Wort Chiller for a 5 BBL (155 Gallon) Brew System??

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by larstheberserk, Jan 9, 2013.

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  1. larstheberserk

    larstheberserk Initiate (0) Sep 4, 2010 California

    Hey guys, don't know if this is too big of a system for peeps here to have any info on, but figured I'd give it a shot. I am currently graduating from home-brewer to micro-brewer, and was wondering if anyone has any suggestions / recommendations for a wort chiller that can handle 5 BBL batches. So far I can only find 2 sources... one for $2000 from brew-stuff.com and one for $3500 from Stout Kettles. Anybody have any micro-brewery connections here who help me out on this topic? Thanks guys!
  2. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Initiate (0) Mar 22, 2011 California

  3. larstheberserk

    larstheberserk Initiate (0) Sep 4, 2010 California

    Thanks guys, that definitely helps!
  4. larstheberserk

    larstheberserk Initiate (0) Sep 4, 2010 California

  5. WickedSluggy

    WickedSluggy Devotee (400) Nov 21, 2008 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Five BBL is a small system, but it is still going to be a pro operation so you need to think about efficiency along with the normal issues of sanitaiton. You are probably aware that plate chillers in breweries, even small ones are almost always the type that can be disassembled. This is so that they can be sanitized and maintained. Chillers are one of the most likely causes of infection in a small brewery, so that is an issue. Brazed chillers are brazed they are not clamped together, so you have to clean them by backflushing and sanitize with heat. From an efficiancy standpoint, the home-brew style brazed chillers are slower because they are small and only built to accomodate 1/2" pipe thread fittings. But having a large number of plates will help efficiency, not from increased maximum throughput, but from increased energy transfer due to greater surface area. If you want to use a brazed plate chiller I would use 100 plate chillers and have spares.

    I would also suggest filtering the water that runs through the chiller. This way you can use the hot water coming off the back side of the chiller to fill your HLT with heated water for the next batch of beer. This will reduce your energy costs and reduce water waste.
    Beerontwowheels likes this.
  6. sergeantstogie

    sergeantstogie Aspirant (202) Nov 16, 2010 Washington

    Hey guys! If I ever have a 5 BBL system and I come here asking questions, feel free to kick me in the balls.
  7. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,255) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    I know pros that would not have theaded fittings on the cold side. That is where you want sanitary fittings like triclovers.
  8. larstheberserk

    larstheberserk Initiate (0) Sep 4, 2010 California

    Hey now, just because I have the know-how as a brewmeister and the good business-sense to start a micro-brewery, does not mean I am going to magically pull connections out of my butt on where to find the best deals on every piece of equipment I need to purchase. I respect the community here and value their opinions. I think someone is just a little jealous that they don't have a 5BBL system :grimacing:
  9. sergeantstogie

    sergeantstogie Aspirant (202) Nov 16, 2010 Washington

  10. Ilanko

    Ilanko Aspirant (200) Aug 3, 2012 New York

  11. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Initiate (0) Mar 22, 2011 California

    I have a 60 plate, 12" by 2.9" with 1/2" camlock disconnects, works great for my system size and could probably be used on a bigger system if needed (1-2 BBL). I'd guess somewhere around a 70-100 plate chiller with much bigger pipefittings, 1"-2", on the in/outflows. Not sure how linear/non-linear the scale up would be, probably be worth talking to some other pros in the area/online to see what they've fit their systems with just to get a better frame of reference.
  12. TheJames

    TheJames Initiate (0) Apr 15, 2009 Vermont

    Just a note about heat exchangers and being sanitary. If you sparge through the heat exchanger then you've effectively heat sanitized it. Then after cool-down put it through a clean-in-place cycle and store loaded with iodine.
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