Whether you are a regular or occasional homebrewer, relying on low tech methods can consume much of your time and cooling your Wort to yeast pitching temperatures can be a pain in the neck. But with the new innovative methods, you can easily cool your wort down. Thanks to the art of technology that has seen the design of convenient Wort Chillers. And if you have ever used these tools, you know the massive benefits these tools come along with.
The benefits of using fresh wort in the brewing process are not unknown. But that in no way means that we will achieve equally fulfilling results from boiling hot wort. Wort chillers help bring the temperature down to a yeast pitching temperature in a very short time. It is definitely much faster than ice. So if you want to introduce this wonderful technology into your brewing process and yield more enjoyable, faster, and tastier results, we have reviewed some of the best wort chillers in the market that might help you. Find out more about them!
Factors to consider when buying a wort chiller
Homebrewing can be fun, but only with the right wort chiller. Different chiller models are designed differently, which requires you to be extra careful before investing in anypreferred model. To make your brewing process exciting here is what you should look for in a wort chiller.
Wort chillers come in three different types. The immersion type, plate models, and counterflow type. Though all these chillers are designed to help you cool your finished beer, they operate differently. Immersion wort chillers are one of the most commonly used in brewing.
Normally, these models differ in their design, hose fittings, width, length and also diameter. Immersion models are handy, affordable and easy to sanitize. Once you have connected the inlet and outlet of your hose fitting, all you need is to allow the water to flow to cool down your beer.
The only challenge with immersion models is that they consume much water and require large storage space due to their size.
Compared to immersion model, plate wort chillers cool down your beer faster and are compact in size which makes them easy to store. Unlike immersion models which use running water to cool down temperatures, heat interchange for plate models normally takes place in via plates in between the plate device space.
Though effective, using plate chillers comes with its downsides. One of the disadvantages of using a plate chiller is that they tend to clog easily. Cleaning up these cooler is time-consuming and requires proper sanitation. Some of the plate models cannot be dissembled for proper cleaning which means a high risk of contamination.
Counterflow chiller models on the other hand function by use of the inverse refrigerator principle. They feature a cylindrically shaped coil and have another coil inside. To cool down your beer, your hot wort runs through the inner coil as the water flows inside the outer coil in an opposite direction.
Just like the plate models, counterflow wort chillers are hard to maintain due to the fact that they have a coil inside another coil. Just like the immerse chillers; counterflow models require large storage space.
Quality of material
Wort chillers are made of stainless steel or copper tubing. Each of these materials has advantages and disadvantages that come along with. Stainless steel wort chillers are strong, durable and easy to maintain as compared to copper. In addition, stainless steel does not corrode or oxidize.
However, customizing stainless steel wort chiller to suit the angle and position of your kettle size is hard as compared to copper. In regards to thermal conductivity, stainless steel material is less effective, the reason why it takes longer to bring down hot wort down to yeast pitching temperatures.
Copper wort chillers, on the other hand, have good thermal conductivity and will cool down your beer temperatures in minutes. Just like stainless steel models, copper wort coolers are resistant to corrosion. With a copper beer chiller, you can easily customize it to suit your kettle angle and position.
The oxidation rate for a copper material is high. When exposed to air, copper will change its appearance to dark color. Cost wise, copper wort chillers are expensive as compared to stainless steel models.
Recommended wort quantity
Depending on your production levels, you will require a wort chiller that has a capability of cooling your beer faster. Most manufacturers will recommend the gallon batches you can cool depending on the performance and cooling capabilities. Always go for models that can cool large quantities than your normal production.
Each wort chiller features a specific cooling time. As mentioned earlier, copper models have high thermal conductivity as compared to stainless steel brands. However, different copper models will have different cooling time. If you value time, be ready to pay more.
What is the best wort chiller to buy?
For bests results, choose your wort chiller depending on your brewing experience. If you are a beginner or have less experienced in brewing try to go for immerse models. These chillers are easy to use, easy to clean and do not require much experience.
Well experience brewers can take advantage of counterflow or plate wort chillers depending on their preferences. The model you choose should be able to allow you to brew your beer faster and easily without challenges. Do not fall for cheap deals, always go for models that can cool your beer efficiently without any leaks.
Models with compression fittings tend to get affected by temperature fluctuations and may leak. Soldered hose fitting has the ability to withstand temperature variations while preventing leakages. In case you do not have enough money to invest in models that have soldered hose fittings, ensure the compression fittings are made of high-quality material and proper inspection done before using to help identify any signs of leakages.
