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Old 09-25-2011, 01:04 AM   #1
newzymology
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Default homemade chiller

I am thinking about building a wort chiller and was wondering if anyone has any experience using anything except copper. I know copper is great because of its thermal transfer properties but it is also very expensive right now. Has anyone tried aluminum or any other material? How well did it work?

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Old 09-25-2011, 01:58 AM   #2
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my dad is a metallurgist. I ran this by him when I built mine. He said copper was the way to go. I built a basic immersion chiller and a pre-chiller that I put in an icebath to pre-cool the water before it hits the immersion chiller. Did both for about 60 including the fittings. Used 20 ft coils. Works great.

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Old 09-25-2011, 03:08 AM   #3
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Thin walled stainless is being used by atleast some now and if that allows you to make a bigger chiller i think that would offset the thermal difference

Thermally silver is better then copper but i dont see anyone advocating that...(dunno how it would act with worth tho)

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Old 09-25-2011, 04:29 AM   #4
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Make sure to fill the thin walled stainless with sand or water before coiling. Will support the walls and help prevent kinking.

What are the thermal properties of gold. A gold herms/chiller would definitly be bling!

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Old 09-25-2011, 05:00 AM   #5
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A 20' coil of 3/8 copper is only $15 at home depot.

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Old 09-25-2011, 03:09 PM   #6
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I used 1/2" stainless steel. I got it for free from work. We made a "drum" with a hole in it that could be attached to a threading machine. The threading machine would turn at a constant slow speed, and we we able to roll a 20' piece pretty easy. We made 2 coils, and then used 3/4" hose for our CF chillers.

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Old 09-26-2011, 03:31 PM   #7
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3/8" x 50' copper tubing - $39
3/8" x 50' SS coil - $89

Edit: What's up with that Amazon tag?
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:17 PM   #8
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From my electronics cooling experience, copper is what you want. If price is an issue, aluminum is cheaper but doesn't have the transfer ability of copper.

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Old 09-26-2011, 05:52 PM   #9
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copper, aluminum, and stainless steel will all work just about the same for this purpose as long as the wall thickness isnt excessive. S.S. tubing may even have a slight advantage if you can find it with a very thin wall thickness. copper tubing is normally the most widely availble, and isnt too much more expensive than sourcing an alternative, so that is what is commonly used.

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Old 09-26-2011, 07:35 PM   #10
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Wow thats a cheap copper tube
now if only international shipping was as cheap...

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