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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Chillers and Stir Plates > Revolver Cube immersion chiller idea
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Old 09-05-2013, 03:15 AM   #1
RickH
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Default Revolver Cube immersion chiller idea

I was trying to think of a way to make large ice cubes with a lot of surface area that water could pass through quickly. Wondering if anyone had tried anything like this or if it will even work. I am worried the bottom of the bucket will contort when filled with water. The cube would be set sideways in a large ice chest with water.

Needed items:

1- 5Gallon Bucket

6- 2" 2foot precut PVC pipes

6- 2" PVC Plugs

6 - 2" long 1/4" bolts, nuts, and washer. Needs to have a shallow screw head.

1- Outdoor Silicon Caulk

1- PVC Primer and Cement


Take the bucket and mark 6 points on on the bottom. Think of the look of a Revolvers Cylinder. Drill a hole in those 6 spots. Take 6 plugs and drill a hole directly in the center of each. Put silicon caulk all over the bottom of each plug. Push the bolt up from the bottom of the bucket and tighten each plug down securely. Shallow head bolts will hopefully not push on the bottom of the bucket when water is added. so that the plugs stay straight up. Now prime plugs and 1 end of each pipe and cement them together. After its all dry it should be a bucket with 6 pipes stick up. Set in the deep freezer and fill much of the way up with water. I suspect it will take a few days to freeze. Once solid take it to the bath tub and grab a water pitcher. Start filling up the tub with hot water and pour hot water into each tube. That way it melts away from each tube and the wall of the bucket so it will release without suction. It should be one big cube with 6 holes. Place it in a large cooler with the immersion pump and water. Put the return hose into the top hole so it has to flow down the cube and return passing through it too.

Any ideas? Problems? Even Possible?

The other idea I had was just a single 6-8" pipe in the center to make a long tube cube.

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Old 09-05-2013, 03:40 AM   #2
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Not to knock your idea, but I'd say keep it simple. If you need a chiller to be colder than your tap, you need a pre-chiller. You will need double the copper piping, but you don't need really all that much. Coiled copper in bucket of water with lots of ice attached to inlet from your tap and outlet to your second coiled copper in your boilpot.

If you are using solid blocks of ice it to really conserve water, why not just freeze your pre coil in a 5 gallon bucket, then just use your immersion pump and another water bucket to recycle the hot back into the bucket? It wouldn't work as well but would still work

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Old 09-05-2013, 05:16 AM   #3
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Or, go to Home Depot and get a cheap pump and just pump ice cold water through the chiller. Get a bag of ice from the connivence store, dump it in a bucket, add water, and use some garden hose to the pump. Put the return into the top of the bucket, and let it go... That's what I do here in Texas where the ground water is 80 something degrees. Works even better with a plate chiller. I think I got a pump described as a "waterbed filler/drainer" pump, was about 50 bux. Looks just like a poly March, but I'm not pumping wort with it.

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Old 09-05-2013, 05:24 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by chefjaypeek View Post
Or, go to Home Depot and get a cheap pump and just pump ice cold water through the chiller. Get a bag of ice from the connivence store, dump it in a bucket, add water, and use some garden hose to the pump. Put the return into the top of the bucket, and let it go... That's what I do here in Texas where the ground water is 80 something degrees. Works even better with a plate chiller. I think I got a pump described as a "waterbed filler/drainer" pump, was about 50 bux. Looks just like a poly March, but I'm not pumping wort with it.
This generally cheaper and more efficient then a second copper coil. I've done both. Can get the pump from Harbor Freight or Home depot pretty cheap. Standard pond pump.
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:07 PM   #5
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I have to agree that the pump with ice cubes in a bucket works better than a seconday chiller. I've done both and I can get my wort down to 62f on an 87f degree day in the summer using that method within 30 minutes.Plus I don't think anything has more surface area than a big bunch of ice cubes.

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Old 09-05-2013, 02:57 PM   #6
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I have to agree that the pump with ice cubes in a bucket works better than a seconday chiller. I've done both and I can get my wort down to 62f on an 87f degree day in the summer using that method within 30 minutes.Plus I don't think anything has more surface area than a big bunch of ice cubes.
A bucket of slurried ice & water will be better than a bucket of ice cube & water, as that's even more contact area

Add salt to the mix and you'd have wort that's freezing in the copper pipe. [well it would depend on the speed of the wort but if it were slow enough, that might happen]

I'm fortunate as my well here in SC runs about 68-72F in the summer, so I can get the wort down to near 72-74F easily. My K-Type thermometer often shows the temperature differential at around 3-4F between water inlet and wort outlet.

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