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Old 09-18-2009, 12:57 PM   #1
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Default Big Daddy Immersion Chiller (50' x 5/8")

I've used a counterflow and a plate chiller and wanted to try out the recirculating IC design just to round out my chiller experience. I wanted something adaptable for 5 or 10 gallons but leave some room to grow for up to 20 gallons if I went that way.

This is coiled around a pinlock keg and therefore the outside diameter of the coil is about 11", just right for getting into my keggle opening. It would have been one coil taller but I hacked off 3' of tubing for my wort return piece which isn't built yet.



Of course, I ordered the copper from coppertubingsales.com and it was $60 plus 20 shipping. I went with the 5/8" because it was only $15 more than 1/2". I was surprised I was actually able to coil it without any help. The key was using a clamp to hold the top of the coil to the corny and I let the rest of the coil just sit on a piece of carpet. The keg sits in the loose center of the coil and you just wort it around.

Just like in my video tutorial on the IC build, I used 90 degree elbow connectors to get the uprights and horizontal in/out bends nice a tight. The main upright is also tack soldered to one of the coils about half way up and the two uprights are also tacked for stability.

The garden hose in/out connectors are brass GH male to 1/2" NPT and GH female to 1/2" NPT. It just worked out that the ID of 1/2" threaded fittings is 5/8". Nice press fit and then some solder.

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Old 09-18-2009, 01:03 PM   #2
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So when could i get mine . Very nice design, let us know how it is in action.

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Old 09-18-2009, 01:03 PM   #3
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As I often say, if something is worth doing, it's worth overdoing! That is truly industrial beauty.

I imagine the neighborhood water pressure dropping drasticly when you valve that thing open, all those neighbors w/ shampoo in their hair and showers barely trickling. You gonna connect that thing at the house or the nearest hydrant?

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Last edited by wilserbrewer; 09-18-2009 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 09-18-2009, 01:05 PM   #4
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that is one big shiny IC. you going to do straight water, or recirc ice water?

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Old 09-18-2009, 01:06 PM   #5
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Beautiful as always Bobby_M. And the obligatory I hate you

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Old 09-18-2009, 01:15 PM   #6
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I will be curious to hear your cooling times with 5/8. I used your 90 degree elbow trick and soldered barb fittings when I built my 50 x 1/2 chiller. I also stripped a couple feet of 14 ga romex, and weaved a strand in and out of the coils, and tacked every third coil or so. I did 3 strands (every 120 degrees) and it is very rigid. Not sure if the 5/8" is as floppy as the 1/2" but I think it helps hold the shape, and helps keep the spacing between coils.

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Old 09-18-2009, 01:26 PM   #7
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Nice work!

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Old 09-18-2009, 01:29 PM   #8
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That is really nice. I have zero skills like that. I'm jealous. Very nice though!

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Old 09-18-2009, 02:14 PM   #9
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5/8" is just big enough to really hold firm but tacking one or a few of the coils to the upright really makes the difference.

I'll use it with straight tap water for most of the year unless I'm doing a lager, then I'd probably throw my spare sump pump into a bin of icewater towards the tail end of the chill.

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Old 09-18-2009, 04:15 PM   #10
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It looks nice and beefy! I tried tacking the upright copper to the coils when I built mine but could not get it to hold. Now I have it held together with polyester cable ties and it's not very professional looking. Maybe I'll try tacking it again when I get time. Thanks for the pics.

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