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Old 02-20-2010, 03:29 PM   #1
mikefranciotti
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Default Wort chiller. To buy or not to buy...

Is it maybe just my area or has the cost of copper increased so much that buying a commercial wort chiller costs about the same as making your own?

I was looking online at Lowes & The Home Depot and the price of copper coil is super expensive. I can buy one from AHS for $65 + shipping which is only slightly more than I'd be spending on copper to build my own.

Am I looking in the wrong place?

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Old 02-20-2010, 03:42 PM   #2
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I bought mine from Midwest and it was about that price. I've used it on three batches so far and it has been worth every penny. If you have the tools, time, and materials to build one I hear they're not to hard to make. I think they come out to be fairly close in price when it's all said and done.

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Old 02-20-2010, 03:51 PM   #3
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Here's where I bought mine. It's ~$55 for 50' 1/2 inch.

See Bobby_M's video to make your own. 50' would do 10 gallon. If you're brewing 5, you could make two for less than the price of one from Midwest and sell one

I should add when I built mine, I used the entire 50' of ref. coil in the coil itself. The inlet and outlet were plumbed with 3/8 to 1/2 ell and 1/2" rigid copper. Both are connected to 1/2"qd's and attach to a dedicated hose.
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Old 02-20-2010, 03:52 PM   #4
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That's exactly what I mean. I'm all about the DIY concept but mainly for $$ reasons. If it's the difference of a few bucks I'd just buy one.

I was reading this build http://www.olderascal.com/brewing/wo...ler/index.html and $10 was the cost of copper. I'm assuming the cost has gone up significantly since this page was made. Unless of course I'm just looking in the wrong places for copper.

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Old 02-20-2010, 04:00 PM   #5
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Yes, copper has gone up dramatically. So much so that there has been lots of reports of copper wiring an tubing being stolen out of houses that are being built in our area. Apparently some of the thieves were caught trying to sell huge amounts of the stuff to recycle centers.

If you have a locally owned plumbing supply or hardware store check there. I bought 50 feet of copper at my little Mom & Pop hardware store cheaper than Home Depot.

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Old 02-20-2010, 04:37 PM   #6
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I had the option to either buy a 25ft one for 50.00 or so or build a 50ft one for 55$ so of course I went with the 50ft route.

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Old 02-20-2010, 04:49 PM   #7
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I just made one Thursday and it only ran me $30-35. I actually just used it yesterday for the first time and it chilled my wort to 80 degrees in 15-20 minutes

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Old 02-20-2010, 05:07 PM   #8
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Buy or make one for sure. Makes the process much easier.

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Old 02-20-2010, 05:14 PM   #9
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I bought the stainless steel version from Midwest Supplies...anyone use these instead of the copper?

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Old 02-20-2010, 05:19 PM   #10
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Copper is pretty expensive these days so like you have found, it's often not much of a savings over an already made one. By the time you buy the tubing, fittings, and depending on the design, the stuff to sweat on the joints or add hoses you may not be saving much.

I made one last year with 50' of 1/2" and the total cost was around $85 (bought copper locally, not online), which was about $10 less than you could get a similar one already made at LHBS or someplace like Midwest. Not a huge savings, but I more or less went that route because it was fun to build and gave me an excuse to spend some time in the garage with a newborn in the house

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