Chilling the wort is now the most tedious part of my brewday. I am going ot make a wort chiller of some sort.
Those with Counterflow chillers- Can you chill in one pass, without recirculating? I don't want to get a recirculating pump, and just want to use my auto-siphon. My water does peak out at around 80 degrees though in the summer. I guess if I had to use two passes, that wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.
I found an interesting article in the zymurgy archives (How long will it take to chill your wort, Bible; sep/oct 2004) which when plugging in calculations says it will take less than 4 minutes to cool my wort to pitching temps, in the cooler months when my tap is running around 50 degrees, and around 12 minutes in the peak of summer when it runs around 78 degrees. The spreadsheet will likely be useful to others, you can have a look at it here: http://www.jcbrewing.com/?p=128
If anyone has a sciency source on how effective immersion coolers are compared to counterflows, I would appreciate that. I would even take personal anecdotes.
My next series of questions are related to building a CFC:
I don't have a torch, but can I use a soldering iron to solder copper pipe? I haven't done that, only electronics soldering. I see there are no-solder builds out there- do those hold up over time?
I am trying to figure out if a CFC is worth the extra effort. I like the compactness and look of them. Though I just realized my auto siphon likely can't handle water at boiling temperatures. *sigh* Any other anecdotes to add for one or the other?