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Old 06-13-2010, 02:40 PM   #1
Tiber_Brew
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Default Counterflow Wort Chiller Build (and use)

I built this in 2008, but I had pictures, so I figured I'd post them thinking I might give somebody ideas, hope, or motivation. A friend of mine (a brewer at one of the local brewpubs) thought he could use one after I was telling him about my plans, so we built two.

I live way up in the Northern Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and my ground water is usually pretty cold (around 43F in winter, 55F or so in summer), so this chiller is significantly shorter than most at 15 feet.

Measure and cut the 3/8" flex copper and rubber hose. Don't use the cheap plastic crap from Walmart. I got good quality rubber hose from SEARS.



Then we poured some soapy water into the hose so that the copper tubing would slide in easier. Save the jokes.





Here you go. Copper tube inside rubber hose.



Now time to cut, clean and dry fit the copper fittings. Two 1/2" Tees, two 1/2 to 3/8 reducers, and some 1/2" pipe.



Solder the fittings together. I used lead free solder even though the beer won't be touching these joints just to be safe.



Test fit the pieces onto the hose and tubing. Good fit. Set aside for later.



Now time to coil the hose and tubing. First we poured some water into the copper tubing and folded the ends of both sides to seal it in. This will help keep the tubing from kinking while we wrap it into a coil.





[Continued on next post...]

__________________
On tap:
1. Bourbon Barrel Imperial Oatmeal Stout 2. Cali Common 3. IPA 4. Boh Pils 5.[Nitrogen] Dry Stout
Primary:
1. Breakfast Stout 2. Breakfast Stout 3. Sweet Stout 4. Sweet Stout 5. Oktoberfest 6. Oktoberfest
Secondary:
1. Brett Ale 2. none 3. none 4. none
Bottled:
About 36 gallons of beer & 4.2 gallons of mead
Kegged & conditioning:
Imperial Bourbon Barrel Oatmeal Stout, Belgian Dubbel, Cali Common, IPA, Bohemian Pils (lagering)

Last edited by Tiber_Brew; 06-14-2010 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 06-13-2010, 02:41 PM   #2
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Default Counterflow Wort Chiller Build continued

Next, we wrapped it around my CO2 tank. Seemed appropriate, and it was about the right size diameter I was looking for.



You end up with something like this



Now secure the fittings onto the hose via SS band clamps. I also added on a section for the thermometer. That's optional, but I like monitoring the beer output temp. You can see it's another couple of reducers, a tee, and some 1/2" pipe and 3/8" tubing. A cork or rubber stopper will hold the thermometer in place and keep the beer from leaking out.



Here I'm running sanitizer through it before I put it to use. What isn't shown, is that I ran lots of hot water, PBW, cold water, and more sanitizer prior to this shot a few days earlier.



Here it is in action. I just use an old stool to hold it up.



And here's another look



Cheers!

__________________
On tap:
1. Bourbon Barrel Imperial Oatmeal Stout 2. Cali Common 3. IPA 4. Boh Pils 5.[Nitrogen] Dry Stout
Primary:
1. Breakfast Stout 2. Breakfast Stout 3. Sweet Stout 4. Sweet Stout 5. Oktoberfest 6. Oktoberfest
Secondary:
1. Brett Ale 2. none 3. none 4. none
Bottled:
About 36 gallons of beer & 4.2 gallons of mead
Kegged & conditioning:
Imperial Bourbon Barrel Oatmeal Stout, Belgian Dubbel, Cali Common, IPA, Bohemian Pils (lagering)
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Old 06-13-2010, 05:11 PM   #3
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Love what you did man, but I have a question, why Copper instead of Stainless? Thinking Longevity and Sanitation might be drawbacks here. =/

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Old 06-13-2010, 05:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stark View Post
Love what you did man, but I have a question, why Copper instead of Stainless? Thinking Longevity and Sanitation might be drawbacks here. =/
The copper is a much better heat conductor and there's no problem with either longevity (durablility) or sanitation IMO. There's really no downside to using coppper for this type of application.
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Old 06-13-2010, 06:39 PM   #5
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nicely done, love the addon for the temp probe. Those look like hockey shin pads in one of the photos...hockeyplaying homebrewer...just like me

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Old 06-14-2010, 12:58 AM   #6
Tiber_Brew
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Originally Posted by WIPbrewery View Post
nicely done, love the addon for the temp probe. Those look like hockey shin pads in one of the photos...hockeyplaying homebrewer...just like me
You got it! I usually play goalie, but I have pads for playing defense as well.

