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Old 02-19-2012, 09:39 PM   #1
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Default Homemade wort chiller problems

So, after some discussion with a friend, I picked up 50' of 1/4" soft copper for building a wort chiller. After a few attempts I've got it shaped, and looking like a coil of copper but I've ended up with two issues.

The first is stability/wobbliness. I doubt it's really an issue and more of me comparing myself to well-built ones by experienced people. Basically, it's not very "solid". It kind of reminds me of ET's neck. Is this even a real issue?

The second is a leak where I connect to the hose. I used a washing machine hose, cut off the end, and then clamped it to the 1/4" pipe. No matter how hard I've tightened the clamp I'm still getting the leak. I've angled this connection downward so it should leak outside the pot, but I'd generally feel better if it didn't leak at all.

Any advice in either of these areas?

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Old 02-19-2012, 09:54 PM   #2
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i could never get the leak problem solved using hose clamps. In the end, the solution for me was to solder brass hose fittings on it. There is a thread on here somewhere that I followed for the info. Many people use copper wire or a flattened piece of soft copper to stabilize the chiller. I will add this to mine one of these days. until then mine is also kinda slinky-like.

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Old 02-19-2012, 10:30 PM   #3
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You can reduce the slinky effect by threading and crossing copper wire up the sides of the chiller. When I used a IM I had a hose come loose and spray murky well water into the wort. After that, I soldered some elbows and extensions to get the hose connection out and over the kettle just in case it happened again.

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Old 02-19-2012, 11:26 PM   #4
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I'll ask around to see if I've got any friends who have experience soldering pipes because it's completely outside my area of comfort.

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Old 02-20-2012, 12:12 AM   #5
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Then check this video out:


And also, be careful! As your wart can be contagious!
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“Get your beer off the yeast cake on day 7 or your beer will crawl out of the fermenter and eat your youngest child”

“Your beer will be the equivalent of rhinoceros urine unless it sits on the primary yeast cake for at least 4 weeks.”
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:21 AM   #6
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And also, be careful! As your wart can be contagious!
Oi, it has been one of those days. The video looks "simple" so I'm going to give it a bit more of the college try and add more clamps. Failing that, I think I might take my chances with the torch.

Thanks for the video.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCericola View Post
Oi, it has been one of those days. The video looks "simple" so I'm going to give it a bit more of the college try and add more clamps. Failing that, I think I might take my chances with the torch.

Thanks for the video.
You bet! Those torches are not expensive and are easy to use. Good luck!
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“Get your beer off the yeast cake on day 7 or your beer will crawl out of the fermenter and eat your youngest child”

“Your beer will be the equivalent of rhinoceros urine unless it sits on the primary yeast cake for at least 4 weeks.”
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:37 AM   #8
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Use the proper sized vinyl tubing and stainless steel hose clamps and you should have no leaking.

I made mine out of 3/8 inch tubing and got the vinyl tubing that fit quite snugly.

I laced the copper ground wire from a short piece of romex wiring in 3 places around the coil. It is very solid.

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Old 02-20-2012, 01:37 AM   #9
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you can also use compression fittings.. No torches or solder needed that way.

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Old 02-25-2012, 06:09 PM   #10
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Thanks for everyone's help. Stopped down at Home Depot today and they had a compression fitting exactly for what I need (1/4" to garden hose). And it works perfectly.

It doesn't look good and it can wobble when it stands by itself but I did myself and it seems to work.

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