« on: November 25, 2012, 01:00:37 PM »
Well an ice-bath prechiller is very inefficient and a waste of ice. The ice would be better served being used once ambient tap-water temp has been reached in the wort. Then once that has been achieved, using the ice-water in a closed loop is extremely effective and efficient. So if the jjflash changes his method slightly he will achieve what he desires without buying more equipment- potentially expensive equipment with unknown efficacy.
That may be true for an immersion chiller... but the OP stated that he is using a Therminator. For a plate chiller, the wort will be chilling on the way to the fermenter which will require the ice water/glycol be used for the entire chill/transfer process. Efficiency improvements with this type of setup would be to slow the flow of ice water/glycol or increase the flow of wort based on chilling rate for maximum efficiency.
My concern is that a glycol chiller would not be able to regenerate the cooling fluid fast enough if used. It might work better substituted for the ice-water recirc described above but I doubt it. I've only heard of glycol chillers being used to keep fermenters cool.
Glycol plate chillers are very common in breweries.