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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Chillers: Immersion? CF? Plate? WIC? oh my!
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:19 PM   #1
Jukas
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Default Chillers: Immersion? CF? Plate? WIC? oh my!

I need to buy a chiller as I would like to actually brew a batch of beer rather than just read about it and an ice bath only isn't going to be very efficient.

Originally I figured I'd just get a 25' 1/2 IC but further reading suggests it won't be big enough to quickly cool down a 5 gallon batch of wort, much less a 10 gallon bath, nor will it be very water effective.

My 'requirements' are in order Effectiveness > Water Usage > Ease of Cleaning > Cost.

On most online vendors I've seen 50' 1/2" IC are running abour $120 (same for my LHBS) and Therminator Plate chillers are $200. I then saw a link to a Jamil whirlpool IC and while I was intrigued the idea of adding a $150 March pump didn't thrill me.

I think I may be lost in information overload land and am looking for some real world advice based upon my above criteria.


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Old 01-12-2012, 08:23 PM   #2
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I used a IC for about two years and wasted A LOT of water! I know people who do an IC mixed with an ice bath and it seem to do okay as Long as they stir the whole time. I just made my own CFC, cost about $50, and was easy if you have some basic soldering know how. Look up videos on YouTube.
I did have an issue the first time I use it with hop sediment clogging it. I was then told about making a hop spider (YouTube, $10 simple build) and it works great! I can cool 6.5 gal of boiling wort to 65 in about 8 min. Basically however long it takes to drain the boil kettle.
That's my suggestion.


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Old 01-12-2012, 08:24 PM   #3
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Basically to clean it, I just run a growler of starsan mix through when I'm done using it, and before. It's also nicely wrapped up clean looking.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:28 PM   #4
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There is a brand of plate chiller that is considerably less expensive than the Therminator. I don't recall the brand but search this site and you'll find it. I think they are half the price.

I have a homemade IC, 25', I do mostly 3gal batches although I've brewed 5gal some. I use about 10gal of water which I collect in a galvanized tub and use for washing the kettle (water is quite warm) Not sure what the cost of copper tubing is these days but making your own IC is pretty simple. It is plenty efficient if you run the water slowly enough that it always comes out hot.

ICs take longer and you really need to either stir the wort or move the IC around to get best cooling. You can leave the break behind in the pot with an IC but not with a plate chiller.

Theres also a CFC, don't forget that!
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:57 PM   #5
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dudadiesel.com sells plate chillers for <$100.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:59 PM   #6
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2 small plate chillers work better than one large one
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dutchoven View Post
dudadiesel.com sells plate chillers for <$100.
+1 for Dudadiesel. I went from IC to CFC to plate chiller, and I regret not just jumping straight to the plate chiller. I use the 40 plate Dudadiesel wort chiller and have never been happier. Quick, easy to clean, low water use (because it is quick), and I think I paid less for it than my first IC from my LHBS.

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Old 01-13-2012, 12:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Copperpots_Brewing View Post
Basically to clean it, I just run a growler of starsan mix through when I'm done using it, and before. It's also nicely wrapped up clean looking.
Fyi, star san is not a cleaner. You may have infection problems in the future.
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneHoppyGuy View Post
2 small plate chillers work better than one large one
how would you set this up? Does the cooling water go from one chiller to the
other? Or do you put in a Y to the cooling water source so that you're feeding both plate chillers with fresh cooling water?
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Old 01-13-2012, 02:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwest450

Fyi, star san is not a cleaner. You may have infection problems in the future.
Ah, good to know! I only used it for the 3rd time yesterday, so there shouldn't be too much junk in there.
I have line cleaner for my tap system (not sure brand), do you think that would work, or should I use oxy clean or something?


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