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Old 02-27-2011, 07:26 PM   #1
Daver77
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Default Copper tubing to make wort chiller

is this it?
http://www.cornerhardware.com/john_m._frey_38inch_x_25_ft._ltype_handi_coil_copp er/7838/19913

seams to cheep t be true...



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Old 02-27-2011, 07:38 PM   #2
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use 1/2 inch. you will get much better results. I use 1/2 x 50 feet and cool 5.5 gallons in eleven minutes, using around 12 gallons of water.



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Old 02-27-2011, 07:48 PM   #3
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3/8" OD copper tubing is GREAT for use as an IC... No need to go to 1/2" unless you have really, really, high water flow to feed it... If you're using it off the kitchen faucet most of the time, or at least part of the year, then 3/8" will have perfect water flow inside it to cool your wort. Move the IC around inside the pot while chilling and it does an even better job.

We cooled a 10 gallon batch of wort (outside) with a 25' 3/8" OD IC (hooked up to a hose) VERY fast. Granted, we had the outside air temp helping us, and we did move it around inside the pot (my brew buddy did it, since it was his IC)... Went from a boil to under 70F easily... We had to wait for the host to be available (another person was using it on their lame IC, poorly assembled, so we had to wait) but once we had the hose, FAST chill time... Next time we use it, I plan on timing the cool-down with this method... Or when I use my own home-made 20' 3/8" IC, using his method... Still, with just swirling the wort in the chiller (my own method from before seeing him) I've cooled from a boil in <20 minutes off of the kitchen faucet. If I had a bit more IC length, it would cool down even faster...

I plan on making another chiller come summer/fall out of 50' of 3/8" tubing... That way I'll be set when I do any 5 gallon, or 10 gallon, batches... I can only imagine how fast 50' of 3/8" will chill a 10 gallon batch...

Personally, I don't monitor how much water runs through the IC... I probably could measure the gallons/minute rate from the faucet, if I cared...

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Old 02-27-2011, 07:55 PM   #4
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Maybe I was thinking of 1/4" that sucked....

I only measure my volume of water because I catch the water in buckets and use it to clean up....

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Old 02-27-2011, 08:02 PM   #5
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I'm thinking the price is way off I wonder why?

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Old 02-27-2011, 08:08 PM   #6
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cheapest delivery is 10 bucks so that will bring up the total to 25 dollars which I can get it at home depot for that much

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Old 02-27-2011, 08:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnj View Post
Maybe I was thinking of 1/4" that sucked....

I only measure my volume of water because I catch the water in buckets and use it to clean up....
Yeah, 1/4" OD tubing WOULD seriously suck for an IC... I think that's what the guy with the lame-a$$ed IC was using... Took FOREVER to get his to chill down... Plus his hose clamps were NOT done right... He had one time where the IC was in the bucket with his wort, and the out tubing clamp failed (making water go into the wort)... Of course, HE wasn't watching his wort (insert opinion on that here) so we saw it happen and turned off the water... Then when he was re-boiling the wort, another person borrowed the IC, after they 'fixed' the clamps on the chiller itself... He turned up the flow a little, and the clamp to the hose adapter failed... He had to run it with the water barely on... Talk about too damned long to chill down wort... Probably looking at at least 40-60 minutes with that thing... Better off just using an ice bath at that point (especially with the cooler air temps yesterday)... Actually, I think the cold air helped the second guy chill down in about 30 minutes, since he was waiting to use the IC for almost an hour before then...

That extra 1/8" OD makes a pretty big difference from 1/4"-3/8"... Not sure if it's worth it going to 1/2", unless you're someplace warmer, and have higher water flow to feed the chiller.

I was using the out flow to rinse things yesterday... It does make it easier when your outside... I'll probably use that method moving forward... Since I'll be using a propane burner to brew, I'll have to be outside anyway. Since my LL is turned into a yackass, I'll need to do it someplace else too. To think, I WAS going to offer him some of the batch that is ready for drinking, as well as some of the ones coming up... Not anymore...
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daver77 View Post
cheapest delivery is 10 bucks so that will bring up the total to 25 dollars which I can get it at home depot for that much
Ouch...

I priced out a 50' 3/8" OD utility grade copper coil at Lowe's not too long ago... About $50, in stock at the local store... So, close to the same price per foot, if you use cheap shipping... Better price per foot if you want it within a day... Especially when you consider how much 3 day through overnight shipping would be to get the copper...

Hell, with a 50' coil, you could make one for yourself, then make a second and sell it to someone else and recover most of what you spent to make yours...
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Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine


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Old 02-27-2011, 08:48 PM   #9
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Another thing to be careful about is the type of fitting you use on your IC. The tubing held on with hose clamps seems to be prone to leaks, and the compression type fittings have narrow openings which restrict the flow. On my IC I ended up using garden hose to barb fittings. I slipped the barb OVER the copper tubing and soldered it. Just sandpaper the outside of the copper and the inside of the brass barb, apply the flux to both, slip the barb over the copper tubing, and solder. Works great - no restriction.
In my case, I used two male hose to barb fittings because I use a washing machine hose on my input line. If you want to use garden hose, you'll need female to barb on the input and male to barb on the output. If you can't find the female to barb fitting, you could always attach a short length of washing machine hose to the end of your garden hose and use two male to barb fittings on your IC.

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Old 02-27-2011, 09:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
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The tubing held on with hose clamps seems to be prone to leaks, and the compression type fittings have narrow openings which restrict the flow.
+1 to that. I'm looking at switching from barbed fittings on mine. It's only running a 3/8 tube from the sink to the fitting, but if I'm not careful, it still leaks. (not into the wort, but onto the floor at least.) It works though, and it's not too horrible a cost if you do use this method. It's just that the heat of the water on the output end tends to loosen the tubing.

Also, be careful of it either slipping off, or having the hose output end get out of control. I knew mine was pretty short but it worked before, but it slipped from the weights holding it at the sink two weeks ago and got my leg pretty good. Burned from the knee down to the ankle.
Needless to say, I just went to Home Depot and got two full lengths, rather than the half lengths I was using.


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