Crud at Bottom of Brewzilla

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private4587

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Hi everyone hopefully someone can offer assistance, i have used my brewzilla 3.1.1 many times using also the immersion chiller and whirlpool arm with no problems with pump flow. I also must say that i have always just put hop additions straight into wort. Recently i purchased a keg land Counterflow chiller and this is were my problem starts following my usual hop additions being straight into wort, i have found in the two brews using the chiller that i have no flow from pump. it is not the fact that pump is blocked but the bottom plate of the brewzilled is blocked stopping flow to pump inlet. the instructions with chiller is that to flow wort through it 10min before the end of boil to sanitise it but this where the problem lies as there is no whirlpool and thus no clearing i.e centercone and all the crap is covering the plate. should i create whirlpool first before the sanitising waiting till boil over and using still hot wort to sanitise or should i be using some hop socks in the hop additions. hope all this makes sense.
 
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Hi everyone hopefully someone can offer assistance, i have used my brewzilla 3.1.1 many times using also the immersion chiller and whirlpool arm with no problems with pump flow. I also must say that i have always just put hop additions straight into wort. Recently i purchased a keg land Counterflow chiller and this is were my problem starts following my usual hop additions being straight into wort, i have found in the two brews using the chiller that i have no flow from pump. it is not the fact that pump is blocked but the bottom plate of the brewzilled is blocked stopping flow to pump inlet. the instructions with chiller is that to flow wort through it 10min before the end of boil to sanitise it but this where the problem lies as there is no whirlpool and thus no clearing i.e centercone and all the crap is covering the plate. should i create whirlpool first before the sanitising waiting till boil over and using still hot wort to sanitise or should i be using some hop socks in the hop additions. hope all this makes sense.
You answered your own question, you have used an immersion chiller with no problem, even when adding hops straight into the boiling wort. Why change? Keep things simple. Is there any advantage of a counterflow chiller over an immersion chiller? No. Is there any disadvantage of a counterflow chiller over an immersion chiller yes. And you have just pointed it out.
 

hoppyscotty

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Well the advantage of a counterflow/plate chiller is, in theory, you can pitch directly into your fermenter in one go without waiting for your whole volume of wort to be cooled. If I have nothing but boiling water I can pump that into a bucket from 100 degrees to something like 22 degrees straight away at full flow from the Brewzilla pump. Throttle back the pump and I can get it a few degrees cooler. With my immersion chiller I'm looking at a good 30 - 40 mins to cool the full volume of wort. This also prevents loss of late addition hop aroma due to it being lost in the steam as the wort cools, especially in conjunction with a hop rocket/missile and better/more precise levels of bitterness because you have a much more consistent and shorter cooling time and not a variation of 10 minutes or so in chilling which impacts the hop utilisation.

However at the home brewer scale there are technical challenges you need to think about to make them work well as highlighted in the original post. I've struggled with my plate chiller too, but am trying to overcome the issues because if I can get it working the results are significantly better, in my experience at least.
If I can get the false bottom on the brewzilla working properly then that would be the key, but it just lets too much stuff through mostly around its edge where it doesn't fit very well...needs a seal.

I'm looking at the Brewtools Trubinator and wondering if something like that would work in a Brewilla.

Also you can avoid the need to use boiling wort to sterilise the CFC by making sure its clean from the last brew and circulating starsan or filling it with starsan before pumping wort through it. I do this with my Brewzilla arm as I use the whirlpool arm so I flush the arm through with water as soon as I install the whirlpool arm and chuck it into a bucket of starsan until I need it for the transfer and that works a treat and avoids the need to circulate wort through it.
 

private4587

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Like I said in my post the fact is the pump not being blocked but the flow to it. I am thinking that if I can get the whirlpool arm working say 5 min before boil finished I might be able to create centre cone which will enable flow to the pump whilst chilling
 

hoppyscotty

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I find that if I run my pump during the boil I am more susceptible to it blocking and catching alot of crud. If I finish the boil give it 30 seconds or so for the wort to settle after you turn off the elements then start the whrilpool I find I have no issues during transfer and a get a reasonably clean and clear wort transferred into the fermenter. However when I try to use my plate chiller it does become blocked or very restricted so clearly stuff is still getting by the FB. My observation is that as the wort level drops you expose the hop cone produced by the whirlpool arm (I continually run it during the cooling when using emersion chiller) and as the wort level lowers exposing more of the hop cone you can see run off of hops sliding off the side of the cone and being sucked around the edge of the FB and ultimately getting into the pump inlet. So when I try to use my plate chiller I think it is this run off that clogs the chiller.
 

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