Originally Posted by Mike2008
Maybe others will disagree but for 3 gal just put it into an ice bath for 20 or so min. I really dont thing you need a chiller untill you get to the 5 gal or more hot wort to cool.
I'll disagree. If you're going for clarity in your beer, wort chillers are awesome. Besides, running a wort chiller will be cheaper than buying (or freezing) large amounts of ice every time you brew.
I'll say stick with an ice bath going if you don't brew often. If you brew on a regular basis, getting one simply to assist in cold breaking is worth the investment. I guess the question is "how serious are you about the hobby?"
For me? I was seriously eyeing the 1200 dollar 47 gallon conical fermenter today. I was even more seriously eyeing the 14 gallon one for 6 or 700 bucks. The drive home from the not so local HBS that I go to was filled with my friend and I contemplating how hard it would be to turn an uninsulated bedroom with a sliding glass door taking up one wall into an insulated, temperature controlled brew-room. We came to the conclusion if we did this, neither of us would ever stand a chance of getting married, or even getting laid afterwards.