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Old 09-04-2011, 05:56 PM   #1
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Default Copper racking cane DIY

Lately I've been no-chilling and racking my wort hot to the primary, and both the polycarbonate and CPVC racking canes I have just can't stand up to the heat. I wanted a SS cane but they're $16 after tax: http://www.brewmasterswarehouse.com/product/0102243/30-inch-ss-racking-cane

and figured I could make one cheaper.

You need:
1/2" copper pipe (3ft) - $4.70
Copper 45° - $1
3/4" copper cap - $1
1/2" copper water hammer arrestor - $4.50

(so, I only saved $3-4; but it's fun making stuff!)




Mock up:


Soldering equipment (torch not shown)


3/4" cap will go over this. I made notches with a bench grinder, but a Dremel would've worked also. I was just lazy.


I filled the cap with solder, then placed the notched end in there hot. Poured water on it to set the solder.

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Old 09-04-2011, 06:00 PM   #2
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Top end detail:



Completed:


in the bucket:


At work:



45° angle is just right......


Hop cone:



I built this while the wort was boiling - thankfully it was complete (and washed out) when I needed it.

If I had to do over again, I think the cap on the end is unnecessary. I'd just crimp the end shut and solder it, then drill a hole or 2 where needed.

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Old 09-04-2011, 06:38 PM   #3
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If you are racking hot into your primary,.. are you just letting it cool naturally before pitching your yeast? Why not chill it before racking to primary?


Cheers!

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Old 09-04-2011, 07:11 PM   #4
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I can't help but think that the copper you used would have been a nice start for a chiller. I see the hose in one picture so you got the ability there already.

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Old 09-04-2011, 07:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmurph01
If you are racking hot into your primary,.. are you just letting it cool naturally before pitching your yeast? Why not chill it before racking to primary?

Cheers!
He might be doing no-chill.


I'm trying to figure out what the hammer arrestor is for. Is it to make sure you don't lose your siphon?
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bengerman View Post
He might be doing no-chill.
Yep... last few batches have been no-chill. I have an immersion chiller, but racking directly into the fermenter at boiling temps (and therefore not having to sanitize it) saves a couple minutes. Biggest plus, is that I can make a real wort starter ("RWS") and in the 2 days while it's going, the wort chills in the garage. Plus, our water here is 80+ deg F during the summer. I'd have to pitch at high temps (which I don't mind doing), or use ice or something. I try to keep it simple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bengerman View Post
I'm trying to figure out what the hammer arrestor is for. Is it to make sure you don't lose your siphon?
Hammer arrestor was bought because it's necked down to tubing size, and it has a 90° elbow, which saved me from buying those 2 pieces individually. I don't know how else I would've got it down to 3/8" without it.
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nail View Post
I can't help but think that the copper you used would have been a nice start for a chiller. I see the hose in one picture so you got the ability there already.
I have a pretty big immersion chiller already - 2 50' lengths of 1/4" copper run in parallel; no-chill is much simpler though, and saves about 10 gal water.

Main reason for not using it is our ground water temps are in the 80's right now, so it takes a lot of water to even get close to pitching temps.
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:24 PM   #8
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Ahh I see. Makes sense now. Sweet looking racking cane though. I forgot to mention that in the last post.

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Old 09-04-2011, 10:44 PM   #9
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so you are just racking straight to the primary bucket? .. how's that working? ... most seem to be using the HDPE water containers and squishing out all the air ... is the air in the bucket a problem for you? .. nice racking cane build .. and great pics !!!

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Old 09-04-2011, 11:15 PM   #10
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so you are just racking straight to the primary bucket? .. how's that working? ... most seem to be using the HDPE water containers and squishing out all the air ... is the air in the bucket a problem for you? .. nice racking cane build .. and great pics !!!

I rack straight to a 7 gallon plastic fermenter. I haven't seen them for sale anywhere, and the guy I bought them from had a bunch of stuff from overseas, so they might've come from across the pond. I really like them - they're about square: their height about equals their diameter. The same sale gave me some of the cubes that others are using. I just rack to the primary - it sanitizes it and keeps me from racking it again.

As for how it's working.... I brewed a few batches so far and didn't notice any off-flavors. I have an air pump for aeration. In batches where we want high esters (today's was a Belgian Blond), I won't aerate at all. I do make starters though.

I use a 1-piece airlock and fill with vodka. As the air above the wort cools, any air sucked in has to pass through the vodka. The air space above the wort has been pseudo-sterilized by the steam of the boiling wort. So far, no problems.

Pics were from my camera phone. I thought - hey I'm building something, take pictures. Then I thought, "I have pictures, why not post them" and here we are.
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