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Pinnacle Ice Bank

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mattvdp

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Evening All,
A few years ago my brother-in-law built me a really nice wooden bar, which started my move away from my four tap chesty.
I then spent several weekends digging a small cellar beneath our back deck (under the new bar).
Now I'm about to buy a four tap font.
So now the final piece of the puzzle is an icebank. I'm wondering, has anyone bought one of these:
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/5-TAP-COMMERCIAL-BEER-COOLER-CHILLER-TEMPRITE-ICE-BANK-CLYCOL-/330879041070?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item4d09ed7e2e
If so could you answer some questions:
- are you happy with it?
- have you fitted the optional "Stirring Motor With Clycol Pump"? And if so are you managing to chill a font?
- I assume the glycol goes in the "Water tank"?
- How long does it take from switching it on to dispensing a cold beer (from about 15C)?
- Is anyone using it with a radiator to cool a cellar or fermentation area?
- Any other pearls of wisdom or dire warnings?
Cheers,
Matt
 

komodo

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Been looking at these on and off my self for a few years. Actually the topic about the stainless conicals and how to control their temp also got me thinking about them so keen to hear reviews.
 

dicko

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Those chillers are a cheap knock off of the Cornelius one but I can't comment oun their quality.

However I had a Cornelius ice bank chiller for many years and here are a few of my observations.

They are expensive to run.
They are noisy, compared to a fridge or chesty.
Kegs are still best stored in a fridge or chesty to avoid spoiling problems and problems with carbonation due to varying temps.- mine was outside under a verandah with the kegs just sitting beside the unit under the bar - yours maybe OK in a cellar.
The bling factor is great when you have people come around.
They are harder to clean than a chesty set up.
You also waste more beer setting up each keg as the lines are very long compared to your chesty set up.
You can serve beer really cold. - Could be good or bad depending on the style.

If you intend to flood your font then you will need the optional pump. This pump is standard on the Cornelius.
Those units are certainly cheap. i think mine retailed for around $2500 at the time but I got it a fair bit cheaper than rhat through a member on here.

Would I ever have one again? No, not in a home situation but fine in a club or commercial venue.

My son has my chiller now and he has it on a timer to switch on when he gets home from work but it is still a pita if you are not having a beer every day.
His has water in the tank with a product in it that causes the font to freeze but you can run glycol in them as well.
I see that the chinese knock off has a facility to move the temp sensor which is probably their method of varying the operating temp for chilling the font.
From memory it didn't take that long for the beer to get cold and I think my son sets his for about an hour before he gets home but he says it pisses him off if he knocks off early on a hot day.

I hope this has been of some help,

Cheers
 

komodo

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really interesting! Thanks Dicko
 

mattvdp

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Thanks Dicko for the run down on keeping an Icebank in a home environment.
I was also thinking of going down the timer path, so it's good to hear someone else is managing to run with that arrangement.
I think I'm going to see if there is any interest in a bulk buy straight from the manufacturer. I'll start a seperate topic.

Edit: Scrap that, the bulk buy doesn't work out that much cheaper, the guy on eBay's margins must be pretty small.
 

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