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Old 09-21-2010, 02:30 AM   #1
weathejx
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Default Cheap Immersion Chiller Build - Under $30

Next brew is coming up and I needed a better way to chill my wort (read: sticking pot in sink full of ice is lousy).

So I checked out this thread and this thread and got some ideas.

I went and picked up some copper, some tubing and some misc hardware. Turns out all I needed was the copper and tubing.

Copper - $19.68.
Tubing - $6.88.
Worm Clamps - Had some laying around.

The copper i got was already coiled, so I found the midpoint, stretched it out a bit and then spaced the coils. I then bent the pipe up a bit at the end. I cut the vinyl in to about two 7' and a 6'. I attached the two 7' lengths to the pipe with worm clamps.

At this point I thought that I would need to wait until I found some more parts (lowes was missing the bushing), and then I took apart the sprayer on my sink, to find a 3/8th barb!

Connected the tube to the barb with another worm clamp and bam! working chiller. The whole thing took about 15 minutes.

Ill update once I actually use it and let you know how it works.

John

Full setup:


Water in/out:


Ribs:


Sprayer Connection:


IC Connected to Spayer:


IC/Sprayer Connection Closeup:


Last edited by weathejx; 09-21-2010 at 01:57 PM. Reason: fixed image, added a forgotten thread for credit
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Old 09-21-2010, 01:45 PM   #2
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I like how you have two loops. That should help with distributing the cooling.

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Old 09-21-2010, 01:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnybrew View Post
I like how you have two loops. That should help with distributing the cooling.
Yeah, I forgot to credit this thread as well.

I stopped by lowes on the way to work today to pickup another 5' coil of copper (about 4 bucks) to make a pre-chiller. My idea is to make a new coil that will sit in an ice bath that my tap water (67-68deg) will run through before hitting the main coil immersed in my brew kettle.

Not sure if it'll actually make any difference, but for 4 bucks I was willing to try.

John
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:53 PM   #4
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sounds like a good idea to me. i'm interested to see if it works out. seems like the temp of my tap water has gone up a few degrees. last summer I was getting my wort down to 65 deg no problem, Sunday I couldn't get the sucker past 71-72. a cheap and easy, pumpless prechiller would be great

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Old 09-21-2010, 05:18 PM   #5
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i would think sitting the pot in an ice bath would chill the wort quicker than a prechilled immersion chiller?

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Old 09-22-2010, 12:26 AM   #6
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A five foot coil is probably too short to really make much of a difference, but it did drop the water temp by about 1-2deg. but i haven't really tested it too much. my piping was way too long as well.

I think im going to try to rig up some sort of container that will sit as close to the chiller as possible with as little tube in between as possible. Also let the prechiller coil sit in the ice bath to cool when i pop the IC in the wort 15 mins before the end of the boil.

i should be brewing in the next week or so and take some times.

john.

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Old 09-22-2010, 12:52 AM   #7
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I am thinking about making this for my next batch. Which would be better:

1/4" @ 50' ($40) or 3/8" @ 20' ($24)

I am thinking of using a spare aquarium pump that would cycle ice water through the tubing.

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Old 09-22-2010, 12:55 AM   #8
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If I can make a suggestion... Bend the ends where your hoses attach downward and away from your pot like /| so if you get a leak in a hose it doesn't drop into your wort. In my very complex diagram in the previous sentence your hoses would attach to the bottom end of the / and the | represents the side and lip of your pot.

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Old 09-22-2010, 02:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrayzieVanh View Post
I am thinking about making this for my next batch. Which would be better:

1/4" @ 50' ($40) or 3/8" @ 20' ($24)

I am thinking of using a spare aquarium pump that would cycle ice water through the tubing.
the more cooling surface area the better, right? That's the logic I would use, but im sure theres someone here that can give you a more scientific reason.

i went with 3/8 because it was cheaper, thats the only reason.

Are you going to be circulating water or just pushing ice water through? if circulating, wouldnt the return water be hot and make circulating less effective than running tap through (unless you keep adding ice)? same sort of deal with pushing ice water, you'll have to keep adding water to the ice pool. with the water cool faster than you push it through?

just some thoughts.

john
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Old 09-22-2010, 02:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheaton View Post
If I can make a suggestion... Bend the ends where your hoses attach downward and away from your pot like /| so if you get a leak in a hose it doesn't drop into your wort. In my very complex diagram in the previous sentence your hoses would attach to the bottom end of the / and the | represents the side and lip of your pot.
i dont plan on having any leaks.

seriously though, thanks for the complex diagram. it hadn't occurred to me.

john.
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