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Old 01-14-2008, 04:33 PM   #1
Dec 2007
Posts: 27

I was thinking about taking this next step and wondering what works for you guys...and what you can expect to pay.

Thanks in advance.
Currently Drinking: Blonde Ale, Hefeweissen, Belgian Wit, Robust Porter

Conditioning: None

Primary Fermenter: British Ale

Secondary Fermenter: Apfelwein

Planning: Light American Ale

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Old 01-14-2008, 04:38 PM   #2
Mar 2007
Posts: 456
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

I just recently purchased this (one at top of page):


I know it's not as fancy as some others (like plate chillers), but it was able to reduce the temp by 100 degrees in less than a half hour-so I thought that was pretty good.

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Old 01-14-2008, 04:39 PM   #3
cd2448's Avatar
Oct 2007
Haddonfield, NJ
Posts: 601
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

i just got my 25ft copper tubing immersion chiller, $50 off of eBay. it was a revelation. great investment. i'm only doing about 3-3.5 gallon boils though, if you're doing full boils, or even 10gallons, you might be better off with a CFC. we do get pretty cold tap water too, which helps!
new to the kegging lark.

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Old 01-14-2008, 04:39 PM   #4
McKBrew's Avatar
Oct 2006
Hayden, Idaho
Posts: 8,204
Liked 35 Times on 30 Posts

The cheapest effective option is a copper immersion chiller.

Make Beer, Not War.

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Old 01-14-2008, 05:41 PM   #5
Doc Thirst
Nov 2007
Posts: 56

I built a CFC for less then 50 bucks, but my copper was only $25.00. I highly suggest this route if you are a little handy and can put your hands on dollar a foot copper. I go from boiling to a carboy full of 73 degree wort in minutes only using a trickle of cooling water.

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Old 01-14-2008, 07:10 PM   #6
Funkenjaeger's Avatar
May 2007
Nashua, NH
Posts: 1,598
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If you're considering a CFC, stop and think about how you're going to use it. I made the stupid mistake of building a CFC without first figuring out how I was going to get the wort through it without a valve on my kettle - had to throw together a copper racking cane at the last minute and siphon it, which didn't go too smoothly - plus by the time I got all the hoses hooked up it took up a lot of space in my kitchen - and it's not all that fun to sanitize when you can't pump cleaner/water/sanitizer through it. I sold it, bought an immersion chiller, and have been very happy with it - it's extremely easy to sanitize and use, works well, and takes up very little space. Now that I have a kettle with a valve and some more space to work in, I think I'd be much happier with a CFC than I was the first time, but I'm still happy with an immersion chiller.

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Old 01-15-2008, 06:36 PM   #7
Got Trub?
Apr 2007
Washington State
Posts: 1,538
Liked 10 Times on 8 Posts

Another advantage of the immersion chiller is that it drops out the cold break in your kettle - not your fermentor...


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Old 01-15-2008, 06:42 PM   #8
Jan 2007
San Diego, CA
Posts: 226

I'm at the same time in my brewing life. Both the CFC and the immersion have their advantages and disadvantages. I like the idea of not getting the break in the fermenter but then it doesn't really make any difference to the yeast. The CFC just seems so easy except for the sanitizing. (I suppose you could collect the water in your HLT and heat it up more and run it through to clean it, maybe run through some of your left over iodophore after that.)

I'm building a ten gallon system so leaning toward the CFC but the simplicity of the immersion is sweet.

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Old 01-15-2008, 07:06 PM   #9
5 Is Not Enough
Oct 2007
Erie, PA
Posts: 463
Liked 4 Times on 3 Posts

I have a 25' 3/8" (OD) CFC. I made it myself out of 1/2 a roll of 50' from coppertubingsales.com. It works great when hooked to the drain of my big pot and pumped through. It is too slow for siphon, IMO.
I am taking the other 25' and making a IC for smaller batches. This will be for partial boils in a 20qt pot. I will be using a branch method, rather than a continuous loop. According to some posts I've read on this site, it should be much more efficient.

Like Funkenjaeger said, the cfc's are kind of a PITA if you don't have a set up planned. (Just check out this image in my gallery )

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Old 01-15-2008, 07:15 PM   #10
Sir Humpsalot
Sir Humpsalot's Avatar
Nov 2006
Posts: 4,005
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Originally Posted by 5 Is Not Enough
(Just check out this image in my gallery )
Yup. Mine looks just about as bad. Definitely a CFC is a better option for a dedicated brew stand or brewing area, or at least someone with a valve on their kettle.
In Process: Mango Beer, Homebrewers Pale Ale
Bottled/Kegged:Spicy Light Rye, Rice-adjunct Pale Ale, Mild Bourbon Porter, Roasty Stout, Basic Light Mead, Bourbon County Stout Clone
Up Next: Berlinerweiss, Chocolate Raspberry Ale, and American IPA

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