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-   -   Re-Bending a Copper Wort Chiller (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/re-bending-copper-wort-chiller-25455/)

weetodd 03-23-2007 05:32 PM

Re-Bending a Copper Wort Chiller
I was able to obtain a standard immersion chiller from a dude that was getting rid of his old stuff for a very decent price. Seeing the price of copper these days I jumped on it because it was a pretty good deal. It is about 25' of the 3/8 copper tubing just like you'd find anywhere

The chiller is made to fit his old kettle which was a wide/low 8 gallon canning kettle. I'd like to rework the design a bit to make sure that it fits my rig which is a little smaller in diameter and taller. I'm not trying to make this thing look perfect by any stretch, it is just that it doesn't fit in my current brewpot.

Anyone have any good advice for bending this tube without fatally crimping or otherwise damaging the tubing? Also, I don't have access to a corny keg which seems to be the preferred form for shaping the tubing.

Thanks for your guidance and lessons learned.

david_42 03-23-2007 05:39 PM

If you have something cylindrical that is about the size or a bit smaller, place it inside the chiller coil. Then hold one end of the coil steady and drag the other end around as if you were tightening a spring. An extra hand or two would make this easier.

BarryNL 03-23-2007 08:25 PM

I think filling it with water and sealing the ends should help stop any crimping - not sure how you'd accomplish this though.

Brewsmith 03-23-2007 08:30 PM

1 Attachment(s)
A spring bender works great for bending copper tubing without kinking it.
Attachment 1289

Alamo_Beer 03-23-2007 08:33 PM

either get a spring bender or fill it with salt....the salt will let it bend without crimping

good luck!

Craig5_12 03-23-2007 08:52 PM

I did this with a 50' chunk I turned into my CFC. (BTW pulling 50' of garden hose over semi-straight tubing isn't easy) But the easiest way is to find something that fits inside the coils as is. Then as it's coiled around it start unrolling it and stepping on the coils as it comes off. (Your weight shouldn't be enough to crush the tube) In this manner, it only tightens up on whatever you have it coiled around and won't kink. Very easy.
To coil it back up just wrap it around whatever you think will fit inside your kettle. Although why not just bump up to a CFC? You're only about $15 away....unless you need the torch and solder and then you're about $35.
I've found that the spring bender is very helpfull for small tight bends....using it on 25 feet would be a major chore.

johnsma22 03-23-2007 08:55 PM

Copper get work hardened the more it is worked and bent. You can anneal it by heating up the entire length with a torch until it glows cherry red, working yourself around a little bit at a time. This will make the copper very malleable again and allow you to bend it around something cylindrical without kinking. The more you bend it the stiffer it becomes. Hey, I don't like the sound of that!

SAS98M 03-23-2007 09:04 PM

"He said stiff":rockin:

weetodd 03-23-2007 09:40 PM

Thanks all for the responses. I don't have to do much to it as it is at least in a circle, they are just too large and not spread out very much.

One follow up, do you think a standard pail will work or do i need something hard to bend against (which is why everyone suggests a corny keg). I think I probably answered my own question but just not trying to screw it up.

Also, being kind of new to this, on a counterflow, would I need a pump or could I work one off of a racking cane siphon? My current kettle setup doesn't have a valve.


Brewsmith 03-23-2007 09:49 PM

Use a big coffee can

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