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Chillzilla vs Therminator

I have recently moved to 10 gal batches and even with pumping ice water through my IC it just isnt cutting it. I knew this would be the weakest link when stepping up but as it gets colder I thought the differential in ground water temp would make up for still using a 25 ft Immersion chiller. Well, it just takes too damn long to chill this way so I am going to upgrade.

I do like the ease of my IC and have though about just going to a 50 ft IC with a larger diameter but I still feel like that is going to take a long time.

I would like to stay with gravity feed and although I would have to raise the overall height of my brewstand so that I can gravity feed through the Chiller and into fermentor I am pretty sure that I know how I can do it without causing a huge pain in brewday.

I also like my IC because I can chill and leave behind a lot of trub/hop matter in the kettle but this is not a huge deal for me. I am somewhat concerned about clogging either of these chillers but I do put my whole hops in a bag. From what I have read trub/pellet hops directly into the boil do no generally clog either of these chillers.

So what are your opinions on each regarding efficiency, clogging, ease of use, cleaning, setup etc.

Mine is similar to a Chillzilla and I have used it for over ten years. Wouldn’t go with anything else. If you keep the immersion you can put it in a container of ice and prechill the water going through your new CF. Never used a Therminator so I can’t comment on them.

To clean my CF I dunk it in a bucket of PBW for a while and rinse. Before use dunk in a bucket of no-rinse sanitizer and drain. Then before turning on the water run some boiling wort through. Right after use rinse well with hot water. Not hard at all.

I’ve had both of them to me they were a pain to use and clean and not much faster so I went back to an IC. You could place you 25 ft in a bucket of ice and then run it into a new 50 ft.

To clean the Chillzilla tear off a piece of sponge place it in the end and force it through with water you will be surprised how much crud will come out on it.

Chillzilla without a doubt. You get to chill WHILE transferring to the fermenter. Saves a lot of time and works great. I like mine so much that I bought two so that I can cool full flow in July/August when the groundwater is at its warmest.

After using it (and really liking it) I was convinced that I could never get my plate chiller clean, so I went looking for something better. I found this:


The coil is around 20 ft of 3/4" convoluted copper (cupronickel) tubing jacketed by 1 1/2" copper water cooling jacket. I had to reduce down to 1/2" in and out to use existing pumps and hoses. (The hose connection in the picture was for pressure testing purposes) and I put quick connections on the water in/out.

The coil is over 16" in diameter and weighs over 36 lbs. :shock:

It can take 14 gal of wort from boiling to 62F in less than 6 minutes, easy. Easy to clean, with no crud getting stuck. I think I’m in love. :smiley: .

p.s If anyone is interested, I might be able to aquire a few more. Shipping would be pricey to the west coast, but it still may end up costing you less than a chillzilla for twice the cooling length. Just PM me if interested.

HO-LEE CRAP!! Where did you find that monster? I would love to have one, but I’m almost scared to ask how much it cost.

Love my Therminator. I’ve had it for years and have had zero problems. I brew in 3 converted kegs and use a pump so I just set it up in-line with my pump and hoses to clean with hot PBW after the brew.

Any all-metal CFC can be sterilized in the oven with dry heat.

You could also make your own all-copper CFC, but I’ve heard that with the price of copper it is still expensive.

Now I would go with 2 Shirrons or similar plate chillers from Duda Diesel for the same price as either a Therminator or Chillziilla. Use one in the Winter. In the Summer use 2 with ice water pumped through the 2nd.

I also like my Therminator, but I would say that you really have to be careful to keep the crud out of it. I’m not confident about my ability to remove any crud which would get inside.

I use a steel braid in my kettle, and that does a great job of keeping cones out. Whirlpooling generally keeps the trub from being problem. Only time I really have trouble is very heavily pils-based beers and using lots of pellets. But I do gravity feed and even in the summer when the tap water is warmest it only takes me about 5 minutes to gravity drain a 5 gallon batch.

I like my Therminator, but yes, I did have some low-flow issues until I learned how to keep it clean. With proper care it works great in my gravity-fed system. I also pre-chill the cooling water using my IC in a bucket of ice water so my 5-gal batches are down to pitching temp when the wort hits the carboy.

I love my Therminator and I don’t have any trouble keeping it clean. I can easily chill from boiling to 68 degrees using Minnesota tap water in just a few minutes. The only trouble I have is all the cold break material ends up in the fermenter. It hasn’t been a problem for me with ales.



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