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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Chillers and Stir Plates > Need Help With 1/2" SS Counter Flow Chiller Build
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:01 AM   #11
ahave
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i never updated because i never finished the product. I could never decide between a 3/4" or 1" rubber hose and it is hard to find a food grade 1" hose. I might just go the 50ft 3/4" garden hose route and see what happens.

I hope to get back into brewing soon, so I will update if I end up finishing this project.

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Old 02-16-2013, 02:04 AM   #12
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i never updated because i never finished the product. I could never decide between a 3/4" or 1" rubber hose and it is hard to find a food grade 1" hose. I might just go the 50ft 3/4" garden hose route and see what happens.

I hope to get back into brewing soon, so I will update if I end up finishing this project.
If I were building one of these, I would probably go 1" PEX. It is rated for potable water up to 200 degrees F (and can withstand more as long as the pressure is not too high) and others have told me that getting SS tubing into PEX is relatively straightforward.

Biggest drawback seems to be than it will not compact to coils smaller than 20" diameter or so...


Still, if you can afford the size, seems like a 0.5" OD SS + 1.0" ID PEX CFC would be the best SS-tubing based CFC design.

I'm considering going a different direction and using a 0.5mm filter + plate chiller design, but I am still mulling my options...

I found several options for 1" hot water hose aside from PEX, but PEX seemed to be the best price/performance alternative. If you get around to building one, I would love to know how it went...

-fafrd
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:15 AM   #13
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interesting. I have never worked with PEX. what type of connection fittings would I need to step down the 1" PEX line to allow the 1/2" SS line through?


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If I were building one of these, I would probably go 1" PEX. It is rated for potable water up to 200 degrees F (and can withstand more as long as the pressure is not too high) and others have told me that getting SS tubing into PEX is relatively straightforward.

Biggest drawback seems to be than it will not compact to coils smaller than 20" diameter or so...


Still, if you can afford the size, seems like a 0.5" OD SS + 1.0" ID PEX CFC would be the best SS-tubing based CFC design.

I'm considering going a different direction and using a 0.5mm filter + plate chiller design, but I am still mulling my options...

I found several options for 1" hot water hose aside from PEX, but PEX seemed to be the best price/performance alternative. If you get around to building one, I would love to know how it went...

-fafrd
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:50 AM   #14
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interesting. I have never worked with PEX. what type of connection fittings would I need to step down the 1" PEX line to allow the 1/2" SS line through?
supposedly very easy - most of the PEX fittings are already stainless and someone said in a thread that they had the perfect fitting to provide a T and step down to 1/2"OD compression. Home Despot has a pretty wide range of PEX fittings, so that is one easy way to get a quick idea of what is available. They only had 3/4" tube at mine though, so you may need to pick up the 1" PEX tubing online...

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Old 02-16-2013, 06:13 AM   #15
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You maybe be over engineering the apparatus using PEX.

The outer wall of the CFC doesn't need to be food grade or potable. The cold side liquid should never and if done correctly would never come in contact with the wort. If it were to, the batch would be ruined. You could use sewage as a cold side liquid source again, if your apparatus is made correctly.

As for the heat tolerance, 200 degrees is overkill as well. The cold side liquid would create a layer between the hot side tube and the outer hose. I have seen first hand nylon tubing rated for 150 degrees used in a CFC that, with the cold side liquid (garden hose water on a hot day in CA), had water gravity drained into it directly from a violent boil...and it worked perfectly.

Nylon tubing or even a rubber garden hose is more than adequate for this application. And will be significantly cheaper and open you up for myriad configuration/ fitting options.

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Old 02-16-2013, 07:39 AM   #16
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yeah, i understand not needing the food grade for the cooling pass on a CFC. I was wanting to go with food grade if possible so that I could use the heated discharge water to do something, maybe make a second batch - idk.

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Old 02-16-2013, 04:11 PM   #17
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Interesting idea. The cold side water does come out warm, not hot, but warm so it could shave a few minutes on the next batch. Not sure if the extra cost would achieve value, though.

I really have no idea how much water comes out of the cold side. When I have witnessed a CFC in action I was only paying attention to the hot side. It seemed to be enough to at least create a head start on heating strike water for the next batch.

Really there is only one way to find out. These are generally cheap enough to experiment on... If it doesn't work out, you would still have a useful CFC. And we aren't talking about significant dollars here.

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Old 02-16-2013, 08:49 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by TerraNova View Post
You maybe be over engineering the apparatus using PEX.

The outer wall of the CFC doesn't need to be food grade or potable. The cold side liquid should never and if done correctly would never come in contact with the wort. If it were to, the batch would be ruined. You could use sewage as a cold side liquid source again, if your apparatus is made correctly.
I was considering to use the CFC as my HEX coil (external to the HLT), so the 'cold water' effluent (hot water in the case of HERMS) would be the sparge liquor and would therefore need to be potable...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TerraNova View Post
As for the heat tolerance, 200 degrees is overkill as well. The cold side liquid would create a layer between the hot side tube and the outer hose. I have seen first hand nylon tubing rated for 150 degrees used in a CFC that, with the cold side liquid (garden hose water on a hot day in CA), had water gravity drained into it directly from a violent boil...and it worked perfectly.

Nylon tubing or even a rubber garden hose is more than adequate for this application. And will be significantly cheaper and open you up for myriad configuration/ fitting options.
The issue is not that these hoses will not 'work perfectly' - all of these ratings are based on a pressure specification and meant to guarantee that the hose will hold that amount of pressure at that temperature. Since we are typically brewing a much lower pressure than all of these hoses/tubings are rated for, I am not too concerned about hose failure (even for a standard garden hose having boiling water pumped through it).

The greater concern I have is with chemical leaching and safety. Al of these hoses and tubes are based on plastics and rubbers and they are also tested for chemical safety, but only at the rated specifications. So if the PEX or hosing or whatever is only exposed to temperatures of 200F or below, I would have no concerns with safety. Exposing them to temperatures above 200F and then pumping water though them that you intend to use in beer making is another story.

Of course, if the cooling water is not going to be consumed (as is usually the case with a CFC used for wort chilling application), then this chemical safety concern is a non-issue...

I've kind of come to the conclusion that for the idea of using an external heat exchanger for both mash recirculation and wort chilling, an all-metal design is probably the more prudent way to go. Plate chillers are very attractive for this but have the serious concern about getting clogged with mash particulate. It seems like a few brewers have had success using an in-line filter to keep stray mash particles out of the plate chiller and I am now considering that configuration...

-fafrd
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