Ask Mr. Wizard

What are the keys to an efficient wort chiller?


Mark Moriarty • Rochester, New Hampshire asks,

My homemade immersion chiller once worked wonders on extract brews. Since I’ve been mashing, its performance has dwindled. It usually 30–40 minutes to reach pitching temperatures. I’ve thought of building a counterflow chiller, but are they really that fast? Another thought I had, since I like the ease of immersion chillers, was to build another one using 1/2” copper tubing as opposed to 3/8”, so as to increase the surface contact area to the hot wort. Any thoughts?

So you want a techno-geek essay on heat exchangers? I’ll do my best here admitting up-front that mass and heat transfer are not subjects that I claim much expertise. But wort cooling
Response by Ashton Lewis.