Author Topic: Best wort chiller for the money?  (Read 12350 times)

Offline drmario47

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Best wort chiller for the money?
« on: July 26, 2011, 10:38:13 AM »
I would like to shorten my brewing day and have a more efficient way to chill my wort. Anyone recommend the shirron plate chiller? It looks like the best option for the money. I am using a immersion chiller right now and it's just too slow. Any info would be much appreciated. Thanks

Online mtnrockhopper

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2011, 10:53:35 AM »
My friend has a shirron chiller and it is speedy as hell, he uses it with a pump.

Do you stir while chilling? Stirring will even out temperature gradients and help chill faster.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2011, 11:38:56 AM »
I use a Blichmann Therminator. I can chill  an 11 gallon batch of beer down to 62F in about 15 min using 62F groundwater. It's an amazing piece of brewing equipment. I used to use an IC, which works really well, but invested in a plate chiller that works just as well but is easier to work with IMO.
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Offline Kit B

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2011, 01:30:48 PM »
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Offline tom

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2011, 01:51:39 PM »
I've never seen that version!  Sweet!
Only 59$ and more chilling area than a Shirron.
Wish I had seen that when I ordered mine.  I got 1/2" MPT all around.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2011, 02:18:21 PM »
The selection of a wort chiller should be based on the typical temperature of the cooling water source.  If you're up in the Great White North, then you can probably get by very well with a small chiller like the Shirron.  If you're in a hot climate, you are better off getting the largest chiller you can afford.  I bought my Therminator when I was in Tallahassee and it performed well.  Now that I'm in Indiana, its more than adequate and I have to throttle the cooling water in order to avoid overchilling ale wort.
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Offline tom

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2011, 02:57:56 PM »
Martin has 2 great points.  I started with a Therminator when they first came out, but it can't cool the wort any colder than your tap water.  So in the Summers, when I brew lagers, I got a Duda 20-plate chiller that I put in-line.  The first chiller gets tap water and the second gets ice water pumped through it with a little sump pump.  Works like a charm.

And I highly recommend placing a thermometer on the wort output and use valves on both the water and the wort so you dial in the wort temperature.

So if you live in the Great White North, I would recommend one of the 20-plate chillers.  If you brew sometimes when your tap water is warmer than you want the wort, get a second 20-plate chiller.  It's still a lot cheaper than a Therminator or a Chillzilla.
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Offline drmario47

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2011, 03:31:08 PM »
My wish list includes this:

http://www.dudadiesel.com/choose_item.php?id=HX1220BWC


That wort chiller looks great for the price ( I might just order it right now). Also thanks everyone for all the input, I live in Connecticut so my tap water is generally cold so I doubt i will have a problem with this. Thanks again

Offline darvyle

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2011, 08:22:50 AM »
If money is a concern I'd go with another immersion chiller inline with your current one and plunk it in a bucket of ice water, I call it my pre-chiller.   What i do is the night before a brew day i take an old retired fermenting bucket and fill it with water and put it in the fridge.  When my wort gets down to about 100-120 i get the bucket of now ~40F water out of the fridge and put the pre-chiller immersion chiller in the cold bath of water.  I find it helps on the really hot brew days and was cost effective for me.

Here is a diagram to if anything i wrote above is confusing

Spigot ----> Pre-chiller in bucket of cold water -----> Regular immersion chiller in Warm Wart ------> Waste water.

Offline Kit B

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2011, 08:32:23 AM »
If you already know the Shirron won't be adequate, there's the bigger Duda...
This is the one I meant to post, earlier...This is my actual wish list item.

http://www.dudadiesel.com/choose_item.php?id=HX2330BWC
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Offline JKL

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2011, 09:55:09 AM »
If you already know the Shirron won't be adequate, there's the bigger Duda...
This is the one I meant to post, earlier...This is my actual wish list item.

http://www.dudadiesel.com/choose_item.php?id=HX2330BWC


So which of these Duda Chillers is going to perform better in a hot environment?  The Larger 30 plate (12") or the shorter 40 plate (7.5") ?
"Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire." -David Rains Wallace

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Offline dee

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2011, 10:32:36 AM »
I bought this model on sale when I outgrew my immersion chiller and I'm quite pleased.  I'm able to get 20 gallons down to 65 within 15 minutes by pumping ice water through the chiller with a fountain pump.

I outfitted it with cam-lock quick disconnects from bargainfittings.com and have a high volume, easy to clean and easy to assemble chilling system for under $150.  That's priceless when brewing in the Georgia heat.

http://www.homebrewstuff.com/brewing-equipment-1/wort-chillers/chill-out-tm-40-plate-wort-chiller.html

Offline Kit B

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2011, 10:35:30 AM »
If you already know the Shirron won't be adequate, there's the bigger Duda...
This is the one I meant to post, earlier...This is my actual wish list item.

http://www.dudadiesel.com/choose_item.php?id=HX2330BWC


So which of these Duda Chillers is going to perform better in a hot environment?  The Larger 30 plate (12") or the shorter 40 plate (7.5") ?

I think this may shed some light.
http://www.dudadiesel.com/files/beerwortchart.pdf

Looks like 40 is better, to me.
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Offline tom

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2011, 12:29:44 PM »
I would still buy two 20 plate chillers if it were me.  Less money too.
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Offline JKL

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Re: Best wort chiller for the money?
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2011, 01:00:25 PM »
If you already know the Shirron won't be adequate, there's the bigger Duda...
This is the one I meant to post, earlier...This is my actual wish list item.

http://www.dudadiesel.com/choose_item.php?id=HX2330BWC


So which of these Duda Chillers is going to perform better in a hot environment?  The Larger 30 plate (12") or the shorter 40 plate (7.5") ?

I think this may shed some light.
http://www.dudadiesel.com/files/beerwortchart.pdf

Looks like 40 is better, to me.

Thanks for the link.  To me it looks like the B3-23a30 (Larger 30 plate) is much more efficient.  If I'm reading that right at the same water flow and at a higher Wort flow rate you can achieve the same results as the smaller 40 plate using less water and in a shorter time period.  Gotta get 1!  I've been whilpooling to get to 130F then into carboys around 90F.  This takes about 30 minutes with my CFC.  From there its another 4-6 hrs to get to pitching temps in my freezer.
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