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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Chiller Pricing
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:02 AM   #1
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Default Chiller Pricing

Not to start a chiller debate or yet another chiller thread (yact), but I am looking into buying one, exploring my options, and trying to figure out what an appropriate price would be. Especially with the reduction in the price of copper these days.

What I think I want is a counter-flow copper wort chiller. I was thinking of getting a plate chiller, but it just seems like too much trouble. I am not interested in an immersion chiller because it is a lot of surface area to keep clean. Yes, I understand that I will have to keep the insides of tubing clean in the counter-flow chiller, but that doesn't seem as bad, plus running hot, sterile water through and then flushing it after seems simpler to me.

The big question here is what should I be paying for a counter-flow? I don't really have the time to make my own at the moment, so buying one seems appropriate. Nevertheless, I have seen their prices all over the place. Plus, what is a good counter-flow to get? I did a search through the history and never really reached a conclusion on which I should buy or what exactly I should look for in one - other than length.

Thank you for the help!

M

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Old 05-07-2009, 12:29 PM   #2
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You should expect to pay up to $125 for a counterflow chiller made out of copper tubing inserted into a rubber outer hose. On a counterflow chiller made totally of copper you could expect to pay from $175 to over $200. Check ebay for some good deals.

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Old 05-07-2009, 01:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maztec View Post
I am not interested in an immersion chiller because it is a lot of surface area to keep clean. M
Sorry, but I don't really understand this. Cleaning an IC extremely easy. Just rinse / clean after use, drop it in the kettle 15 minutes prior to flame out and it will sanitize itself. Of all the chiller types, an IC is the easiest to clean.

Mike
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:44 PM   #4
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Save your money... Instead of getting a $200 CFC... buy a March Pump and a 50ft IC and outfit it to make a Whirlpool Immersible Chiller... Its the best option for any brew set up...

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Old 05-07-2009, 01:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post
Sorry, but I don't really understand this. Cleaning an IC extremely easy. Just rinse / clean after use, drop it in the kettle 15 minutes prior to flame out and it will sanitize itself. Of all the chiller types, an IC is the easiest to clean.

Mike
+1 on that. If it takes me more than 4 minutes to clean my IC after a brew, I'd be surprised. I have zero concerns about infections due to an Immersion Chiller.
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post
Sorry, but I don't really understand this. Cleaning an IC extremely easy. Just rinse / clean after use, drop it in the kettle 15 minutes prior to flame out and it will sanitize itself. Of all the chiller types, an IC is the easiest to clean.

Mike
I also agree with this post. If ease of use is your biggest concern, IC is definitely the way to go. By far the easiest type of chiller to clean. Not having to worry about cleaning the inside of the chiller and being able to clean by simply dropping the IC in the boil makes this the easiest way to go.
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:06 PM   #7
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As someone who has used all three types of chillers (currently using a plate), I can say with confidence that if you don't have a pump, a 1/2" x 50' IC is really the way to go. It will cost you about $60 in copper and garden hose fittings. If you eventually do buy a pump for other liquid moving utility, you can use it to whirlpool.

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Old 05-07-2009, 03:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post
Sorry, but I don't really understand this. Cleaning an IC extremely easy. Just rinse / clean after use, drop it in the kettle 15 minutes prior to flame out and it will sanitize itself. Of all the chiller types, an IC is the easiest to clean.

Mike
I have a ridiculously small sink and no option for outside washing. I do most of my cleaning in buckets, but anything near the same size gets to be a real hassle to clean. So a post-use cleaning is going to be a real hassle. However, point taken on the sanitizing and other responses. And I will read more on the whirlpool use, but I have not read anything that was clear enough for me to actually understand what was going on without spending twenty minutes attempting to visualize. Next step: visualize.
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Old 05-07-2009, 03:49 PM   #9
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If ease of use is your biggest concern, IC is definitely the way to go.
More like ease of use vs ease of cleaning in my particular setup. That, and I have a hard time seeing how to clean the goo from between the coils in an IC setup, but I might just have to get one and figure it out myself, all 50ft of it. .. oh and, I have seen plenty ICs advertised as 50ft both online and in person and none of them have looked like 50ft of copper tubing to me, more like 20-30ft, but I could be wrong on that.
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Old 05-07-2009, 03:59 PM   #10
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Cleaning an IC post use is as easy as dunking it into a bucket of of hot water.

An IC of about 11" in diameter will use 3 feet of copper per coil. That's about 15 coils high + the length used to go up and over the pot. It does look a lot shorter than it really is.

The whirlpooling thing is just about keeping the wort moving quickly past the coils to maximize the cooling efficiency. You can do this by stirring manually as well.

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