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Old 01-28-2013, 04:00 AM   #391
Spinrathen
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This thread has been very informative, thank you all for your contributions. I have recently moved to 5 gallon all grain after building a mash tun. I've been cooling thus far primitively with a big plastic tub and ice water. I'm over that situation. So on to my questions!

I've looked at a lot of builds and only seen 1 so far that has bare copper wire wrapped around the wort tube creating turbulent flow. Why don't more people do this? Does it make getting the wort tube in the water hose? Does it restrict the amount of water going through the chiller? If so has anyone tried remedying this situation by using a bigger hose? There has to be a reason why everyone doesn't do this. I would appreciate anyone with any experience to shed some light on this for me.

Thanks again!

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Old 02-07-2013, 08:29 PM   #392
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Update on my cfc. I went ahead with tacking bare copper wire around my 15' 3/8 inch od soft copper. It was very difficult to get it in the hose, I had to use a lot of dish soap and elbow grease, in the future I would look for a bigger hose if possible. Since I had the soft copper laying around already I used it, even though it is quite a bit shorter than most people are using.

It works amazingly, I cooled 5.5 gallons of 215 degree wort to 69 degrees using 58 degree tap water using a gravity fed system. I am very happy with the cooling capabilities of such a short hose.

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Old 02-08-2013, 03:19 PM   #393
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Just wanted to add a word of warning based on experience. Three costly mistakes:

  1. I used a "heavy duty" orange hose from Wal-Mart. It tended to collapse on itself and onto the copper tube as I coiled the final assembly
  2. I coiled the hose/tubing in too small a diameter. I used a keg as a form, and between the hose collapsing and the weak spots described below, this significantly diminished the flow rate
  3. Wanting to increase the thermal conduction area of the copper tube and also space it away from the hose, I soldered a length of 14 ga. copper wire to the outside of the tube in a spiral pattern. While this worked to some extent, I believe it created weak spots (particularly where the wire started and ended) that contributed to kinking

Bottom line, it worked pretty well the first time I used it, even with the reduced flow rate. It cooled extremely well. The second time I used it (last week in 24 deg. weather) I had almost no flow and had to raise my kettle up really high to get it to work. I'm pretty sure I kinked it during transport/cleaning/etc.

I was going to give up and buy a Chillzilla but I've reconsidered. My next step is to cut off the hose and copper tubing, use good hose and a larger diameter, and somehow solder everything back together.

Lesson learned: Follow the tutorial closely and you'll be in much better shape.

I kinked tube is your enemy!
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:26 AM   #394
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I used scrap 3/8" OD copper water pipe for mine, which would have work hardened horribly if I had straightened it out. Some sections needed annealing before it could be worked at all. As I was coiling it back up I could feel it start to kink here and there, but it seems to have turned out OK in the end.

The only slight boo boo I made was forgetting to flux the outside of the coil before attempting to solder the tee assemblies on. I haven't noticed any pinhole leaks so far.

Here it is on top of my MLT. I went with stainless camlocks for the wort connections and polypropylene camlocks for the coolant lines. I think the red hot water hose is slightly niftier than run of the mill heater hose



Blog post: http://smokedprojects.blogspot.com/2...-chiller.html#

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Old 06-13-2013, 05:09 PM   #395
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
I'd have to add a pump to recirculate back into the kettle. Not something I want to do at this point in time.

Still, there is the question of how much time is too long for the kettle to sit there before it's cooled. Any numbers?

I am going to add a spigot to my kettle and have thought about going larger, but then realized that my CFC is only 3/8 so that would probably not do me any good. I can chill my wort more than necessary, but I want to add the ability to chill MORE wort faster. I think the only way to do this is to increase the size of the chiller diameter.

Jamil talks about his "whirlpool chiller" which is a recirculating IC system. I get the idea behind it, but again, it seems like a lot more $$ to spend for a few minutes worth of improvement.

this leads into the question I was going to ask.
is there a mathmatical benifit that you can equate to $$$ spent.
3\8 copper and 5\8 Hose. vs. 1\2 copper and 3\4 hose.
I want to make 2 CF chillers and sell the other but wondered if there was any benifit to going bigger in the grand scheme of most of us only doing 5-10 gallon batches.
love the thread and thanks for all the pics and input. I plan to build system using cam locks.
Cheers!.
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:14 PM   #396
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alien View Post
I used scrap 3/8" OD copper water pipe for mine, which would have work hardened horribly if I had straightened it out. Some sections needed annealing before it could be worked at all. As I was coiling it back up I could feel it start to kink here and there, but it seems to have turned out OK in the end.

The only slight boo boo I made was forgetting to flux the outside of the coil before attempting to solder the tee assemblies on. I haven't noticed any pinhole leaks so far.

