Three features set the Chillzilla apart from conventional counterflow chiller designs — the first is an all-metal construction. The excellent conductive properties of non-rusting copper tubing give the Chillzilla outstanding heat-transfer capacity.
The second is an inside tube (which carries wort from the kettle, through the chiller, into the fermentor) that is convoluted into an elongated spiral. This shape enhances the chiller's efficiency by creating turbulence in the cold water flowing through the outer tube and increasing the surface area of the wort that's exposed to cold water.
The third is the large (1/2-inch diameter) copper tubing used for the inside tube, which increases the flow rate and decreases the chilling time.
The bottom line: the Chillzilla cools wort very fast with a smaller amount of water; five gallons of wort can be cooled in under ten minutes (or less if you're brewing in a Minnesota winter).
The Chillzilla is very easy to sanitize using boiling water or Star San (or a combination). Another bonus is its compact size — unlike the bulky counterflow chillers of yesteryear, the Chillzilla measures just 10 inches from top coil to bottom coil, and 6 inches in diameter. It even comes with a bracket for optional permanent mounting.
Needed but not included are 2 to 3 feet of 1/2-inch ID thermoplastic tubing (#7128), 2 to 3 feet of 1/2-inch ID vinyl tubing (#7106), and a 1/2-inch FPT to 1/2" barbed fitting (#P010). You will also need to supply two lengths of washing machine hose (available at any hardware store) for chilling and waste water.Chillzilla Instructions
- Chiller works greats Review by Roger
The Chillzilla is bigger than is shown. The outside diameter is about 6 inches. It sits outside the brew kettle. It used hoses to connect it to the brew kettle, the faucet, the carboy, and the sink drain.
It’s a copper coil in a copper coil. The wort flows through the smaller coil and cold water, from the faucet, flows around it. It is called “counter flow”, because the water flows in the opposite direction of the wort (wort flows down, water flows up).
(Posted on 11/10/13)
- Great chilling, but poor connections Review by Thayer
Now on to the actual units I received. My first unit had the same problem as Dennis--the water inlet was so bent that I couldn't connect a hose. It also had a really pockmarked wort line, which to me was a sanitation disaster waiting to happen. So I returned it to Northern Brewer, and got a quick replacement via their customary great service.
My second unit didn't have a bent hose inlet or a pockmarked wort line, so it was great on those counts. However, one end of the brazed-on mounting bracket was already loose when it arrived. I didn't think much of it because I wasn't planning on mounting the cooler, but by the time I changed my mind on that three weeks later, the bracket had completely fallen off. A welder friend said that the brazing looked pretty chintzy. The stainless bracket hadn't been melted at all, and it looked as if the "brazing" consisted of just melting the brazing rod onto the copper tube and sticking the stainless bracket into the pool of hot metal. Anyway, now the cooler has a bunch of sharp bits where the bracket used to be attached, so it needs to be fixed one way or the other.
I'm happy to again mention that Northern Brewer has been great to work with throughout the process (they offered to either replace the second unit or give me a generous credit to fix it myself). However, considering the price, the Chillzilla is not as awesome as I would expect. It misses on the little details that earn products 5 stars. In fact, despite the awesome cooling and easy cleaning, it suffers from enough manufacturing defects and poor execution that I can only give it a 3. (Posted on 10/2/13)
- Ok Review by Dennis
- Chiller works great. Review by Joel
- Works fine but traded in for a plate chiller Review by Steven
- Very good chiller Review by mmmbeeer
It's very easy to clean - simply flush with some hot PBW solution. Since it's just a copper tube, it really doesn't have any small spaces to trap particulates.
One minor complaint is the 1/2" straight copper tube on the wort outlet. The inlet has a 1/2" MPT onto which you can easily thread a barb connector. Why they didn't do the same for the outlet is puzzling. To correct the problem, I just added a 1/2" MPT compression fitting and a barb. You could also solder on a connector, if you're good at that sort of thing.
Cheers! (Posted on 10/15/10)