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Old 02-22-2011, 03:58 AM   #1
BankerJohn
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Default Finished my Counterflow Chiller

Thanks to all for the advice and guidance on how to build a Counterflow Wort Chiller. For someone that has NO mechanical aptitude or plumbing skills, I can say that I am happy that it is done. I even have a few burns from hot copper during the sweat/solder process.

In all, I started with a 50' hose and 50' x 3/8 refridgeration tubing. THe end product is a 42' CFC. Still need to zip tie it up and run a leak check on it. I used a 5 gallon bucket for the coiling and there are 13 coils.

Wish I had time this coming weekend to pressure test and run a first batch of brew through it.

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"Beer is like sex. It is all good, just some better than others." - anonymous

Primary:
Air

Secondary:
1Gal (x3): Mead
Air

Bottled:
Belgian Tripel 9.2%
Irish Red Ale 8.1%
White Wheat Ale 5.5%
Session Peach Beer with fresh peaches from my tree

A full fermenter takes up just as much space as an empty fermenter. Why do so many of us have air in our fermenters?

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Old 02-22-2011, 04:02 AM   #2
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Many wonderful brews ahead!
That sounds great I got all my Ideas from HBT to build my CFC and it works Great, I gravity feed the wort through it and run 65-68deg water through the chiller, wort comes out at 68deg!!
same or similar dimensions
hopefully the leak check doesn't disappoint !

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go rinse your mind out with soap for even THINKING about tossing a batch of beer.
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:07 AM   #3
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I'm definitely looking forward to a very fast cool down. I've used an Immersion Chiller and it took about 30 minutes to cool. I'm hoping that the CFC will provide a 'NO WAIT' chill.

I too am using gravity to move liquid through the system.

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Banker John

"Beer is like sex. It is all good, just some better than others." - anonymous

Primary:
Air

Secondary:
1Gal (x3): Mead
Air

Bottled:
Belgian Tripel 9.2%
Irish Red Ale 8.1%
White Wheat Ale 5.5%
Session Peach Beer with fresh peaches from my tree

A full fermenter takes up just as much space as an empty fermenter. Why do so many of us have air in our fermenters?

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Old 02-22-2011, 04:15 AM   #4
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It works great, I have actually gone from the CFC to a immersion chiller...it does take about 30-35 minutes, but at the time that I had the CFC I had no way to recirculate the water...so I was Wasting TONS of water (all went into the pool) but still didnt feel like it was worth it...Now that I have a way to recirculate the cold water (pond pump from home depot and a few fittings) I will probably bring out the CFC again and enjoy the fast cool down.

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Old 02-22-2011, 07:01 PM   #5
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I've been thinking of building one of these lately, when you're coiling the chiller do you simply run the copper tubing through the hose then muscle it around a bucket?

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Old 02-27-2011, 09:44 PM   #6
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I uncoiled the 3/8 refridgerant line tubing. Cut about 4' off each end of a 50' length of 1/2' I/D hose from Target. Pushed the copper tubing through the hose. Some say to lube it with dish soap - I didn't have to. After the copper is inside the hose, YES, I coiled it around a 5 gallon bucket. There was only me so it was a one person job. It would have been MUCH easier with a second set of hands. Even if the coild is not perfect, you will be able to straighten it up when using the zip ties to keep it all together. When putting the zip ties on, I was able to manipulate the coils a bit to straighten them up and make for a better finished look.

Easiness scale : (1 being easy and 10 being extremely difficult)
Cutting the hose: 1
Uncoiling the copper tubing: 1
Inserting the tubing into the cut hose: 3
Coiling the hose around 5 gallon bucket by myself: 3 (if I had help :1)
Cutting the hard copper tubing into 3" lengths: 2
Sweating the copper joint together: 6
Zip tying the CFC together: 2
Installing the hose clamps: 2

Overall: 3 (only because I had no experience with solder/sweating copper joint together).

Total Time to complete: 3 beers (including water testing for leaks at hose clamps)
Would I attempt this project again: YES

__________________

Banker John

"Beer is like sex. It is all good, just some better than others." - anonymous

Primary:
Air

Secondary:
1Gal (x3): Mead
Air

Bottled:
Belgian Tripel 9.2%
Irish Red Ale 8.1%
White Wheat Ale 5.5%
Session Peach Beer with fresh peaches from my tree

A full fermenter takes up just as much space as an empty fermenter. Why do so many of us have air in our fermenters?

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Old 03-12-2011, 05:31 AM   #7
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the Counterflow works just plain awesome. I have used it now to drain a boil pot that was at a full rolling boil. Hooked up the flow and the output was 206 then turned on the counterflow (tap water was at 75). With less than 5 seconds of counterflow chilling, the output temp from the boil pot dropped to 75 degrees. UNBELIEVABLE. If I hadn't witnessed it in person, I would not have believed it.

I have a friend that uses an immersion chiller. I don't want to make him feel bad. The immersion takes almost 20 minutes to cool a 6 gallon batch then the time to drain. With the CFC, it is only the time it takes to drain. Just saved 20+ minutes!!!

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Banker John

"Beer is like sex. It is all good, just some better than others." - anonymous

Primary:
Air

Secondary:
1Gal (x3): Mead
Air

Bottled:
Belgian Tripel 9.2%
Irish Red Ale 8.1%
White Wheat Ale 5.5%
Session Peach Beer with fresh peaches from my tree

A full fermenter takes up just as much space as an empty fermenter. Why do so many of us have air in our fermenters?

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Old 03-12-2011, 05:45 AM   #8
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and where the feck is the picture?

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Old 03-12-2011, 07:52 AM   #9
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I think most cfc's look the same, I'm wondering how much more effective a 40 plate chiller is then a 25' cfc. I think a plate chiller from keg cowboy and a CDC would cost the same and a plate chiller is way smaller and way more space efficient.

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Old 03-12-2011, 11:25 PM   #10
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@ LOF, you are probably correct about the cost between a 40 plate and CFC. Most CFC's are 25' but mine is 42' (not like that really matters). For me, it was more about the fun of making it rather than buying one off the shelf. The other issue is the connections from pot to plate chiller. This adds some costs. Overall, mine was about $30 cheaper than a plate chiller EVEN WITH THE REDICULOUS PRICE OF COPPER!

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Banker John

"Beer is like sex. It is all good, just some better than others." - anonymous

Primary:
Air

Secondary:
1Gal (x3): Mead
Air

Bottled:
Belgian Tripel 9.2%
Irish Red Ale 8.1%
White Wheat Ale 5.5%
Session Peach Beer with fresh peaches from my tree

A full fermenter takes up just as much space as an empty fermenter. Why do so many of us have air in our fermenters?

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