Here it is on top of my MLT. I went with stainless camlocks for the wort connections and polypropylene camlocks for the coolant lines. I think the red hot water hose is slightly niftier than run of the mill heater hose



Blog post: http://smokedprojects.blogspot.com/2...-chiller.html#




just what I want to build.....
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:18 PM   #397
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjart View Post
this leads into the question I was going to ask.
is there a mathmatical benifit that you can equate to $$$ spent.
3\8 copper and 5\8 Hose. vs. 1\2 copper and 3\4 hose.
I want to make 2 CF chillers and sell the other but wondered if there was any benifit to going bigger in the grand scheme of most of us only doing 5-10 gallon batches.
love the thread and thanks for all the pics and input. I plan to build system using cam locks.
Cheers!.
I could be wrong, but I think this setup (1/2" copper & 3/4" hose) would increase flow of wort from kettle to fermenter, but would most likely decrease efficiency of the total unit. I dont have the math to follow up my thinking, but logic says the following...
1. the larger the inner circuit the less resistance to flow therefore increased flowrate.
2. by increasing the inner circuit from 3/8 to 1/2 you are increasing the total volume of wort inside the 25foot CFC. Now going from 5/8 to 3/4 will very slightly increase the total volume of the outer circuit, the difference is not as significant total mass as raising the volume of the inner circuit. Essentially you would be using about the same amount of coolant volume inside the CFC to cool a larger amount of wort volume, thus the total efficiency of the chiller would not be as good.
3. With decreased resistance and increased flow rate, your wort would be traveling faster through a less efficient CFC.

Keep in mind, this is all from just logic, and not experience...It may not make that much practical difference, but it might.

If you are set on the 1/2" copper you could make a longer CFC to make up for the inefficiency.

With these things in mind, I have thought about making mine with 3/8" copper and a 3/4" hose. This may be the way to go for people who deal with high ground water temps.

All that said...
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this forum, I have learned a lot. After brewing with my shop owner at the store...and experiencing the difference between cooling times with an IC and a CFC, I'll be building one myself. After talking with him, his experience is that 25' is not enough, but 30' really works well (he has high ground water temps from the city lines). I was going to build 2 25' CFC's and sell one, but he convinced me to buy materials for 3x 30' and sell off the other 2. I had to special order the 100' length of 3/8 copper since no local store carried it, and getting a craftsman rubber hose from Sears. All other parts I was able to pick up from HD or Lowes. (stupid me bought the 1/2-3/8 reducers before thoroughly reviewing this feed, but took them back today and got the right ones.) Total cost was about $215 or about $72 dollars each. I went with 1/2 Brass Tee -->1/2" pipe --> 1/2" MPT adapter --> 1/2' FIP to male and female Garden Hose Thread from my coolant ins and outs so it was a little more expensive. I went with a heavy duty rubber hose too, so that added to the cost, but I wanted more durable than cheap.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:04 PM   #398
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 05m50dan View Post
I could be wrong, but I think this setup (1/2" copper & 3/4" hose) would increase flow of wort from kettle to fermenter, but would most likely decrease efficiency of the total unit. I dont have the math to follow up my thinking, but logic says the following...
1. the larger the inner circuit the less resistance to flow therefore increased flowrate.
2. by increasing the inner circuit from 3/8 to 1/2 you are increasing the total volume of wort inside the 25foot CFC. Now going from 5/8 to 3/4 will very slightly increase the total volume of the outer circuit, the difference is not as significant total mass as raising the volume of the inner circuit. Essentially you would be using about the same amount of coolant volume inside the CFC to cool a larger amount of wort volume, thus the total efficiency of the chiller would not be as good.
3. With decreased resistance and increased flow rate, your wort would be traveling faster through a less efficient CFC.

Keep in mind, this is all from just logic, and not experience...It may not make that much practical difference, but it might.

If you are set on the 1/2" copper you could make a longer CFC to make up for the inefficiency.

With these things in mind, I have thought about making mine with 3/8" copper and a 3/4" hose. This may be the way to go for people who deal with high ground water temps.

All that said...
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this forum, I have learned a lot. After brewing with my shop owner at the store...and experiencing the difference between cooling times with an IC and a CFC, I'll be building one myself. After talking with him, his experience is that 25' is not enough, but 30' really works well (he has high ground water temps from the city lines). I was going to build 2 25' CFC's and sell one, but he convinced me to buy materials for 3x 30' and sell off the other 2. I had to special order the 100' length of 3/8 copper since no local store carried it, and getting a craftsman rubber hose from Sears. All other parts I was able to pick up from HD or Lowes. (stupid me bought the 1/2-3/8 reducers before thoroughly reviewing this feed, but took them back today and got the right ones.) Total cost was about $215 or about $72 dollars each. I went with 1/2 Brass Tee -->1/2" pipe --> 1/2" MPT adapter --> 1/2' FIP to male and female Garden Hose Thread from my coolant ins and outs so it was a little more expensive. I went with a heavy duty rubber hose too, so that added to the cost, but I wanted more durable than cheap.

The difference between 25' and 30' is going to be negligble, many people have used 50' CFC's and found their efficiency to be barely better than 20-25' ones.
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Old 07-27-2013, 04:47 PM   #399
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Here's my 33' CFC. Going to make some tweaks though. I'm going to put a faucet on the out port for the garden hose so I can regulate the water flow. Also going to add 1/2-1/4 reducer + 1/2 pipe + 1/2 male adapter to the wort in/out for my camlocks.

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Old 09-27-2013, 01:39 PM   #400
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Does anyone know if there is a good reason to not use reclaimed copper refrigerant line from my old AC unit? We got our HVAC system replaced and the copper from the previous AC is just hanging there unused. Should I be concerned about running precious wort through something that once contain freon?

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