Top 8 Best Wort Chillers
|Product Name||Wort Chiller Type||Grade|
|Homebrew Wort Chiller||Immersion type||A+|
|NY Brew Supply Wort Chiller||Immersion type||A|
|Northern Brewer Stainles Steel Wort Chiller||Immersion type||A|
|Learn to Brew LLC Immersion Chiller||Immersion model||A-|
|HFS (R) Homebrew Beer Wort Chiller||Plate model||B|
|Coldbreak Wort Chiller||Immersion chiller||B|
|Exchilerator Wort Chiller||Counterflow model||B+|
|Duda Energy B3-36A 40 Plate Beer Wort Chiller||Plate model||B-|
1. Homebrew Wort Chiller
Drop down your wort temperatures faster with this immersion wort chiller. Incorporating this copper wort chiller into the brewing process is easy. The cooler features a ¾ inch garden fitting hose that perfectly fits almost every sink utility faucets.With this tool, you can say goodbye to any brewing mess. The chiller has an outlet tube that is dedicated to getting rid of the hot water that has been warmed by your wort to exit to the sink with no mess. Its ease of use makes the cooling process easy and fun.
2. NY Brew Supply Wort Chiller
Save your time and turn your wort into pitching yeasts temperatures quickly by taking advantage of this amazing chiller from NY Brew Supply. The chiller is super effective and features a 3/8 inch stainless steel tube that is 50 feet long which is dedicated to facilitating a faster chilling process.Stainless steel material is known for its ability to resist corrosion and oxidation which means you will enjoy using your chiller for years to come. Maintenance of stainless steel material is easy, a great feature which allows you to save time. in addition to this, the performance of this chiller is good and a great pick for beginners or experienced home brewers.
3. Northern Brewer Stainless Steel Wort Chiller
A few minor adjustments to the design of the Silver Serpent wort chiller made by the established Northern Brewer Homebrew Supply have now made it the most sanitary immersion chiller available.
Rather than you having to sanitize it fully before using, you can your pop the clean chiller into the kettle a few minutes before it stops boiling and it will be then ready to use.
This wort chiller is fully assembled and includes hose clamps which you can use on a standard garden hose connector or laundry sink faucet, as well as barbed fittings and tubing. Measuring 9 inches wide and 16 inches height to the bend, this has 25 foot of 3/8 inch coiled tubing. The drop-angle connections of this chiller helps keep any leaks out of your wort – minimizing the risk the of contamination as well as preventing the nuisance of kinked tubing.Ideal if you are an experienced homebrewer or a beginner to it all, this chiller is made from stainless steel so as well as not having to worry about any corrosion or rusting, clean up will be easy once you have finished cooling your wort.
4. Learn to Brew LLC Immersion Chiller
Enjoy fast cooling of your hot wort to yeasts pitching temperatures with this Learn To Brew chiller. The company understands well how a poor quality cooler can ruin your brewing experience and ensure you turn your home brewing to a fun and exciting process without any leaks.
This cooler features a superior quality 3/8 inch copper tubing that measures 50 feet long for fast and efficient cooling of your beer. To prevent any leakages of contaminated water into your wort, the cooler female and male garden hose fittings are made of soldered metal which keeps them in place during your brewing process.
Unlike other compression fittings that tend to contract and expand due to temperature variations, soldered fitting do not. This prevents any contaminations from coming into contact with your beer giving you a peace of mind. Adjusting your loops is easy. All you need is to pull them apart to suit your preferred width.
5. HFS(R) Homebrew Beer Wort Chiller
If you are looking for extra fast cooling, then look no further than the plate chiller from HFS. Made from 304 stainless steel which has been copper brazed, this plate chiller will cool a ten gallon batch from 212°F to 75°F in just ten minutes.
The design of this chiller allows cold water to run through every other plate while wort runs through the plates in between. This means that more surface area is available to cool the wort than there would be if you were using an immersion chiller.
To use this plate chiller you will need to use a pump or a gravity system. If you are able to connect this chiller to a closed-loop cold water pump system, it means you can also do your bit for saving water. This will also need careful sanitizing before cooling your wort.The wort connections for this chiller are 1/2 inch NPT fitting while the water fittings are 3/4 inch, or a standard garden hose connection. There are other sizes of connections available and you can select how many plates you want in your chiller; 20, 30 or 40.
6. Coldbreak Wort Chiller
Cool your beer gallon batches faster with this premium quality Wort chiller from Coldbreak. The cooler features a 3/8 inch copper tube that measures 50 feet long. Its clamps are made using a long-lasting stainless steel material while its garden hose fitting is made with a heavy-duty premium quality lead-free material to ensure you enjoy faster cooling within minutes.
