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> Shirron Wort Chiller, FPHE/ Inexpensive version of Therminator
Shirron Wort Chiller
10= Excellent-1= Poor
10-Excellent [ 3 ] ** [50.00%]
9 [ 2 ] ** [33.33%]
8 [ 1 ] ** [16.67%]
7 [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
6 [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
5 [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
4 [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
3 [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
2 [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
1- Terrible [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
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SPOON
post Jan 24 2008, 08:29 AM
Post #1


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I looked around for a review of the Shirron Plate chiller and since I have had mine for a while I will post my review of it. Personally, for the money I do not think it can be beat. It is in reality a Flat Plate Heat Exchanger with fittings for a garden hose for the water source and NPT for the wort side.

When the Therminator was introduced everyone paid big bucks and thought it was the the best thing ever. The Shirron was introduced at a lower, more affordable price shortly there after. Then began a wave of disillusionment and discontent after a few discovered they couldn't take it apart and completly buff and polish the insides. Many were selling and going back to the Flintstone's era and using an IC (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/hehe.gif) The comment complaint was they were having hop/trub particles residue post back-flushing and thought this had/would lead to infections.

I read but have never experienced an infection that I can directly link to my use of my FPHE. Proper sanitiation plays a key role, but the wonderful thing about our great nation is the ability to make choices as we see fit. I chose the Shirron FPHE to chill my wort and it does the job in spectacular fashion. Plus it is much cheaper than the "big name" brand. Which leaves me to buy hops and grain w/ the extra cash.

I currently use mine via gravity and as fast as I can make my hot wort flow it always comes out the other end nice and cool. My version of cool may be different than your version as I live in the deep south where it is 50 some degrees in the middle of January where folks in the midwest are chiling down in the below freezing range. The summer water temp is probably close to 80*F coming out of the ground.

Even in the middle of summer I can drop my wort temps quickly and easily. With my IC it would take me hours. In an area that lives under drought conditions this is a concern to me. I use little water and it take little time to chill my wort. I can use a altered set-up to further chill in the summer but it is of little use in this review.

I got a great price from a fellow brewboarder who sells these, or used to anyway, and he gave us a gret price. I have seen them listed retail for 87.00. A great price IMHO as opposed to the price of a Therminator $$$! (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/shock.gif)

As stated with the use of a FPHE there are sanitation concerns that follks must concern themselves with. I always boil in my strike water for 15 minutes or so and may run a quick rinse w/ Starsan prior to use. Do not store w/ Starsan inside as it will eat the soft copper internals! Once used I will back flush immediately, there are how-tos and guides that will show you how to easily do this, until clear water runs (I collect some in a bucket) then put it up until next time.

As I said these are great items and will significantly cut down your time spent chilling your wort and get you to pitching temps much faster than using an IC. If you live in an area that has a warm climate this is a particular bonus as it will help conserve water. There are precautions one must use in the area of sanitation but these are easy and take a little forethought. I (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/inlove.gif) mine and will not brew without it.

YMMV (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/sarcasm.gif)
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just-cj
post Jan 25 2008, 10:34 AM
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Great review. But, I have to say that anyone who has a plate chiller and is relying only on backflushing to clean after use is begging for major problems. Whenever I use mine, I backflush with hot water for a minute or so, and then run PBW through the whole works, recirculating with the pump. The PBW solution that comes out is brownish green with malt and hop residue -- backflushing doesn't remove that! Running Star San through it helps, but remember the old adage -- you can't sanitize what's not clean.

I love my plate chiller (I have the "name" brand (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/wink.gif) ), but I know the love affair is going to end if I stop cleaning it properly.
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SPOON
post Jan 25 2008, 12:30 PM
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You are so right about that Cj and thanks for adding that bit of wisdom!! (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/wink.gif)
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