about
     
  11. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    You don't get cold break in your kettle when using a counterflow/plate chiller. Unless you're assuming I'm recirculating? I have no pumps.
     
  12. coolitfast

    coolitfast New Member

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    Try this. Purchase a fine mesh colander at a kitchen supply store and run the cool wort from CFC through colander. You will see the cold break collect it looks like white grease. Plus this also aerates wort. I also use the colander to scoop hot break out at beginning of boil instead of letting it fall. I think this reduces cold break too.
     
  13. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I tried that a couple brews ago, but the colander wasn't fine enough of a mesh. And I found it an awkward process. I was using a bucket as a fermenter at the time. I usually use a carboy, but they were both full. Carboys and colanders don't play well together either.
     
  14. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I, too, have tried the colander trick. Didn't work, or rather, the only time it's worked is when I used whole hops and the hops made the "screen." So I do the "cold break" rest, basically just tilt my kettle so the gunk accumulates below the valve then let it set, chilled but not aerated, for a couple hours. I lose a couple quarts of beer but for it, I get much cleaner tasting beer.
     
  15. nephtwim@icloud.com

    [email protected] New Member

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    Nosybear, could you clarify some things for me? First, what is the cold break? Second, when you tilt the kettle to get a clearer wort, at what point in the brewing process are you talking about? I assume you don't mean right after the boil, but I'm not sure.
     
  16. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Cold break is the proteins that precipitate from hot wort as you chill it. If you get it into your fermenter, it gives that "egg drop soup" look to the wort. I tilt the kettle - it's ported so I'm trying to trap the gunk below the valve line - after chilling and let it sit there at a weird angle. Saturday I did a demo brew for our local homebrew shop and instead of tilting, I just dumped everything into a carboy, took it home, let it stand then racked off the clear wort. Some of this is an excess of caution - a bit of trub in the primary fermenter is supposed to both help the quality and clarity of the finished beer. Just don't ask me to define a "bit", no idea how much is too little or too much.
     
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