Stainless CFC Choices

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

eric19312

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
3,584
Reaction score
2,124
Location
Long Island
Hey I'm itching to buy a new piece of gear and thinking it is time to retire my old 50' copper IC. I'd like to get rid of copper as I find the LODO guys kind of persuasive enough on the issue I already got rid of the last of the copper fittings I was using upstream. I'm not interested in a plate chiller as I really only brew hoppy beers and can't imagine the agony of getting a clogged chiller at the end of a long brew day. I want to get rid of the IC after last brew when I went to remove my chiller from the wort there were two dang hornets doing the back stroke in my kettle. I want to chill with the lid on tight.

So I have my eye on either the Stout SS CFC or the Exchilerator Maxx with the SS upgrade. The Stout is cheaper as sold but looks like I'd need a lot of fittings I don't have to get it hooked up to my brewery. The Exchilerator has that water mixing co-helical wrap. Maybe that does something to mix the water to improve performance. I also like the thermometer on the Exchilerator.

I'm looking to see if anyone has tried the SS Exchilerator and has any comments good or bad.
I'm also looking for a picture and description of how you guys with the Stout unit are attaching it to your systems. Maybe it is not so difficult but I couldn't find any pics on the web and know a few on here have gone that route.
Any other choices I should be considering? My batch size is 17 gallons and my ground water is not super cold.

Thanks!
 

matt_m

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
1,050
Reaction score
467
There is one maybe substantial difference depending on how you want to use it. The ID of Stout inner tube is 10 mm (0.39") where the Exchillerator is 0.25". Theoretically that would allow a substantially higher flow rate if you are looking to whirlpool through the chiller. I do not get a good whirlpool in 5 gallon batches with a Riptide pump and the copper Exchillerator so I only use it for single-pass cooling to my fermenters. I usually get down to about 80 in one pass but again, that's with copper. My glycol chiller cools it the rest of the way to pitching temps before I'm done cleaning up. The Exchillerator Brutus doubles up the inner tubing but that's still just over 80% the cross section of the Stout. Personally I'd rather be able to simplify my plumbing to be able to chill and whirlpool on the same circuit but that's personal preference.

BTW, shipping is substantially different too. Stout wants $54 shipping to Michigan where Exchillerator is $10 flat rate.
 

Tom R

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
448
Reaction score
442
Location
S. Puget Sound
Hey I'm itching to buy a new piece of gear and thinking it is time to retire my old 50' copper IC. I'd like to get rid of copper as I find the LODO guys kind of persuasive enough on the issue I already got rid of the last of the copper fittings I was using upstream. I'm not interested in a plate chiller as I really only brew hoppy beers and can't imagine the agony of getting a clogged chiller at the end of a long brew day. I want to get rid of the IC after last brew when I went to remove my chiller from the wort there were two dang hornets doing the back stroke in my kettle. I want to chill with the lid on tight.

So I have my eye on either the Stout SS CFC or the Exchilerator Maxx with the SS upgrade. The Stout is cheaper as sold but looks like I'd need a lot of fittings I don't have to get it hooked up to my brewery. The Exchilerator has that water mixing co-helical wrap. Maybe that does something to mix the water to improve performance. I also like the thermometer on the Exchilerator.

I'm looking to see if anyone has tried the SS Exchilerator and has any comments good or bad.
I'm also looking for a picture and description of how you guys with the Stout unit are attaching it to your systems. Maybe it is not so difficult but I couldn't find any pics on the web and know a few on here have gone that route.
Any other choices I should be considering? My batch size is 17 gallons and my ground water is not super cold.

Thanks!
Here's my Stout. I bought garden hose adapters for the water connections, and added an instrument "T" with a tri-clamp thermometer to the wort output. I wouldn't change a thing.
IMG_0084.JPG
 

Tom R

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
448
Reaction score
442
Location
S. Puget Sound
No photos in use. But it's nothing fancy.

Kettle is connected to Riptide (which is a couple feet below kettle) with a few feet of 1/2" silicone tubing and camlocks, pump is connected with more 1/2" tubing to tri-clamp on CFC, and output of CFC has 10' of tubing with 1-1/2" TC fittings to racking arm of conical.

I run 160F PBW through it all immediately after use, then rinse, then disassemble to dry.
 
OP
eric19312

eric19312

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
3,584
Reaction score
2,124
Location
Long Island
Thanks that was sketch I came up with too. Hoses with TC on one end and cam locks on other end. I’m adding up the parts...that thermometer looks to be $50 and another $20 fo the instrument tee, plus clamps and gaskets lol it adds up.

...so with the Riptide are you getting a reasonable whirlpool when you return to the kettle?
 

Tom R

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
448
Reaction score
442
Location
S. Puget Sound
I'm not whirlpooling, I use leaf hops, so a bazooka screen works OK on the kettle drain. I'd like a false bottom like I had on my smaller BK. It's on the list.