Thanks for the comments, too.
__________________
On tap:
1. Bourbon Barrel Imperial Oatmeal Stout 2. Cali Common 3. IPA 4. Boh Pils 5.[Nitrogen] Dry Stout
Primary:
1. Breakfast Stout 2. Breakfast Stout 3. Sweet Stout 4. Sweet Stout 5. Oktoberfest 6. Oktoberfest
Secondary:
1. Brett Ale 2. none 3. none 4. none
Bottled:
About 36 gallons of beer & 4.2 gallons of mead
Kegged & conditioning:
Imperial Bourbon Barrel Oatmeal Stout, Belgian Dubbel, Cali Common, IPA, Bohemian Pils (lagering)
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:06 AM   #7
Tiber_Brew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stark View Post
Love what you did man, but I have a question, why Copper instead of Stainless? Thinking Longevity and Sanitation might be drawbacks here. =/
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catt22 View Post
The copper is a much better heat conductor and there's no problem with either longevity (durablility) or sanitation IMO. There's really no downside to using coppper for this type of application.
Cost is also a factor for some. In addition to costing less, copper is (like Catt22 said) a better conductor, and I'm not aware of any longevity or sanitation issues with copper. I've seen plenty of breweries that use copper kettles, mash tuns, HLT, etc., too.

Hey, if you got some info I should read, post it up! I'll be happy to read it!

Thanks for comments, guys!

TiberismycoppersafeBrew
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On tap:
1. Bourbon Barrel Imperial Oatmeal Stout 2. Cali Common 3. IPA 4. Boh Pils 5.[Nitrogen] Dry Stout
Primary:
1. Breakfast Stout 2. Breakfast Stout 3. Sweet Stout 4. Sweet Stout 5. Oktoberfest 6. Oktoberfest
Secondary:
1. Brett Ale 2. none 3. none 4. none
Bottled:
About 36 gallons of beer & 4.2 gallons of mead
Kegged & conditioning:
Imperial Bourbon Barrel Oatmeal Stout, Belgian Dubbel, Cali Common, IPA, Bohemian Pils (lagering)
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:21 AM   #8
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Very nice, compact and clean. I used to live in Wyoming and we had super cold tap water too, could chill boiling wort down to pitching temps really fast w/ no prechiller required.

Cheers.

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Old 06-14-2010, 01:26 AM   #9
Tiber_Brew
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Originally Posted by KingKegII View Post
Very nice, compact and clean. I used to live in Wyoming and we had super cold tap water too, could chill boiling wort down to pitching temps really fast w/ no prechiller required.

Cheers.
Thanks, KingKeg.

I hear ya on the cold tap water. It's pretty nice, and if I ever have to move out of the north, I'll miss that. I can chill from boiling to lager temps without turning the faucet past 3/4 open. And my chiller is 15 feet long. I borrowed a friend's CF chiller a while back that was 30' long, and I hardly even had the faucet cracked open. I knew then I would have (get) to build my own.
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On tap:
1. Bourbon Barrel Imperial Oatmeal Stout 2. Cali Common 3. IPA 4. Boh Pils 5.[Nitrogen] Dry Stout
Primary:
1. Breakfast Stout 2. Breakfast Stout 3. Sweet Stout 4. Sweet Stout 5. Oktoberfest 6. Oktoberfest
Secondary:
1. Brett Ale 2. none 3. none 4. none
Bottled:
About 36 gallons of beer & 4.2 gallons of mead
Kegged & conditioning:
Imperial Bourbon Barrel Oatmeal Stout, Belgian Dubbel, Cali Common, IPA, Bohemian Pils (lagering)
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:17 AM   #10
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Either I'm missing something, or I think you omitted a step. Is there a 3/8" copper pipe inside a 1/2" pipe? If not, what is the beer and water running through?

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