Table of Contents
- Best Efficient Wort Chiller
- Best Budget Wort Chiller
- Best Design Wort Chiller
- Best Compact Wort Chiller
- Best Quality Wort Chiller
- Best Wort Chiller For Large Quantity
- Best Wort Chiller For Small Quantity
- Buyers Guide: How To Choose The Best Wort Chiller
- FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
- Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results
- Conclusion: Best Wort Chiller
This guide is the resource for finding the best wort chiller that every homebrewer can rely on…
After a long brew day, you’re now ready to chill your wort to prepare it for fermentation.
But then you know that the traditional ice bath method will take a long time to get results.
You’re also worried that your wort might get too much exposure to air, resulting in a cloudy beer, or worse, in the formation of off-flavors like dimethyl sulfide and acetaldehyde.
And of course, you just want to get some rest already.
Well, let us introduce you to the solution: Wort Chillers.
In this article, we’re giving you our top recommendations for the best wort chiller that is available on the market today. Along with that, we’re also covering:
- The different types of wort chillers;
- Certain features to look for when buying a wort chiller;
- Wort cooling tips;
- The answers to some of the most common wort chiller-related questions;
- And many more…
Let’s get down to it.
Best Efficient Wort Chiller
- Very efficient
- Chills hot wort quickly
- Well-designed and well-built
- Easy to assemble and set up
- Reasonable price
- Comes with an extra-long vinyl tubing, 2 hose clamps, and a garden hose fitting
- Comes unassembled
- Discolors after several uses
Homebrewing is a long process, so it’s very important to choose equipment that is efficient and will save you a lot of time. For a reliable wort chiller, we highly recommend the NY Brew Supply Wort Chiller.
Constructed from high-quality copper material, this wort chiller is built for maximum efficiency. Its simple design enables easy use and set up, which is great for homebrewing beginners. Simply connect the included vinyl tubing’s hose attachment to the copper tubing, and you’re ready to go.
This copper immersion wort chiller will cut down your brewing time a lot; we’re talking cooling wort from boiling temperature to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit in just a matter of 5-10 minutes— seriously, watch the needle of your thermometer move fast when you’re using this chiller to see what we mean.
We love that it’s priced reasonably, as well. For its price point, which is how much a copper tubing usually costs, you’ll be getting a good-quality immersion chiller and the unit’s included components.
Speaking of which…
This wort chiller comes with pretty much everything you will need for an effective wort cool-down process. Each one includes a 12 feet-long vinyl tubing, two hose clamps, and a garden hose fitting.
However, we still have some gripes…
First of all, this unit didn’t come assembled, which might be a bummer to some, but we find that it’s easy to assemble. It also discolors after several uses and is quite hard to clean because of the way it’s designed. These are just minor issues, though, and it’s still a top-grade product. If you want to quicken the wort chilling process by about four times, our Editor’s Choice is definitely up to the task.
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Best Budget Wort Chiller
- Easy to operate
- High-temperature resistance
- Adjustable flow rate
- Helps reduce oxidation and contamination during the heat exchange process
- Space-saving design
- Aesthetically pleasing
- A pump is needed for easier operation
- Doesn’t come with tubing and fittings
If you need an affordable plate chiller that doesn’t skimp on quality, the Ferroday 20-Plate Wort Chiller got you covered.
This wort chiller is made from premium 304 stainless steel and 99.9% brazed metal materials, resulting in a very durable equipment.
If you’re a first-time user of a plate wort chiller, you’ll love the little touches for easy operation, such as the labels and the in and out ports being on the same side to avoid confusion.
It is equipped with 1/2 NPT thread ports that are all in the same size, making it easy for you to connect them easily, and 20 plates, which allows faster cooling of your wort.
This wort cooler has a high-temperature resistance, with a working temperature range of between -321 to 392 degrees Fahrenheit and an adjustable flow rate for a more precise chilling process. It can also reduce oxidation and contamination during the heat exchange.
Our Best Value awardee is very easy to clean too. After using it, all you have to do is use five gallons of cleaning solution, run it through the wort cooler, follow it with water, dry it, and you’re done.
But there’s a catch…
This wort chiller doesn’t come with a pump, a tubing, and fittings. Still, it’s not a big deal for us as we didn’t expect it to include other components considering the price, anyway.
