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Plate Chillers
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,410
    Does anyone use a plate chiller. If so how many plates? I'm looking at a 10 plate and 20 plate. Big difference in cost.

    If you do use a plate chiller, any draw backs?
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 100,775
    I don't use a plate chiller personally but I can say a few things on the subject.

    The number of plates and the size of the plates have a big impact on efficiency. So if water usage is a concern, more plates will reduce consumption. Also, depending on the temperature of the cold water you are using, the higher efficiency could mean reaching target temps significantly faster.

    The only draw back to plate chiller is that most consumer versions can not be disassembled for cleaning and hop bits from pelletized hops can easily get lodged inside. They can clog it up completely, or somewhat worse, they just stick to shit and can be a source of infection down the road.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • CurlyFatCurlyFat
    Posts: 58,806
    Lakewood said:

    I don't use a plate chiller personally but I can say a few things on the subject.

    The number of plates and the size of the plates have a big impact on efficiency. So if water usage is a concern, more plates will reduce consumption. Also, depending on the temperature of the cold water you are using, the higher efficiency could mean reaching target temps significantly faster.

    The only draw back to plate chiller is that most consumer versions can not be disassembled for cleaning and hop bits from pelletized hops can easily get lodged inside. They can clog it up completely, or somewhat worse, they just stick to shit and can be a source of infection down the road.



    In my experience, the difficulty (complete inability) to properly clean it out, was not worth the slight time saving over an immersion chiller. I could (and did) sanitize it in an oven, but found it to be a source of off-flavors after about 10 uses.

    For full disclosure, mine was not specifically made for brewing, it was just a "plate heat-exchanger", and I think it was 12 plates. I had to run the wort through slow enough that 10 gallons took about 35-40 minutes. So...it was actually slower than my current immersion chiller.

    "Balls."
    - Thym's 100,000th post

  • CurlyFatCurlyFat
    Posts: 58,806

    "Balls."
    - Thym's 100,000th post

  • ThymThym
    Posts: 100,775
    DrCurly said:


    yeah...
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    I have a plate chiller that i think is over 20 but less than 30. 26? Somewhere around there. I bought it from that cowboy place that used to advertise on this site.
    I love the thing. I make beer loaded with hops and have never had any issues. I flush the hell out of the thing after use.
    Plus, i have well water so it comes out really cold. It actually took some adjusting because with the water turned on at full blast the wort came out at around 55 degrees. I ended up turning on the water halfway and the wort comes out around 65 now. i can chill 10 gallons from near boiling to 65 in less than 5 minutes.
  • morsmors
    Posts: 231
    i have a 12 inch 40 plate chiller and i fund it to be fantastic and clean up to be quite easy.
    BJCP A0936 National Beer Judge and Mead Judge
    Cicerone Certified Beer Server
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  • BenSBenS
    Posts: 6,248
    I'm with fry. I love my plate chiller. Just remember that plate length matters more for cooling efficiency than plate count. Trust me, I'm an engineer. And learn math.
    There's no starting point. It's just a massive sea of shit to wade through until you find the occasional corn kernel. -DrCurly
  • jeepinjeepinjeepinjeepin
    Posts: 16,488
    BenS said:

    I'm with fry. I love my plate chiller. Just remember that plate length matters more for cooling efficiency than plate count. Trust me, I'm an engineer. And learn math.



    Does it not just come down to square inches?

    Also, I have a duda plate chiller. It works, once so far. That's all I can add.
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  • ThymThym
    Posts: 100,775
    Plate count x length = total flow length

    Total length drives efficiency. capacity increases with plate width but for a given flow rate the efficiency will decrease with increased plate width

    Thermodynamics and Fluid mechanics FTW
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • CurlyFatCurlyFat
    Posts: 58,806
    This all makes sense and explains why mine Suck ed. Science, bitch!

    "Balls."
    - Thym's 100,000th post