Author Topic: Copper vs Stainless immersion chiller practical results?  (Read 284 times)

Offline blazingbeer

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Copper vs Stainless immersion chiller practical results?
« on: June 02, 2021, 07:20:45 PM »
I first started with the stainless steel immersion chiller on the robobrew, and when I changed to a unibrau it came with plate chiller. I am now feeling like the plate chiller is a PITA. I was considering the counterflow chiller, but when it comes down to it - I don't think it is necessary with the extra cost.

So I am considering two immersion chillers, both are 50' and 3/8" tubing.

Product 1: http://www.ontariobeerkegs.com/immersion-wide-50x3-8-garden.html

Product 2: http://www.ontariobeerkegs.com/ss-immersion-50x3-8-tubing.html

I prefer product 1 in the sense of it has connections there without the hosing. If it is a 1/2" npt behind the hose connections I could also change it to quick disconnects.

I have read about Verdigris on the copper - is this ever an issue?

Because both prices are virtually the same and lengths being the same, and knowing the heat conduction is much different but not the only consideration: how much difference in performance is there really?


Offline denny

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Re: Copper vs Stainless immersion chiller practical results?
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2021, 07:28:25 PM »
Have you looked intro the chillers from Jaded?
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Offline blazingbeer

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Re: Copper vs Stainless immersion chiller practical results?
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2021, 07:42:49 PM »
I am in Canada, and the shipping is prohibitive when taken as a total cost vs the ones I have linked.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Copper vs Stainless immersion chiller practical results?
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2021, 09:02:07 PM »
I first started with the stainless steel immersion chiller on the robobrew, and when I changed to a unibrau it came with plate chiller. I am now feeling like the plate chiller is a PITA. I was considering the counterflow chiller, but when it comes down to it - I don't think it is necessary with the extra cost.

So I am considering two immersion chillers, both are 50' and 3/8" tubing.

Product 1: http://www.ontariobeerkegs.com/immersion-wide-50x3-8-garden.html

Product 2: http://www.ontariobeerkegs.com/ss-immersion-50x3-8-tubing.html

I prefer product 1 in the sense of it has connections there without the hosing. If it is a 1/2" npt behind the hose connections I could also change it to quick disconnects.

I have read about Verdigris on the copper - is this ever an issue?

Because both prices are virtually the same and lengths being the same, and knowing the heat conduction is much different but not the only consideration: how much difference in performance is there really?

There are 3 resistors to the heat flow. The cooling water to the chiller wall, through the chiller wall, and chiller to wort. The resistors that controll the heat exchange are the liquid to metal interfaces. Those two are huge compared to the metal.

Years back I cranked through the equations and plugged in the numbers. The SS is about 86% effective as the copper. So it will take a little longer to chill the wort 1/.86=1.16. this is not as bad as at first looks when just the metals conductivity is looked at.

I have a 50 Ft 1/2 in copper chiller be that I've had for a long time.
Jeff Rankert
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Offline blazingbeer

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Re: Copper vs Stainless immersion chiller practical results?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2021, 12:00:34 AM »
This is definitely the type of information I wanted to see. It is very much like 3d printing: you have materials like brass, stainless steel, copper, even titanium for heatblocks. Most are using brass (probably cost), and some people go right into the copper for its high conductivity, when the plastic being moved through is just a huge insulator - so the real difference is the length of the contact time.

I had never tried to calculate numbers for 3d printing, so I am glad you did it for this. I won't feel the difference looking at SS vs copper. I am leaning towards the copper because it has the fittings right on it - although I can buy compression fittings for stainless that will do the same job (there is a model at the local homebrew shop that is 50' long for roughly same price).

Offline dls5492

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Re: Copper vs Stainless immersion chiller practical results?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2021, 12:50:50 PM »
Have you looked intro the chillers from Jaded?
I love my Hydra chiller from Jaded Brewing. It's the best.
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Offline joe_meadmaker

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Re: Copper vs Stainless immersion chiller practical results?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2021, 03:57:42 PM »
I have read about Verdigris on the copper - is this ever an issue?

I'm still using the same copper chiller I got about 10 years ago.  I'm sure there are guys here that have been on the same one for longer than that.  Just keep it clean and dry when you're not using it, and you shouldn't have any problems.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Copper vs Stainless immersion chiller practical results?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2021, 04:27:19 PM »
For "all in one" system brewers, consider the CuSS version "all in one" (I have the one modified for use with the Anvil Foundry):

https://cussbrewing.com/collections/frontpage/products/the-all-in-one-tricoil

Works like a champ.  Both Hydra and CuSS share patent rights, if I recall correctly.
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Offline narcout

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Re: Copper vs Stainless immersion chiller practical results?
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2021, 08:53:24 PM »
In the last few years or so, as there has been a lot more talk/concern about oxidation, etc., a lot of people have moved away from copper chillers (or really copper in any part of a brewing system).

If you search this form for Fenton reaction, you will find some info on it.  I'm not saying you should be concerned about it, but it might be worth your consideration. 
Sometimes you just can't get enough - JAMC

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Copper vs Stainless immersion chiller practical results?
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2021, 09:38:12 PM »
In the last few years or so, as there has been a lot more talk/concern about oxidation, etc., a lot of people have moved away from copper chillers (or really copper in any part of a brewing system).

If you search this form for Fenton reaction, you will find some info on it.  I'm not saying you should be concerned about it, but it might be worth your consideration.

Brewtan B to the rescue - mash and boil additions!

Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"