Related article: Best Thermometer For Brewing
Best Design Wort Chiller
- Material: 304 Stainless steel
- Type of chiller: Counterflow chiller
- Overall dimensions: 13 x 16 x 8 inches
- Coil dimensions: 10 1/4 inches height x 6 inches diameter
- Tube dimensions: 12 x 5/8 inches outer diameter
- Input and Output wort fitting: 1/2 inch tubing and stainless steel hose clamps
- Input and Output water fitting: 3/4 inch Female and Male GHT
- Brew size: Any
- Manufacturer: Kegco
- Solid and durable construction
- Innovative design
- Cools wort twice as fast as other wort chillers
- Uses less water
- No need to be submerged into the wort; for that reason, it can be used with any brew kettle size
- Very expensive
- The silicone tubing is so tight-fitting that it can be hard to get off sometimes
Now, if you prefer a stainless steel counterflow wort chiller, we got a great one for you.
The Kegco Counterflow Chiller boasts a durable stainless steel construction that is resistant to corrosion as well as to wear and tear, and quite easy to clean. It’s built like a tank and feels very solid.
This wort chiller has an innovative design that is both time- and water-efficient. Compared to other wort chillers, this one chills your wort two times quicker.
The way it works is that the chiller pumps the wort and cold water, with the wort passing through the inner tube while the cold water flows through the outer tube in the opposite direction. This results in rapid cooling of the wort in less than fifteen minutes while using less water.
Another great thing about this wort chiller is that, because you don’t have to immerse it into the boiling wort, it has more versatility and can be used in brew kettles of any size. Using this, there’s also almost no trub that gets transferred to the fermentation vessel after the process.
Even so… If there’s one thing we don’t exactly like about this wort chiller is how much it costs. It’s a very expensive wort chiller, for sure, but given its durability and performance, we’d still say that our Top Pick is worth investing in, especially if you often brew large batches.
Related article: How To Sanitize Home Brewing Equipment
Best Compact Wort Chiller
- Chills wort rapidly (under five minutes)
- Compact design
- Extremely easy to clean
- Easy to store
- Can be used horizontally or vertically
- Costs a lot
- Doesn’t include a pump
If you see the name Blichmann in a brewing equipment product, expect top quality, as they have always been known for that. The Blichmann Therminator Beer Wort Chiller is certainly no exception.
It is made from 316 stainless steel that is brazed together with copper to dissipate heat and ensure leak-free wort cooling. This wort chiller has a compact design, making it easy to store and saves you a lot of space, not to mention that it makes cleaning up after a long brew day a breeze.
It may be smaller than a lot of wort chillers we’ve tried, but it works just as hard, or even harder, in cooling the wort rapidly. Using this wort chiller, our wort easily goes from boiling temperature to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit in less than ten minutes.
You can use it vertically or horizontally, depending on your preference and the amount of space that you have. Whatever position you use this in, there are indicators in the plate that say which side should be up, which we appreciate.
One thing, though…
Although gravity can be used to feed wort to the chiller, it would’ve been better if there was a pump included so that users had more options.
Best Quality Wort Chiller
- Material: 304 Stainless steel
- Type of chiller: Counterflow wort chiller
- Overall dimensions: 12 x 9 x 8 inches
- Coil: 8 inches outer diameter
- Outer tubing: 5/8 inches outer diameter
- Inner tubing: 3/8 inches outer diameter
- 1/2 inch Male NPT Wort fittings
- Brew size: Any
- Manufacturer: Northern Brewer
- Professional-grade quality
- Fast cooling ability
- Low flow restriction
- Clean, burr-free threaded connections
- Threaded fittings fit all connections
- Comes with a mounting bracket
- No female garden hose connections
- Not easy to work without a pump
For a wort chiller with excellent quality and a professional feel to it, the Northern Brewer Stainless Steel Counterflow Wort Chiller is worth checking out.
This stainless steel chiller is equipped with features that will make you feel like you’re brewing in a commercial brewery. It features solid construction that ensures longevity, an 18-inch contact area, 1/2 inch NPT wort fittings, and male garden hose threaded water fittings.
It employs a tube-within-a-tube design where the wort flows through the chiller in one direction while the cool water flows in the reverse direction. Its stainless steel threaded fittings are made for all connections— no need for any tubing clamp.
No need to agitate your wort either when using this chiller; it is designed in a way that ensures your wort is always in contact with the cold water for a more efficient wort chilling. In our experience, it takes this chiller around 10 minutes to cool a 20-liter wort down to yeast pitching temperature.
This wort chiller will cut down your brewing time a lot, not just because of its ability to chill wort quickly but also because it simultaneously transfers your wort straight to the fermentation vessel during the cool-down process. You can use gravity or a pump to feed your wort into the chiller, as it has a low flow restriction.
