Cooling, King Cobra Immersion Chiller

After doing a lot of research before jumping into beer homebrewing, I read all kinds of articles and forum posts to help pick my gear. One of the choices I had to make was to decide how to cool the beer after the boiling session. There were several options: ice bath in the tub, immersion chillers, counter-flow chillers, plate chillers, and just letting it sit for a long time. From what I read, time was the enemy as the longer the wort sits around at certain temperatures, the more possible it would be to get an infection or taste-altering bacteria into the wort. In addition to having all these choices, there was additional consideration for cost and cleaning/maintenance.

So in what I think was the order from cheapest to most expensive, they were…
sit around and wait
ice bath
immersion chillers
counter-flow chillers
plate chillers

Although, that probably can vary depending on which brand, materials or other details, that’s ball-park from my searching. Then you have to consider speed of cooling, the important stuff. I figured it was something like this, from fastest to slowest…
plate chillers
immersion chillers
counter-flow chillers
ice bath
sit around and wait

But then you have another factor, the cleaning/maintenance factor. Here they are again, ordered from easiest to most work…
sit around and wait
ice bath
immersion chillers
counter-flow chillers
plate chillers

Notice cost and cleaning both look the same? Also that cooling speed is almost the exact opposite ranking. So it became pretty obvious to me that the more cooling I wanted, the more money it was going to cost me, and the more effort it would take to cleanup afterwards. The deciding factor would be something of a compromise between money and time. So for those willing to shell out some green, say between $100 and $200, a decent immersion chiller or plate chiller could be had.

I got to a point where i had a good plate chiller picked out, but now since I only do 5 gallon batches, I had to find a decent immersion chiller that wouldn’t mean half of the copper sticking out of the top and being wasted. Because what was the point of having a sort of slow expensive copper spiral then?

This is when I stumbled across Jaded Brewing and their “King Cobra” immersion chiller. They have some pretty unique designs the way they shape the copper, and it seems this was one of their latest models. The unique thing about it is it is one copper pipe that is then split into not two but three smaller copper pipes. Then they all wrap around in wide and low circles to ensure a more wide, and less tall configuration. All of the copper stays IN the wort, and none of it is sitting there in the air. It sounded really good on paper… and it costs a good amount of extra paper compared to some other normal ICs.  I compared it in price identically to the Therminator plate chiller, with the benefit of having much less cleaning requirements.

The decision was made, and I just went with it. I’ve used it three times now, and the last batch got down from full boiling to 65 F in 10 minutes. I dunno, that is pretty impressive in my book. I think it was a great purchase and it will pay for itself over time.

Their link for this is at: http://jadedbrewing.com/products/the-king-cobra

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