Hey brewers, I'm hoping you can help me figure out what kind of a wort chilling solution to buy. I've got some birthday money to spend and an eye to speed up my brew day.
My current solution is a copper immersion chiller fed from the garden tap. Shut off gas, insert IC and stir... stir... stir... after a half hour I'm somewhere around 85F, going nowhere, and usually give up, drain the kettle and put the fermenter in the chest freezer and check it later. (FWIW, ground water here in Seattle is reasonably chilly, less so in the summer.)
I'm impatient, especially at that point when I've spent 4+ hours setting up and brewing and now I want to be done with the project, pitch the yeast, clean up and move on with my day. So I want to find a more efficient chilling solution.
I've read about counterflow chillers. I've read about plate chillers. I've read about recirculation. I have no experience with any of them and no idea which option is right for me. Maybe there's another solution I haven't heard about yet.
What do you recommend? What's a good option for quickly cooling wort? I've got $100 to spend, though if you think it's worth spending more, supplemental funds might be found (or possibly brought by Santa Claus).