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Old 03-02-2012, 10:20 PM   #1
Islandboy85
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Default All copper diy counterflow chiller?

Need to get a better chiller. My 3/8x35' IC a bit small for my move into ten gallons. I like the idea of counterflow chilling, but am cautious about a few designs. I like the chillzilla, but I'm not spending 200 clams on my chiller. The DIY coiled copper and garden hose is cheap, but how does the rubber or PVC hose hold up over time? If it degrades I'm sure it would suck to take the whole thing apart to repair it. I like how small plate. Hillers are, but my IPA recipe has 8 oz of hops in it, so that just scares me a bit. So, I got to thinking why couldn't I make a 3/4 over 1/2 copper tube cfc? I figure I could make four tubes 2 1/2 feet long and interconnect them to save space by making 180 degree turns in the 1/2" copper before it picks up the 3/4 copper cooling jacket again. Like this, only four of them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fr..._apparatus.svg. Any ideas? I figure I can build it for about $90.

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Old 03-02-2012, 10:35 PM   #2
Junkster
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I made CFC modules like you've described and used them on my old rig. It worked, but I wish I would have made more of them as the cooling capacity wasn't as good as I had hoped and I ended up supplementing it with a small immersion cooler in the summer when the cooling water was warmer. I made "U-links" from 1/2" copper to interconnect the wort path (held on with silicone tubing) and the cooling water interconnects were soldered. I could pop off the u-links and look through each tube for periodic inspection.

EDIT: I think I had 5 modules that were about 36" in length - 1/2" copper inside 3/4" copper.

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Old 03-03-2012, 12:06 AM   #3
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So like a leibig condenser?

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Old 03-03-2012, 12:09 AM   #4
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buy a plate chiller and be done with it.

www.dudadiesel.com

$150.00 and you have a solid device. Put your hops in a muslin bag and you don't have clogging issues either.

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Old 03-03-2012, 12:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islandboy85 View Post
...
The DIY coiled copper and garden hose is cheap, but how does the rubber or PVC hose hold up over time? If it degrades I'm sure it would suck to take the whole thing apart to repair it.
...
I'm sure the garden hose will outlast many items from your brewhouse. It's the cheapest/easiest solution for chilling. And even if it degrades into nothing, just unwind, desolder, and add a new one.

The hose will last several years (of continuous abuse) and by that time you'll have upgraded your brewhouse size and require something with a larger capacity or you will have lost interest in this hobby...
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkster
I made CFC modules like you've described and used them on my old rig. It worked, but I wish I would have made more of them as the cooling capacity wasn't as good as I had hoped and I ended up supplementing it with a small immersion cooler in the summer when the cooling water was warmer. I made "U-links" from 1/2" copper to interconnect the wort path (held on with silicone tubing) and the cooling water interconnects were soldered. I could pop off the u-links and look through each tube for periodic inspection.

EDIT: I think I had 5 modules that were about 36" in length - 1/2" copper inside 3/4" copper.
What kind of flow rates and water temperatures were you working with?
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Old 03-03-2012, 05:50 AM   #7
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Here is my 1/2" CFC. I use 1/2"OD inner copper tubing inserted inside 3/4"OD copper tubing. The coiling must be done on a larger form as the 3/4" tube will kink badly if you attempt to wrap it onto a Cornelius keg. I used a form that is 13" in diameter. Tough to form but do-able..


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Old 03-03-2012, 06:02 AM   #8
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Wouldn't you lose temperature from the outer copper? Or are u submersing it in ice water?

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Old 03-03-2012, 07:05 AM   #9
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Wouldn't you lose temperature from the outer copper? Or are u submersing it in ice water?
You sure would. By definition, that is the point of a heat-exchanger, so in this case, the chiller would actually be more efficient because it is also radiating the heat into the air, rather than insulating the exchange medium (ie the water) like a rubber hose would
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelorax121

You sure would. By definition, that is the point of a heat-exchanger, so in this case, the chiller would actually be more efficient because it is also radiating the heat into the air, rather than insulating the exchange medium (ie the water) like a rubber hose would
So you're pumping the wort through the outer jacket instead of the inner tube? Interesting. It's a very nice looking build.
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