Though this cooler has a capability of cooling a 5-gallon batch from boiling point down to 75 degrees within ten or fewer minutes, you can still bring your hot beer to yeast pitching temperatures for batches more than five gallons faster.
To prevent any leakages, fasten your hose clinches when the Vinyl tubing is still warm. Clamps need to be carefully inspected before use for any signs of leakages to minimize any contaminations during brewing.
7. Exchilerator Wort Chiller
Able to cool five gallons in five minutes, the Exchilerator is a counterflow wort chiller able to chill 25% faster than a stainless steel chiller.
Made from Pex tubing, this has 10 gauge non-metallic wire woven into a co-helical pattern around the inner copper tube which is also FDA approved. The solder and brass used in this chiller is also free from lead. This design of tubing ensures that the cooling water passes over all surfaces for maximum efficiency.
Working with either a pump or gravity system, this cooler is also safe for you to be able to re-use the waste cooling water without it leaving a nasty taste in your mouth! This is an easy clean system, you just need to flush it through with hot water from your hot liquor tank or a brewery cleanser.This comes complete with the temperature and valve manifold and 1/2 inch NPT fittings are also provided, along with garden hose fittings so you can connect it up to your hose. It also comes with a handy roll of Teflon tape.
8. Duda Energy B3-36A 40 Plate Beer Wort Chiller
The B3-36A plate wort chiller is a newer model from DudaDiesel and can offer high performance using the typical city water pressures that you have in your home. Depending on how you set your system up, this chiller has the potential to cool a 10 gallon batch in under five minutes.
As a longer plate chiller this is more efficient, but if you do want a higher flow rate then choose a model variant with more plates to avoid too large a drop in pressure.
Made from copper brazed stainless steel, this plate chiller is available with different connections as well as coming with fittings for garden hose connection. You will need a pump or gravity feed system to run this plate wort chiller.
Benefits of using wort chillers
Quality clear beer
Wort chillers facilitate faster cold break. Normally cold break is proteins from the malt that are curdled and settle throughout the chilling process. The proteins play part in fogging the secondary fermenter and bottle but with the help of a beer chiller, you can quickly separate your wort from the cold break faster.
Unlike ice bath method, wort coolers have the capability to cool large surface area effectively. In few minutes you can convert gallon batches of your beer boiling point to yeast pitching temperatures making the brewing process fun and exciting.
Minimize contaminations and off flavors
When you use a wort cooler to cool down your beer, you reduce any chances of un-sanitized water from mixing with your wort which means quality beer. Using beer chiller also helps prevent DMS (dimethyl sulfide) a compound that tastes and smells like creamed corn as a result of wheat or barley used during the brewing process.
Effective and safe
High temperatures tend to destroy the yeast and increase the risk of bacterial contamination of your beer and need to be cooled down fast. Wort chillers provide a safe and effective way of bringing down your boiling beer to correct yeast pitching temperatures.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are wort chillers worth it?
Wort chillers help homebrewers in saving both time and effort. It also minimizes all the temperature fluctuation issues that are associated with the brewing process. It is not a vital part of the beer brewing process, but it sure comes with tons of benefits. Wort chillers work tremendously well when it comes to cooling down beer in a short time, so the investment will definitely be worth it.
Why is it important to cool wort quickly?
Cooling wort is important in order to help the yeast survive. They can perform better at producing beer when the wort is cooled down fast. Besides, quickly cooling wort has health benefits as well. The process minimizes the risk of contamination by microorganisms that usually thrive in warm temperatures. Moreover, as soon as the temperature drops to 160 Fahrenheit, many bacteria start taking over that can produce flavors in the wort and this, in turn, enhance the beer.
Should I sanitize my wort chiller?
You can surely sanitize the wort chiller before incorporating it into the brewing process without much trouble. However, unlike other brewing equipment, the wort chiller does not need to be sanitized. As soon as it is used for brewing, the high temperature around the wort and the flowing pressure will get the sanitization done naturally. That said, you should definitely clean the wort chiller before and after using it.
Preparing a home brewed beer gives you the freedom to customize it to suit your preferences. However, cooling down your boiling beer is one of the critical steps in brewing which dictates the end result. The method you use to bring down the temperature to yeasts pitching temperature makes a big difference and a wort chiller is one of the most effective and reliable methods.
But before deciding the best wort chiller to invest in, consider your personal preferences. Look also to your budget, the chiller type, cooling time, recommended gallon batches, ease of cleaning, and durability.
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