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Shirron Chiller Problems

Just bought a Shirron Plate Chiller and used it for the first time a few days ago. It worked fantastic other than the flow of the wort flow. I had my ball valve all the way open and the flow was still moving at a snails pace. I understand that I don’t want to have a fast flow with these plate chillers but this was ridiculous. It took my close to an hour to chill all 5 gallons down.

I am not using a pump with it so I am just working with gravity. I had my kettle the highest, then the chiller and the top of the carboy were about at even height. Those of you that have this chiller, can you tell me how you guys set your chiller up to get a reasonably good flow going through this thing?

Could it possibly have gotten clogged from hop debris? I was brewing the black IPA kit from northern brewer so that thought ran through my mind. I haven’t really heard of anyone else who has had these kinds of problems with this chiller so I’m kind of lost right now. Thanks for any advice guys!!

I use a screen in my boil kettle to keep hops out of it. Should take about five minutes

When I first started using my Shirron, I had repeated problems with flow. First, I found that the use of a hop bag in the BK took care of the stubborn clogging problems I had (for the record, I think all my clogs were in the kettle, not inside the chiller).

The other thing that helped me was to shorten the length of my hoses. I found that excessively long hoses, particularly between my kettle valve and the wort in of the chiller, seemed to cause problems. Doesn’t really even make sense to me given the fundamentals of siphoning, but if my hoses were long enough to droop so that the wort has to travel upward any appreciable distance even if the final outflow was well below all of it, it seemed to slow things down.

Also, it always helps to maximize the vertical distance between the kettle valve and the outflow, and it seemed to me that even intermediate points in between had some effect (similar to above). So, I now position the bottom of my kettle above the chiller, and the chiller above the top of the fermentor.

Some of this may be overkill, but with that setup I’ve never had any problems at all. I certainly don’t think any of it can hurt, even if I’m mistaken that certain things are helping…

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