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Is there a small, cheap, good quality glycol chiller out there?

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Define "Cheap".


--- Quote from: euge on November 25, 2012, 07:45:00 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.

--- End quote ---

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.

--- Quote from: euge on November 25, 2012, 07:45:00 PM ---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.

--- End quote ---

Glycol plate chillers are very common in breweries.

It's going to make very little to no difference plate-chiller vs IC in an ice-water recirc. Also, it is a poor practice to try and emulate professional-scale breweries at the homebrew level.

But by all means waste your time, effort and money. I won't stand in your way.

If you put the bucket of glycol in a freezer it will work better.  But I tend to agree with euge, unless you have a very large bucket of glycol to start with you're going to run out of chilling capacity too soon.  You're best bet if you are using an open fermenter like a bucket might be to use water into the bucket to get it as cold as you can, then use an immersion chiller in the bucket with the glycol pump going to chill it further.  You'll want to remove the coil before pitching your yeast or you'll wind up with off flavors, unless you use stainless of course.

Unless you are going below 0C for your coolant, using glycol will be a waste.  Water will work fine to temperatures just above freezing.  If you are going to run your coolant below freezing, glycol is the way to go, a bucket inside a refrigerator will not chill any better with glycol than with water.  As Tom said, a freezer will work better.


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