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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Chillers and Stir Plates > DIY Interwoven "Rib-Cage" Immersion Chiller
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:11 PM   #151
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I would go with the 50'.

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Old 06-26-2011, 09:18 PM   #152
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really interested as to how this design works, chill time/input temp/heighth of top coil. Seems like the exact thing I was thinking of.

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First post, been lurking for a while...

Made mine today and yesterday. Used 50' of 1/2" refrigeration tubing, split into two coils and about 5' of additional 1/2" for the spouts. This thing dwarfs my brew kettle right now, since I'm only doing partial and extracts, but I'm hoping to get into a larger kettle and AG in the near future

Finding the tees and elbows was a bear, I finally found a HVAC wholesaler that would sell me the parts without a contractor's license. Formed everything by hand, which was a bear, and I haven't done any plumbing-type soldering in about 25 years. Water tested it just now, and am going to test with a kettle of boiling water. I also have to figure out some way to keep it standing upright on its own. Any suggestions appreciated.

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Old 06-27-2011, 01:23 PM   #153
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I would go with the 50'.
Thanks for the reply. Got the 50' going to start the project sometime this week. Will post pics and details as I go. This is so much cheaper than buying IC from the LHBS...

Thanks All!!
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:36 AM   #154
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Thanks for the reply. Got the 50' going to start the project sometime this week. Will post pics and details as I go. This is so much cheaper than buying IC from the LHBS...

Thanks All!!
Went with the 50" and this was super simple to do. Thanks to all that posted instructions and or videos to assist us all. Here is the finished product.

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Old 06-30-2011, 02:02 AM   #155
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really interested as to how this design works, chill time/input temp/heighth of top coil. Seems like the exact thing I was thinking of.
Well, I've used it several times now, and it's MUCH faster than an ice bath. My problem now is that my local cold water temp is starting to approach the low 80s (Las Vegas summers, don't ya know). I'm seriously considering using this as a pre-chiller in a cooler filled with ice water, and making a smaller one for my brew kettle, as this one is a little large for my 32q kettle.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:09 AM   #156
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Guys, I have gotten some pretty good results with this new chiller design I made last week. I have done 2 brews with it thus far and the results are better than expected.

I used 22' of 3/8" Refrigeration tubing. I don't have pictures to show how I made it, so I will be as descript as possible.

I began by marking the center of the length of tubing. I then wrapped the tubing using a paint can to make the coils. I started at each end of the tubing and wrapped toward the marked center point. When I was done I had 2 opposing coils and 12" of straight tubing at the beginning end of each of the coils. Next I spread the coils apart a little and then meshed them together much in the same way you would do with your fingers like you are taught to pray when you are a little kid. After that I bent the straight ends so they went vertical and then bent the downturns so they would reach up, out of, and over the side of the pot.

Here is the finished product.





This will stand up high enough to reach out of a 7.5gal turkey fryer.



The results are kind of hard to believe but this was done with a timer last night so I have to just accept that I have created a fantastic chiller for next to nothing.

I chilled 5gal of wort from a boil to under 70* (67* to be exact) in just shy of13 minutes. I did immerse the pot in my sink, using the "spent" water to circulate a cold water bath around the pot. I also raised and lowered the cooler in the wort every few minutes to make sure that everything was stirred up nicely.
Patent the design man!
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:57 PM   #157
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Default Some more thoughts

Well, I've used my rib-cage chiller a few times now, and it works fine. My few complaints are that it takes up a lot of space in my kettle, can get in the way of late additions (I was making a chocolate milk stout, and a lot of the cocoa powder ended up on the chiller instead of the wort), and it's very difficult to stir the wort for whirlpooling.

So I went out and got another 50' of 1/2" tubing and built a new chiller that uses the dual spiral, but with a larger center to facilitate additions and stirring/whirlpooling:




I also modified the old rib-cage design, and will now use it as a pre-chiller in a cooler of ice, since Las Vegas summer tap water temperatures average 85 degrees:




I'll let you know how it works.

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Old 07-18-2011, 07:36 PM   #158
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I made this from 20' copper coil yesterday...

I have to warn anyone trying this that bending straightened copper tube is difficult to impossible! My hands are a bit raw (yes, gloves would have helped) and I kinked the tube in a few places (caught myself, so water still flows without leaks). I DID use a tube bender... it helped, but not a lot (and it's hard to get it around kinks... luckily I was able to get it off the tube.

Soldering was MUCH easier... I went for added expense with soldered and screwed fittings (there is a 3/8" MIP soldered copper connection that the Watts parts fit on).

The intake has a cheap 6' hose with quick disconnects that I'll leave in place. I'm not sure what to do for the out hose... the cheapo hoses can't take much for heat and I don't want to spend more on this one! I guess I can just line it up to feed onto the pavement.

Next time I would get two 10' (or two 20' for a 40' chiller) and solder a join between them at the bottom. That sounds like a good project for when my wallet feels better and I'm in need of a pre-chiller.

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Old 11-01-2011, 02:36 AM   #159
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Huge props to this thread. Made my 50' rib cage this afternoon using a couple of paints cans and some patience. Probably took about 30 minutes to do all the bending. Didn't quite hit my midway point perfect, but it is by far close enough. Can't wait to give it a try!

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Old 01-24-2012, 06:25 PM   #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malweth View Post
I made this from 20' copper coil yesterday...

I have to warn anyone trying this that bending straightened copper tube is difficult to impossible! My hands are a bit raw (yes, gloves would have helped) and I kinked the tube in a few places (caught myself, so water still flows without leaks). I DID use a tube bender... it helped, but not a lot (and it's hard to get it around kinks... luckily I was able to get it off the tube.
Hmmm...are you sure you bought soft copper refrigeration tubing? There are several different types of copper tubing and perhaps you bought the wrong kind? I picked up a 50' coil of 3/8" OD refrigeration tubing (Cambridge-Lee Industries, Inc. brand) from Lowes for $23 and it was very easy to work with and I didn't need a tube bender. I bent it around an empty 1-gallon cider jug and it took me like 15-20 minutes to make the whole interwoven structure. I unwound 25' from the coil and wrapped it around the cider jug by rolling it across the floor. Then I repeated the same process on the remaining 25', wrapping in the opposite direction. Using the clear glass jug made it simple because I could see the tubing as I rolled the jug across the floor, making sure I got the coils tight together.

When the whole thing was completed I noticed that I could compress it down quite a bit so I used some "paddle wire" I had on hand to tie the adjacent coils together. When I was done the whole structure was shorter and much more "solid" (no slinky effect when picking it up). However, when I was cleaning it in a boiling vinegar/water solution I realized that the paddle wire was made of iron and would probably rust/corrode which is obviously not desirable. So I took it all off, and in that short time of soaking in the vinegar solution it had already left dark marks on the copper. D'oh! So now I'm gonna go out and get some copper wire, because it was real nice when all the coils were lashed together.

Update: used the chiller for the first time a couple nights ago. I'm only doing 3.5 gallon boils and topping off to 5 gal in the fermenter, but it cooled that 3.5 gallons down to 70 degrees in about 10 minutes, holy crap! That sure beats waiting an hour and a half for it to cool down in an ice bath in the sink.
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