Finally, I made a video.  It is not of great quality, since I don’t have a camcorder.  However, it does show my meager setup.  It DOES WORK and that is the point.  I used a brine solution at about 20%, then added 40 lbs of ice, which is about 5 gallons of water.  Ice is realatively inexpensive here at $2.30 for 20 lbs (8.5Kg).  The rate of cooling was faster than with just plain ice and water, but the extra cost of salt and the environmental impact was too much for me to attempt it again. I personally did not acheive steallar results from adding ice.  Howver, others have and others may want to try this. Check local codes for disposal of brine as some cities have outlawed it in the sewers and even run-off waterways.

Click here to see video


I took my first recorded readings using my chiller on an IPA. Certainly, starting gravity will play a role in the time needed to cool the wort. A higher wort would require a slightly increased time and a light lager would require less. I calculated, however, that the difference is minimal in the order of about 2-3% maximum.

I will include a chart later but the nitty gritty goes like this: From 96C to 20C took 25 minutes. Remember also that ambient temperature was a balmy 38C. Total ice used was 14KG or just over 30 lbs.

For the metric-handicapped: 96C is about boiling here in Arizona at 4300 Ft. 38 is just above 100F. 20C is target 68F.

Note: I didn’t use a valve on the cold side to slow down the cooling. I am POSITIVE that I am going to fast to cool even more efficiently. Next purchase is going to be a 1/2 ball valve on the cold pump. If the flow of the water is too fast across the coil, then you will have a decrease in the transfer of heat. Remember that you want the water that comes back into the cooler to be at least a few degrees of the wort. I noticed that the March pump was pumping so fast, that the transfer of heat was not happening at an efficient rate. Unfortunately, I really have no scientific method (temp gauge) or flow rate indicator to say what would be the optimal flow. I am going to use the quasi-scientific “guess” of about 1/2 of a ball valve turn.

Hello, I am Kerry and I own 5th Element Brewery in Sierra Vista, Arizona. The brewery is a home built enterprise that has grown like a sore pimple, if you ask my girlfriend Denise. In my never ending battle for truth and just ICE, I made this blog. This is my first entry.

Recently, I converted to a Plate Chiller.  While no video exists, I do want to share some other photos and I will update with a video next time I brew

Click here to see the pics.

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