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Old 08-03-2008, 01:19 AM   #1
RMohan13
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Default Wort Chiller Questions

So I'm looking into making a simple immersion wort chiller as cheaply though as effectively as possible. The maximum boil size it would have to cool is 3 gallons. How many feet of tubing would i need to cool this boil size? I was thinking about 25 ft., but if it is plausible to go with less all the better. I found some tubing here, that seems like a fairly good deal based on what I've seen elsewhere, though how big of a difference is there between 1/4 in. and 3/8 in.?

http://www.acehardware.com/product/i...Id=30167073703

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Old 08-03-2008, 02:06 AM   #2
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The longer the chiller the better. I have a 50 footer that cools wort to below 100 degrees in 12 minutes or so from tap water (which is like 76 degrees right now). That's pretty damn good in my book, and well worth the 50 bucks I spent to buy one.

For me, the time to build one and make it nice is not worth the extra 10 or 20 bucks I'd spend to just buy one.

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Old 08-03-2008, 04:43 AM   #3
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Maybe others will disagree but for 3 gal just put it into an ice bath for 20 or so min. I really dont thing you need a chiller untill you get to the 5 gal or more hot wort to cool.

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Old 08-03-2008, 04:51 AM   #4
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just get a 25ft fridge water line and some band clamps with some 3/8 vinyl tubing to attach to your sink faucet and to run back to a drain. for 3g a 1/4 od is fine(i used to use the same for 5g but it takes 20-25 to cool)

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Old 08-03-2008, 09:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike2008 View Post
Maybe others will disagree but for 3 gal just put it into an ice bath for 20 or so min. I really dont thing you need a chiller untill you get to the 5 gal or more hot wort to cool.
I'll disagree. If you're going for clarity in your beer, wort chillers are awesome. Besides, running a wort chiller will be cheaper than buying (or freezing) large amounts of ice every time you brew.

I'll say stick with an ice bath going if you don't brew often. If you brew on a regular basis, getting one simply to assist in cold breaking is worth the investment. I guess the question is "how serious are you about the hobby?"

For me? I was seriously eyeing the 1200 dollar 47 gallon conical fermenter today. I was even more seriously eyeing the 14 gallon one for 6 or 700 bucks. The drive home from the not so local HBS that I go to was filled with my friend and I contemplating how hard it would be to turn an uninsulated bedroom with a sliding glass door taking up one wall into an insulated, temperature controlled brew-room. We came to the conclusion if we did this, neither of us would ever stand a chance of getting married, or even getting laid afterwards.
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Old 08-03-2008, 04:40 PM   #6
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I brew fairly regularly, a one or two times a month. My thinking was if I could build a sufficient chiller cheaply that in the long run it would be more cost effective and convenient than regularly buying ice.

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Old 08-04-2008, 08:15 PM   #7
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The thing keeping me from buying a wort chiller now is that I'm only doing 3 gallon boils. I save up ice the few days prior to brewing and do the ice bath thing. That does the trick just fine. When I go to AG and bigger boils I'll be buying a wort chiller because at that point it'll take far too long for an ice bath.

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Old 08-04-2008, 09:53 PM   #8
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I'm sorta new and still do extract and steeping grains in partial boils.
I've been so much happier brewing after the addition of my IC.
Well worth the $50 or so I spent imo...and it was a fellow HBTer that built it and it looks/works awesome.

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Old 03-28-2009, 07:20 AM   #9
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so i know this is an old thread, but I just wanted to post that I made my chiller from two 20' coils of 1/4" OD copper tubing. Cost me $30 total, including some vinyl tubing and a garden hose to hosebarb attatchment. My 3 gallon boils are down to 70* in 15 - 20 minutes and there is definitely a significant cold break.

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Old 03-28-2009, 12:37 PM   #10
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For what it's worth, here's a thread I started to show off my homemade chiller. I haven't used it yet, so I can't comment on its effectiveness, but I expect it will work great - and it was under $30 and really took only 10 minutes to make. The thread contains a lot of helpful tips from more experiences brewers too.

Home-built immersion wort chiller, w/pics

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Last edited by JLem; 03-28-2009 at 04:29 PM.
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