I'm thinking of investing in a plate chiller to help cool my wort faster in the summer. Here in Florida the water supply is very warm and I'm trying to find a more economical than buying 4 bags of ice just to get it down into the 80s.
Anybody have any luck with the plate chillers in the warm climates?
You can hook up a pre-chiller to the water-in end of the plate chiller. It's basically just identical to an immersion chiller, but it sits in an ice bath to lower the temperature of the tap water before it flows into the wort chiller.
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If he decides to use a pre-chiller, yes, but it wouldn't take nearly as much... probably even less than half a bag to be able to relatively quickly bring it to pitching temp, and certainly nowhere near 4.