Cleaning your Plate Chiller

If you read around the interwebs you’ll see tons of conflicting opinions on plate chillers.  I’ve been using a plate chiller for quite sometime with what I consider good results.  There are not many conflicting views on the effectiveness of plate chillers, the problem most people seem to have is the cleanliness of the chiller from batch to batch.  Here is how I clean my plate chiller, I find it very effective, but would love to hear how you clean and maintain your plate chiller.

FirstI chill by recirculating the wort through the chiller and back into the boil kettle, so like a wort chiller it cools the wort evenly but reducing the temperature as a whole.

  1. After chilling my wort and moving it to the carboy, I attach my hose to the chiller (I use camlocks, highly recommended). I first back flush(run the water the reverse direction I chilled) and then front flush to remove any loose particles.
  2. On my stovetop, I start a couple quarts of water to boil.  As the water comes to a boil, I put my plate chiller in the water so that it is completely submerged.  Try your best to remove any air in the plate chiller so that hot water can fill all the internal space.  the somewhat scary thing, even though you have flushed the chiller, it is amazing how much crud starts coming out as soon as the chiller gets into that hot water bath and starts approaching boiling.
  3. Let the plate chiller sit in the boiling water for 10 minutes or so and carefully pull out the chiller and let it drain.  You’ll be amazed at how much crap comes out.  Then flush with clean hot tap water.

This is how I take care of my heavily used plate chiller.  I’d love to hear about other methods, leave a comment below!

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6 Responses to “Cleaning your Plate Chiller”

  1. Ben Says:

    Does your chiller just have 1/2″ connectors or is one set of them the 3/4″ standard garden hose threading? If they are where did you find the camlock type A connectors for it? Bargainfittings.com only hase the 1/2′ listed…

    Thanks!

  2. Simply Beer Says:

    HI Ben, they all are 1/2″, it is the way I ordered the plate chiller (with 1/2″ threaded male posts) the camlocks easily screwed right on.

  3. Ben Says:

    OK, I recently got a Blichmann and they look to have the 1/2″ (for the beer lines) and 3/4″ (for the garden hose). Thanks for the reply!

  4. Simply Beer Says:

    One thing I wanted to add, you can use this method for lots of other equipment. I use this to clean my chugger pumps, hoses (rated 500deg) and other stainless equipment.

  5. Luke Says:

    I chill my wort the same way that you do (by recirculating), and then after transferring to the fermentor I flush the chiller with hose water and then recirculate hot PBW through it in my boil kettle. I see the same thing: a boil kettle full of dark water that otherwise would be in my next batch of beer. Then I rinse everything with hot water.

    Tip: make sure to open/close your ball locks several times while recirculating PBW. It’s amazing how much crud gets behind the ball locks as well. Opening/closing gets the hot PBW behind the ball and cleans it out.

  6. Simply Beer Says:

    Great tip luke! Thanks


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