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Old 10-08-2008, 05:30 PM   #1
Whisler85
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Default Wort Chiller Enough?

I made myself an immersion wort chiller with 25' of 1/2" copper tubing. Now, i am wondering to myself if i should have made it much larger- Palmer's 'How to Brew' recommends a chiller using at least 30' of tubing.

What I considered was getting a 50' coil of tubing and pirating the current chiller for making a manifold for my MLT, among other projects.

Thoughts?



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Old 10-08-2008, 05:34 PM   #2
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It really depends on the temp of you water. The first time I hooked my 25 footer up to a sink and it still took a fair amount of time to get down below 80. (It rockets down to 100, but those last 25 degrees are killer). Then last night I hooked it up to a hose run from a mountain well and it took it from boiling to 65 in 10 minutes.

I would say get a 25 footer. An extra 5 feet won't do much, and 50 feet is alot more expensive. Later on if you upgrade to 50 feet, you can always use the 25 footer to dump in a pre wort ice bath.



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Old 10-08-2008, 05:52 PM   #3
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Are you looking to do 5 or 10 gallon batches?

25' of 3/8" tubing is very common for 5 gallon batches and works fine. 50 feet of 1/2" seems to be pretty suitable for 10 gallon batches. I don't think I've seen many people mix the two and do a 25' chiller with 1/2" tubing... No reason it won't work, but you'll probably need to throttle it significantly if you care about water usage, as it'll have 33% more surface area than an identical chiller with 3/8" tubing but more than twice the internal cross-sectional area, giving much higher water flow rate.

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Old 10-08-2008, 05:59 PM   #4
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Has anyone ever tried prechilling the water going in? Maybe coiling a garden hose in a cooler of ice before it enters the immersion chiller...

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Old 10-08-2008, 06:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wfd146 View Post
Has anyone ever tried prechilling the water going in? Maybe coiling a garden hose in a cooler of ice before it enters the immersion chiller...
That will work to some extent, but garden hoses aren't made of the most heat conductive material.
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Old 10-08-2008, 06:24 PM   #6
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I use a pond pump submerged in ice water to get down the last 30 or so degrees, they work great and require no modification. They can be used with any size IC.

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Old 10-11-2008, 06:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wfd146 View Post
Has anyone ever tried prechilling the water going in? Maybe coiling a garden hose in a cooler of ice before it enters the immersion chiller...
You bet. When the tap water gets above 70 degrees an immersion cooler struggles. I took a friends immersion cooler (25' of 3/8) and put it in a 5 gal plastic pail. I connected the water inlet from the sink to this cooler and ran a hose from it's output to my normal chiller.

I use I just run tap water through the two chillers until I'm below a 100 degrees then I add ice and water to the 5 gal pail. The ice water chills the incoming water to the wort chiller and the next 30 degrees goes quickly. Takes about two bags of ice to do the deed.


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