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Old 07-22-2012, 05:22 PM   #1
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Default immersion chiller build question

Now that summer is here I'm finally building my wort chiller. I'm buying a 50 foot roll of 3/8 copper . My question is should i do a 50 foot chiller or should i do 40 foot chiller with a 10 foot pre chiller? Or maybe a 35/15 split?

Doing 5 gallon boils now. Hope to be doing 10 gallons in a few weeks. (have all the equipment besides extra car boy.)

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Old 07-22-2012, 05:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by steber View Post
Now that summer is here I'm finally building my wort chiller. I'm buying a 50 foot roll of 3/8 copper . My question is should i do a 50 foot chiller or should i do 40 foot chiller with a 10 foot pre chiller? Or maybe a 35/15 split?

Doing 5 gallon boils now. Hope to be doing 10 gallons in a few weeks. (have all the equipment besides extra car boy.)
I would do the full 50 as the wort chiller. You could always add a little 20 foot prechiller later, but I wouldn't cut that 50 footer up.
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:48 PM   #3
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I have a 50 foot chiller and used to use a 20 foot prechiller with it. I found that the prechiller was not all that effective and now I recirculate ice water. I use tap water through my chiller to get the temp down to 90-100 ºF, then use a 1/6 HP submersible pump in a 20 gallon tub to recirculate ice water (about 10 gallons in the tub) to get down to pitching temps. This works much better. I'd advise leaving the 50 foot chiller intact and start looking for a deal on a submersible pump - here's the one I use:

http://www.harborfreight.com/16-hors...ump-68422.html

Also you can check eBay.

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Old 07-22-2012, 09:13 PM   #4
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I am doing the same as DeafSmith. And I never had much success with a prechiller. Cheap pump is the way to go.

I did my chiller with two concentric rings of coils. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/new-...hiller-103802/

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Old 07-22-2012, 09:32 PM   #5
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One thing I would make sure of, is all 50', based on your intended design, fits underneath the wort. For instance, I used 20' of 5/8" and formed it to fit my 30 qt. turkey pot which the 5 gal. mark was about 11" from the bottom. After I went to a 15 gal. pot, the 5 gal. mark was only about 6" high meaning that more than 1/3 of the chiller was above the wort level. This caused me to completely reform my coil and re-solder the elbows. It was a pain.

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Old 07-22-2012, 09:51 PM   #6
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I would agree with all of the above. Keep your chiller at 50 ft; keep as many coils in your wort as you can; and don't bother with a pre-chiller. The only thing I would add is to keep your wort moving while chilling. Some have a pump and recirculate wort using a recirculating-whirlpool arm. Others slowly stir the wort. Keeping the wort moving will help it cool down faster. The. After getting it down to your ground water temps, use a pump to circulate ice water through the chiller coils.

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Old 07-22-2012, 10:05 PM   #7
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Wow..I guess our groundwater is cold compared to others. Or...am I taking too long to chill? I have a 50 foot chiller with about one ring showing out of the 5 gallons of Wort at full boil. I can chill to 78 in almost exactly 10 minutes using a floating therm while I constantly stir. Too long? (btw, bought it from Amazon shipped for less than $70 if I remember correctly)

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Old 07-22-2012, 10:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by wolverinebrewer View Post
One thing I would make sure of, is all 50', based on your intended design, fits underneath the wort. For instance, I used 20' of 5/8" and formed it to fit my 30 qt. turkey pot which the 5 gal. mark was about 11" from the bottom. After I went to a 15 gal. pot, the 5 gal. mark was only about 6" high meaning that more than 1/3 of the chiller was above the wort level. This caused me to completely reform my coil and re-solder the elbows. It was a pain.
Make the coil diameter as large as you can get into your kettle (but leave an inch or two between the coils and the kettle wall). The large diameter coils help you get more of the chiller into the wort and also leave a large open space in the center for stirring to keep the wort moving past the coils (assuming you don't use a pump to whirlpool the wort). But if you stir, do it gently to not aerate the wort while it's still hot.
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:23 PM   #9
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I have all of my copper in the wort, and I recirculate icewater with a pump and 48qt cooler. It takes me only a few min to get from flame out to 70 deg. 20lb of ice and I still have some ice not melted when I am done. When I upgrade I will wind another coil to a smaller diameter to go in with the wider coil, and run a tee from the pump to both coils. I am gonna move away from bags of ice to freezing buckets of ice (I have the room in my freezer for this). The blocks of ice last longer than the cubes.

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Old 07-23-2012, 03:20 AM   #10
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I was able to pick up a roll of copper today and knocked out the chiller. I decided to make it versatile so i can use it in my 7 gallon pot and also my 14 gallon. With 5 gallons in my 14 gal pot it JUST barely is fully submerged.. To the point where it will be a nice gauge to be sure i boiled off to 5 gallons.

Obviously in my 7 gallon it is fully submerged. Pretty happy with the result for bending by hand. no elbows and No kinks. Will upload pictures shortly.

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