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Old 11-06-2012, 01:23 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
I'm done arguing against the "rib cage" designs all that but guys, please stop uncoiling the copper only to recoil it. The uncoiling process starts hardening the copper already and just makes it harder to coil. Drop the larger coil over your mandrel (the round thing you use to form the new coil) and simply tight the coil.
Bobby,

Why are you against the ribcage design? I dont want to argue with you about it, I just want to know your reasoning against it. Is it because a Jamil style whirlpool IC is more efficient than the ribcage design? Or are you a counterflow/plate chiller guy? I'm trying to figure out what to do for my new chiller as I need to make a new one since I went from a 3 gallon pot to a 15 gallon pot that is 18" diameter and about 18" tall. I don't have a pump since I do BIAB and I would rather not deal with one. I'm trying to figure out how much tubing I should buy to quickly cool 10 gallons of wort in my pot.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:08 PM   #172
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Originally Posted by BadBeagleBrew View Post
You have to uncoil to take measurements in some cases.
OR, you can take a "length" of rope or speaker wire and wrap it around your mandrel first to determine and mark the start / end points. Then start your copper coil at the upper start point and wrap around down to the half point at the other mark.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:59 PM   #173
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Well here's my interwoven wort chiller! As a chemical engineer, I really like this design. You spread out the surface area of the copper while also maintaining the best driving force for heat transfer. I almost got into the thermodynamics of it all but I will refrain. This thread has seen enough!

EDIT: everything cost me about $50 at Lowe's. I got some extra vinyl tubing in case I needed the water to run through an ice bath before it enters the wort. The tap water can be very warm in Texas...

image-3388796798.jpg

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Old 12-10-2012, 02:15 PM   #174
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Well I was finally able to use my DIY wort chiller (picture in previous post) for my imperial whiskey stout this past weekend. It was WORLDS better than an ice bath, but still took about 30 mins to cool from boiling to 80F. I blame it on the 72F tap water...

Anyway, not as successful as some of you, but still a lot better than the alternatives and worth every penny!

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Old 01-29-2013, 07:16 PM   #175
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Guys, I have gotten some pretty good results with this new chiller design I made last week. I have done 2 brews with it thus far and the results are better than expected.

I used 22' of 3/8" Refrigeration tubing. I don't have pictures to show how I made it, so I will be as descript as possible.

I began by marking the center of the length of tubing. I then wrapped the tubing using a paint can to make the coils. I started at each end of the tubing and wrapped toward the marked center point. When I was done I had 2 opposing coils and 12" of straight tubing at the beginning end of each of the coils. Next I spread the coils apart a little and then meshed them together much in the same way you would do with your fingers like you are taught to pray when you are a little kid. After that I bent the straight ends so they went vertical and then bent the downturns so they would reach up, out of, and over the side of the pot.

Here is the finished product.





This will stand up high enough to reach out of a 7.5gal turkey fryer.



The results are kind of hard to believe but this was done with a timer last night so I have to just accept that I have created a fantastic chiller for next to nothing.

I chilled 5gal of wort from a boil to under 70* (67* to be exact) in just shy of13 minutes. I did immerse the pot in my sink, using the "spent" water to circulate a cold water bath around the pot. I also raised and lowered the cooler in the wort every few minutes to make sure that everything was stirred up nicely.
I just spent my entire lunch break reading 18 pages about a ribcage wort chiller. Nice design! I plan to make mine tonight, I only brew 2.5-5 gallons at a time and don't foresee me going any more than that anytime soon. My coworker found 50' x 1/2" for $39 at Lowes this weekend and I think we're gonna split that and stick with 25' each. Originally we thought, why not use 50', but I think using all 50' for such small batches is a waste. But saving $20 helps me justify using compression fittings and making it a nice design that will last! If I need to add a pre-chiller coil, I can in the future, but for now our water in Colorado is pretty cold in the winter.

I'll post pics when I'm done. I am thinking of splitting it in 2 with a compression T fitting so it splits the cold water evenly among the coils. We'll see how it turns out.

Thanks for the great suggestions,
Lorne
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:19 AM   #176
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So, I was too excited to get my RCIC done and made so I finished it tonight! Didn't think it'd be done tonight. However it did take some time to really figure out the amount of pipe I needed to leave straight and coil.

All in all, this is 25' of 1/2" copper tubing. I altered the design a bit and added a compression T fitting to split the incoming water into each coil to even disburse the cold water in the Wort. Then both come up and shoot out.

