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Old 07-26-2009, 02:28 AM   #1
gigidogg
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Default Anyone use 1/2" OD copper tubing in CFC?

I've read the 27 pages of the "how to build a CFC" thread and it's all 3/8" OD tubing. I've already got ~40 feet of 1/2" OD and wonder if you could use it in a CFC with a regular 5/8" ID garden hose. Would 3/4" ID hose be better? Should I just buy the 3/8" copper and get it over with? Thanks in advance for the advice.

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Old 07-26-2009, 02:56 AM   #2
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I believe the reason that 3/8" is used for the CFCs is because 1/2" doesn't give very much room for the cooling water to flow through.

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Old 07-26-2009, 03:27 AM   #3
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If you used 3/4" ID garden hose, it should work fine if your coolant temp stays nice and cold.



CFC Configuration #1 3/8" OD Copper in 5/8" Hose
Wort Flow Cross Sectional Area 0.078
Coolant Flow Cross Sectional Area 0.196
Coolant to Wort Ratio 2.5

CFC Configuration #2 1/2" OD Copper in 5/8" Hose
Wort Flow Cross Sectional Area 0.149
Coolant Flow Cross Sectional Area 0.110
Coolant to Wort Ratio 0.7

CFC Configuration #3 1/2" OD Copper in 3/4" Hose
Wort Flow Cross Sectional Area 0.149
Coolant Flow Cross Sectional Area 0.245
Coolant to Wort Ratio 1.6

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Old 07-26-2009, 10:58 AM   #4
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I use 1/2 inch with 3/4 outer hose.
If you use, or intend to use a pump, particularly the March that everyone uses, don't use 3/8. Too much internal resistance, so very Very low flow.
If you intend to keep using gravity then, yes, 3/8 has better surface area to volume BUT:
Assuming you intend to use a single pass through your CFC to your fermenter, and if you are going to brew lagers, especially all-grain, then you will be leaving most of your wort at high termperature for too long and forming DMS.
So:
Use a CFC if you are going to use a pump, and recirculate back to your boil kettle, therfore dropping all of your wort temp at the same time, before then diverting to your fermenter. Therefore use 1/2. Additional benefit of being able to whirlpool, and avoid taking break and hop to your fermenter.
Otherwise, use an IC.

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Old 07-26-2009, 07:46 PM   #5
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Devil's advocate Yorg, if your coolant water is pretty close to your desired wort output temp, you'd have to throttle the flow of wort with a valve anyway. The only time you can run a 1/2" chiller full bore is if your coolant is 60F or less.

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Old 07-26-2009, 09:27 PM   #6
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Mine is 1/2" copper with 5/8" hose. The water coming out the CFC hose is cool and I still have to throttle back the pump.

Next week I am going to try to whirlpool through the CFC with the pump and water on full blast. I did this with water a month ago and it looked promising.

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