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 mikecshultz 10-09-2012 04:43 PM

Immersion cooler pipe size

I am planning on building an immersion cooler, but I am not sure what size of tubing to get. I have seen that most people use 3/8" I was thinking that a smaller diameter would allow for more surface area contact. Has anyone had luck/trouble with anything smaller than 3/8?

 TBrosBrewing 10-09-2012 06:06 PM

For 5 gal I wouldn't go smaller than 3/8'' tubing. If your batch size is 3 gal or smaller you could get away with 1/4''.

And just so you know if you calculate the surface areas based on manufacturers tubing OD you will get the following numbers:1/4'' = 14.35 square inches/foot, 3/8'' = 19.1 square inches/foot, 1/2'' = 23.8 square inches/foot. So the larger the tubing the more surface contact you will get. Also, you have to look at the temp difference in your water vs. how much your pushing through your chiller. If you don't have enough flow your water will saturate with heat before exiting the chiller, reducing your efficiency and extending the time necessary to chill the wort.

This is why 3/8'' is a generally accepted size for 5 gal and 1/2'' is a generally accepted size for 10 gal.

 mikecshultz 10-09-2012 06:20 PM

That makes sense. I think I am going to wait till Xmas and build one with my dad. I guess it is ice baths until then. Thanks for the help.

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