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For those that use a "pre chiller"

What temp change do you see on the output side of your pre chiller?

What size chiller are you using?

Interesting, no one has anything to share? Everyone claims their “pre chiller” works awesome but will not share data on how much it changes the temp of the tap water.

During the summer I recirc ice water with a pump after I get the wort close to the tap water temp. doing it this way, I can easily get into the low 50’s if I need to.

I actually don’t use a pre chiller. During the summer I run an immersion chiller to get to 90 or so, then plate chiller with ice water to pitching temp. And can get to mid fifties.

Based on using both a pre-chiller and a pond pump rig, I can state that the pre-chiller doesn’t do squat in comparison.

I know that’s not answering the OP, though. :wink:

I use the pump in an ice bath after reaching 100* also. But in a recent thread people were jumping in on how awesome their “pre chiller” works. I would like some data on this for those considering it.

Basic thermodynamics tell you that the best heat/cold transfers happen at the greatest variation it temps. If you have tap water at 70* and you put in through a chiller at 32*, you have a difference of 38*. For sake of discussion, say that gives you a 15* drop (generous assumption IMO). Now you have 55* water chilling 200* wort. A 145 difference. Until you get down to 100*, then you have a 45* difference.

Pumping ice water, you start with 70* tap water verse 200* wort, a 130* difference. And when you hit 100* wort temp, you start pushing 32* ice water. Now you have a 68* difference.

I’ll take a 68* temp variation for cooling over a 45* variation any day. Much better cooling potential for those last few degrees.

I’m not interested in how people chill their wort. I’m only asking for “pre chiller” numbers.


So my question is to the “pre chiller” crowd. What is your water temps? We are here to help others. Let’s share some information. :slight_smile:

This is one of two chillers that I made. They are both the same design. I cannot remember if they are 50’ or 75’, probably 50’. I use one in the wort and the other as a pre-chiller. I have never measured the temp of the pipe on either side of the flow but will when I brew again in about 2 weeks. I know (unscientific, I know), that the out side feels colder than the in side. I have found the ice water stratifies temp so if you stir the ice water the out side get really cold quickly. I will post back with temps next time.

Water comes from the hose (which can have temps in the 80s midsummer), to a regular copper tubing coil immersion chiller in a bucket of ice water, then to a Therminator. Wort was being chilled down to around 68 degrees last summer using this system. Without the pre-chilling, wort was hitting the fermenter in the low eighties.

I’m on vacation right now, but I’ll measure the temperature of my post pre-chiller water next time I brew. I live in Central Texas and my tap water is usually around 75 °F and I submerge the pre-chiller in an ice bath when cooling with my tap water slows. I know from feeling the input and output end of the coil that the water exits the pre-chiler cooler than it enters, but I’ve ever measured the temperature difference.

Chris Colby

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