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Old 05-18-2012, 06:51 PM   #1
ziggityz
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Default Is 20' enough for a wort chiller

I bought all my supplies to build my own immersion chiller and they only had 20 feet of 1/2" copper tubing not 25', will this be enough to chill 5 gallons of wort???

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Old 05-18-2012, 08:48 PM   #2
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It will depend on a few things, but the simple answer is yes. The cooling power of an immersion chiller (or counter-flow chiller for that matter) is the temperature differential between the wort and the cooling liquid (water usually). If you have nice cold tap water running through the chiller, and you agitate the wort during chilling, you should not have any trouble getting down to pitching temp. It will take longer than if you had more copper for a greater contact area, but it will no doubt beat using an ice bath .

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Old 05-18-2012, 08:54 PM   #3
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ice bath is exactly what I'm trying to beat!

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Old 05-18-2012, 09:12 PM   #4
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Ziggityz, I just bought 20ft of 1/2in lastnight to do the same thing. Its not ideal because its kind of short but I just want to beat the ice bath as well. The good news is that when you've got extra money you can then buy 50ft of coil and make another one and then use this shorter one as a pre-chiller (stick it in a bucket of ice to chill the water even more before it goes into the main one). So either way it won't be a waste.

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Old 05-18-2012, 11:12 PM   #5
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I kinda do half and half. I have 20ft of tubing, but I have a 10ft length of vinyl hose going from the garden hose to the chiller, and I have it looped up in a 5gal bucket with ice. The water going in is chilled, not the whole pot. Forgot to add, works pretty good. In time I wanna upgrade to a recirc pump so I am not using more water than whats in the bucket and the line to the chiller and back from the chiller to the bucket.

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Old 05-18-2012, 11:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gixxer View Post
I kinda do half and half. I have 20ft of tubing, but I have a 10ft length of vinyl hose going from the garden hose to the chiller, and I have it looped up in a 5gal bucket with ice. The water going in is chilled, not the whole pot. Forgot to add, works pretty good. In time I wanna upgrade to a recirc pump so I am not using more water than whats in the bucket and the line to the chiller and back from the chiller to the bucket.
Good idea! I might buy some more tubing and do that next time.

ziggityz here is the finished product. Took me about 30-45min to get it done.
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:19 AM   #7
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yeah well mine is headed to a recycling center for some cash tomorrow, I was using a spring bender to bend the top tubing and kinked, I'm just going to buy a plate chiller, I'm done with copper tubing.

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Old 05-19-2012, 12:33 AM   #8
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I used 20' of 1/4" tubing for the last 7 years. Worked good enough but replaced it with 50' of 1/2" tubing a couple weeks ago. You'll do fine with 20'.

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Old 05-19-2012, 12:43 AM   #9
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I made a 20' chiller. It works pretty good but I wanted more so I made another one and bent the coils a little tighter so it will fit inside the first one. I have tried both in the wort and also one in the wort and the other in a bucket of cold water with an ice bottle. This works a little faster.

I also bent them by hand without tools and had no problems.

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Old 05-19-2012, 12:46 AM   #10
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thats all well and good I did not have good success and I am going to buy a plate chiller from rebelbrewer, spend the extra money and not worry about bending tubing anymore!

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