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Old 01-16-2014, 02:05 PM   #11
ChocolateMaltyBalls
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Originally Posted by Ramdough View Post
All, I plan to buy from Zach, so that is not what I am really worried about.

What I was concerned about is that Kal uses 1/2x50 on his 20 gallon kettles. I am using 15 gallon keggles. I was wondering about if I should use a different tube length and tube diameter, or stick to what Kal uses. My coil diameter will be smaller as well, but I think Zach has me covered.

Thanks for the feedback all.

I use 1/2" x 25' and it works fine for maintaining temps for 5gal and I've seen builds where folks use the same for 10 with no problem. Now step mashes may be a different beast.

I like the 1/2" because it's less restricted which makes cleaning easier and keeps bits of grain from clogging it.


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Old 01-16-2014, 02:18 PM   #12
BadWolfBrewing
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I have 3/8 coil, from stout tanks. It is too restrictive, and I'm not able to get the flow I want. I may upgrade to 1/2 inch soon.

As for convoluted coil, I'm not sold on the idea. Looks pretty though



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Old 01-16-2014, 04:37 PM   #13
augiedoggy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChocolateMaltyBalls View Post
I use 1/2" x 25' and it works fine for maintaining temps for 5gal and I've seen builds where folks use the same for 10 with no problem. Now step mashes may be a different beast.

I like the 1/2" because it's less restricted which makes cleaning easier and keeps bits of grain from clogging it.
Think about something... how much more beer is in the coil being heated for a 5 gallon batch versus 10 ( or 20) gallons? Unless your mash run is very poorly insulated it doesn't matter... 3/8 is more efficient for heating the wort for the very same reason everyone goes with 1/2" over 3/8" for cooling.. the wort will equalize with the surrounding waters temp much faster with 2/8 so the only question is flow.. if you have a poorly insulated mash run you need a lot more flow to combat the temp loss.
You need a good screening/ filtering system in your mashtun for higher flow so if you get stuck sparges now a bigger coil or more flow will just make it worse.
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Old 01-16-2014, 05:21 PM   #14
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To help with the the suggestions:

My goal is to make 10 gallon batches. I did not plan to insulate the mash keggle.

Based on responses, I am leaning towards the 1/2 tube. Just have to select length. Shorter is cheaper.


Thanks.

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Old 01-16-2014, 05:40 PM   #15
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My neighbor built and exact clone of kal's design with the 50' ss coil, he is happy with it but has said it's a little slower to ramp temps than he expected, but has no problem maintaining temps. He runs 10 gallon batches too. Personally I'd go with at least 50' with ss, especially if you are using an un insulated keg as a mash tun. As for Insulation though, if you do decide to insulate in the future, the keg coosy is a nice option, its easy to remove and clean. I've noticed an improvement in mash temp stability with it.

From my experience, I had a 25' 3/8 copper coil in my first system that was based on a 40qt cooler and a separate heat exchange unit with the coil in it. It worked fine for 5 gallon batches, but when i moved up to 10 gallon batches in a keg mash tun it just did not cut it. I could maintain temps okay (about a 1-2ºF drop/hr), but i could no longer ramp to mash out temps. Based on that experience I moved up to the 25' convoluted coil. with it in my HLT, and the HLT set to 170 for the sparge, I can ramp from 150 to 165 in about 10-15min.

My advice is always, buy cheap buy twice. go with the 50' coil. \m/ \m/

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Old 01-16-2014, 06:16 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Bsquared View Post
My neighbor built and exact clone of kal's design with the 50' ss coil, he is happy with it but has said it's a little slower to ramp temps than he expected, but has no problem maintaining temps. He runs 10 gallon batches too. Personally I'd go with at least 50' with ss, especially if you are using an un insulated keg as a mash tun. As for Insulation though, if you do decide to insulate in the future, the keg coosy is a nice option, its easy to remove and clean. I've noticed an improvement in mash temp stability with it.

From my experience, I had a 25' 3/8 copper coil in my first system that was based on a 40qt cooler and a separate heat exchange unit with the coil in it. It worked fine for 5 gallon batches, but when i moved up to 10 gallon batches in a keg mash tun it just did not cut it. I could maintain temps okay (about a 1-2ºF drop/hr), but i could no longer ramp to mash out temps. Based on that experience I moved up to the 25' convoluted coil. with it in my HLT, and the HLT set to 170 for the sparge, I can ramp from 150 to 165 in about 10-15min.

My advice is always, buy cheap buy twice. go with the 50' coil. \m/ \m/
Well to recap and be clear IMHO 50ft may have an advantage with 1/2" coil (copper is a better heat exchanger than stainless so I'm not sure why you would want stainless) but when it comes to 3/8" coil anything beyond 25ft isnt going to give you any advantage because the flow is cut to where the temps will be equal between the hlt and the wort by the time it reaches the end of 25ft....
Convoluted agitates the wort so more of it comes in contact with the coil wall faster and that can help if you are going with 25ft and very high flow rates and 1/2" coil....
also a lot of the the copper coil like sold at home depot is made for or HVAC and mixed with other metals to make it easier to bend and is also thicker walled....
the 99% copper thin walled stuff will work MUCH better according to the Guy at Niagara Traditions homebrew supply and theyve been around for over 20 years and had no reason lie to me. (since they know I use a plate chiller)


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