A precise chilling process is essential for a clear beer. This is something that every true brewer knows. A wort chiller is necessary to do this efficiently. This handy piece of equipment helps you quickly lower your brew’s temperature. The speed at which you chill the wort helps to reduce cloudiness and create a clear beer that looks amazing in the glass.
There are two types of wort chillers available: counterflow and immersion. Each chills hot wort in a different manner. An immersion chiller, a coil of copper metal that is fully submerged in the wort, is known as a chiller. It is then connected to a water supply so that H20 can flow through the coil and cool down the wort. A counterflow chiller is a coil within another coil. To cool the wort, the wort is pumped through one coil and cold water is pumped through another.
A wort chiller is one of the most important equipment upgrades that homebrewers make when they move from 1-gallon extract batches into 5-gallon batches. While it’s fine to fill the sink with ice water, and then place the kettle in the sink for about an hour or so, cooling a gallon of beer is much more difficult with five gallons of wort. The good news is that wort chillers are inexpensive and easy to use. Here’s a list of the top wort chillers you can use for homebrewing.
What is a Wort Chiller?
A wort chiller simply means a piece that cools down the wort quickly to pitch the yeast. Do not rush! Delaying cooling can lead to bacteria growth in the wort. It can also alter the final taste of your beer because of the production of dimethyl sulfide, which can dramatically alter the beer’s taste.
Benefits of Wort Chillers
Wort chillers offer many benefits. They reduce the time it takes for your wort chill to cool down significantly. Five gallons worth of wort can take several hours in an ice bath to cool down to yeast-pitching temperature. However, it takes only fifteen minutes with an inexpensive immersion chiller or a hose. There is less risk of yeast infection due to the shorter time it takes to boil and pitch the yeast. An entry-level wort chiller is a good investment as it costs only one to two batches of infected batches. The faster chilling of the wort will produce a clearer beer with less haze. This is due to the increased cold break and the removal of more proteins.
Types of Wort Chillers
There are three types of wort chillers. Although they may differ in how they move the wort or the water, all use cold water to draw heat from the hot wort. Each one has its pros and cons. These include price, cooling time, pumping, water consumption, ease of use, and cost.
Immersion chillers are the simplest and most affordable chillers. These chillers are usually 25 to 50 feet long and made of stainless steel or copper tubing. Running cold water through the coils will cool the wort. This pulls heat from the wort. The cheapest chillers, immersion chillers, don’t need any additional equipment such as a pump.
The easiest way to use immersion chillers is to simply place them in the boiling water for 15 minutes to sterilize them. They are also the easiest to clean and maintain because the wort does not pass through the coil. An immersion chiller is the best choice if you are new to brewing or have limited space.
Although counterflow chillers can be more difficult than immersion chillers, they are easier to clean and maintain than immersion chillers. They also cool more quickly and efficiently than immersion chillers. Counterflow chillers differ from immersion chillers in that they have an outer tube. This is usually a hose made out of vinyl, PEX, or rubber and an inner tube made out of copper or stainless steel. The inner tube is used to push the hot wort through. This can be done either by gravity or using a pump that goes from the kettle to the fermenter. Coldwater is also pumped through the outer tubes in the opposite direction.
While counterflow chillers require less water, they are more efficient and can cool faster. However, they cost more and need to be cleaned before each use. Although you don’t technically need to clean counterflow chillers, it is recommended that you run some boiling water through them before cooling. The tube’s interior is not visible so you need to ensure it’s free of any hop matter or wort that could cause bacteria growth that can lead to beer spoilage. A counterflow chiller may be the best choice if you have larger batches to brew, are on a budget, or need to cool your beer faster than an immersion chiller.
Plate chillers are similar to counterflow chillers, except that they push cold water through plates with very small gaps between them. Although this allows for the fastest chilling, it is also the most time-efficient. However, it can be difficult to maintain hygiene and clean the plates as hop and grain matter can easily stick to them. Although you don’t have to clean plate chillers before the wort gets there, it is a good idea to do so. The chiller can be cleaned by flushing it with water after each use. You can also disinfect the chiller by boiling the wort for a few minutes at the end of the boil.
