Author Topic: Immersion chiller: buying vs. making  (Read 6106 times)

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Immersion chiller: buying vs. making
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2011, 02:07:15 PM »
I just made one.
Here is a pic:
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Offline gimmeales

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Re: Immersion chiller: buying vs. making
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2011, 04:44:35 PM »
Someone above said you couldn't get one commercially for ~$100, but I just ordered the Super Chiller from MoreBeer (50' of 1/2 inch tubing with brass fittings) for $109.  I can't imagine I could make one cheaper that's as nice or fits my keggle as well.  When I get a pump down the road, I'll just be a small s-curve of copper away from adding a whirpool to the chiller - THAT will be cool.

Nice install Thirsty Monk!  How many feet of copper is that?


Offline hbrewer

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Re: Immersion chiller: buying vs. making
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2011, 05:11:36 PM »
http://www.nybrewsupply.com/products/wort-chiller-copper-immersion.php#c3850

Any thoughts on this 3/8'' OD X 50' immersion chiller??  They want $79 with shipping.  Will that cool quick enough for a 10 gallon batch or should the 1/2'' OD X 50' really be used.  Trying to save where I can and spend when needed.

Offline cheba420

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Re: Immersion chiller: buying vs. making
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2011, 05:34:38 PM »
I made my own. All in, it cost me about as much as buying one but I like the satisfaction of building the simple things myself. Need to make a pre-chiller soon for this hot AZ ground water!!! This time of year is great but after April...it gets gnarly around here.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Immersion chiller: buying vs. making
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2011, 05:36:19 PM »
http://www.nybrewsupply.com/products/wort-chiller-copper-immersion.php#c3850

Any thoughts on this 3/8'' OD X 50' immersion chiller??  They want $79 with shipping.  Will that cool quick enough for a 10 gallon batch or should the 1/2'' OD X 50' really be used.  Trying to save where I can and spend when needed.

I like the 1/2 inch due to the fact that when I brew in the summer to fall, the water is not so cold (75F).  Town water running not too far underground, with really big holding tanks on the hills.  So I finished a few batches off with a pond pump reciculating in an ice bath to get to 65F.  In the winter it is no problem for ales.  I use the pond pump then for lagers.  I am brewing a CAP tomorrow, so if I run out of ice, I have a nearly infinite supply of snow (for this application) to shovel into the pump water bucket.

The Delta-T is one of the very important factors in heat transfer.  If you had a well that alway supplied water around 50 to 55F, you could have good performance with the 3/8" chiller.

Whirlpooling while you chill will also speed things up.
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Immersion chiller: buying vs. making
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2011, 08:23:59 PM »
Nice install Thirsty Monk!  How many feet of copper is that?



It is about 50 ft of 1 inch soft tubing.
Not very practical for home use  ;D
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Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline myh3adhur7s

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Re: Immersion chiller: buying vs. making
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2011, 12:38:41 AM »
I say make it not hard and you can save some money. and if you want you can take it and make it a counterflow chill just by getting some more fittings and a garden hose. That is what i plan on doing

Offline quest4watneys

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Re: Immersion chiller: buying vs. making
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2011, 07:48:54 PM »
I actually went ahead and made an immersion chiller with 25' of 3/8" copper. I used my hands and a copper bending tool to shape it and then soldered on 3/4" copper garden hose fittings. I used a spigot to run water through it and also threw the kettle in an ice bath as well. It took 16 mins. to cool about 4 gallons of wort (Russian Imperial Stout) to 65 degrees. From what I've read so far I think that's okay. However, I only saved about $15. Given the amount of time and effort it took to bend it without kinking it and the numerous trips to Lowe's to find just the right stuff, I would just buy one if I had to do it over again  :) I did gain valuable experience though and it works! Thanks for all the ideas!
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Offline euge

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Re: Immersion chiller: buying vs. making
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2011, 07:58:34 PM »
I actually went ahead and made an immersion chiller with 25' of 3/8" copper. I used my hands and a copper bending tool to shape it and then soldered on 3/4" copper garden hose fittings. I used a spigot to run water through it and also threw the kettle in an ice bath as well. It took 16 mins. to cool about 4 gallons of wort (Russian Imperial Stout) to 65 degrees. From what I've read so far I think that's okay. However, I only saved about $15. Given the amount of time and effort it took to bend it without kinking it and the numerous trips to Lowe's to find just the right stuff, I would just buy one if I had to do it over again  :) I did gain valuable experience though and it works! Thanks for all the ideas!

I think 16 minutes from boiling to 65 is pretty good even for 4 gallons. Congratulations! Got any pics? Here's one of mine... Some chiller porn.

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Offline quest4watneys

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Re: Immersion chiller: buying vs. making
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2011, 08:16:21 PM »
Nice curves euge ;) I'll throw up some pics of my newbie effort! I have to admit though, I was a little embarrassed to post pics because of my gratuitous use of fittings and couplers and whatnot but not so much now! I've tried to post pics using various methods and cannot figure it out. I've also used pic hosting sites RapidShare, Flickr, et al. and have had no luck! What am I doing wrong?
« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 10:18:31 PM by quest4watneys »
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Offline brenda.frason@yahoo.com

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Re: Immersion chiller: buying vs. making
« Reply #25 on: October 13, 2011, 04:15:36 AM »
Any thoughts on buying vs. making your own immersion chiller?

I also thought about making my own chiller but I think I do not have enough know how in order to do it on my own. So I will buy one but I haven't found what I was looking for. In order to bypass the time until I have a new one I will check chiller rentals and probably rent one.  A friend of mine did this already and he was very satisfied.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Immersion chiller: buying vs. making
« Reply #26 on: October 13, 2011, 07:49:10 AM »
I saved about 20 bucks making my own and it took about 1 hours to put it together. 50' of soft copper, which was one box worth so it was already coiled, and two compression fittings.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Immersion chiller: buying vs. making
« Reply #27 on: October 13, 2011, 10:37:16 AM »
Will the solder joint cause a sanitation issue?

Immersion chillers are usually heat sanitized by placing them in boiling wort for the last 15 minutes of the boil. Although soldering could create some crevices, sanitizing this way would definately kill them.
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Offline gmac

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Re: Immersion chiller: buying vs. making
« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2011, 11:28:48 AM »
what are your thoughts on soldering shorter pieces of pipe to make a long one? Will the solder joint cause a sanitation issue? Thanks again for your time and responses!

I made mine out of hard copper pipe (think water pipes in your house) so mine's square with about 25 soldered corners and there's been absolutely no sanitation issues in over 30 batches.  Making a square spiral was sort of challenging but it worked.  It's only about 30 feet total but it cools the wort down well.  I put it in the wort for the last 15 mins and it's been fine.

Offline jeffy

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Re: Immersion chiller: buying vs. making
« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2011, 11:43:58 AM »
what are your thoughts on soldering shorter pieces of pipe to make a long one? Will the solder joint cause a sanitation issue? Thanks again for your time and responses!

I made mine out of hard copper pipe (think water pipes in your house) so mine's square with about 25 soldered corners and there's been absolutely no sanitation issues in over 30 batches.  Making a square spiral was sort of challenging but it worked.  It's only about 30 feet total but it cools the wort down well.  I put it in the wort for the last 15 mins and it's been fine.

I would like to see a picture of that if you would/could.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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