Author Topic: Jockey Box Build / Coldplate Help  (Read 527 times)

Offline JKL

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Jockey Box Build / Coldplate Help
« on: March 03, 2014, 02:08:31 PM »
I'm looking to build a 4 handle jockey box but I noticed that the price of cold plates varies quite a bit?  On some beer equipment sites (Chico, Micromatic, kegman...etc) a 4 product coldplate runs around $180? Re beer and soda coldplates the same? I've also seen them on soda sites for as little as $125, then again some of these say pre-mix and post-mix? Post-mix being more expensive? Can someone school me on the difference and help me get the correct one?  Some sites also specify Stainless tubing, do they make these things out of anything else? I was looking at this because it's cheap but just wasnt sure?  http://sodadispenserdepot.com/pics/Coldplate4.htm

Thanks in advance
-JKL
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Jockey Box Build / Coldplate Help
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2014, 02:31:17 PM »
A recent zymurgy had an article about jockey boxes.  Tubing is better than cold plates if you want to serve a lot of beer.    Post-mix costs more than pre-mix because post mix involves cooling water separately from soda syrup and mixing the two in the spigot or in the cup. 

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Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Jockey Box Build / Coldplate Help
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2014, 12:19:29 PM »
Pre-mix on soda is probably only sized to chill the syrup. Many soda fountains mix syrup and soda water as it goes into the cup. Otherwise, I think as long as it's stainless, you can use it for beer. I can't imagine any made for food use are anything but stainless.
 
My club has a 6-tap jockey box with a cold plate. The plate must weight 25lbs (it's an 8 line plate - we have unused capacity  :o ). You have to ice the plate ahead of time, but it works well. I don't think tubing is 'better' for lots of beer - they are designed for soda fountains that are high use. If anything, tubing is better if you want to get running quickly. It has less thermal mass so you can put ice in and be pouring in minutes. But for tubing coils to be submerged in ice you must keep the cooler FULL of ice. Cold plate advantage, only need a smaller layer of ice on the bottom, just enough to cover the plate.  Tubes give you a much lighter jockey box though.
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Offline Steve in TX

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Re: Jockey Box Build / Coldplate Help
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2014, 12:21:50 PM »
...Otherwise, I think as long as it's stainless, you can use it for beer. I can't imagine any made for food use are anything but stainless.

The three cold plates I have seen in the boxes of friends and my old club, use aluminum blocks with stainless circuits.

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Jockey Box Build / Coldplate Help
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2014, 12:28:50 PM »
...Otherwise, I think as long as it's stainless, you can use it for beer. I can't imagine any made for food use are anything but stainless.

The three cold plates I have seen in the boxes of friends and my old club, use aluminum blocks with stainless circuits.
That's what ours is too. Aluminum is a much better heat conductor.
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