Plate chillers, despite their high price tag and difficult use, are the best option for large batches because of their speed and efficiency. A plate chiller is a good choice if you plan to brew large batches, have more equipment, or need to cool your batch faster than an immersion or counterflow chiller.
List Of 14 Best Wort Chiller Reviews
1. NY Brew Supply – COMINHKPR128690 Deluxe Counterflow Wort Chiller
- A reliable wort chiller is essential if you plan to brew often. NY Brew Supply offers one such setup. The counterflow wort chiller is a deluxe model with a 3/4-inch hose. It can withstand high temperatures and won’t crack over time. It measures 25 feet long and has a copper inner-tube measuring 1/2 inch. This tube transfers heat efficiently, speeding up the chilling process. You can connect the heavy-duty brass fittings to your cold water source through a garden connection. You will also find it easy to clean which makes for a much more enjoyable brew day.
2. NY Brew Supply W3850-CV Super Efficient 3/8 x 50′ Copper Wort Chiller
- NY Brew Supply W3850 -CV is recommended for 5- to 15-gallon batches at a fair price. Amazon reviews have shown that the 50-foot wort chiller is more affordable than the 25-foot model. The best part is that the cost of making a beer cooler from scratch is not much higher. However, you get a lot for your buck.
- This cooler is not only affordable, but it also has a lot of other benefits that will encourage you to get this bad boy. The NY Brew Supply W3850 -CV currently has an Amazon average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars accumulated by over 90 reviewers. This is not only due to its affordable price, but also because it performs amazingly. Many users report that the NY Brew SupplyW3850-CV cools their work fast and efficiently, just as the manufacturer claims.
- One complaint consumers often have is that the product doesn’t come with any packaging when they order it online. Many people find the product arrives in good condition. However, it is worth noting that some delivery drivers can be very rough with packages. You might consider buying this model in-store. Some people also complain that the outlet and inlet are too small. The pros far outweigh the cons. The large wort chiller is well-made, attractive, and affordable. The package includes a garden-hose adapter and stainless steel clamps. This cooler is also made in the USA, which many appreciate.
3. Kegco Counterflow Chiller
- This counterflow wort chiller has been my only choice for the past year. The results have been amazing. It chills my wort twice as fast as my immersion chiller.
- A 5-gallon batch of 5 gallons can be chilled in about 15 minutes, and a 10-gallon batch takes just 20 minutes. The counterflow design means that you don’t have to submerge the chiller in the wort. This makes it compatible with all sizes of brew kettles and pots. It’s made from stainless steel so it won’t corrode.
4. Northern Brewer – Copperhead Copper Immersion Wort Chiller
- Northern Brewer is a strong brand in the homebrew industry and the Copperhead Immersion Chiller is sure to impress. The wort chiller is 100 percent copper and features a bend at its top.
- This design means that if your chiller does leak, it will be out of reach of your kettle. The fittings can be connected easily and come with an adapter that can be used to connect to a kitchen tap if you want to brew in the kitchen.
- The wort chiller can also be used in a simple manner. The immersion coils can be inserted into the wort, and then the system will run cool water through it. You can also sanitize it by either dipping it in your favorite sanitizer or inserting it in boiling water.
- This is a budget-friendly wort chiller that can be used for homebrews under 5 gallons. It should work in 15-20 minutes for a batch of 5-gallon batches. For beginners who want to move from an ice bath to a wort chiller, the Northern Brewer Copperhead Immersion Chiller will work well.
5. HFS(R) Homebrew Beer Wort Chiller
- The plate chiller is affordable at $65.00. It can cool 5 gallons of liquid to 75 degrees in just 10 minutes. It features a 1/2″ MPT wort outlet and an inlet to match most homebrewing hoses. A 3/4″ male garden hose thread water outlet and an inlet for connecting to garden hoses. The HFS-30 Plate Chiller is made of 30 7.5-x-2.9″ 304 stainless steel and 99.9% copper brazed plate.
6. NY Brew Supply Homebrew Immersion Wort Chiller-25 Tubing
- Because of its simple and elegant design, this item is different from other products. The ease of use, as well as all the fittings and hoses included, will make chilling your wort very quick and easy. They can be connected to any faucet. The copper-based Immersion Wort Chiller allows you to cool your hot wort quickly and without contamination.
