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Old 08-14-2008, 04:08 AM   #1
foonder
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Default Building a wort chiller, ideas?

I was looking up wort chillers, and figured I'd rather pay $52 for 50' of copper tubing on ebay than $80 for a 25' chiller on any number of homebrew sites.

Just got my tubing, I already have a fixture to hook it up to a hose. Now all I have to do is clean it up and bend it into shape I guess. Anybody have any opinions on the best methods / shapes? I was thinking a coiled spring like thing, but then I thought having some sort of figure 8 setup might be better since sections of the tubing would be crossing the wort.

Whatchoo guys think?

PS: Pics coming soon

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Old 08-14-2008, 04:21 AM   #2
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I'd just go with the spiral and leave it wide enough to be able to stir in the center. Wort cooling goes alot quicker if you stir gently while cooling.

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Old 08-14-2008, 04:50 AM   #3
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you know, you can get pretty cheap copper tubing already coiled at home depot. They use it for refrigeration units. That's what I did. Also, like McKBrew said, stirring is much more effective than any configuration of tubing you can probably think of. So you're probably better off giving yourself some room for that. You might want to use both the wort chiller and an ice bath, sort of like trying to cool it from both sides so you might want to coil it to half the diameter of the pot. Haven't tried it myself, but it seems like a pretty sound idea. Granted, I'm pretty new to the brewing scene, but not so much to the heating/cooling of liquids being a chemist.

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Old 08-14-2008, 06:27 AM   #4
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HD etc sells some decent 3/8 or 1/2 50' tubing for the price. I would use a keg, or a 2 liter soda bottle to rap it around and shape it. You may also want to get a some smaller copper tubing to loop between the coils to hold the shape if you want. Really not needed.
Also depending on your brewing style, I would use it all. When I made mine I was doing extract and 25' was OK, now doing AG I really wish I used it all instead of cutting it.

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Old 08-14-2008, 06:30 AM   #5
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why not build a CFC?
JJ

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Old 08-14-2008, 06:45 AM   #6
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Jaybird - Long time no hear, hope everything is well with you.
I am not quite as good as you are in DIY projects, I had a heck of a time just putting together an MLT from 15 Gal Ice cube. If its digital I can deal with it, if its plumbing, I get a lot of leaks.
For myself a CFC is great if I had a complex system, right now I'm forced to brew in a kitchen with a low BTU electric stove so a IC using a pond pump with ice works for me, until I can get a house that I can use open flames outside but the cost of that is a little bit to high right now.

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Old 08-14-2008, 07:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kauai_Kahuna View Post
Jaybird - Long time no hear, hope everything is well with you.
I am not quite as good as you are in DIY projects, I had a heck of a time just putting together an MLT from 15 Gal Ice cube. If its digital I can deal with it, if its plumbing, I get a lot of leaks.
For myself a CFC is great if I had a complex system, right now I'm forced to brew in a kitchen with a low BTU electric stove so a IC using a pond pump with ice works for me, until I can get a house that I can use open flames outside but the cost of that is a little bit to high right now.
Hay Thanks for the shout out Bro everything is ok we have had our bouts with LIFE problems But we are tough and we ALWAYS prevail (if thats a word). ya know we all brew w/ different stuff and all make good $#!T every once and a while. I wish I had the pond pump and the ice bath today, Couldn't get the wort below 78 so I pitched anyway and stuck it in the fermenter.
Thats what I love about this hobby you can just say FK it and do what you want and just JOT it down, ya just never know maybe thats the one thing it needed.
Cheers
JJ
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:32 AM   #8
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As was already mentioned, keep it circular. It's much easier to just wrap the already coiled copper into a coil spring shape and it allows for stirring the wort while cooling. The figure 8 idea would work but you stand a greater chance of kinking your tubing when trying to bend it. Keep it simple. Besides, if you don't bend the tubing too much, you can convert it to a CFC later like I did.

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Old 08-14-2008, 11:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kauai_Kahuna View Post
HD etc sells some decent 3/8 or 1/2 50' tubing for the price. I would use a keg, or a 2 liter soda bottle to rap it around and shape it. You may also want to get a some smaller copper tubing to loop between the coils to hold the shape if you want. Really not needed.
Also depending on your brewing style, I would use it all. When I made mine I was doing extract and 25' was OK, now doing AG I really wish I used it all instead of cutting it.
Already got 50' of 3/8" tubing for $52 (after S&H) on ebay, I saw Lowes had it for like $70 or something, ebay was the cheapest). I also figured 50' would be better, especially considering it's cheaper and bigger / better than a 25' one I could buy from Midwest or my LHBS

Thanks for the idea of wrapping it around a keg, I was just going to try to bend it into a circle myself (noob).

How tightly should the coil be made? For instance, should there be a little bit of space between layers of the coil, or should it have no space? Thanks for your advice again guys, especially the stirring part, I didn't think of that either.
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Last edited by foonder; 08-14-2008 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foonder View Post
. . . Whatchoo guys think?
I agree with the others, a coil so that you can stir. Made my new one from 50' of 3/8" from HD. Wrapped it around one of my smaller pots and held it together by criss-crossing the copper ground wire from some 14-2 Romex.
new-ic.jpg  
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