Ed­i­tors’ Picks:

Small-scale Chillers

Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine - - Contents -

The Sta­sis by Craft a Brew

$599, craftabrew.com

PROS: The Sta­sis of­fers the most com­pact and aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing de­sign for the space­con­strained brewer. At a very rea­son­able price point, The Sta­sis not only in­cludes the chilled reser­voir, but has built the pumps and con­trollers right into the unit. The con­trollers are sim­ple to op­er­ate—set your de­sired ves­sel temp and for­get it. The much smaller gly­col reser­voir makes the unit lighter and more por­ta­ble. CONS: The Sta­sis is pur­pose-built to chill one or two smaller ves­sels (less than 10 gal­lons) at a time. With its com­pact de­sign and built-in con­trollers/pumps, it doesn’t of­fer the flex­i­bil­ity or the power of the chillers with 10-gal­lon-plus gly­col reservoirs. The unit tested was a pre­pro­duc­tion sam­ple, and we’ve been as­sured that the fi­nal will be qui­eter, but this chiller was sig­nif­i­cantly louder than the oth­ers tested. THE VERDICT: The Sta­sis is de­signed and con­structed for the 5-gal­lon home­brewer who never has more than two batches fer­ment­ing/crash­ing at a time. If that’s you, this is the chiller for you. With a very rea­son­able price point, con­sis­tent func­tion­al­ity, and strong porta­bil­ity, The Sta­sis is a win­ner.

Ice­mas­ter Gly­col Chiller

$699.99, more­beer.com

PROS: The qui­etest unit we tested, the Ice­mas­ter Chiller op­er­ates at a sim­i­lar deci­bel level to that of a kitchen re­frig­er­a­tor. With its 10-gal­lon reser­voir, it pro­vides an am­ple vol­ume of chilled gly­col to cold-crash three or four 14-gal­lon Uni­tanks in mod­est am­bi­ent tem­per­a­tures (70–80°F). At less than $700, the price point is ex­tremely af­ford­able for brew­ers. CONS: The unit didn’t pack nearly the power of some of the other units. When am­bi­ent tem­per­a­tures in our test garage rose to over 90°F, it had trou­ble keep­ing the reser­voir be­low cold-crash­ing tem­per­a­tures. The chiller does not come with the pumps or con­trollers nec­es­sary to move the gly­col through your fer­men­tor, so you will need to pur­chase those (ad­di­tional $100+ per con­troller). Con­struc­tion on this unit was not as sturdy as that of the other units tested. THE VERDICT: For the more bud­get-con­scious brewer who is keep­ing a few ves­sels chilled at a time, this chiller is great. It’s quiet enough that it can op­er­ate in any room of the house and ef­fi­cient enough to get the job done for most brew­ers. It doesn’t have some of the bells and whis­tles, but it will keep your beer chilled.

Ss Brewtech Gly­col Chiller 3/8 HP

$1,295, ss­brewtech.com

PROS: We put the Ss Gly­col Chiller 3/8 HP through the ringer. With am­bi­ent tem­per­a­tures over 90°F, it had no prob­lem keep­ing five 14-gal­lon Uni­tanks cold-crashed at 35°F with its 10-gal­lon reser­voir. The gly­col ports are built into the lid for easy plumb­ing with a latched lid for sim­ple ac­cess to the reser­voir (with a very thought­ful reser­voir-fill gauge). The unit op­er­ates very qui­etly, es­pe­cially when con­sid­er­ing the per­for­mance. Solid con­struc­tion, with han­dles (and cast­ers) that sup­port the weight of the unit plus the liq­uid weight, shows the thought­ful­ness of the de­sign. CONS: The chiller does not come with the pumps or con­trollers nec­es­sary to move the gly­col through your fer­men­tor, so you will need to pur­chase those (ad­di­tional $100+ per con­troller). The aes­thetic is more in­dus­trial with ex­posed com­po­nents. THE VERDICT: The Ss Gly­col Chiller 3/8 HP is worth ev­ery penny if you’re chill­ing more than one or two ves­sels. With sim­ple op­er­a­tion and setup, it pro­vided ex­tremely re­li­able and ac­cu­rate tem­per­a­ture con­trol of ev­ery ves­sel we hooked it up to. Plus, it uses 110V power, so elec­tri­cal is easy.

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