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Old 04-29-2008, 09:43 PM   #1
TwoHeadsBrewing
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Default Anyone use the Stainless Steel Wort Chiller?

I'm looking at getting a new wort chiller: my current one was a hand-me-down from a friend and only 1/4" copper. It takes about 20-30 minutes to cool down my wort, and I'd like to drop that to 10-15 minutes or lower. I was looking at Midwest, and saw they had some SS wort chillers...anyone use these and if so do you like it?

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Old 04-29-2008, 11:58 PM   #2
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I have one, and don't particularly care for it. It leaks if I do any more than crack the hose open because I have fairly high water pressure. Yes, I have tried putting another clamp on there to no avail.

Additionally, it doesnt fit well in my new to me 15G kettle (not tall enough). It worked well in my 7.5G kettle, cooling in about 20 minutes in winter. Took 30 for the last batch, but I boiled a little too much wort and the tap water temp has come up 5 or 10 degrees.

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Old 04-30-2008, 12:14 AM   #3
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Copper is much better at heat transfer. I'd save the stainless for my kettles and kegs...

GT

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Old 04-30-2008, 12:23 AM   #4
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it fits well in my 6 gal. pot and works great. the extra amount of time it might take vs. copper is trivial......My 5 gal batches cool to room temp in 10-15 min.

you do have to tighten the hose clamps down tight but that is not a big thang

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Old 04-30-2008, 12:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Got Trub?
Copper is much better at heat transfer. I'd save the stainless for my kettles and kegs...

GT
I am with Got Trub? on this one. I made a copper counter flow wort chiller and it works amazing.
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Old 04-30-2008, 03:09 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info...I was thinking about buying the stainless over the copper, but I'm thinking now that it might be worth the extra $$$ to go copper. Better heat xfer is really what I'm after anyways. Maybe I'll go with a 50' chiller instead of the 25'...but $90 is a little steep to upgrade something I already have.

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Old 04-30-2008, 04:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing
Thanks for the info...I was thinking about buying the stainless over the copper, but I'm thinking now that it might be worth the extra $$$ to go copper. Better heat xfer is really what I'm after anyways. Maybe I'll go with a 50' chiller instead of the 25'...but $90 is a little steep to upgrade something I already have.
There are a lot of posts here about people making their own chiller using half inch copper refrigeration tubing. If you went with 50 ft. of 3/8 inch tubing it might cost $50 for everything. You might want to search this section of the site before you spend $90.
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Old 04-30-2008, 04:58 AM   #8
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BTW using a five gallon bucket with a valve on the side near the bottom filled with ice as a pre-chiller could solve the problem. It would cost very little, too.

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Old 04-30-2008, 06:57 AM   #9
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I just ordered 50' of 1/2 copper tubing and it ran me about $60 something shipped for my future immersion chiller. I'd definately go with copper over SS for a chiller since it's about the best thing you can get for thermal conductivity(next to silver?). And being an IMC I don't have to worry about the bling factor since you can't see it

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Old 04-30-2008, 07:47 AM   #10
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I have a stainless chiller, and I love it. My copper chiller was a home-made affair that I rescued from a garage sale, and I was always suspicious of its construction. (It had submerged threaded fittings, and was not one continuous piece of tubing.) On top of that, the hose fittings were right at the top, which meant I needed to shield the hose from the burner with foil. And if those fittings were to leak, it would be right into my cooling wort. Furthermore, I hated how the copper always came out of the boil dramatically cleaner than it went in!

The stainless one works great, and is a joy to keep clean. Theoretically it should be less efficient, but I sure haven't noticed it. The tubing is extremely thin, which I think helps make up for the inferior heat conductivity of steel.

Now the old copper one is rigged as a pre-chiller, should I need it on on of those 110° SoCal summer days.

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