Author Topic: Wort Chillers  (Read 511 times)

Offline rbowers

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Wort Chillers
« on: February 21, 2018, 07:27:30 PM »
I am in the market for a new wort chiller and looking for some general feedback/individual recs.  I have used a shirron plate chiller for years and I think it has runs its course.  The threads are damaged on the wort exit and I am getting leaks/having difficulty getting a nipple/quick disconnect on it.  it also never has quite got the wort down to pitching temps (65F).  Part of this is ground water temp which is in the mid-low 60s usually (better in winter) but it has always left me with an additional process to do to get the wort down low enough.  I have crafted all types of "prechiller" gadgets to get water temp down, tried slowing the exit flow, etc but no fixes I have been particularly happy with.  Now that the plate chiller is likely on its way out I am looking at the copper coil counterflow chiller on More Beer.  Pricey but seems to get great reviews.  An immersion chiller is not an option as the electric heating element will not prevent adequate submersion.

Regarding the copper coil counterflow chiller does anyone have good experience with these?  Are they prone to clogging?

I'd also like to be able to recirc the chilling wort back to the kettle to whirlpool but not sure the flow will be fast enough to generate a whirlpool (certainly is not with the shirron plate chiller).  Not a must have feature but would be nice.  Thoughts?

Offline denny

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Re: Wort Chillers
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2018, 07:55:09 PM »
You want a Jaded Hydra.  It's as fast or faster than plate chillers and counterflows I've used. A lot less maintenance.  I use it with the WhirlyBird whirlpool arm.
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Offline rbowers

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Re: Wort Chillers
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2018, 10:31:58 PM »
Immersion chillers are not a good option in my set up with a retired keg with an electric heating element for the kettle.  A large portion of the wort sits below the heating element so it wouldn't be exposed to the chiller and the chiller may not be fully submerged in a 5 gal batch.  Thanks though, hydra looks pretty nice

Offline majorvices

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Re: Wort Chillers
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2018, 11:33:30 AM »
For 5 and 10 gallons batches an immersion chiller is far superior. Less maintenance, less hassle cleaning and sanitizing, cheaper.

Offline coolman26

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Wort Chillers
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2018, 12:26:49 PM »
I know I may be in the minority here, but I love a CFC. I like having it mounted to my structure. I used to use an IM chiller, way before the Hydra. The Hydra looks impressive. I like recirculating and cooling in the kettle during whirlpool and leaving the break there. I use a small kiddie pool with a small pump. Break some iced milk jugs into it and pump the ice water. I start with my tap water and have a tee fitting w valves. Once I get it down as far as I can with tap, I switch the valve and run the ice water. It saves on a little ice. I made my own, so no fancy Chillzilla. If I were going copper, I would have to look at the Exchillerator. I would want the longer length. Mine is 25’ of 1/2” copper inside of 1” Goodyear Horizon rubber hose. I’m going to an all stainless model I’m going to DIY. Stout has an all stainless model that looks nice. I also have no trouble getting a solid whirlpool.    I have also never had any clogging issues. That kept me from going plate, I didn’t want that headache. I’m generally doing 12-20 gallons. I probably would be using the Hydra if I were still Brewing 5 gallon batches though.


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« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 12:28:32 PM by coolman26 »
Jeff B

Offline blatz

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Re: Wort Chillers
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2018, 02:02:46 PM »
I know I may be in the minority here, but I love a CFC. I like having it mounted to my structure. I used to use an IM chiller, way before the Hydra. The Hydra looks impressive. I like recirculating and cooling in the kettle during whirlpool and leaving the break there. I use a small kiddie pool with a small pump. Break some iced milk jugs into it and pump the ice water. I start with my tap water and have a tee fitting w valves. Once I get it down as far as I can with tap, I switch the valve and run the ice water. It saves on a little ice. I made my own, so no fancy Chillzilla. If I were going copper, I would have to look at the Exchillerator. I would want the longer length. Mine is 25’ of 1/2” copper inside of 1” Goodyear Horizon rubber hose. I’m going to an all stainless model I’m going to DIY. Stout has an all stainless model that looks nice. I also have no trouble getting a solid whirlpool.    I have also never had any clogging issues. That kept me from going plate, I didn’t want that headache. I’m generally doing 12-20 gallons. I probably would be using the Hydra if I were still Brewing 5 gallon batches though.


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I'm with you, and I have the same issue that the OP does - electric element in the BK. 

I switched to Stainless.  not as fast/efficient as copper, but I don't have the LODO heebeegeebees and I can actually use it during the acid cycle of cleaning whereas I couldn't with copper.
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Offline MNWayne

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Re: Wort Chillers
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2018, 06:29:03 PM »
My counterflow chiller frequently clogged. I now use a copper immersion cooler and can get my temp down in 10 minutes. If your heating element (or thermowell or whatever) is in the way, simply transfer to another vessel before chilling.

Offline coolman26

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Re: Wort Chillers
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2018, 07:52:45 PM »
I know I may be in the minority here, but I love a CFC. I like having it mounted to my structure. I used to use an IM chiller, way before the Hydra. The Hydra looks impressive. I like recirculating and cooling in the kettle during whirlpool and leaving the break there. I use a small kiddie pool with a small pump. Break some iced milk jugs into it and pump the ice water. I start with my tap water and have a tee fitting w valves. Once I get it down as far as I can with tap, I switch the valve and run the ice water. It saves on a little ice. I made my own, so no fancy Chillzilla. If I were going copper, I would have to look at the Exchillerator. I would want the longer length. Mine is 25’ of 1/2” copper inside of 1” Goodyear Horizon rubber hose. I’m going to an all stainless model I’m going to DIY. Stout has an all stainless model that looks nice. I also have no trouble getting a solid whirlpool.    I have also never had any clogging issues. That kept me from going plate, I didn’t want that headache. I’m generally doing 12-20 gallons. I probably would be using the Hydra if I were still Brewing 5 gallon batches though.


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I'm with you, and I have the same issue that the OP does - electric element in the BK. 

I switched to Stainless.  not as fast/efficient as copper, but I don't have the LODO heebeegeebees and I can actually use it during the acid cycle of cleaning whereas I couldn't with copper.
Big plus on the acid cycle too. I’ve been wanting to remove my copper, even before all of the LODO came out. It is quite an expense, but worth it IMO.


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