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Old 02-11-2006, 08:09 PM   #1
cweston
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Default Just made an immersion wort chiller

It was very easy.

I bought a 50 foot coil of 3/8 inch OD copper tubing (about $32 at HD).

I cut it about 30/20. I used the short section to make a coil (wrapped around a paint can) to be a pre-chiller, and the long section to make the immersion chiller.

I forced a 1-inch section of 3/8 ID siphon tube onto each end, then cut up an old 1/2-inch ID garden hose for the connections. I put a standard hose clamp over each connection.

The whole thing works great, less than an hour's effort. I figure I'll put the pre-chiller in a bucket of ice water and put it bucket and all in the freezer while the wort boils.

I bent the input and outflow ends of the immersion chiller off to the side, so that if the hose-clamp connections drip, it wont drip into the wort.

I took a picture: maybe I'll ask my son to upload the pic so I can post it.

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Old 02-11-2006, 09:19 PM   #2
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Well done!

There's a certain sense of satisfaction in building your own homebrew equipment.

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Old 02-11-2006, 11:19 PM   #3
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Nice job. Post a pic of that bad boy, I'm sure not the only one that would like to see it!

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Old 02-12-2006, 10:23 PM   #4
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I've been seriously thinking about building an immersion wort chiller - almost bought a coil of copper at HD the other day so I could use it on my next brew.

Well I brewed my next brew last thurs and no wort chiller yet. I think I have been reading about a chiller cooling the wort down in 20-25 minutes. I cooled my wort in 25 minutes as follows:
My tap water is 44 degrees. I filled one side of kitchen sink and changed water 3 or 4 times. I then filled the sink with ice and cooled to 87 degrees. That poured into my 3 gallons in fermenter tempered the wort to 70 degrees.
If I can't improve on that I don't see a compelling reason to build a chiller. In the summer the tap water is around 55 degrees so it might help then.

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Old 02-12-2006, 11:11 PM   #5
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The immersion chillers really do work though. I had 5 gallons of wort the other day and cooled it from boiling to 74d. in about 11 minutes. I had tried ice and it did seem to take a long time. On the other hand, whats the difference between 11 and 25 minutes? Does it really make any?

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Old 02-13-2006, 01:26 AM   #6
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The difference between 25 and 11 minutes is about one generation for bacteria, so no big deal. I like the chiller because it's easy, no extra lifting or splashing around. Hook it up and go inside to hydrate the yeast, sanitize the fermenter, have a homebrew, etc.

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Old 02-13-2006, 01:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddalex
The immersion chillers really do work though. I had 5 gallons of wort the other day and cooled it from boiling to 74d. in about 11 minutes. I had tried ice and it did seem to take a long time. On the other hand, whats the difference between 11 and 25 minutes? Does it really make any?
I think the biggest difference is with bigger boils. It is indeed not that tough to chill 2-3 gallons with an ice bath down to 90 or so (then mix w/ cold water).

Chilling 4-5 gallons is tougher, though: especially since you can't mix it with a significant amount of tap water.

Plus, it was fun making the chiller. It's way hot half the year where I live (Kansas), so I think it will come in handy.
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Old 02-14-2006, 06:06 AM   #8
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Those of you who have made immersion wort chillers, what diameter do you wind your coils to in relation to the diameter of your brew pot? My pot is 11" in diameter.
I discovered something that my son who works at HD calls the HD IQ test. I've been looking at a 20' coil of 3/8" copper tubing for $20. today I discovered the 50' coil of same for $28. 30 more ft for $8. Will I go for the 50'? Does the sun come up in the east?

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Old 02-14-2006, 07:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2pugbrews
Those of you who have made immersion wort chillers, what diameter do you wind your coils to in relation to the diameter of your brew pot? My pot is 11" in diameter.
Small enough to fit in the pot . I made one that fit in a pot I had. Then I got a bigger pot by volume, but it was narrower, so I had to tighten the coils to make it fit. Took five minutes.
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Old 02-14-2006, 07:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2pugbrews
Those of you who have made immersion wort chillers, what diameter do you wind your coils to in relation to the diameter of your brew pot? My pot is 11" in diameter.
I discovered something that my son who works at HD calls the HD IQ test. I've been looking at a 20' coil of 3/8" copper tubing for $20. today I discovered the 50' coil of same for $28. 30 more ft for $8. Will I go for the 50'? Does the sun come up in the east?
I took one of my corny kegs and wrapped it around that. It was a wide enough diameter that I didn't need a tubing bender until I made the 90° (or more) bends.

Incidentally, my immersion chiller is now a pre-chiller if I need it. It sits in a cooler full of ice water which leads to my counterflow chiller.

If oyu get 50' of the copper tubing--you might consider making 2 immersion chillers so you can eventually use one as a prechiller. With 50' feet, the entire chiller will probably be overkill in your pot anyway. A good bunch will stick out above the wort and be useless.
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