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Old 03-13-2012, 03:28 PM   #1
Feb 2012
Hicksville, NY
Posts: 381
Liked 13 Times on 11 Posts

Is it possible to use a plate chiller without a pump? If you drain from the brew kettle directly to the fermenter on one pass, will the wort be cool enough to pitch?

I haven't been happy with my 25' IC when I am doing full boils.

Any advice would be great!


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Old 03-13-2012, 03:34 PM   #2
ScottSingleton's Avatar
Feb 2012
Manassas, VA
Posts: 434
Liked 8 Times on 7 Posts

I used to use my plate chiller without a pump. It was a sketchy. I had to lift my post boil kettle up to a table, etc. or a point high enough where the gravity would drain it as I had been using a floor burner.

but if you've got the height -- all you need then is to minimize the amount of cold water flowing so that it cools your wort to pitchable temps.

the problem I had always faced was that the cold water was flowing too fast for the gravity fed wort (which moves slowly) and the wort chilled TOO much.

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Old 03-13-2012, 03:45 PM   #3
Dec 2010
Ben Lomond, CA
Posts: 58

I use my 30 plate Kegcowboy chiller gravity without any problems. I run it fairly slowly to use less water.


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Old 03-13-2012, 03:47 PM   #4
LandoLincoln's Avatar
Feb 2011
Joliet, IL
Posts: 2,989
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Yes, you can, but it's a pain. Good luck.

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Old 03-13-2012, 03:51 PM   #5
abarhan's Avatar
Nov 2011
Seattle, WA
Posts: 142
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I would get a pump. I have been fighting this for 6 batches now and its a PITA. Raising the boiling hot kettle to a acceptable height is dangerous and still I can only get a trickle in to the carboy. Always clean and bake my chiller and flush/soak in PBW so I know its not clogged. If you don't use a pump make sure you use whole leaf hops and a hop blocker to keep the flow as good as possible.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:16 PM   #6
Feb 2012
Hicksville, NY
Posts: 381
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Alright, it doesn't sound like it's a very viable plan so I guess I will wait until I can get both at once. That about $200-$250 or so I believe?

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Old 03-13-2012, 04:38 PM   #7
speeddemon11L's Avatar
Aug 2011
, FL
Posts: 59
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Depending on the size and where you get your plate chiller, you're probably looking at the upper end of that range. Don't forget to budget/plan for the extra tubing, fittings and possibly a thermometer.

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Old 03-13-2012, 04:45 PM   #8
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Homercidal's Avatar
Feb 2008
Reed City, MI
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You can certainly use a plate chiller without a pump. Beyond the basic need to get the hot wort above the chiller to let gravity do it's thing, you probably only need to throttle either the flow of hot wort, or the flow of cold water, depending on which on was flowing too fast, in order to hit a perfect temp.

This is going to be the case whether you have a pump or not.

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Old 03-13-2012, 06:03 PM   #9
Oct 2011
Washington, PA
Posts: 201
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+1. Only used my chiller for one batch but had no issues with wort flow thru the chiller. Put the brew kettle on the washing machine, bucket on the floor, with the chiller hanging off the laundry sink between the two.

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Old 03-13-2012, 06:13 PM   #10
Sep 2010
29 Palms
Posts: 74
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I use mine without a pump, but it is a pain. It takes longer than it should and it's always a little precarious trying to move the hot kettle high enough to get a good flow.

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