Skip to main content

Review: Silver Serpent Wort Chiller

This past Christmas I received the Silver Serpent stainless steel immersion wort chiller.  I've had the opportunity to use it a few times now, so it seemed appropriate to share a review with readers of Begin Brewing.

The chiller arrives in a cardboard box, ready to use.  Hoses and fittings are already attached.  A quick pressure check on brew day showed no leakage.  (The photo at left is from their Midwest Supplies web site, where mine was purchased.)

There are twist ties on the coils that I removed, not certain if they were food safe or temperature safe. There are no instructions in the box with the chiller to tell you whether to remove them or not.

I'm currently doing all my brewing in our home kitchen.  Our stove is fortunately powerful enough to bring a 5-gallon batch of beer to a rolling boil, so it's worked well.  The unfortunate problem is that the faucet on our kitchen sink is designed without an aerator, so there's no way to attach a garden hose fitting adapter to it.

My solution to the problem was to visit a local aquarium store and purchase a submersible aquarium pump for about $30.  Then, I tangle the "hose fitting end" into the drain, attach the other end of the tube to the outlet on the aquarium pump, fill the sink with cold water, and start the pump.  The pump pushes cold water from my sink into the chiller and out the other side.  This is the opposite direction from the design, but shouldn't have a negative effect on heat transfer as far as I know.

When I used the Silver Serpent in the winter on a 4 gallon boil I made in January, when our tap water was about 53 degrees Fahrenheit coming out of the tap, the wort chilled to yeast pitching temperature in around 25-30 minutes.

A few weeks ago, I brewed a batch of Belgian Tripel using the Brewer's Best extract based kit (which I'll talk about in a future post).  This 5-gallon high-gravity beer took almost 75 minutes to chill to yeast pitching temperature using the tap water (measured at 59.3 degrees Fahrenheit) and aquarium pump. That was longer than I expected, but still much faster than I was ever able to chill my wort before.


As you can see above, the temperature dropped about 10 degrees every 5 or 6 minutes.  With colder water on the incoming side, you'd probably see a faster decline in temperature.

Cleanup of the Silver Serpent is easy.  You remove it from the brew kettle, rinse it thoroughly, and brush off any residue from the brew kettle.  Once dried, it's ready to use again.

Being made of stainless steel, the Silver Serpent is a little more expensive than some of its copper competitors.  I've heard that you may see corrosion and other issues with the copper chillers, so I thought the stainless made a nice alternative.  It looks as good now as when I got it six months ago.




Comments

  1. Hey what a brilliant post I have come across and believe me I have been searching out for this similar kind of post for past a week and hardly came across this. Thank you very much and will look for more postings from you. Pondmaster by Danner

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really appreciate the kind of topics you post here. Thanks for sharing us a great information that is actually helpful. Good day! pumping unit manufacturer

    ReplyDelete
  3. The key to finding a reputable company is to do a little research . Research should start to see if the company has a high rating with the Better Business Bureau.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Note that comments to this blog are moderated in order to minimize spam comments and things that might be offensive to readers.

Popular posts from this blog

Things I've Learned Brewing with The Grainfather, Part 2

In the last post, I shared an overview of The Grainfather, recommended equipment to use with it, and an overview of the brewing process.  In this installment, I'm going to talk specifically about mashing and sparging. Having brewed over a dozen batches with it, I'm finally becoming very comfortable with the device, the mash process, and how to get what I want out of it. I don't consider myself a "master" of it yet, though. For those who have never done all-grain brewing, I want to provide a quick overview of the mash process itself. Mashing - With or Without The Grainfather The goal of mashing is to turn the starches in the grain into sugars. More specifically, you want to turn the starches into a mix of fermentable and unfermentable sugars that provide the flavor profile associated with the beer you are brewing. A sweeter beer might warrant more unfermentable sugars. A more dry beer will demand few unfermentable sugars. To a great extent, controlling the

Yellow Label Angel Yeast vs. Typical Brewing Yeast

I currently have my second batch of rice wine fermenting with the "magical" yellow-label Angel Yeast from China, and wanted to share some of the more unusual aspects of using it.  If you've never seen or used this yeast, I suspect you're not alone.  It ships in a 500 gram package that looks like this: What makes it "yellow label" is that yellow box you see in the upper left corner of the package.  This implies that it's yeast for distilling (though you do not need to have a still or distill the output to use it).  As I understand it, inside the package is a mix of yeast and other materials which will convert starch into sugar and directly ferment it, without the need for a traditional mash step.  This can radically shorten your brewing time.  For my most-recent batch of rice wine, I heated 3 gallons of water to 155F, poured it over 13+ pounds of uncooked rice straight out of the bag, let that soak for an hour, rehydrated some of this yeast in warm water,

Grainfather Specifications for BeerSmith, Beer Tools Pro, and Other Software

Recently, I've been trying to "dial in" settings in BeerSmith and Beer Tools Pro so that I can do a better job getting my actual brewing results to match up to the figures in the software. Below are some of the figures I've worked out with my US Grainfather. Given manufacturing variances and possible measuring errors on my part, these might not match exactly to yours, but hopefully they're close enough that it will help you. BeerSmith Equipment Profile: Brewhouse Efficiency: 83% (based on my experience, yours may vary) Mash Tun Volume: 8 gallons Mash Tun Weight: 8.82 pounds Mash Tun Specific Heat: 0.12 Cal/gram-deg C Mash Tun Addition: 0 gallons Lauter Tun Losses: 0 gallons Top Up Water for Kettle: 0 gallons Boil Volume: 6.25 gallons Boil Time: 60 minutes Boil Off: 0.40 gallons per hour Cooling Shrinkage: 6% Loss to Trub and Chiller: 0.53 gallons Batch Volume: 5 gallons Fermenter Loss: 0.40 gallons (yours may vary) Whirlpool time: 0 minutes B