Originally Posted by BuffaloSabresBrewer
immersion copper in ridiculously expensive here (as it is everywhere im sure) so i was looking for an alternative to a copper chiller and also something better than an ice bath.
That's where it gets tricky. For my first 8 brews or so I used a modified rubbermaid trash can rig that allowed me to submerge almost all of brew kettle in constantly moving, cold water. This did a decent job at cooling (25 minutes to pitching) as opposed to an ice bath.
The problem with that? It cost me about $35 to make all told and "degrees dropped per buck" was horrific.
I've heard this said a hundred times on the forums here but my copper chiller was perhaps one of the best investments I've made as a brewer. Don't spend any money on a half working solution; if money is tight, save a little at a time.
If you don't believe just how AMAZING the IC wort chillers are, find a brew buddy who can demonstrate it for you.