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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Low on $. Wort chiller or stir plate?

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Old 01-28-2014, 12:43 AM   #21
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Buy chiller and make a stir plate.
+1. Made my stir plate with $8. Can make your own chiller to keep costs down as well.

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Old 01-30-2014, 04:15 PM   #22
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I started home brewing 5 years ago and stopped 2 years after my son was born. Barely got back into it last week and I always wondered where my brew went wrong. I used an 15 gal keggle ported. I would make 5-gal and 10 gal batches. Sometimes I swear I kept everything sanitized, but in the end some of the beer got skunky. I knew there was a contamination somewhere.

I would brew my beer and then cool the entire keg in a 3' plastic pond bath with Ice water. It would take over an 1hr-1/2 to cool to pitching temp. That where I think I went wrong. So this time around I got a 50' S.S. wort chiller, a $20 garden pump, two deep buckets I pre-chill to 32deg with water and I recirculate.

Last weekend it took me 15 min to get to pitching temp. Long story......but a big Vote for the Wort Chiller.


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(Cali)

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Old 01-30-2014, 05:09 PM   #23
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Good to know thanks

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Old 01-31-2014, 11:54 AM   #24
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cooling that wort fast and getting the yeast pitched is the number one thing you can do to prevent infection.

get the chiller

you can always make a starter, a stir plate just makes it better.

I admire you for asking this question, too many guys would have thought it was stupid and not asked

but at your level there are a few basics that you need to get better, A stirplate is for guys who are improving the starter process. At your level making sure you had all your basic equipment, being able to full volume wort boil, and good fermentation equipment is the goal. refining the processes and improving them is next

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Old 01-31-2014, 12:32 PM   #25
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Another +1 to the chiller and making the stir plate.

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Old 01-31-2014, 03:49 PM   #26
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I don't need either. I brew no-chill and use dry yeast. I do have a nice ferm chamber though. I think ferm temps are more important than either a chiller or a stir plate.

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Old 01-31-2014, 03:52 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Veedo View Post
both! buy the chiller and build a stirplate. or build both if you can find some copper tubing on the cheap.
THIS! You can easily build a stir plate for cheap, especially if you have an old computer lying around! I know the FAQ here says to use hard drive magnets, but the rare earth magnets you can get for cheap are da bomb!
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Old 01-31-2014, 04:08 PM   #28
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+ on Wort Chiller. You probably have the parts for a stir plate laying around your house as it is.

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Old 01-31-2014, 05:19 PM   #29
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When you are talking beer quality, I think stir plate is most important. You can get them $40 here or build your own on the cheap; product and directions:http://www.stirstarters.com/

When talking brew day convenience, the wort chiller is awesome. I made my own with copper tube I bought at home depot for $20. literally bought the tubing and attached some vinyl hose with hose clamps, put a garden hose attachment on one end. Worked like a charm. It doesn't have to be anything fancy to get the job done.

On another note on cheap things to do to improve beer, what are you doing for your water? Are you filtering or using camden tablets to get rid of the chlorine. Camden Tablets are super cheep and really helped improve my brews by eradicating chlorine. This was before I had a filter, now the filter seems to do a fine job.

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Old 01-31-2014, 05:28 PM   #30
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Also, if you are low on cash if you start investing in an all grain system and build what you can yourself, you will save money over time. Extract is expensive. You can crank out 5g-6g batches of 1.050-1.060 beer for $15-$25 as opposed to paying $40 for a kit and only getting 4.5g of finished product.

I mean if you have a >= 5g cooler you can start going all grain. Again, doesn't need to be fancy to work.

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