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Old 03-23-2007, 03:29 AM   #1
Feb 2007
Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 134

I just saw this on ebay. Has anyone ever tried a stainless steel wort chiller? I would think copper would still be a bit better. Thoughts?
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Old 03-23-2007, 03:29 AM   #2
Jan 2006
Lincoln, NE
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I would think copper would have a much better heat transfer rate.

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Old 03-23-2007, 03:52 AM   #3
Erbium:YAG's Avatar
Aug 2006
New Jersey
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Stainless steel is actually terrible for heat transfer when compared to copper. That's why good stainless steel cookware is clad with aluminum and/or copper.
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Old 03-23-2007, 04:39 AM   #4
Dec 2005
San Diego
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So how about aluminum tubing? hmmm, aluminum heater core out of a junk car? A copper heater core would pobably be lead solder. Ohhh . transmission oil coolers? Earls Supply?
So far, I've had more experience thinking than I've had don't think they are mutually exclusive, do you?

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Old 03-23-2007, 12:20 PM   #5
Apr 2006
Buda, TX
Posts: 442
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Use that heater core out of the junk car as a pre-chiller for your immersion wort chiller. I'm not going to talk about how hot it is in Texas because it seems that now everywhere is hotter than all get out but our tap water here in the dead of summer is not what I'd call cool. Last summer I used a pre-chiller and it worked great.

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Old 03-23-2007, 12:47 PM   #6
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Jul 2006
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Copper is indeed more efficient, but there's nothing wrong with using stainless - it'll get the job done. For the price, I say go for it.
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Old 03-23-2007, 01:36 PM   #7
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Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
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So, are you bidding on this? If you aren't, I might consider it. I would prefer copper, but this sure is cheaper as long as the price stays about where it is.

But, I'm not bidding against you. So, if you're not bidding, let me know!
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Old 03-23-2007, 02:45 PM   #8
Mar 2007
Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 43

Originally Posted by Nexus555
I just saw this on ebay. Has anyone ever tried a stainless steel wort chiller? I would think copper would still be a bit better. Thoughts?
You might want to see what there is for copper chillers on ebay - if you are patient you can get a deal. I just got one (a couple of weeks ago) from ebay for $47.00, including shipping and handling, and it works really good. I just decided on how much I wanted to spend and kept trying until I found one where no one outbid me. It only took a couple of weeks - the copper ones are showing up all the time. Since the stainless steel chiller is already at almost $35, I'm guessing that when the bidding is over, it won't be much cheaper than a copper one that works better. But if you don't want to wait, go for it!

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Old 03-23-2007, 04:01 PM   #9
Feb 2007
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copper~231 Btu/hr-ft-deg. F

aluminum~145 Btu/hr-ft-deg. F

stainless~9.3 Btu/hr-ft-deg. F

Translation - Copper removes energy from the wort about 25 times faster than stainless and 1.6 times faster than aluminum

Now because of the other means of heat transfer going on this doesn't mean that it'll take you over 12 hours to cool the wort if you can do it in half an hour using a copper chiller but it would cool much quicker, which is always best. After all, a copper cooler is only about $20 more than the selling price here

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Old 03-23-2007, 04:46 PM   #10
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Jan 2005
Knob Noster, Missouri
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Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of the design of that stainless chiller either. The coils will be too far down into the wort. The majority of the heat stays near the top, so you want the beef of the coils elevated slightly. You are going to lose even more cooling capacity with just the design of that.
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