One issue I had was I didn't anticipate how large the 90 degree turn radiuses would be so my straight lengths ended up being too short. I kinked the first one I tried to bend, so I didn't want to risk breaking the tube by straightening and trying again. So I may just have to add a foot or so of clear tubing with a clamp for the exit tubes. Luckily I left PLENTY of tubing for the inlet to a hose bibb. That also came across the top to act as my handle to carry it. Since that's the inlet the tube won't burn my hand, the other two would.

I haven't tested this with any wort yet. I plan to test it on a water boil tomorrow while I clean it, then this weekend I'll make another batch and test it on the real stuff!

Thanks for an awesome design and great insight guys! Here's some pics of my progress and final product.

Lorne

0.jpg   1.jpg   2.jpg   3.jpg   4.jpg  

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Old 01-31-2013, 02:03 PM   #177
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I made a rib-cage wort-chiller about a month ago and have used it 3 times now. I used a 25' length of 3/8" copper, and also made a pre-chiller using another 25" of 3/8" copper. I put the prechiller in a 5-gallon bucket filled with icewater, but when I run this setup it is still taking almost an hour to get down to 60-65* pitching temps?

Obviously my tube would function better if it was bigger/longer (THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID), but I really was expecting the prechiller to make up for it. At this point I am wondering if I would be better off scavenging the pre-chiller and somehow sculpting it to fit in my brew kettle alongside the rib-cage, and just run directly from my sink. My water is usually in the 50-60* range, even in winter...so I wasn't sure if I would still have issues.

I suppose I could also buy a big plastic bucket and put the kettle in an ice bath at the same time I am chilling it with the IC...but I am really trying to avoid buying ice bags for every brew day, and the other alternative is to spend a week making ice in my freezer to stock up...

Also, I don't move the chiller around a lot, and I have read that helps, but would it really have that big an impact if it is taking an hour as-is?

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Old 02-03-2013, 04:55 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by VonAle View Post
OR, you can take a "length" of rope or speaker wire and wrap it around your mandrel first to determine and mark the start / end points. Then start your copper coil at the upper start point and wrap around down to the half point at the other mark.

Or measure the circumference of your paint can or mandrel and then calculate how many wraps you need to make around it to get half way.
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Old 07-21-2013, 04:04 AM   #179
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Let's bring this back one more time...

I made one today. 50' of 3/8" OD tubing. Based on some of the talk about kinking tubing, refrigeration vs soft tubing, etc, I was hesitant at first. But it was easy!

Go slow and be gentle. I used a piece of string to measure 25' (the center) without unwinding the coil. I then coiled around a paint can once on each side of the center mark.
You will need to carefully manipulate the coils to wrap the tubing tight against the paint can; partial unwinding/increasing the coil diameters will be necessary. By the way, a paint can is 6.5" diameter, in case you're looking for something of similar diameter.
Step on the coil of Cu tubing at the mark, and pull the tube tight to the can. Also push the coils together/down so they are uniform. I thin I made 12 coils on each side of center.
Leave about 2' uncoiled at the ends for the flexible tubing.
When it's time to expand the coils to join them together, I rested them against each other by laying one coil on its side, which puts the other on top of it... and very gently the coils apart one at a time so that I didn't over spread them -- I wanted to keep the "cage" tight. Once the coils are meshed, push the outer edges in to push the coils into a manageable width (measure your kettle before you start).

Here's a picture of the tubing I used from Lowes. It was $47, the vinyl tubing was $7.50, and the adapters to get from faucet to garden hose to tubing barb were ~$9. So I'm in for ~$60, which is much cheaper than a 50' IC from a retail outfit.

cu-box.jpg

I am currently brewing 2 gal batches in a 3 gal pot. The IC is a bit tall (and bulky), but I plan to upgrade to a 10 gal kettle for 5-7 gal batches soon.

ic-01.jpg
ic-02.jpg
ic-02a.jpg
ic-03.jpg

I used it for the first batch today; an Imperial IPA. Using fairly cool tap water (this is Illinois), I was able to get from 212F to 135F for my hop stand in 1 minute, 22 sec. I thought that was pretty impressive. I didn't time the 135F to pitch, but it did take much longer. I can only imagine how fast it will be in the winter...

This forum
Thanks for all of the great ideas!

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Old 08-03-2013, 08:41 PM   #180
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Would it be ok to use 1/2 in od tubing? Local HD has 50ft on sale for 50$. Cheaper than the 3/8

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