- This will allow you to cool 5-gallon batches within a short time. Homebrew Immersion Word Chiller packaging includes everything you need: 3/4 female garden hose fitting.
- This unit does a great job, despite its simplicity. Even for beginners, Immersion Wort Chiller is a good choice. Simply connect the device to the kettle and place it in the boiling water.
7. E.C. Kraus-HOZQ8-1578 Immersion Wort Chiller
- The E.C. The Kraus wort chiller cools your wort with 20 feet of copper. It is similar to the Coldbreak and NY Brew Supply versions. The cool water flows through nine parallel coils to chill your beer. Each coil measures approximately 9 inches in diameter. From the bottom coil to the inlet tube, the chiller measures approximately 18 inches. This chiller is recommended to cool larger batches, between 5 and 10 Gallons.
- It works quickly. In just 10 minutes, you can cool 5 gallons worth of wort down from boiling to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. These results can be achieved using water at 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Two lengths of vinyl tubing are included to help you transfer water from and to your faucet. Each hose is approximately 3 feet in length and measures 3/8ths of an inch.
- To connect the chiller to a laundry or garden faucet, it comes with a brass fitting. You will need another adapter if you wish to connect it to a standard kitchen tap. They are easy to find and affordable. Another chiller that is great value for money. It’s possible to build it from scratch for a lower price, but not much. We haven’t heard about any leaks at the connections.
8. Northern Brewer Stainless Steel Counterflow Wort Chiller
- The Northern Brewer counterflow yeast chiller cools 5-gallon boiling wort down to the optimal temperature for yeast pitching in a matter of minutes.
- This chiller’s coils are 18-feet of 304-grade stainless and come with a male standard garden hose fitting made of stainless steel. A quick reminder: If you want to connect to your cold water source with a garden hose, you will need a female-to-female adapter.
9. Home Brew Stuff WC-25 Copper Wort Chiller
- This Home Brew Stuff wort chiller is economical and has a 3/8-inch thick adjustable copper coil. It is designed for small batches of up to 5 gallons. The chiller’s unique design keeps the coils elevated, increasing its efficiency and minimizing the risk of contamination from external sources.
10. HomeBrewStuff 25′ Copper Immersion Wort Chiller
- This copper immersion wort cooler by Home Brew Stuff is suitable for 5-gallon batches. This super-efficient wort chiller will instantly reduce the temperature in your wort, reducing the chance of it becoming infected. It will also help you avoid cloudy beer.
- You will also get two 12″ hoses, fittings, and a faucet adapter. This set is perfect for wort chilling. This wort chiller measures 17 inches in height and 9.25 inches in diameter. It will fit perfectly into a 5-gallon brew pot. Copper coils are elevated in the wort chiller’s brew kettle, making them more efficient at cooling your wort. We’re certain you’ll love this wort chiller.
11. Blichmann Therminator, Beer Wort Chiller
- This stainless steel plate wort chiller by Blichmann will quickly chill your wort. The Therminator is a compact device that can be stored in a small space. This makes it ideal for people who live in cramped areas and want to save space. Plate chillers do not have a coil body so you don’t need to worry about bulky metal structures. Therminator is made of stainless steel and pure copper. This ensures that heat is efficiently dissipated quickly without any risk of leakage.
- The Blichmann Therminator’s biggest drawback is its high price. Most people would agree. Amazon’s price is less than $200 A wort cooler of any kind can be found for as little as half the price if it is not four times the price of the Therminator. The Therminator is a great choice if you are happy to pay this price. It has quality engineering, tight seals, and attractive construction.
- The Therminator’s compact size makes it easy to store and can be placed in most pots. You can also boil it to sterilize after use. The product’s half-inch male fittings will fit the most common hose connectors. Male NPT fittings are much easier to clean than their female counterparts. The Therminator from Blichmann is a costly product, but it has a sturdy mounting bracket that can be sterilized and cleaned easily. It doesn’t even need to be gasketed. This chiller can chill a 10-gallon batch of wort to 68°F in just five minutes using 58-degree hot water.
