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-   -   Jockey Box - Plate vs. Coils (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/jockey-box-plate-vs-coils-377457/)

Arby 12-31-2012 12:30 AM

Jockey Box - Plate vs. Coils
Hey all,

I know this is a question that has been asked before, but the last thread I saw was from 2010, and I figured maybe it's time for some new responses.

So for Christmas, some friends got together and got me my first kegging setup (been bottling for a few years now...). My first thought was bringing kegs to house parties and what not.

When I started looking into jockey boxes, I'll admit I was a little surprised at the cost (never having bought copper or ss tubing myself). I do know that stainless tubing is preferred over copper, and I've read old threads (anywhere from 2003 to 2010), some saying chiller plates work fine, others saying they barely do anything.

Now, for my group of friends, it's not like a beer would be poured every 2 minutes. More like one every 15-20 over the course of a night. I'd think this would be adequate time to let things cool off in a chiller plate, which honestly seems like a better option in terms of cost and space, if it works well. I've seen some 6 port chillers (used) for ~$120, and was thinking that if you were just to chain some of the lines together for a 3x length 2 tap setup, or 2x length 3 tap setup, it would be good enough for my needs. Put the whole assembly in a cooler with some ice water, add some salt to lower the freezing temp and make it even colder, and it seems like you'd be in business.

What are peoples thoughts/experiences on this? Any input is appreciated.


DurtyChemist 12-31-2012 02:44 AM

Guy I know with one has dual 50' lines in his jockey box. It keeps beer cold during summer so you can pour two beers no problem.

E-Mursed 12-31-2012 02:55 AM

I've owned plate chillers and they work great.

Compact size....lines don't get kinked...they definitely get beer cold.

JMO...and experience.

JRems 12-31-2012 03:31 AM

The coils will work better. But more importantly they have to be used properly. The coil type boxes need a mix of ice and water surrounding the coils for best performance. A plate chiller should not be in liquid. It be sitting in ice with the drain open to drain any melting ice for the best performance.

bucfanmike 12-31-2012 05:14 AM

i use a cold plate in mine. No problem with constant dispensing. Mine works great. I run 6 taps, though it is a 7 pass plate.

snaps10 12-31-2012 10:29 AM

I have a 7 pass and use 4 of them in mine. I got the seven so id have the option of running a few through twice if needed. Not needed so far. No complaints at all with the cold plate. We just served 9 kegs through it in a 3 hr period for my brother in laws wedding.

Arby 12-31-2012 03:14 PM

Thanks for the input everyone.
For those using cold plates, do you usually chill your kegs for a while first? Mine will be stored in a freezer at my house, but they'll also be sitting outside for quite a while when actually being used.

Thanks again!

bucfanmike 12-31-2012 09:31 PM

i chill them as they are carbing so I know Im hitting the desired carb level. If the beer is not properly carbed before you start you will have fits getting anything to serve correctly. When its really hot it is best if possible to ice the kegs some, but not necessary. I served kegs during a 10 day camping trip last year with no ice on the kegs.

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