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Old 01-12-2009, 12:36 AM   #1
Nimrod1193
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Default Built an immersion chiller today

I decided to build rather than buy because I thought it would make a cool science project for my sons. The 3/8" OD copper tubing was only available in 20' and 50' coils, so I wound up overbuilding it a bit (I figured that I can always make it smaller if it is too unwieldy.)

Once it was done we took it for a test spin and it got ~3.5 gallons of water from 212ºF to 70ºF in 12 minutes! Not too shabby.

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Old 01-12-2009, 12:53 AM   #2
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Nice! Let's see some pics.

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Old 01-12-2009, 02:40 AM   #3
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id love to see some pics of it

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Old 01-12-2009, 02:53 AM   #4
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Sweeet! Awesome to hear that you actually MADE your wort chiller. I got mine after my first batch and it rawks!
-Me

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Old 01-12-2009, 04:05 AM   #5
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That's awesome! Pics please!

Since I don't have a good place to hook one up (wrong type of faucet) I am thinking about saving up to buy the stuff to make a recirculating wort chiller that uses a pump to move ice water through the coil. And then I can feel better about not wasting as much water. Otherwise I would have made one a while ago. It's amazing what my LHBS charges for an immersion chiller.

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Old 01-12-2009, 04:07 AM   #6
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I'll see if I can get some pics of it tomorrow.


Here is the parts list, including the prices from Lowes:

50' 3/8" OD copper tubing ($38.17)
20' 3/8" ID vinyl tubing ($5.00)
4 hose clamps ($1.94)
3/8" garden hose connector ($7.43)
Garden hose adapter for kitchen sink ($5.17)

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Old 01-12-2009, 05:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kungpaodog View Post
That's awesome! Pics please!

Since I don't have a good place to hook one up (wrong type of faucet) I am thinking about saving up to buy the stuff to make a recirculating wort chiller that uses a pump to move ice water through the coil. And then I can feel better about not wasting as much water. Otherwise I would have made one a while ago. It's amazing what my LHBS charges for an immersion chiller.
do you have a sprayer? if you do you can fab something up to use the sprayer hose. go down to home depot and borrow one of thier sprayers and walk over to those fittings and find a fitting that will screw onto the end. replace the sprayer and use the fitting to find a barb end and use it.

if this doesnt work for you then you can always put in a t and valve under the sink. when not in use and closed use a cap to cap the output so if the valve turns it will be sealed.
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimrod1193 View Post
Here is the parts list, including the prices from Lowes:

50' 3/8" OD copper tubing ($38.17)
20' 3/8" ID vinyl tubing ($5.00)
4 hose clamps ($1.94)
3/8" garden hose connector ($7.43)
Garden hose adapter for kitchen sink ($5.17)
I'm preparing to embark upon a similar project myself, so I have a couple questions from your experience:

1) Do you think the 3/8" is worth it? I can get 1/4" for like half as much, so it's tempting.
2) Do you think 20' of copper would work instead of 50'? I do partial boils inside mostly, so my pot is only 4 gallons.
3) Is there a reason you went with hose clamps instead of compression fittings?

I'm low on funds, which is why the 1/4" vs 3/8" and 20' vs 50' matter.

Any advice from your experience would be appreciated!
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Blow Leprechaun View Post
I'm preparing to embark upon a similar project myself, so I have a couple questions from your experience:

1) Do you think the 3/8" is worth it? I can get 1/4" for like half as much, so it's tempting.
2) Do you think 20' of copper would work instead of 50'? I do partial boils inside mostly, so my pot is only 4 gallons.
3) Is there a reason you went with hose clamps instead of compression fittings?

I'm low on funds, which is why the 1/4" vs 3/8" and 20' vs 50' matter.

Any advice from your experience would be appreciated!
I don't know how much experience I have (I'm just getting started with all this), but here goes:

In my research on the net, I've seen them made with both sizes of tubing. The downsides of 1/4" tubing appear to be slower flow rate and increased potential for clogging. I have no personal experience with using 1/4" tubing, so I can't tell you how big a deal that is.

I've read threads on this site where people have used 20' wort chillers, so it obviously works. I would think it just doesn't work as fast. I have always had a tendency to overbuild stuff.

I used hose clamps because I was attaching vinyl tubing to copper tubing. Use two clamps on the input line, with the second rotated 90º relative to the first. This provides even pressure all around and prevents leaks.
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:56 PM   #10
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The flow rate of 1/4" OD is way too low since the ID is more like 3/16". I consider 3/8" OD to be minimum, 1/2" ideal. 25' for 5 gallon batches, 50' for ten gallons. CopperTubingSales.com :: ICS Indsutries :: is cheap.

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