Stainless Steel Plate Chillers

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dr jacoby
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Stainless Steel Plate Chillers

Postby dr jacoby » Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:06 pm

Does anyone know where to source a stainless steel plate chiller that is not braised with copper? I know these are easy to come by for professional brewers but I can't seem to find any at the homebrew level. Cheers
Peter
Ski
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Re: Stainless Steel Plate Chillers

Postby Ski » Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:54 pm

Difficult to find, dr jacoby. The professional ones are designed to be dismantled for cleaning and have no braising. They're very expensive. Alfa-laval would be a good source but not a cheap one.
I'm using a 50' 1/2" stainless IC. Takes about 30 mins to get down to ~20º from tap water (~15º). My tap water is perfect for ales, not so good for lagers. After that, it needs ice water to get down further. And then into the fridge. I was thinking of throwing a keg full of water into the fridge a few days in advance to get some 5º water to pump through the IC.
AliX has stainless counterflow chillers for around €170 shipped. However, you are still very dependent on your tap water temperature. Mind you, same holds for a plate chiller. I have a plate chiller and unless you have really cold water, the wort flow rate is miniscule.
Other options:
A fan in the fridge will get you about 1º/hour. 2kg of ice should be enough to get 22L from 15 to 7º, if you can do an efficient energy swap. I need at least an hour of chilling in the fridge for trub separation anyway, so if I can get to ~7 with ice, another hour or two should get me to pitching temps. I've looked at this and decided that my ground water is just not cool enough for either a plate or a counterflow to be worthwhile. At least with an IC, I can leave it there long enough to get it close to tap temperature. Now that we don't have to pay water charges...
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dr jacoby
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Re: Stainless Steel Plate Chillers

Postby dr jacoby » Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:22 pm

Thanks Ski. I'm also using a 50' 1/2" stainless IC. I use a submersible pump to pump rainwater through an old pub chiller that is connected to the stainless IC. The water is usually 5C coming out of the pub chiller but it still takes a long time for the wort to get down to 20C. I normally transfer at that temp into the fermenter and stick it in a freezer to get down to 6 or 7C. That takes a couple of hours.

All in all it's a long process so I'm looking for ways to speed it up. If I could use a stainless plate or counterflow chiller in conjunction with the pub cooler I reckon I could shave quite a bit of time off my brewday. I'd probably still need to put the fermenter in the freezer (not least because I'd have to settle and dump the cold break) but that's ok as long as I can keep oxygen exposure to a minimum.

I think a counterflow chiller might be easier to source. Maybe I should start there...
Peter
Ski
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Re: Stainless Steel Plate Chillers

Postby Ski » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:03 am

What temp is your rainwater, Peter? If it's < 20º you could just use that to get the wort near 20, then bring the chiller into play, where it's not dealing with high-temp wort. My supply is from a surface pipe, so it's not very cold in summer, can be high as 18º. That's why I've stuck to ales so far. I'm thermally challenged when it comes to lagers!
If I could get a large enough supply of really cold water, I'd probably go with a counterflow. However, the IC does a reasonable job with my existing supply, so I'll persevere with it. I think the most important thing is to get the wort down to < 20º fast as possible, and keep it covered to reduce O2 ingress. I'm planning on a fast cooldown to ~20 with tap water, then pump some ice-water to get down lower, then into the fridge for trub settling. Finally into the fermenter and pitch. Only 30 minutes for an ale. I'm not sure how long this will take for a lager. Keeping a mash-cap on the wort is giving good results and I don't seem to get much O2 ingress while waiting for trub separation. I'll know in a week or so when I brew my first lager.
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Weizenberg
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Re: Stainless Steel Plate Chillers

Postby Weizenberg » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:57 pm

IMG_0726.JPG
IMG_0726.JPG (466.45 KiB) Viewed 796 times
The Quest for Edelstoff - http://edelstoffquest.wordpress.com
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dr jacoby
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Re: Stainless Steel Plate Chillers

Postby dr jacoby » Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:04 am

Very nice!
Peter
Ski
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Re: Stainless Steel Plate Chillers

Postby Ski » Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:17 pm

I'm now suffering from Chiller Envy!
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dr jacoby
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Re: Stainless Steel Plate Chillers

Postby dr jacoby » Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:56 pm

Weizenberg wrote:IMG_0726.JPG


Did you get this custom built or is it one of the options available on: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/lupi72/

Is it difficult to reassemble after cleaning?

It's a beautiful piece of kit!
Peter
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Weizenberg
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Re: Stainless Steel Plate Chillers

Postby Weizenberg » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:50 am

It was one of the options.

It's a small family owned company in Bavaria. IIRC they make these by hand, so any size should be available.

They are designed to be disassembled, which is indeed dead easy.
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dr jacoby
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Re: Stainless Steel Plate Chillers

Postby dr jacoby » Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:43 am

Weizenberg wrote:It was one of the options.

It's a small family owned company in Bavaria. IIRC they make these by hand, so any size should be available.

They are designed to be disassembled, which is indeed dead easy.


Yea, they look great. I can't see any models like yours on their eBay listings though. You appear to have 4 male threaded connections (3/4"?) on yours but the ones on the site are mostly a mix.

I'll probably contact them directly - hopefully they can converse in English!
Peter

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