I chill to about 80F in one pass to the conical, and glycol takes it down from there.
 
OP
eric19312

eric19312

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
3,584
Reaction score
2,124
Location
Long Island
I'm not whirlpooling, I use leaf hops, so a bazooka screen works OK on the kettle drain. I'd like a false bottom like I had on my smaller BK. It's on the list.

I chill to about 80F in one pass to the conical, and glycol takes it down from there.
ok thanks I'll wait to see if anybody is getting a reasonable whirlpool. It's key to my brewing style. I want to chill kettle to about 180 then circulate pellet hops and wort through the CFC for 30 minutes and then proceed to the fermentor in one pass.
 

moto125

New Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2011
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
Location
Denver
Sorry to bring up an old post, but is there any problem in going from the 1/2" ID of the stout CFC to a 1.5" TC for an instrument T and then back down to 1/2" Camlock? I suppose that would just mean the instrument T has a big more liquid sitting in it to read the out flow temp, right?
 

Hwk-I-St8

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 10, 2014
Messages
1,902
Reaction score
843
Location
The Hawkeye State
Unless you're brewing large enough batches where an immersion chiller is no longer viable, I see no reason to do anything other an immersion chiller. Easy to use, easy to clean, no risk of clogs, you can visually see that it's clean, etc.

If you have concerns about copper, why not a SS immersion chiller. The SS Hydra will address your concerns, is a direct replacement for your existing rig/process and they are very fast.

I have a hydra...would never consider a different chiller unless I wanted to move to SS....then I'd get the SS version. If I were brewing 20G batches or something like that, then I'd consider a more scalable solution like a counter flow chiller.

My overall philosophy is to not assume that the type of equipment the pros use is better...many times it's just what's necessary due to scale...chillers fall firmly into that category. If you're brewing 5-10G batches, take advantage of the better solutions for smaller scale brewing.
 

matt_m

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
1,050
Reaction score
467
Unless you're brewing large enough batches where an immersion chiller is no longer viable, I see no reason to do anything other an immersion chiller. Easy to use, easy to clean, no risk of clogs, you can visually see that it's clean, etc.
Or for Steam Condenser users. Most everything I've read says drop in the IC with 10-15 minutes left in the boil. That's going to change everything with the boil at that point and put all that steam in the air. Maybe its safe to do so at FO and let it rest ~10 minutes?
 

Spartan1979

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 13, 2011
Messages
2,110
Reaction score
557
Location
O'Fallon, MO
Or for Steam Condenser users. Most everything I've read says drop in the IC with 10-15 minutes left in the boil. That's going to change everything with the boil at that point and put all that steam in the air. Maybe its safe to do so at FO and let it rest ~10 minutes?
I switched from an IC to a CFC when I went to electric with a steam condenser. I just couldn't figure out a good way to make it work.
 

Hwk-I-St8

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 10, 2014
Messages
1,902
Reaction score
843
Location
The Hawkeye State
Or for Steam Condenser users. Most everything I've read says drop in the IC with 10-15 minutes left in the boil. That's going to change everything with the boil at that point and put all that steam in the air. Maybe its safe to do so at FO and let it rest ~10 minutes?
Oh yeah, that's a really good point. I brew electric in my garage, so I'm planning to get a condenser if I ever get a sink installed. I usually put my IC in with 5 minutes to go (same time I add whirlfloc). If it were me, I'd put up with 5 minutes of steam (that's probably about what you'd get boiling eggs or pasta) vs having to deal with a CFC or plate chiller, but, as I'm sure you can tell, I'm pretty committed to staying away from those unless absolutely necessary.
 

TheMadKing

Western Yankee Southerner and Brew Science Nerd
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 17, 2015
Messages
3,846
Reaction score
1,943
Location
Gainesville
Thanks that was sketch I came up with too. Hoses with TC on one end and cam locks on other end. I’m adding up the parts...that thermometer looks to be $50 and another $20 fo the instrument tee, plus clamps and gaskets lol it adds up.

...so with the Riptide are you getting a reasonable whirlpool when you return to the kettle?
I have the same setup and yes I get a good whirlpool in the kettle

I also don't bother with thermometers on the chiller since I whirlpool my entire kettle while chilling as low as my tap water will go. I don't care about the chiller temp, only the bulk temp because of that.
 

TheMadKing

Western Yankee Southerner and Brew Science Nerd
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 17, 2015
Messages
3,846
Reaction score
1,943
Location
Gainesville
Unless you're brewing large enough batches where an immersion chiller is no longer viable, I see no reason to do anything other an immersion chiller. Easy to use, easy to clean, no risk of clogs, you can visually see that it's clean, etc.

If you have concerns about copper, why not a SS immersion chiller. The SS Hydra will address your concerns, is a direct replacement for your existing rig/process and they are very fast.