In addition to that…
This wort chiller also includes a welded mounting bracket with two 5/16 inches holes so that you can easily mount the equipment anywhere you want.
But here’s the kicker…
Both of the included garden hose connections are all male fittings, so you will definitely have to buy some female garden hose connections.
Best Wort Chiller For Large Quantity
- Ideal for brewing large batches (5-10 gallons)
- Quick wort chilling time
- Minimizes wort’s exposure to air
- Two vinyl hoses and a brass garden hose fitting are included
- Not recommended for brewing small batches
- Another faucet adapter is needed to be able to connect the hose to a standard kitchen faucet
Homebrewers who brew large batches will surely love the E.C. Kraus-HOZQ8-1578 Immersion Wort Chiller.
This copper wort chiller utilizes nine parallel coils, where the cooling water passes through, and a copper tubing with a length of 20 feet, which is capable of chilling wort up to 10 gallons.
It comes with two 3 feet-long vinyl hoses and a brass garden hose fitting which you can attach to a faucet. However, you’ll have to go to your local hardware store to get a separate faucet adapter if you want to connect the hose to your kitchen faucet.
This immersion cooler rapidly chills your wort, bringing down wort temperature down to 60 degrees within 10 minutes, when using 50 degrees Fahrenheit tap water.
Something to keep in mind…
This wort cooler is specifically designed for brewing large batches, so if you’re brewing a small batch, it’s better to get something else that can fit into your brew kettle.
Best Wort Chiller For Small Quantity
- Suitable for brewing small batches
- Extremely fast wort cooling
- Low cost
- Good value for money
- The hoses and hose clamps are removable for easy cleaning
- Comes with vinyl tubing, hose clamps, and a care and use instruction manual
- Possibility of leakage from the connections if the hose clamps aren’t tightened properly
- Not ideal for brewing large batches
On the other side of the coin, the Home Brew Stuff WC-25 Super Efficient 3/8″ x 25′ Copper Wort Chiller is great for brewing small batches.
This wort chiller is manufactured from tough copper material that has excellent thermal conductivity and even offers some trace minerals for your wort that are vital for yeast growth and a successful fermentation.
With a 25-feet x 3/8-inch copper tubing, this wort chiller is made for brewing small batches of up to five gallons.
Expect your wort to cool down to yeast-pitching temperature in no time, thanks to the copper tubing providing a great balance between flow rate and heat transfer. No more hours of wort chilling and wasted water.
On top of that…
Each unit also comes with a vinyl tubing, hose clamps, care and use instruction manuals, which complete brewing newbies will appreciate.
One drawback we’ve experienced is that the connections have a tendency to leak water into your wort if you don’t tighten the provided hose clamps properly on the tubing, so make sure you do that before you start the cooling process. We’ve always done that, and we’ve never had any problem with leakage.
Sturdy, affordable, easy to use, and cools wort incredibly fast, this wort chiller is a fantastic entry-level wort chiller for anyone just starting out with brewing.
Buyers Guide: How To Choose The Best Wort Chiller
What are the different types of wort chillers
When making a decision on finding the best wort chiller, you’ll need to understand the different types of chillers that are available. Here is an overview to assist you in your decision making process:
The most commonly used type of wort chillers by homebrewers, immersion wort chillers are made up of copper or stainless steel coil, usually 25-50 feet in length, and a high temperature-resistant vinyl tubing.
They work by connecting the vinyl tubing to a water source (such as a sink faucet) and letting cold water flow through it into the copper/stainless steel coil, which is then submerged into the hot wort. The cooling water absorbs all the heat from the wort until it reaches yeast-pitching temperature.
The hot water then exits through the other hose, which is directed into a drain. In general, immersion chillers cost less compared to other types of wort chillers. They are also easy to set up, use, and clean, making them very beginner-friendly wort chillers.
Unlike immersion chillers, counterflow chillers sit outside of the brew kettle. They consist of a tube, inside which a smaller tube is situated. The wort is fed into the chiller either by simple gravity or by a pump. The wort then flows through the smaller tube, while the cooling water runs in the direction that is opposite to the flow of the wort, cooling the wort in the process.
Counterflow chillers are typically more expensive than other types of wort chiller. However, in exchange, they cool wort the fastest and don’t use as much water as other wort chiller types do. And because they’re used externally, you won’t have to worry about whether they would fit your brew kettle, which is why they’re ideal for brewing large batches.
