RoboBrew immersion chiller to the test
As part of its pledge to be an all in one solution for all grain brewing, RoboBrew comes with its own immersion chiller. How does this included piece of equipment stack up?
Perhaps following the Grainfather’s lead, who offered a simple counterflow chiller, the RoboBrew comes equipped with a simple immersion chiller to help bring the wort from boiling down to fermenting temperature as quickly as possible.
The basic principle behind this process is that there is a danger zone for bacteria and wild yeast in approximately 30-70ºC range. The longer your wort spends at these temperatures, the greater your chances of catching an infection that could lead to anything from off tastes to a completely ruined batch of beer. So letting the wort slowly cool to yeast pitching temperatures is not an option for most homebrewers.
Simply put, the immersion chiller provided with the RoboBrew is a good start, and certainly better than nothing. An early review of the system on Aussie Home Brewer reported that the immersion chiller setup was capable of getting down close to pitching temperatures in about 40 minutes with a bit of stirring.
More expensive chilling systems such as counterflow chillers or plate chillers can do the job in a fraction of the time, which is ideal to minimise the chance of infection. But as an included piece of equipment in the AUD$449 RoboBrew kit, the immersion chiller will do a respectable job to suit any beginner to all grain.
If you are looking for a simple way to chill your wort while minimising your chances of infection, definitely look into the ingenius no-chill method before investing in expensive chilling systems. It requires some modification to your hop addition schedule, which might complicate things for a beginner, but it all but guarantees an infection-free brew, and will save heaps of water.