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Immersion vs Counterflow vs Plate wort chillers-Which is Better?

In this article we have explained importance of chilling of wort from boiling temperature. Watch below video to make immersion wort chiller at home. Read top rated home brewing kit review with pros and cons. Check article explaining how to make homemade beer?

What is a wort chiller?

A wort chiller is a device that allows you to cool boiling wort to yeast friendly temperature 65 F in minutes instead of ice baths which takes hours to cool. If you are homebrewer then you should know types of chillers to cool wort in the market. If you are planning to buy wort chiller, read complete guide choosing the best wort chillers in 2018.

After preparation of wort it has to to chilled down to 60–75°F from boiling temperature (212°F) quickly. Read review of homebrew immersion chiller.

There are three types of wort chillers available in market.

  1. Immersion type
  2. Counterflow type
  3. Plate type

What is an immersion wort chiller and how does it works?

immersion wort chillerImmersion type is well known wort chillers made up of copper piping, heat-safe tubing and metal fasteners. The copper piping is coiled in an identical pattern with each coil stacking on top of another. Vinyl tube is attached to each end of copper coil with metal faster. Vinyl tube is used to sustain high temperatures from hot water and it will be around 20 to 50 feet length.

Garden hose to be attached to inlet and plastic hose to the outlet. Cold water should be sent through device to cool hot wort from 210°F to 60°F.

Chilling process may take 30-45 minutes with this immersion type and if you want to reduce temperature very quickly then combine ice bath with immersion chilling.

The main downside of this type is longer time for cooling. This can be overcome by using plat type wort cooling which completes in 10 minutes. You can buy immersion wort chiller if you have less budget.

Also note you have to purchase extra clamps to arrest leakage from tubes and faucet to hose adaptor for connecting to your kitchen tap.

What is a counter flow wort chiller and how does it works?

Counterflow Wort ChillerCounterflow wort chiller cannot be placed directly into a boiling  wort. It works on principle of inverse refrigerator and kettle connection is required.

Cold water should be passed through a plastic hose which was surrounded by copper tubing.

Due to counterflow mechanism, chilling process will be completed in less time when compared with immersion type cooling. It takes around 20 minutes to reach 60 degress Fahrenheit from 210 F.

Counterflow type wort chillers are to be cleaned properly after each time cooling of hot wort.

Even though it cools very rapidly cooling regular disinfection is required.

How does Plate wort chillers work?

plate wort chillerLike counter flow type this type of chiller could not be plunged into a wort. This device has copper lines in which water flows in the opposite direction.

Plate wort chiller works by heat exchange which takes place through plates along with enormous spaces. To achieve rapid chilling you can use both counterflow and plate wort chillers simultaneously.

The plate type chilling process is faster than that obtained with other type of chiller. Cooling of hot wort can take place in between 10– 15 minutes maximum.

Plate wort chiller is good choice for 10 gallon batches of wort and above. Fermentation temperature can be reached in first attempt. You have to clean plate chiller with fluid immediately after its use.

This type of chiller is very easy to setup and use. Even though these are little expensive, you can use them for 10 years without any problem if you sanitize properly after use.

Counterflow wort chillers work by essentially having one tube inside of another. The main advantage of plate and counterflow chiller is speed – in the time it takes to pump (or siphon) the wort from the pot to fermented and it is cooled.