Review: Stainless Steel Wort Chiller With Garden Hose Fittings
The 3/8 inch by 50 foot stainless steel wort chiller is a great way to quickly cool your wort to pitching temperature. It fits perfectly in my 16 gallon Bayou pot but will easily work with a smaller pot. The stainless steel is nice because you don’t have to worry about copper’s corrosion issues. This model was the cheapest stainless steel version I could find with really good reviews. I’ve only had to deal an ice bath cooling once but that was enough. It’s very time consuming and I hate carrying a giant pot of boiling liquid around.
This wort chiller requires very little water flow to transfer the heat from your wort to the expelled water. The only real pitfall is that the draining water is quite hot so you need to direct it somewhere so it won’t boil your yard. On the flip side, you can use this water to do the first wash of your gear. Time wise it tends to only take twenty to thirty minutes to cool off a batch. Moving the wort chiller around every few minutes can speed things up. Make sure to take multiple temperature readings in different spots as the liquid will have hot and cold spots. If money is no option then you can actually buy two of these and run your water from your tap to a chiller in a bucket of ice water then the other in the hot wort. This will greatly reduce cooling time!
The structure of the wort chiller is a giant loop of thin tubing with clamps securing it together. I’ve never dropped it but it has survived the rigors of brewing several batches with just some minor shape changing. It has actually spread out a bit so the cooling works better. The two fittings at the top are just run of the mill garden hose fittings. I’ve had no leaking from these but I did also use some Teflon pipe tape to make a better seal. This company makes a twenty-five foot version too but go with the fifty foot one as the bigger one will come in handy for big batches.
The stainless has held up well after several batches. I forgot to drain it a few times and water sat in it for weeks without visible rusting. The water came out as clear as my tap water. Ideally, you will remember to drain your chiller as it will make it last longer. It’s really easy to clean up after each batch as all you have to do is wash off any debris from within the coils with hot water. There really isn’t a reason for over cleaning as you will be adding it to your boil the last ten to fifteen minutes for sanitation. Watch out as any remaining water will spray out when it reaches boiling temperature. There is a negligible difference between how well the stainless cools compared to copper but I believe it is worth the benefits. I’ll buy another one if I need to.
- Cheap compared to other wort chillers
- No worries of corrosion
- Standard garden hose fittings
- Easy sanitation
- You need somewhere to direct hot water
- Will tip over when hoses are attached and not in the brew kettle