I have a hydra...would never consider a different chiller unless I wanted to move to SS....then I'd get the SS version. If I were brewing 20G batches or something like that, then I'd consider a more scalable solution like a counter flow chiller.

My overall philosophy is to not assume that the type of equipment the pros use is better...many times it's just what's necessary due to scale...chillers fall firmly into that category. If you're brewing 5-10G batches, take advantage of the better solutions for smaller scale brewing.
Reasons I stopped using an immersion chiller:

-I can't have the lid on while chilling
-I can't whirlpool effectively and get a nice tight trub cone
-I have a heating element in my boil kettle so it would have to sit on top of the heating element

I agree plate chillers are silly on the homebrew scale and very prone to clogging and hiding gunk. I had one and sold it within 6 months

I love my stout CFC
 

Hwk-I-St8

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 10, 2014
Messages
1,902
Reaction score
843
Location
The Hawkeye State
Reasons I stopped using an immersion chiller:

-I can't have the lid on while chilling
-I can't whirlpool effectively and get a nice tight trub cone
-I have a heating element in my boil kettle so it would have to sit on top of the heating element

I agree plate chillers are silly on the homebrew scale and very prone to clogging and hiding gunk. I had one and sold it within 6 months

I love my stout CFC
All valid concerns. I'm lucky in that I have a BrewBuilt kettle that has a factory notch in the lid (with rubber "plug"). My Hydra fits perfectly. While chilling, I have a sanitizer soaked towel wrapped around the chiller tubes effectively sealing the opening from bugs etc.

I haven't had an issue with whirlpooling but I don't have any non-IC batches to compare to. Trub has not been a problem (and I brew a lot of NEIPAs with lot's of WP hops).

I'm electric too...I set the hydra on the element which has not been a problem.
 

Dustin_J

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2006
Messages
268
Reaction score
98
Location
St. Louis, MO
Reasons I stopped using an immersion chiller:

-I can't have the lid on while chilling
-I can't whirlpool effectively and get a nice tight trub cone
-I have a heating element in my boil kettle so it would have to sit on top of the heating element

I agree plate chillers are silly on the homebrew scale and very prone to clogging and hiding gunk. I had one and sold it within 6 months

I love my stout CFC
+1 . This is pretty much word-for-word why I recirc through a Stout CFC instead of using an immersion chiller in my electric setup.
 

TLaffey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2011
Messages
71
Reaction score
25
Location
Sacramento area, CA
Hey I'm itching to buy a new piece of gear and thinking it is time to retire my old 50' copper IC. I'd like to get rid of copper as I find the LODO guys kind of persuasive enough on the issue I already got rid of the last of the copper fittings I was using upstream. I'm not interested in a plate chiller as I really only brew hoppy beers and can't imagine the agony of getting a clogged chiller at the end of a long brew day. I want to get rid of the IC after last brew when I went to remove my chiller from the wort there were two dang hornets doing the back stroke in my kettle. I want to chill with the lid on tight.

So I have my eye on either the Stout SS CFC or the Exchilerator Maxx with the SS upgrade. The Stout is cheaper as sold but looks like I'd need a lot of fittings I don't have to get it hooked up to my brewery. The Exchilerator has that water mixing co-helical wrap. Maybe that does something to mix the water to improve performance. I also like the thermometer on the Exchilerator.

I'm looking to see if anyone has tried the SS Exchilerator and has any comments good or bad.
I'm also looking for a picture and description of how you guys with the Stout unit are attaching it to your systems. Maybe it is not so difficult but I couldn't find any pics on the web and know a few on here have gone that route.
Any other choices I should be considering? My batch size is 17 gallons and my ground water is not super cold.

Thanks!
I have a SS Exchilerator, maybe an early version, and it works well for me. Depending on tap water temp, I sometimes do an initial cooling with tap water and then switch to prechilling the tap water with ice and my old copper IC. My batch size is 10 gallons.
 
OP
eric19312

eric19312

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
3,584
Reaction score
2,124
Location
Long Island
Saw some activity here and thought I'd mention what I ended up deciding to do and how it worked out. First very much agree with @TheMadKing 's list of reasons to go CFC.

So I went with the Stout CFC. I wanted SS and decided longer run with larger diameter inner tube would be better than the Exchillerator design. I do run boiling wort through the chiller for last 5-10 min of boil to assure sanitization and then at flameout turn on the chilling water and drop the kettle temp to about 190 for my whirlpool hop additions. I have a Spike 20 gallon kettle and a chugger center inlet pump and can achieve a slow spin with the pump. But I don't bother with that anymore. After dropping kettle to 190-195 I stop the pump, and add my whirlpool hops. A few minutes later I spin the wort with my SS mash paddle, put the lid on the kettle and let it steep and settle out at same time. When that is over I go direct to the fermentor in a single pass without issue, wort is clear enough for me and I get a decent cone in the kettle.

I did end up getting the instrument Tee and thermometer, these work together just fine:
 
Top