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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Counterflow Wort chiller ---- DIY vs. Just buying
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Old 03-06-2009, 04:55 AM   #1
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Default Counterflow Wort chiller ---- DIY vs. Just buying

I am in the market for a counterflow wart chiller and have been looking at the pros and cons of going to the store and buying a Chillzilla or just making my version of a chiller.

My main question is about efficiency, I have been looking at the posts in the DIY section and everyone is using 25 foot runs of .5 copper tubing. But, the Chillizilla stands 10 inches from top coil to bottom coil, and 6 inches in diameter also made of .5 copper (internal.) I don't know how many feet 10 x 6 is but I am pretty sure that it way less then 25 feet

Whats the deal?!? Is convoluted copper tubing really the secret? Does one design need a pump? This is just mind boggling to me.

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Old 03-06-2009, 05:00 AM   #2
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If you want to settle that mind of yours, I have an extra CFC for sale. I would love to clean one more extra item out of my shed Besides, once you have one and you see it works, you will not have to think about it any more

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Old 03-06-2009, 07:28 AM   #3
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I agree. Try one, or find someone who has one, and check out how efficient it is. As a homebrewer, I am lucky enough to also work in a hosehouse, and can make a CFC for $60 in Alaska. My LHBS is gracious enough to let me trade that to them for $100 in supplies. However, mine uses 5/16 nominal (ID) copper, and 5/8 hose outside of it. My tap runs at about 55*, and a 22' CFC puts the wort out at about 59*. I'm hoping to figure out how short it can be to make it come out at 65* at the new BREW SCIENCE FORUM! If you can make it yourself for about the same price as buying one, you should DIY just so you can appreciate what work goes into it. Oh yeah, check out Bobby_M's thread in the DIY forum. It helped me build mine.

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Old 03-06-2009, 02:19 PM   #4
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For the price of one chillzilla, you could build almost 4 DIY-Chillazillas, though getting the larger diameter tubing straight enough may drive you crazy. Then bending it without insanity....yeah. Not appealing.

Anyways, there are 9 coils with ~10" diameter, so that's a ~18.84" length of copper. That's ~14' 1.5" of copper @ 1/2", so I'll let someone else figure out the surface area of a cylinder that big.

Typically, 3/8" is used for CFC's, since the 1/2" wouldn't fit in the garden hose.

A CFC is cheap + easy to make. From the internet, you can build two for chump change and make a brew friend by giving or selling one. But Deathweed's is also a good deal if you just want something.

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Old 03-06-2009, 04:14 PM   #5
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Well - there is also the fact that if you build it - you can repair and modify it as well because you probably have extra parts laying around. Besides, building equipment is a good way to keep busy between batches.

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Old 03-06-2009, 06:40 PM   #6
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The Chillus Convolutus is a fair bit cheaper than the Chillzilla. The construction is nearly identical with the exception that the inlet and outlet point in the same direction on the Chillus. Keep that in mind if you decide to buy one.

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Old 03-06-2009, 08:57 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the advice. I think that I will make my own because I do like to have the options of customizing it.

So, 3/8 and not 1/2 inch ?

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Old 03-06-2009, 09:00 PM   #8
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yep 3/8, it's gotta be able to slide through your hose. You will be totally happy with it, CFC Rock

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Old 03-08-2009, 06:03 AM   #9
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built a CFC today. But, I forgot to get the gear to hook it up to my blichmann so I couldn't test it tonight. Back to the hardware store in the morning. I'll let you know how it all goes.

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Old 03-08-2009, 06:50 AM   #10
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3/8'' seems rather small...even though its counter flow... I just got 1/2'' for mine, and I thought it still didn't really have much surface area....but I'm making a standard Imersion chiller...


is a counter flow really that much more efficient ?? how much faster does it work ?

like do you rack your wert straight though the counter flow into your primary, and by the time it gets there its ready to pitch yeast ??? How long does this take ??

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