Plate chiller?

The Homebrew Forum

Help Support The Homebrew Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Yes you are correct. I just found that on the PBW website. Don't know why I didn't find that last night.
I ran hot water through it for over an hour last night after pbw so I'm happy it's been cleaned.

Roll on the next brewday when I can try it out!!
How can no chill be quickest, if you have to leave it for hours? 🤔
I don't buy machines and expect to nanny them. If I wanted a 7 hour brew day I would biab. I measure my time, how long do I have to stand in front of it.

Once you break brewday down into its component parts, it's amazing the difference. But that does not work if you need to give the kitchen back 😁
Who needs to stand in front of a coil or plate chiller? Set it up and walk away.

What constitutes as a brew day? I think most would consider it the time between mashing in, to pitching yeast. Given that yeast is vital to beer, and brewing is the act of making beer.
Last edited:
I would recommend fully stainless steel plate chillers that can be dismantled for cleaning.

Indeed, for 50+ systems, they work rather well.

Once you have it below temperatures where DMS-P converts to DMS, you will be fine on that front. The other would be infection risk, but that is highly unlikely unless something goes terribly wrong.

For 20l batches, I would opt for a stainless steel coil.

Stripping plate chillers for cleaning often reveals the sort of stuff that can get trapped in there. It will have an undesirable flavour impact.

If you really must have a plate chiller, then I would strongly recommend installing a filter inlet side, to avoid debris and other unwanted to become trapped.

Hope this helps.
I love my plate chiller. Bought it used and running a hot PBW solution through it in both directions removed an awful amount of green hop residue. Did this till it ran clear.

I just give the same treatment occasionally now followed by a good rinse with the hose, and on brew day just circulate some boiling wort through it 10 mins prior to flameout to sanitise it.

I can chill in minutes what used to take a lot longer with the immersion coil, and I use far less water.

One of the best things I've bought. Honestly find it easier to clean than the immersion coil.

[Disclaimer] I always use a hop spider, so very little debris goes through it...
I've used both copper coils and plate chillers, but a 20 plate chiller has been my go-to for years. Standard OP is to fill with boiling water for 15 min. or so followed by immersion in iodophor until needed. After use ... extended back flush with PBW while cleaning other things, followed by a rinse. No problem to this point. I worked in a brewery for awhile where the same basic procedure was followed. Every so often we would cap and over-pressurize the chiller with boiling water. A quick release would blow out black gunk, so I have no illusions that my chiller is pristine inside. The best you can do is try to make sure that the residue is inert. All of this said, I have done no-chill in the winter when I could set a jerrycan of wort out on the deck overnight. Produced the clearest, brightest wort I've ever worked with.
Thanks. All
So I use hop spider for additions and have just ordered the kegland helix to go in the bottom of the aio.
Hopefully this will keep hop gunk out and the cleaning regime of cleaner water oven to 200 degrees C for 90 mins and then starsan just before use will do the job.
Even wit: 1) nylon bag + false bottom in mash, 2) false bottom during boil, 3) hop spider, and 4) bazooka screen in kettle, I still get junk in the plate chiller. Mostly hot break. Pretty sure this is unavoidable with plate chillers. But, I get clear, tasty beer in the end and have NEVER had an infection in about 10 years of brewing ( 4 with the plate chiller).

Brewing at home always has limitations (unless you have an unlimited budget for the hobby). One of the beautiful aspect is seeing the ingenuity of all the home brewers adapting to their specific scenario to produce great beer and sharing their knowledge and experience with others.
Plate chillers are great. Go for the largest one you can. Yes you need to take certain measures around them...make sure you clean them properly and have a filter before the chiller to try to prevent any solid matter getting though. I've never had a plate chiller block on me, but its about making sure its clean and sanitary.

Be careful with the cheaper 'homebrew' style plate chillers - they generally have narrower gap between the plates as they don't expect solid matter to be in the fluid flow as their not originally intended for brewing beer, and also the plates tend to be brazed together so that limits you to the cleaning solutions you can use as some of the more proffessional and harsher cleaning solutions will react with anything that isn't stainless steel.

However I think it's worth it...the improvements to the beer by having the ability to chill in one pass to the fermenter outweigh the hassles. Cleaning isn't as much of a hassle as you might think...what I do is to immediately flush through with water once I've finished transferring then before I start cleaning up the rest of the brewery just set it up on a circulation of Sodim Percarbonate at 60 degrees so that is recirculating while I'm cleaning up the rest of the brewery. Reverse the flow halfway through as the 'turbulator' features in the plates can be directional so like a saw tooth in profile so you can get solid matter getting trapped in the nooks and crannies, so reversing the flow can help dislodge that. I also leave it to soak for a while. I recently did a more aggressive Caustic flush a couple of weeks ago after about 5 uses to make sure the sodium percarbonate was effective, and it demonstrated it was, so think I'll incorporate a caustic flush every 5 or so uses to make sure. Its pretty nasty stuff that caustic so unless you have a way of guaranteeing you're not spilling it or splashing it then best leave alone...I managed to splash a bit on my hand and got a nasty burn, and spilt some on my garage floor and the paint has dissolved off, so you need to be really really careful.

Of course you can get away without one....but each option has its pro's and cons. Personally I want the brew day to be over and done with within one day so don't want it to spill over int the next day or anything so things like no-chill methods don't do it for me. Immersion chillers are a bit inefficient I think and, unless you invest in a decent one, they are slow so impact your beer process control, but are easier. Counterflow are similar to plate chillers really so comes down to your preference and cost I guess.

Chilling is a very important part of the process...if you can chill fast you get far better and more consistent process control and repeatability. Some people don't give two hoots about repeatability, but for me its one of the main goals as I brew a handful of beers regularly and share with friends so want them to be the same from batch to batch.

Each to their own, there are no compulsory rules about any of this so do what you want to do.
There's nothing wrong with throwing money at homebrew kit, if you take the time to learn what it can and can't do. If it inspires and enthuses people to brew, then it's all good. It's a hobby and should be enjoyed, not endured.
Last edited: