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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Buying a used CFC
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:01 PM   #1
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Default Buying a used CFC

Can anyone give me some advice on purchasing a used counter flow chiller? Found it on the Craigslist, 25' for $50. Is there anything I should look for, or test before I buy? Is it worth just buying a new immersion chiller? I found a stainless one for 80 on amazon.

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Old 02-18-2013, 12:48 PM   #2
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build yourself an immersion chiller for $35 from HD. Copper tubing, some vinyl hose and a couple hose clamps... bada bing!

I personally wouldn't trust running my wort through a used CFC unless I cleaned that thing like the dickens. If you can constantly pump some 150F PBW solution through that bad boy and rinse it then no worries. But people are almost always selling things on craigslist without disclosing all the reasons.

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Old 02-18-2013, 12:54 PM   #3
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I have a 45' one I am selling for 60 shipped. Very efficient and works well. I got a chillzilla for Christmas and it is just sitting around.

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Old 02-18-2013, 04:07 PM   #4
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You can DIY one pretty darn cheap, 25' of 3/8 tubing is about $30, plus a 25' good garden hose for about $25 and some misc fittings for another $10

It's not even particularly hard to build.

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Old 02-18-2013, 06:43 PM   #5
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That's a decent price, but not really a steal.

IMO unless you are recirculating, a CFC is not worth the extra cost over an IC. The reason is that with an IC you are cooling the whole volume of wort at the same time. With a CFC you are chilling more efficiently, but only the portion that has gone through the chiller is below the threshold of about 140F. The wort that has not gone through yet is still hot.

Now to be fair, I also don't believe that there is a magic amount of time that determines whether your beer will be either super bad, or super good. So the time it takes for a CFC to do the job on the whole batch might be adequate.

Also, a CFC allows the cold break material to pass through into the fermenter, while using an IC keeps it in the BK where you can siphon off the top of it.

Additionally, *stuff* can clog a CFC. And that *stuff* can get stuck inside and you can't see inside there to know how clean it really is...

With an IC you can visually inspect it and know that it's clean.

All of this (except the plugging up) is moot if you are using a pump and can recirculate to sanitize the coil and cool the whole volume of wort.

Lastly, I personally have only ever used a CFC that I build myself and it works great. I just think that for the money an IC is cheaper and has a lot of positive features going for it.

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Old 02-18-2013, 11:00 PM   #6
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I am all for DIY, however I was at Home Depot to build my mash tun on Saturday and the only 3/8" copper coil I could find was $59 for 25'.

am just looking in the wrong aisles? Can someone point me toward a link for one of the national hardware stores that sells this considerably cheaper copper pipe?

Thanks a tun.

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Old 02-18-2013, 11:09 PM   #7
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You're in the right isle. Like all things prices are going up, especially with metals. I put together a DIY IC this weekend and spent about $60 total on it. That being said I bought a bending tool too so shop around a bit more. I bought my tubing at lowes.

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Old 02-19-2013, 02:32 PM   #8
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Is there any reason not to do a stainless steel immersion chiller if its the same price?

$58
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004D4QPQW

Although I am beginning to wonder if I will need 50' if I plan on doing 10 gallon batches...

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Old 02-19-2013, 02:44 PM   #9
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I have 50 feet of 1/2 inch tubing SS Immersion Chiller. Its perfect for ten gallon batches

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Old 02-22-2013, 12:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theCougfan97 View Post
Is there any reason not to do a stainless steel immersion chiller if its the same price?
Stainless is harder to work with at the DIY level. Also, I believe that the heat transfer isn't as efficient. If it works for you though then go for it.
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