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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Slippery slope of equipment necessity
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Old 09-21-2006, 04:34 PM   #1
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Default Slippery slope of equipment necessity

Tried the Mr. Beer-like kit for the wife's sake (sweet thing bought it after I mentioned I'd like to try home brewing). Realized the crap taste was due to old/inferior ingredients, tools and process.

Bought the proper fermenting equipment, buckets, better bottle, and quality extract kit and brewed my first batch using 16 qt pot I had.

I went out yesterday and bought a 30qt stainless pot to do 5 gal boil next batch and then realized that I can't use the 2 gallons of ice/cold water addition to cool the wort anymore.

Enter the immersion chiller. It's a good thing I like gadgets and DIY . I found that the most cost effective copper tubing is actually 1/4 OD at only $.60 a foot. I bought two 20 foot lengths and got to building. I made an outer coil at 10" diameter and an inner coil of 5" in diameter. The cold water will actually split before hitting each coil. I think the advantage to running two coils of smaller diameter tubing is that it subjects more surface area to more wort, spread out in the overall column of the pot. That is, I shouldn't have to stir the pot to expose isolated hot spots to the coil. Pics and cooling results to follow.


I don't even want to think about all grain brewing yet because it looks like a whole new level of equipment obsession. Ok, maybe I'll hold off for two more batches. I'm just glad I have an understanding wife.

Bobby

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Old 09-21-2006, 04:41 PM   #2
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I have no idea what you are talking about...

If anyone complains about a couple dollars spent on a chiller just show them what my wife has had to tolerate!

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Old 09-21-2006, 04:44 PM   #3
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It's great, isn't it?

I've build an immersion chiller kinda like what you've described, I get to take it out for a spin this weekend. I lucked into two 25' lengths of 1/4 tubing at Home Depot that they sold me at the price of 10' lengths (since they couldn't figure out how much it was SUPPOSED to cost). So, I've got two coils, about a foot or so in diameter (coiled it around a paint can) that overlap in kind of a figure-8. Took a little while to get the split right, but I'm running a single hose it, which will split into each coil. Damn compression fittings I bought for the outlet side were the wrong size (I swear they must be metric), so I can't yet re-combine the flows, I'll just have two outflows of hot water instead of one.

But yeah, it's a matter of - just gotta buy one more thing and I'll be all set... big stockpot... now I need a cooler to make into a mash tun... now I need a turkey fryer to do a full boil... now I need the chiller... next will be kegging, which of course will require a second fridge... I don't think there's an end!

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Old 09-21-2006, 04:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
I don't think there's an end!
Nope - I don't think so either. ...and if there was, I think I'd quickly get bored. One of the greatest things about this hobby is collecting all the stuff - even better when you make things. And no matter how far you take it, there is ALWAYS a next level - lol
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Old 09-21-2006, 04:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewpastor
I have no idea what you are talking about...

If anyone complains about a couple dollars spent on a chiller just show them what my wife has had to tolerate!

That's quite a set-up. Yep any good hobby is just a more rewarding way of parting with your hard earned cash. I never get too excited about buying a month's worth of cell phone service but a new carboy cleaning brush - look out!
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Old 09-21-2006, 05:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
It's great, isn't it?

Damn compression fittings I bought for the outlet side were the wrong size (I swear they must be metric), so I can't yet re-combine the flows, I'll just have two outflows of hot water instead of one.
!
I first tried crushing one end of a 3/8" coupling to accept the two 1/4 tubes then soldering it in. That is, a 1/2 ID rubber hose would clamp on nicely. However, the solder just doesn't like filling even small gaps. The new solution is to solder the two tubes next to each other, push the hose on and fill the gaps with some JB weld. Once it sets up, throw a clamp on it and you're good to go. I too was struggling at depot with all the compression fittings and Tees but decided it was more trouble than necessary. It's not like we're running any pressure.

Bobby
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Old 09-21-2006, 05:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewpastor
I have no idea what you are talking about...

If anyone complains about a couple dollars spent on a chiller just show them what my wife has had to tolerate!

I have to ask though, is this your one big money draining hobby? I seem to always get into activities that require more money than the average part time commitment. Snow skiing, woodworking, SCUBA diving, etc. My wife once said, why don't you take up walking or jogging or something free like that? I thought, hmm, Pedometer with heart rate monitor and some new sneakers? Nah, I can't run and drink beer at the same time.

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Old 09-21-2006, 05:15 PM   #8
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When faced with the slippery slope, BrewPastor got on his Arctic Cat, lowered his goggles and proceeded into the icy breach!

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Old 09-21-2006, 05:15 PM   #9
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I've only been at this for a month and already my apartment is filling up with beer related equipment...I think the wife's gonna cut me off soon.

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Old 09-21-2006, 05:17 PM   #10
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I do woodworking, play golf, and have a 1977 MG Midget that seems to eat parts and gizmos, so ironically brewing is the cheapest for me so far.

I will say this though....I have not been doing much woodworking, other than house requirements, since I have been brewing. And, now that I am building up AG equipment, my spend rate has increased a bit, but that will be balanced out be cheaper ingredients, at least that is what I keep telling SWMBO

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