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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Which is better: pre-chiller/immersion chiller or the full length immersion chiller?
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:20 PM   #11
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I didn't see a whole lot of difference using my pre-chiller, which is a repurposed Hayden 457 oil cooler in a 6 gallon bucket of ice.

What worked far better for me, is to run normal tap water until around the 100-110 degree mark, then quick disconnect the input of the IC onto a small sump pump and the IC return line into the same ice bucket. Very fast cooling after that.

Good luck.


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Old 05-05-2013, 02:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Demus View Post
Do you ferment in a fridge or other temperature controlled space? Temperature control is really the biggest factor in making great beer at home...
Yes, well at least I'm trying to. For the last few beers I've been using a water bath with an aquarium heater to maintain temperatures. It seemed to work well once I got everything all dialed in. Soon my basement will be getting hotter so I will do the swamp cooler thing. Not ideal, but I'm not ready to get a temp controlled chamber quite yet.

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Originally Posted by FTG-05 View Post
I didn't see a whole lot of difference using my pre-chiller, which is a repurposed Hayden 457 oil cooler in a 6 gallon bucket of ice.

What worked far better for me, is to run normal tap water until around the 100-110 degree mark, then quick disconnect the input of the IC onto a small sump pump and the IC return line into the same ice bucket. Very fast cooling after that.

Good luck.
Good idea. I'm seeing $20 pumps on Amazon. Reviews seem to indicate it works well for cooling beer. Man, that is always something else to buy isn't there?


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Old 05-10-2013, 07:24 AM   #13
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I use a 25' IC. While my boil is going I clean out my cooler/MLT and use it as my water reservoir for my IC. I bought one of these to pump the water through my IC (can't attach it to my sink).

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My tap water runs about 70*. Once my wort gets down to about 110* I dump 10# of ice in the cooler with the water. Most of the time 10# of ice is enough to get the wort down to pitching temp (65-68*), but I've never needed more than 20#. I constantly swirl and plunge the IC up and down while I'm cooling and I can usually cool in 15-20min.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:17 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by mtnagel View Post
Yes, well at least I'm trying to. For the last few beers I've been using a water bath with an aquarium heater to maintain temperatures. It seemed to work well once I got everything all dialed in. Soon my basement will be getting hotter so I will do the swamp cooler thing. Not ideal, but I'm not ready to get a temp controlled chamber quite yet.

Good idea. I'm seeing $20 pumps on Amazon. Reviews seem to indicate it works well for cooling beer. Man, that is always something else to buy isn't there?
Have you done any reading about "no chill" brewing?
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FTG-05 View Post
I didn't see a whole lot of difference using my pre-chiller, which is a repurposed Hayden 457 oil cooler in a 6 gallon bucket of ice.

What worked far better for me, is to run normal tap water until around the 100-110 degree mark, then quick disconnect the input of the IC onto a small sump pump and the IC return line into the same ice bucket. Very fast cooling after that.

Good luck.
I am in Xenia, OH, and the ground water temps are in the low 50s in the winter and in the 70s in the summer. When I was using an IC, that was the process I used. Cool with straight hose water until temps were around 110F then switch to pumping ice water through the IC. I could get temps down into the 60s with no problem. Now, I use a plate chiller. As the weather warms, I will be adding a pre-chiller to cool the water going through the plate chiller. Good luck.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:34 AM   #16
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Have you done any reading about "no chill" brewing?
I have. It is intriguing, I just haven't tried it yet.

I just remember when I first started out about 2 years ago I read that you want to cool it down as quickly as possible. Now I'm reading about 30 min hop stands and no chill. It's confusing sometimes.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:52 PM   #17
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Has anyone ever used a worm coil (think distilling) to drop the final temperature?

Pumping ice water through the coil is fine, but I have an extra chiller that I picked up with some other items from craigslist. I'm thinking about putting both chillers into the boiling wort to sanitize and then move the 2nd into an ice bath. Then use the 1st chiller to drop the temperature as low as it will go and then draining the wort through a 2nd coil and into the fermenter.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:10 AM   #18
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I have found that even with a shorter IC coil the water temp coming out is just about the same as the wort temp, so having a longer coil using the same volume of water wouldn't really get you anything (i.e. the last half of the coil has no temp difference, so provides no cooling). So you are better off with a short, fat coil (1/2 inch or more) or making two 25 foot coils in parallel to carry more water with more surface contact. That's what I've got now and it's great.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:15 AM   #19
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I say throw that **** in a hose and make a counter flow chiller. I used mine the other day and with tap water from my spigot in the lower fifties, my 200 degree water was hitting my carboy at 60 degrees. I actually had to turn the space heater on in my fermentor to bring it up to 68 before I pitched. If u have cold water from ur spigot like I do, ur gonna use a lot less water then an immersion chiller.
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:10 PM   #20
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Living in Hawaii I have to battle year round 70+ tap water. My method around this currently is to use a pre chiller. I don't dunk the pre-chiller into my ice bath until I hit the 90's though. Then it is all about moving both the pre chiller and the IC. I've been able to cool my wort in about 30-40 minutes max. The other thing I do is flow control on the tap. I run the water slow until I hit 150 speed it up until 100 then slow it down again when I drop the pre chiller in.

One thing I have been thinking of doing is getting a submersible pump to pump ice water into my chiller instead as this would be much cooler, and more efficient since I could re-circulate the water.


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