Wort Chiller

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StevePT

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OK, so I am on the finishing touches of building my dream 3 tier gravity fed brewing tree with 15 gallon keggles. I am feeling pretty good about the set up, got a 15" false bottom from Jaybird, got a hop stopper from Innovative Home Brew Solutions, ect, ect....the only thing I am feeling like I really want to step up on is the wort chiller (although I am about a $1000 into this so I dont want to spend a fortune more, saw a Blichmann plate chiller for $200 and that seems like the very upper limit). I dont know what my best option is on a gravity fed system other then your basic copper coils you hook to the garden hose. I am so excited about getting this system going, just want to get the wort chiller figured out then step up to a stainless steel conical fermenter (liking the price of this one!!) http://cgi.ebay.com/BETTER-STAINLES...tem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4aa0981378
 

Walker

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I'd say go with an immersion chiller. If you decide you want to make it fancier later, you can convert it into a counter-flow.
 
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StevePT

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What about the Shirron Wort Plate Chiller? I would like to be able to chill the wort as fast as possible, using as little water as possible and sticking with gravity feed. $90 seems pretty reasonable.
 

Walker

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If you are willing to drop the brand name, you can find plate heat exchangers for cheaper than $90.

This guy has a huge selection..304 stainless, copper brazed... same construction as Therminators and Shirron chillers:

http://stores.ebay.com/DudaDiesel-A...sidZ97361327QQ_trksidZp4634Q2ec0Q2em14QQ_vcZ1

The best way to price compare would probably be by using square feet of cooling per $.

The Shirron has 0.247 ft^2/plate and 10 plates for a total of 2.47 ft^2 of cooling. At $90, that's $36 per square foot.

This one (http://cgi.ebay.com/20-Plate-Heat-E...tem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35a80923f1) from the above seller has 0.14 ft^2/plate and 20 plates for a total of 2.8 ft^2 of cooling. At $60, that's $21 per square foot.

I've been kicking around the idea of getting one of these, but finally dropped it because I am worried about all the crud from my kettle getting into it and clogging it. If you have a good screen/filter/whatever in your kettle, it would probably be fine.
 

Walker

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Probably.

My last two batches, I did the backward IC thing. I pumped the wort through my coil and had the coil in my MLT full of ice water. I recirculated the cold wort back into the kettle to bring the full volume down as fast as possible.

Chilled 5.5 gallons in 10 minutes, using 5 gallons of ice water.
 
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