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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > wort chiller
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:44 AM   #1
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Default wort chiller

So I'm going to buy a wort chiller and I was looking around and I've found that there are stainless steel and copper.

From my experience copper is a better conductor than stainless steel. Are there just stainless steel chillers because some people like stainless steel and not some inherent disadvantage with the copper chillers? Any thoughts?

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Old 02-22-2012, 03:20 AM   #2
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Make your own. I did mine in well under an hour.

50 ft copper coil from home depot, something round, and a rubber mallet.

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Old 02-22-2012, 03:22 AM   #3
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Stainless will hold up better to caustic/acids. I think the stainless chillers show up when copper prices are high.

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Old 02-22-2012, 03:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhamilton View Post
Make your own. I did mine in well under an hour.

50 ft copper coil from home depot, something round, and a rubber mallet.
Yeah I was thinking about that but I don't have the tools for bending pipes. Do you think if I went to HomdDepot they would do bend the pipe for me or allow me to use the tools on the shelf to do it? I also would have to invest in a soldering iron

EDIT: Well I do have a rubber mallet. I'm going to think about this some more
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:37 AM   #5
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You use the soft copper tubing which needs nothing more than what he listed to bend into a coil, its soft enough to bend with your hands. No soldering is needed either, just some high temp vinyl tubing, garden hose adapter and some hose clamps.

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Old 02-22-2012, 01:52 PM   #6
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I bought this chiller instead of a copper one (link below, but it was $10 cheaper a few months ago).

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/homeb...-fittings.html

Making a similar copper one would have maybe saved me $20, but if I screwed up bending it, the project would have cost more than buying a pre-made one. It's one of the few projects the DIY wasn't a sure bet on saving money.

I don't see that the lower thermal conductivity will be the limiting factor in how fast the wort cools. Any motion in the wort (or moving the chiller around) and surface area of the chiller will impact cooling significantly more than the metal thermal conductivity.

Stainless may be easier to take care of.

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Old 02-23-2012, 03:02 PM   #7
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Without like re-configuring my water set-up is there any way to have a wort chiller work with a faucet that is a pullout spray one? I'm guessing not from everything I've seen.

And I don't want to mess around too much with it. I'm not a plumber and teeter to the less handy side at this point. My wife would kill me if I messed up the kitchen sink.

Maybe getting an adapter and using the bathroom sink is my best option. I'm sick of cooling in cold water in the kitchen sink.

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Old 02-23-2012, 05:44 PM   #8
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Nate:
I had a copper IC previously, but Swmbo wanted one of those fancy pull down spray faucets. My IC won't couple to it, so I use a pond pump in a spare bucket and run the IC that way. I usually run 10 gallons or so through the chiller and then switch to recirculating with ice on the bucket. Just keep the bucket topped off with cold tap water.

Ghetto, but it works.

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Old 02-23-2012, 05:53 PM   #9
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Get the 3/8" soft copper tubing. You can bend it, if you are careful, with no tools. Just go slow and stop in that immediate area if it starts to kink. I made one bend that would go around a baseball in it's arc.

I made 2 coils, on will fit inside the other is I want 40ft. I usuallly put the small one in a bucket of ice water.

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Old 02-23-2012, 06:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thepartsmancometh View Post
Nate:
I had a copper IC previously, but Swmbo wanted one of those fancy pull down spray faucets. My IC won't couple to it, so I use a pond pump in a spare bucket and run the IC that way. I usually run 10 gallons or so through the chiller and then switch to recirculating with ice on the bucket. Just keep the bucket topped off with cold tap water.

Ghetto, but it works.

Attachment 49337
Thanks for the idea! So I want to see if I get this right. You have a bucket full of cold water, pond pump, copper IC, and another bucket. So in the cold water bucket you submerse the pond pump which gets the water going through the chiller, and the water end up in other bucket. Once the original cold water bucket is up, reverse the process....?
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