12. NY Brew Supply – AZ-WCF25-D Deluxe Counterflow Wort Chiller
- NY Brew Supply offers a variety of great homebrew supplies. These supplies cover all the bases, allowing you to brew and drink beer. This NY Brew Supply Counterflow Chiller is one of the most efficient and amazing wort chillers available.
- The counterflow wort cooler functions differently from the immersion chillers. This chiller is not to be submerged in the wort. Instead, the wort and water flow directly through the chiller. This reduces the time required to cool down your boil.
- For the past year, I have used both the ExChilerator as well as the counterflow wort chiller extensively. The results have been amazing.
13. Ferroday 20 Plate Wort Chiller Stainless Steel
- Ferroday’s wort chiller uses an innovative plate design. It is very efficient and costs about the same as more expensive immersion models. This is not an immersion chiller. It doesn’t fit inside your wort pan. Rubber tubing is used to connect the “wort-in” port to your kettle. Your fermenter is connected to the “wort out” port.
- Two additional ports are available to manage the water. The “water in” port connects to a pump that you will need to purchase separately. The water out port connects to a sink or to any other place you wish to dispose of warm water.
- Because the chiller sits outside of the pot, the design makes it compatible with any size wort pot. It will not take up too much space on your countertop. It measures 7.5 inches in length, 2.9 inches wide, and 1.9 inches high.
- It is made up of 20 plates of stainless steel coated with 99.9% copper. Cool water flows through alternate plates and the wort flows between them. This means that all parts of the wort come into contact with water. This results in rapid chilling. In just 10 minutes, you can chill 5 gallons worth of wort.
14. BestEquip Heat Exchanger 316L 5 x 12 Inch
- The premium 60-plate BestEquip wort chiller is made from thicker gauge 316L stainless and is hydraulically powered. This compact unit is designed for experienced brewers and can cool large quantities of brew very quickly.
Buying Guide for the Best Wort Chiller
You’ve read the reviews and are still not sure which chiller is right for you. These are the questions you should ask to make an informed decision.
How Large A Batch Will You Be Brewing?
The time it takes for your beer to cool will be greatly reduced by using any of the chillers on our list. Some chillers will work better than others, depending on the size of your batch.
Immersion chillers require that all coils come into direct contact with the wort. The chilling will not be efficient if they aren’t. You will find a recommendation brew size on most chillers, so make sure to check it before you purchase.
If you are using an immersion chiller, make sure to check the coil’s height and diameter. It should fit in the pan that you will be boiling your wort in.
Immersion Or Plate Chiller?
Next, you need to decide what design your chiller should have. There are two main types of chillers: plate chillers or immersion chillers. Immersion chillers, as the name implies, are placed in your wort. The tubing is filled with cold water that cools the wort. The wort does not enter the chiller.
They are very efficient, especially for batches of 5-10 gallons. They are generally cheaper than plate chillers.
Plate chillers can be used to reduce batch sizes. They can be used to handle large or small batches. They don’t fit in the wort pot so you don’t have to worry about them fitting. They are also smaller than immersion chillers so they are easier to store.
They are however more costly. This design requires that the wort be screened before it goes into the chiller. You should screen it first as any residue from hops or grains can cause the chiller to clog.
Finally, find out what the chiller is made from. The majority of chillers are made from copper, stainless, or stainless with a copper coating. Copper conducts heat very well. A copper chiller can quickly transfer heat from the wort to its water.
Copper poisoning can also be caused by copper, which is a heavy metal. It is especially important to regularly clean a copper chiller. Verdigris, the blue-green copper coating that can form – it can get into your wort.
Copper can be hard to get rid of once it is in your body. A stainless steel chiller may be more suitable for homebrew enthusiasts who drink a lot. Although it may take a little longer to cool your wort down, it is safer for your health.
No matter your budget or brewing setup, you can still have a great wort-chiller. For the best cooling efficiency, choose larger coils and a longer length when using immersion chillers. If space is limited, plate chillers are the best choice. These chillers are very efficient, especially for small batches. To avoid the accumulation of wort in your plate chiller, you might consider installing a filter system to your kettle.
We’d like you to know that any wort chiller can be used, no matter what brand. You will enjoy a delicious beer by using any one of these wort chillers. Each of the wort chillers reviewed in this review can meet your expectations and be worth the money.