Author Topic: wort chiller  (Read 1529 times)

Offline brewbarr

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wort chiller
« on: November 04, 2010, 01:44:57 PM »
hey guys thinking about trying to make my own chiller only doing 5 gallon batches right now is 25' long enough? also i have read alot of debate over solder whats the problem if its lead free? thanks 8)
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Offline hamiltont

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Re: wort chiller
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2010, 02:02:50 PM »
25' of 3/8" should do the trick for 5 gallons.  I'm curious though, what needs to be soldered?
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Offline brewbarr

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Re: wort chiller
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2010, 02:11:28 PM »
sorry dont really just looked at some different kinds on line and one guy suggested elbows on the botttom to make it look cleaner which i agree it did but that was also using 50 ft of copper
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Offline tallcall

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Re: wort chiller
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2010, 02:59:25 PM »
I used 50' of 3/8 copper but split it into 2 25' coils. Main line in and out 1/2" copper.

Offline dak0415

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Re: wort chiller
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2010, 04:55:46 PM »
It's not the solder, it's the FLUX!  Just make sure the flux is water soluble and you scrub any solder joints well with PBW and all will be fine.  My copper guy braised mine with silver solder, no flux! (I still scrubbed the hell out of it.)

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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: wort chiller
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2010, 05:37:12 PM »
Get solder without lead.
They should have it in the hardware store.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: wort chiller
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2010, 11:36:49 PM »
hey guys thinking about trying to make my own chiller only doing 5 gallon batches right now is 25' long enough? also i have read alot of debate over solder whats the problem if its lead free? thanks 8)
It might be easier to buy than to make it yourself.  You'd pay $25 around here for 20' of 3/8 coil, plus the hose fittings and having to put it all together.  You might save a little bit of money, but probably not much.

http://www.learntobrew.com/store/item/10n6c/-_Chillers_Pumps/Immersion_Chiller_25_Feet_with_Garden_Hose_Fittings.html
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Tim McManus

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Re: wort chiller
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2010, 05:00:00 PM »
I got one of those Phil's Chiller kits a while ago.  All I needed to do was get a 25' length of copper tubing and a garden hose.  Inserting the copper tube into the garden hose was the most difficult part.  We did it outside on the lawn (with a few beers in hand).  Wrap the hose/copper tube around a corny keg and then use zip ties to hold it together.

One thing to note:  I was using an acidic solution to clean out the coil every year to make sure any buildup was gone.  Over time this corroded the internal copper tube (it breached while we were chilling the wort for a Belgian Dubbel) and it had to be replaced.  Uncoiling the garden hose was a breeze, and we reused it for the next one.  That experience convinced me that although my chiller doesn't look as sexy as an all-metal chiller, it's real easy to fix with a quick trip to the hardware store.  Takes about 30 minutes or two beers to build the whole thing.

25' should be fine depending on the temperature of the water doing the chilling.  I have a buddy that made a 50' one and in the winter time we have to periodically turn the chilling water off (54°F) because the wort is too cold to pitch.
Tim McManus
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Offline Kit B

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Re: wort chiller
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2010, 09:11:12 AM »
I made my chiller out of 25' of 3/8 copper tube.
I wrapped coils around a Corny keg.
Then, bent the 2 ends upward & outward, using spring-style tube benders.
Next, I added a stainless steel hose clamp to hold the 2 ends together (for strength/rigidity).
Finally, I added brass compression fittings for garden hose connections.

It works, great.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: wort chiller
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2010, 11:10:41 AM »
I made mine out of 50' of flexible copper and two elbow compression fittings. I think the whole thing cost about 40$ (I only do 5 gallon batches but the 50' box price was only marginally more expensive than the 25 foot per foot price and it was already coiled up) It took me about an hour to put it together, no solder no mess. slide the compression fitting on the end and tighten it down. However with the flexible copper I do notice that it all sets on top of itself and I am trying to think of a way to keep the coils separate as I imagine that would improve efficiency. Any thoughts?

Offline glastctbrew

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Re: wort chiller
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2010, 11:34:24 AM »
However with the flexible copper I do notice that it all sets on top of itself and I am trying to think of a way to keep the coils separate as I imagine that would improve efficiency. Any thoughts?

You can try solid copper grounding wire that you wrap around each coil. I planned on doing this but just haven't made the time to give it a go.   Just make sure you get a thin enough gauge that you can easily bend it around the tubing.
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Offline richardt

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Re: wort chiller
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2010, 12:53:22 PM »
I made mine out of 50' of flexible copper and two elbow compression fittings. I think the whole thing cost about 40$ (I only do 5 gallon batches but the 50' box price was only marginally more expensive than the 25 foot per foot price and it was already coiled up) It took me about an hour to put it together, no solder no mess. slide the compression fitting on the end and tighten it down. However with the flexible copper I do notice that it all sets on top of itself and I am trying to think of a way to keep the coils separate as I imagine that would improve efficiency. Any thoughts?

I did the same.  50 ft of 3/8" copper was coiled around the outside of a corny keg.  It makes it easy to store between brew days (just put it around an empty corny keg--keeps it from getting all bent up).  I agree that the coils tend to sit on top of themselves, but, I periodically carefully pick up the IC and give the wort a few slow swirls and that gets the flow across the coils going again.  If you do use the copper gauge wire, I'd do it at the same time you're making the IC, otherwise you probably won't be able to get it back on the corny keg for storing between brew days (not that you have to store it that way..)

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: wort chiller
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2010, 12:56:45 PM »

You can try solid copper grounding wire that you wrap around each coil. I planned on doing this but just haven't made the time to give it a go.   Just make sure you get a thin enough gauge that you can easily bend it around the tubing.

Good idea! then you don't interfere with the heat transfer, much anyway. Maybe I will try that.

Offline hamiltont

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Re: wort chiller
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2010, 02:49:00 PM »
However with the flexible copper I do notice that it all sets on top of itself and I am trying to think of a way to keep the coils separate as I imagine that would improve efficiency. Any thoughts?

You can try solid copper grounding wire that you wrap around each coil. I planned on doing this but just haven't made the time to give it a go.   Just make sure you get a thin enough gauge that you can easily bend it around the tubing.
14 gauge wire works pretty good.  Just lace it up between each coil in at least 2 places opposite each other. I think I laced mine 3 times to give it a little more rigidity.  Cheers!!!
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Re: wort chiller
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2010, 07:36:35 PM »
Check this out before you complete your project. I'm going to modify my design to reflect Jamil's work here:

http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php