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How to Clean a Plate Chiller

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#1 MtnBrewer


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Posted 20 November 2013 - 01:45 PM

The following was submitted by SchwanzBrewer:Using cool water and a vented area, make a 1% solution of NaOH by adding 10g of Drain-o to 1L of water. This is caustic. Don't touch it. Don't breathe it. DO NOT USE HOT WATER.I make the solution in a flask. Then with hoses connected to my therminator, which is sitting in a SS 5 gal pot, the hoses clamped to the rim with alligator clips (not pinched off), I take a funnel and jam it in one of the hoses. I wear some nitrile gloves and I pour the 1% solution into the hoses until I see it start to raise up in the outgoing hose. I let that sit for 30 minutes, then I flush it out with cool water (make sure that the solution goes down the drain and doesn't spray everywhere!). If it's dirty you will see black chunks of old hop debris and dried wort come out. Repeat the process until you don't see anymore chunks. You can use a 2% solution (20g NaOH to 1L of water) too if you want, but I have found that 1% works just fine and is safer.I found that running a hot (120-140°F) PBW solution for 20 min. through the chiller is enough to keep it perfectly clean. Only problem with this is that you have to rinse it with equally hot or hotter water than you started with or else calcium carbonate (I think that's what it is) will come out of solution and coat any surface it touches. Only way to get rid of it is with CLR or a strong acid. So I try not to get above 140 because that is what the water heater can put out at full throttle in my house. I end up rinsing my HLT, boil kettle, and everything in the PBW loop with hot tap water or rinsing it with my left over Starsan. BUT, I am anal about my sanitation and cleaning.

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