Copper vs. Stainless Steel (Immersion/Wort Chillers)

Strongly debated and never resolved. Which is better, a copper or stainless steel immersion chiller? Most of the equipment made by large brewing distributors live and die by their stainless steel products. So to an inexperienced brewer, stainless steel is the obvious choice. We’ve compiled a short list of pro’s and con’s of the two. You can be the judge.

Stainless Steel Pro’s

·         Extremely Durable

·         Easy to maintain and clean

·         Phenomenal corrosion resistance

·         Cheap metal

Stainless Steel Con’s

·         Stubborn metal (cannot be manipulated)

·         Lower thermal conductivity than copper

·         Does not contain helpful minerals

Copper Pro’s

·         Easily manipulated

·         Great heat exchange rate

·         Develops corrosion resistance over time

·         Emits trace minerals into wort

Copper Con’s

·         Develops toxic oxide called “Verdigris” if not properly cleaned

·         Less durable than stainless steel

·         More expensive than stainless steel

In conclusion, if you’re looking for an “efficient” chiller, we recommend using copper. If you’re looking for an affordable chiller that will last you forever with limited maintenance, stainless steel is your best bet. Either way, both products get the job done.