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Old 06-19-2013, 04:51 PM   #1
Feb 2011
Houston, Texas
Posts: 145
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Hi All,

I'm going to be moving to Texas by the end of this year and am anticipating that I will need/want a pre chiller to deal with the warmer tap water during cooling. I'm having two trains of thought: Using my immersion chiller that I now only use as my coil in my HERMS system or buying a cold plate and dual purposing it for a jockey box. FYI - This pre chiller will be feeding into a plate chiller.

My thinking/questions:
The immersion chiller option here would be the easiest/cheapest option since I already have almost everything I need, however the cold plate would be the "funner" route because I would gain a jockey box out of it.

My main concern with going with the immersion chiller is it being able to handle the water pressure to get a good enough flow of tap water through it. I can never seem to build up the pressure without leaks at the inlet/outlet. I'll probably do some tests this weekend though.

I'm not very familiar with cold plates though, will one help alleviate my concerns about pressure?

I also have IC concerns because I have tried to use one in the past as a pre-chiller with bad results. Granted, it was my old homemade one that was smaller, but it didn't seem to make much of a difference. I also didn't use salt so maybe that was a problem too.

Could anyone provide their thoughts with the route I should take here or experiences they've had?

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Old 06-19-2013, 05:17 PM   #2
Oct 2010
Madison, Alabama
Posts: 419
Liked 50 Times on 40 Posts

If you do one pass through your plate chiller, then a prechiller is really the only option.

If you recirc your cooled plate chiller output back into your kettle, then I would not recommend a prechiller. I would use ground water to knock the wort down to 85-90 and then swap from ground water over to a pond pump pushing ice water through your plate chiller to get down to pitching temp.

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Old 06-19-2013, 05:17 PM   #3
Pratzie's Avatar
Sep 2012
Northeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,554
Liked 158 Times on 112 Posts

Ive heard of people using submersible pumps in a bucket of ice water and recirculating that with both IC and cold plates. Ive also read about people submerging their plate chillers in an ice bath as well to get the temp down. Both seem to work pretty good in warm climates.

There is also a DIY for a bucket pump for this exact purpose but i can't seem to find it right now. If i do i'll post it here for ya.
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