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Old 03-30-2012, 05:47 AM   #1
Pabst51
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Default My take on a wort cooler

I'm pretty much a noob to all this... I feel like I have gained a lot of knowledge from reading here though... One of my worst 1st batch mistakes was that in the instructions for my first kit, it just said... wait for the wort to cool to about 80* and throw your yeast.... Little did I know it would take 3+ hours for it to get there... I'm afraid I didn't make my cold break point very fast...

So after reading here and looking at some of the coolers you guys have come up with I got my little brain in gear.... I used to cool my overclocked computer with water back when the best chips we had were like 1.4 mb and they ran hot as heck even without overclocking them.... I still had the parts from my CPU watercooling days and I figured I would re-purpose what I could.

I went out today and bought a 20' length of copper tube, 3/8 OD to fit my existing hose (Getting new hose though... it is pretty nasty). I had the Mighty Max pump and a aluminum transmission cooler (radiator) in my box of parts.....

I coiled the copper around a tupperware container that fit nicely in my brew pot. Hooked up the hoses and put the trans. Radiator in one side of the sink and filled it with tap water. I put 3 gal. of water in my pot and took it up to a boil. Set the pot in one side of the sink, radiator and pump in the other and started the timer. I got from 250* F down to 80* F in 16 minutes with just cold tap water...

The plan is to dump a bag of ice in the cooling side with the pump and radiator when I actually am cooling down a boil.

I thought I would brag a little and show off the pics.... I only wish I hadn't gotten so aggressive with the copper tube... it has a few over-bends but it flows fine... Filled a 1 gal. container in about 1min 20 secs once it was all hooked up. The pump by it's self pumped a gal. in 30 sec





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Old 03-30-2012, 05:53 AM   #2
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It shot down from a boil to 150* in no time at all with just the tap water... the last 70* took a while to achieve. I think when I actually use it I am going to run the tap water for about 7 mins, change the water and dump the ice in for the final time. The water recirculates in the sink between the open end of the radiator and the pump intake.

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Last edited by Pabst51; 03-30-2012 at 05:56 AM. Reason: fumble fingers...
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:02 AM   #3
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I do have one question about this.... I have the cold water running into the bottom of the coil.... do you think it would cool faster, slower, or about the same if I ran it into the top of the coil?

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Old 03-30-2012, 06:14 AM   #4
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Fill the sink with ice and water. Set the brew pot in the ice water. Run your cooler. You don't need the radiator.

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Old 03-30-2012, 07:19 AM   #5
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Is the idea of recirculating with a pump to conserve water? And you want the cold water coming in at the top.

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Old 03-30-2012, 07:37 AM   #6
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I think you need to use the radiator as a prechiller. Hook the faucet up to the radiator with it sitting in ice water chilling the water before going into the pot/IC. Do you guys think that will work?

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Old 03-30-2012, 07:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truebe View Post
Is the idea of recirculating with a pump to conserve water? And you want the cold water coming in at the top.
The idea of recirculating the water is because I had intended to use ice in the sink where the pump and the cooler is. I have to admit that if I had a constant supply of fresh water in the ice as opposed to re-cooling / recirculating the heated water that it would probably work more efficiently. I am still in the testing phase.... Guess I was going back to the CPU cooling days where it ran for hours as opposed to minutes....

What is your reasoning for saying to run the cold water in through the top as opposed to the bottom? Not being obstinate here, just wondering what the physics behind it is. Thermodynamics?
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pabst51 View Post
The idea of recirculating the water is because I had intended to use ice in the sink where the pump and the cooler is. I have to admit that if I had a constant supply of fresh water in the ice as opposed to re-cooling / recirculating the heated water that it would probably work more efficiently. I am still in the testing phase.... Guess I was going back to the CPU cooling days where it ran for hours as opposed to minutes....

What is your reasoning for saying to run the cold water in through the top as opposed to the bottom? Not being obstinate here, just wondering what the physics behind it is. Thermodynamics?
if youre not worried about your water bill then i would do like ashplub says and connect your faucet to your radiator sitting in the sink. then to the top of your chiller. then have the chiller empty out in the other sink.

fluid that has temperature differences tends to stratify with hot on top and cold on bottom. so if you have the cold water coming in from the top then the coldest water will always be in contact with the hottest wort and will give the quickest heat transfer.
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashplub View Post
I think you need to use the radiator as a prechiller. Hook the faucet up to the radiator with it sitting in ice water chilling the water before going into the pot/IC. Do you guys think that will work?
The pump is in there so I don't have to replumb the sink every time I want to chill a batch.... I do think I'd get more out of it if I ran the water through the submerged radiator, after the pump, before the coil... Then just dump the water that has passed....

This is why I posted, to get the best system I could from what I have... Thanks for kicking my brain into gear guys.....
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:16 AM   #10
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and you can wait to add your ice so its no wasted on cooling near boiling water.

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