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Old 03-08-2012, 03:33 AM   #1
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Default Size and length of immersion chiller and HERMS coil

Is there a major benefit to going 1/2" stainless tubing for a chiller and HERMS coil over 3/8"? Everything else is 1/2" all the way through so 3/8" would be a bottleneck. Probably going to do 100' for the chiller, but not sure how much I'll want for the HERMS. I'm thinking it's doubtful I'll need to be pumping so fast that it will matter.

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Old 03-08-2012, 03:46 AM   #2
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I'm using copper, but my herms coil is 50 ft.

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Old 03-08-2012, 03:49 AM   #3
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I don't know about the HERMS coil because I don't have a HERMS, but for the chiller, the higher your flow, the faster it will chill, so 1/2 is better than 3/8. Even if you only go with 3/8, 50 feet will be long enough - in fact, you would probably be better with two 25 foot sections in parallel than with a single 50 foot section - you will have less resistance and thus a higher flow rate. If you have a 100 foot, 3/8 chiller, the resistance in the line will really cut down your flow - if you have to have 100 feet, make it two 50 foot sections in parallel.

Just as important as flow rate for quick chilling is to keep the wort moving past the coils - either by manual or mechanical stirring, or by using a pump to recirculate wort and inject it at the top of the kettle to keep a whirlpool going.

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Old 03-08-2012, 03:58 AM   #4
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I have a 50' 3/8" right now for 5 gal batches and I can crank the hose way higher than ever necessary. I'm probably going to do something like this. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/diy-...hiller-106415/ All credit to RedIrocZ-28.
The plan is to knock it down to 100° with the hose and then recirc ice water with my sump pump. I'll test the flow through the 50' chiller with the pump.

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Old 03-08-2012, 04:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeafSmith View Post
I don't know about the HERMS coil because I don't have a HERMS, but for the chiller, the higher your flow, the faster it will chill, so 1/2 is better than 3/8. Even if you only go with 3/8, 50 feet will be long enough - in fact, you would probably be better with two 25 foot sections in parallel than with a single 50 foot section - you will have less resistance and thus a higher flow rate. If you have a 100 foot, 3/8 chiller, the resistance in the line will really cut down your flow - if you have to have 100 feet, make it two 50 foot sections in parallel.

Just as important as flow rate for quick chilling is to keep the wort moving past the coils - either by manual or mechanical stirring, or by using a pump to recirculate wort and inject it at the top of the kettle to keep a whirlpool going.
Good point. I have a 70' combination HERMS/Immersion coil that ran too slow. I split it in to two-parallel coils and it rocks. I think that a 1/2" would be nice. Be careful to not have it too long. When the coil is really long, they often have all of the coils stacked upon each other and create a kind of "cylinder which no wort to water can pass through. having the liquid pass freely past the coils adds to the effectiveness.
Below is a photo of my HERMS/Immersion coil with a stirring paddle.
dscn0449.jpg  
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:05 AM   #6
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Go with 1/2" and bypass possible disappointment. I went with a 3/8" HERMS coil and the flow reduction is a deal killer. I'm now shopping for 1/2".

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Old 03-08-2012, 04:11 AM   #7
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lol I've got the opportunity to build my dream brewery here and disappointment is to be avoided for reasonable cost. I'll definitely price 1/2" out.

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Old 03-08-2012, 04:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpcluever View Post
I have a 50' 3/8" right now for 5 gal batches and I can crank the hose way higher than ever necessary. I'm probably going to do something like this. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/diy-...hiller-106415/ All credit to RedIrocZ-28.
The plan is to knock it down to 100° with the hose and then recirc ice water with my sump pump. I'll test the flow through the 50' chiller with the pump.
Recirculating ice water is where you will run into flow restriction problems. Water from the tap is under enough pressure to get very good flow through 50 feet of 3/8 tubing, which is what I have (copper), but most pond or sump pumps don't develop anywhere near that much pressure. I recirculate ice water (after cooling to 90-100º) with a 1/6 hp pump rated for 1350 gallons per hour and 23 foot lift. When pumping through my 50 foot, 3/8 inch chiller and two 6 foot lengths of washing machine hose, I actually get about 65-70 gallons per hour (just over 1 gallon per minute). Even with this slow flow rate, it works well, but if I had it to do over, I would have used two parallel 25 foot sections instead of the single 50 footer.
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:27 PM   #9
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I think my pump is 1/4 hp. I'll start considering 2 coils and 1/2" is sounding better all the time. I thought there would be a bigger price difference, but looks like ~$20 difference on 100'

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Old 03-08-2012, 06:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I think my pump is 1/4 hp. I'll start considering 2 coils and 1/2" is sounding better all the time. I thought there would be a bigger price difference, but looks like ~$20 difference on 100'
You will probably have a difficult time making 100' of 1/2" tubing fit without splitting it into two coils.
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