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Thread: Chiller Options for a 2 bbl brewhouse

  1. #1
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    Chiller Options for a 2 bbl brewhouse

    We are looking at different chilling options for our 2 bbl Herms brewhouse. Our plan is to buy a couple 7 bbl fermenters for triple batches to go along with our bubba barrels fermenters and eventually upgrade to a 7 bbl system. Then we will have the 2 bbl for smaller pilot batches. I'm trying to decide if I should get a Sabco for the 2 bbl system for $750 or double the investment and get a CPE that is rated for a 5 bbl brewhouse. Or just use a counterlow and wait for the large plate chiller when we are ready to upgrade. I read that you can use the 5 bbl CPE plate chiller fine on a 7 bb lbrewhouse if you prechill the water in a CLT. Can somebody provide me with some guidance in this decision? I go back and forth

    Option 1: counter flow chiller

    Option 2: Sabco chiller

    Option 3: CPE

    My thinking is that the CPE for the 5 bbl rating is going to help us out in the warm summer months in NC since we currently dont have a CLT. I guess you can't have a plate chiller too large so why not. Any suggestions?
    Last edited by MatthewsBrew; 03-05-2018 at 05:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    Option 4: Brazed plate heat exchanger. Not as good as the CPE plate HX (option 3), because it can't be broken down for cleaning, and since the brazing material is copper, you have to be careful what you put through it. But you can inexpensively set up a two stage chiller this way: stage 1 is city water, stage 2 is glycol or chilled water.

    https://www.dudadiesel.com/search.ph...i=beerchillers

    Regards,
    Mike Sharp

  3. #3
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    Thank you for your reply! The system I purchased actually came with 3 bronze plate chillers. I actually have a blichmann plate chiller that I used a couple of times on my keggle homebrew system but my NEIPA clogged it pretty fast. Since this is an electric system and I have to brew in hop bags, I might be okay with these. I ran water through them to make sure nothing funky came out and it seems clean. I just heard too many bad stories of these so I stayed away but I guess I can use them until they fail. I was hoping to sell them invest in a better quality plate chiller that is going to last me in the long run but maybe I just like wasting cash that could be invested in something else.














    Quote Originally Posted by rdcpro View Post
    Option 4: Brazed plate heat exchanger. Not as good as the CPE plate HX (option 3), because it can't be broken down for cleaning, and since the brazing material is copper, you have to be careful what you put through it. But you can inexpensively set up a two stage chiller this way: stage 1 is city water, stage 2 is glycol or chilled water.

    https://www.dudadiesel.com/search.ph...i=beerchillers

    Regards,
    Mike Sharp

  4. #4
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    I doubt you'll ever regret investing in a real heat exchanger. The brazed ones do clog up easily, I think it's because they are so narrow. On the other hand, that same narrowness makes cleaning them by reversing the flow easier...it seems like it works well with a smaller pump--you need a good healthy flow in reverse to get the velocity high enough. So whichever way you go, make sure you have a pump with enough power to get the cleaning velocity through the HX high enough. That might render the "real" heat exchanger a non-starter if you have to upgrade your pump as well.

    But I had a lot of problems clogging my duda diesel with "neipa-quantities" of whirlpool hops, so next time I'm going to whirlpool through the HX to 170F, then cut out the HX out of the loop, and then add the hops and whirlpool a few more minutes, and then rest. Then knock out through the HX to the fermenter. Previously I knocked out entirely in the kettle during the whirlpool. But it's a really small pilot system, I don't know how well that would work on a larger scale. I think if you use the sabco variety of HX, it will clog big-time.

    Regards,
    Mike

  5. #5
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    I would strongly recommend against a brazed heat exchanger, if your brewing anything hoppy they are worthless. The pores are so small they dont let anything through. In a pro plate and frame exchanger the pores are quite bit bigger and wont clog nearly as easy. However once you send the first hoppy beer through them dont ever plan on getting it totally spotless-clean inside- at least in my experience, there was always hop flakes hiding in the nooks and crannies no matter how many times we cleaned the sucker. We got rid of ours and built our own counterflow heat exchanger for our 10bbl sydtem out of copper. We love it! Lots of advantages including time saved cleaning. When we were a nano-3 bbl with 3 bbl and 7 bbl fermenters we used 4 chillzillas with stainless tri clamp ends that were mounted on a cart with a march nano pump. The flow of the wort was diverted and sent through both sets of chillers in parallel circuits, this allowed for more surface area and faster flow. So basically i’d like to point you toward your best option in my opinion which is counterflow- tube within a tube.

    The chillzilla with tri clamps can be found here. https://www.morebeer.com/products/wo...SABEgKttPD_BwE

    Also the stainless tri clamp fittings can be brazed/soldered on to copper yourself with some 45% silver soldering sticks- if you want to save money.
    Last edited by Junkyard; 03-08-2018 at 12:48 AM.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the info! So it appears that sabco doesn't seem like it is going to be much better than a bronze one. If I am understanding you correctly Mike, it will clog just as easily as the bronze ones but i will be able to take it apart to clean instead of soaking in warm PBW.

    I've always liked using the counterflow on my keggle system. It is easy to use and easy to clean. I think i will go with 2 of the chillzillas. It should be fine on a 2 bbl brewhouse. Junkyard, do you have pictures of the counterflow you built? How much copper did you end up using?
    Last edited by MatthewsBrew; 03-08-2018 at 04:27 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewsBrew View Post
    Thanks for the info! So it appears that sabco doesn't seem like it is going to be much better than a bronze one. If I am understanding you correctly Mike, it will clog just as easily as the bronze ones but i will be able to take it apart to clean instead of soaking in warm PBW.

    I've always liked using the counterflow on my keggle system. It is easy to use and easy to clean. I think i will go with 2 of the chillzillas. It should be fine on a 2 bbl brewhouse. Junkyard, do you have pictures of the counterflow you built? How much copper did you end up using?
    I don't have experience with the Sabco style...I was assuming it would be more prone to clogging, but Junkyard seems to indicate otherwise.

    Regards,
    Mike

  8. #8
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    I dont have any experience with the sabco eithet but my personal advice would be to stay away from the brazed style counterflow.

    Heres our 10 bbl copper chiller we made, the design is a little complicated for 2 stage cooling. We designed it to have 56 sq feet of cooling area if i remember right. A 2bbl could prob get by with 10-20 total sq feet. Ill try to dig up a pic of the one we had for our 3bbl.

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  9. #9
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    Definitely not what I had pictured in my mind! That's pretty cool, actually.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdcpro View Post
    Definitely not what I had pictured in my mind! That's pretty cool, actually.
    We love it, fast transfers- 10 bbl xfer in as low as 30 min. We can transfer through it going from kettle to our whirlpool to lower whirlpool temps to 170 degrees for better aroma. We can also push kettle trub through it at the end of a transfer all the way to the FV valve to get every last drop of beer out of the whirlpoo. And the best part: really quick cleaning, just cant use caustic or strong acid in it since its copper but PBW works great for getting it clean. Honestly just a hot water rinse and it would end up cleaner than most plate and frame chillers.

  11. #11
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    west coast
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    Sabco clogs much less than duda style chillers.

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