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View Poll Results: What kind of Chiller
Immersion 48 67.61%
Plate Chiller 12 16.90%
Other 11 15.49%
Voters: 71. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-06-2013, 04:50 PM   #11
Registered User
May 2013
Centreville, Virginia
Posts: 160
Liked 25 Times on 20 Posts

I use a 20' counterflow chiller with a prechiller beforehand. The prechiller really helps, and then I use the collected warm water to clean up with and then dump on various plants.

My gravity-fed setup gets 6 gallons from boiling to ~75 degrees in about 15-20 minutes.

I've also used a drill pump to recirculate icewater through the CFC. Saves water, but uses more electricity. Plus, it's loud and requires me to stay there to hold the drill.

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Old 09-06-2013, 05:24 PM   #12
Jul 2013
Posts: 235
Liked 24 Times on 23 Posts

I make small batches, so a sink full of ice does the trick. And it's pretty cheap to get bags of ice at the corner gas station if the freezer doesn't have enough stored up.

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Old 09-06-2013, 06:12 PM   #13
May 2010
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Posts: 228
Liked 6 Times on 5 Posts

50' recirculating immersion chiller with a pump here. It's a huge upgrade from the 25' standard IC I had before. It helps that groundwater here in the rural north is always nice and cool, 50-55 pretty much year round.

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Old 09-06-2013, 06:57 PM   #14
Oct 2009
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,505
Liked 1985 Times on 1249 Posts

I can reliably get my wort down to around 50 F in any weather. Of course, I only go that far for lagers. For ales, I stop once I hit 65 F.

I use a plate chiller, a camping cooler full of ice water, and 2 pumps. One pump circulates wort through the plate chiller and back into the kettle (NOT into the fermenter). The other pump circulates the ice water through the plate chiller in the other direction. I just use plain tap water from the hose until the wort reaches 100 F, then I switch over to the pump/ice water (no sense wasting perfectly good ice). My ice bath consists of a camping cooler with 7-8 frozen juice bottles, a bag or two of ice from the grocery store, and half-filled with water. If I've been planning ahead, I'll actually take a bucket of tap water a few days ahead of time and stick it in my beer fridge to get it as cold as possible before brewing.

Once the wort has cooled to the desired temperature (according to the thermometer mounted on my kettle), I cease chilling and rack the wort to a fermenter with a plain old autosiphon (alleviating any issues with the dip tube losing siphon and ensuring I can get every drop of good wort from the kettle).

I get from boiling to 100 F in about 3 minutes. Getting down to 65 from there takes another 5-10 minutes.

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Old 09-06-2013, 11:05 PM   #15
Jan 2012
Posts: 23

I also live in SD. Warm groundwater sucks. My new system is groundwater ==> DIY IC in cooler full of ice water ==> plate chiller. Even with the prechiller, the coldest I could get the water into the plate chiller was 70 degrees. Then I started stirring the ice water around the IC, and the water coming out dropped to 58 degrees. Now I have to take it easy stirring or the wort comes out too cold.

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Old 09-07-2013, 04:23 PM   #16
Oct 2010
Posts: 13
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Thank you to everyone that has posted thus far, I have some things to think about, I would prefer not to added another pump to my system but If I want to keep my plate chiller in the loop it seems like the most effective option. The other thing that I don't like about the plate chiller is that it requires soooo much cleaning after use and on occasion when I run sanitizer through it prior to using it to cool the wort, I still get some hop debris which really irritates me because I then gro concerned about possibly contaminating the wort.

I like the idea of using a pump to recirculate ice water through an IC, I may resort to that and see what kind of performance I get out of that setup.

Once Again thanks for the information.

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Old 09-07-2013, 04:27 PM   #17
kh54s10's Avatar
Aug 2011
Tiverton, Rhode Island
Posts: 11,638
Liked 1862 Times on 1525 Posts

Immersion because of cost and ease of use. DIY project. Plate chiller or counterflow sometime in the future.

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