Plate wort chillers utilize a series of stainless steel plates that are welded together and work on transferring heat from the wort to the cooling water. It’s worth mentioning that the more plates a plate chiller has, the quicker the cooling process will be, but the more expensive it usually can be, so decide according to your budget and needs.
Small and compact, plate chillers don’t take up much space in comparison to other wort chiller types. Although these chillers can be gravity-fed, it’s way easier to use them with a pump. The biggest downside to this type is that they can be difficult to clean and can be easily clogged with hops. Still, they are extremely time- and water-efficient, so if you think you can handle using one, we say go for it.
Features to look out for
Wort chillers are usually made from either copper or stainless steel. Generally speaking, stainless steel is extremely durable and resistant to wear and tear, while copper has a higher thermal conductivity. Different brewers have different priorities when it comes to choosing a wort chiller, so make sure to do your research. Whatever material you choose, make sure it is of high quality.
When choosing the best wort chiller, consider the size of your batch. If you’re brewing a small batch, say, five gallons or under, immersion wort chillers would be a good choice. On the other hand, counterflow or plate wort chillers are best for brewing large batches, as they are used externally and don’t have to be fitted inside a brew kettle.
Value For Money
Whatever wort chiller you choose, make sure that you’re getting a great value for your hard-earned money. If you decide to go for a more budget-friendly option, see to it that it doesn’t compromise on quality. Similarly, if you have made up your mind to level up in your brewing and invest in a more expensive wort chiller, do a lot of research to make sure that what you’re buying is worth investing in in the long run.
Wort Chillers Top Tips
- When chilling your wort, agitate it to quicken the cooling down process even more.
- Don’t forget to sanitize your wort chiller before using it and clean it thoroughly after every use to avoid rust, corrosion, and bacterial contaminations.
- Consider your budget when choosing a wort chiller. Sure, it would be nice to have an expensive counterflow wort chiller, but if you’re just starting out and brewing small batches, ask yourself if you really need one. Think about what features in a wort chiller are the most important to you, and prioritize them when choosing.
- Having extra hose clamps is always a good idea.
- When using an immersion wort chiller, make sure that the hose where the hot water will exit through has been directed into a drain, such as a sink, to avoid any accident caused by the hot water.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
How Large A Batch Will You Be Brewing?
It will depend on the preference of the homebrewer. For anyone just starting out in homebrewing, it’s best to stick to brewing smaller batches first, about less than five gallons.
Do I need to sanitize my wort chiller?
Yes, you absolutely need to sanitize your wort chiller before using it. In fact, every homebrewer should prioritize sanitization of all brewing equipment before starting the brewing process, as bacterial contaminations can cause all sorts of problems like off-flavors and shortening of the beer’s shelf life.
Can you let wort cool overnight?
There is actually a term for letting your wort cool overnight; it is referred to as “no-chill brewing”. While the general consensus is that it’s okay to do this, there are still associated risks such as the formation of the off-flavor dimethyl sulfide or DMS and bacterial infections.
If you do decide to do it, make sure to use only plastic fermentation vessels. Avoid using glass carboys at all costs, as they will definitely break when filled with very hot liquid. Seal the vessel tight, then place a bung and airlock on top of it for extra security.
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Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results
Best Value For Money
Best Ease of Use
Best For Time Efficiency
Most Easy To Clean
Our Final Verdict: Best Wort Chiller
Conclusion: Best Wort Chiller
Wort chillers are absolute must-haves if you want to save time and maximize efficiency when you’re homebrewing. After all, while certainly an enjoyable hobby, homebrewing can be a very long and tedious process.
The good news for you is that the wort chillers that are featured in this article are all great in their own ways and will definitely upgrade your homebrewing. In short, they are all worthy to be chosen; it will just depend on your needs and which one you will pick.
For an incredibly time-efficient wort chiller that will make the wort cool-down process about four times faster than the usual 45 minutes to 1 hour, our Editor’s Choice, the NY Brew Supply Wort Chiller, is the clear winner.
If you want a budget-friendly option that is on par with more expensive wort chillers when it comes to quality, our Best Value awardee, the Ferroday 20-Plate Wort Chiller, is your best bet.
And lastly, once you’re ready to upgrade your brewing equipment, our Top Pick, the Kegco Counterflow Chiller, is something you won’t regret investing in. With its innovative design and solid construction, it is guaranteed to impress both homebrewing beginners and long-time, experienced brewers alike.
Have you picked which one you like the most already?
Then don’t hesitate to share it with us.
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