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Old 10-20-2008, 01:13 AM   #1
Jonnio
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Default Made my immersion chiller, not sure if it was worth it

So I am pretty well done with my immersion chiller, just have to add some more structural support and it will be done, but its usable as is. I did a 1/2 x 50' chiller, and now that its all said and done not sure if I would have done it all the same if I had a do over.

Here are the things I did that I wouldn't recommend.

1) I wanted to maximize the coil, so I decided to use some leftover 1/2 rigid pipe as my tube that runs from the top of the chiller to the bottom. Apparently I am the first person that goes to Home Depot wanting to be able to solder 1/2 tubing to 1/2 rigid pipe. The only thing I could find was a compression to threaded fitting that would sorta work. I jammed a street elbow into the threaded side and soldered that, then used the compression fitting for the tubing. Which leaked like a sieve, so I ended up soldering that too....that was like $6 down the drain, but it seems to be holding up so far.

2) I am not sure that 1/2 is worth it on the tubing. It really caused a lot of trouble in finding fittings and tubing.

Overall for about $80 or so I have a 50' 1/2 immersion chiller that is going to be major overkill for my 4 gallon boils, but will be ready to go when I hit 10 gallon batches. I am going to add a recirculating system like on morebeer (I think that's where I read about it) so I should have a pretty stout setup.

I will try and post some pics tomorrow in case anyone wants to see it.

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Old 10-20-2008, 01:50 AM   #2
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What you were looking for where 3/8" to 1/2" adapters. All the fittings are rated by the inside diameter of the pipe. Rigid 1/2" pipe is 1/2" ID so it uses 1/2" fittings. 1/2" soft copper tubing is 3/8" ID so it needs 3/8" fittings. I know this is a huge source of confusion.

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Old 10-20-2008, 02:03 AM   #3
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What you were looking for where 3/8" to 1/2" adapters. All the fittings are rated by the inside diameter of the pipe. Rigid 1/2" pipe is 1/2" ID so it uses 1/2" fittings. 1/2" soft copper tubing is 3/8" ID so it needs 3/8" fittings. I know this is a huge source of confusion.
I figured there was something like that out there. My HD just downsized their plumbing to a small section of one isle, so they had no 3/8" fittings

Well, If it ends up leaking I will cut it off and go buy the right fitting, but I think it has enough solder in there to hold up, it was just a waste of money...I knew I shoulda gone to Lowes
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Old 10-25-2008, 03:54 PM   #4
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Here is a pic of my chiller - it started leaking again out of the compression fitting, so I am going to have to replace that before I do too much brewing. I just sanitized the inside of it and didn't worry about a little leakage into my brew for this first go round though.

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Old 10-25-2008, 05:03 PM   #5
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I would suggest going to a couple of your local ace hardware's, that is where I found a lot of odd 3/8 sweat fittings, so they could probably accommodate.

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Old 10-25-2008, 05:23 PM   #6
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thanks for the tip, I will try that

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Old 10-25-2008, 06:13 PM   #7
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You want PITA, I built my chiller using some 1/4 refridgerator tubing that I got for wicked cheap from a clueless Depot. Problem is that the ONLY place I could find the small fittings I needed was online, at McMaster (I was transitioning from the rigid 1/2 tubing to a split-coil with the 1/4" flex tubing).

I'm sure in the end, I didn't end up saving a dime, but it was fun to learn a new skill and it works well, so I'm happy.

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Old 10-27-2008, 05:29 PM   #8
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$80 is alot.... I would have gone more budget IIWY

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Old 10-27-2008, 10:49 PM   #9
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Yeah, $80 was more than I had planned, but you also couldn't buy the chiller for that. It is basically the equivalent of Chiller from northern brewer for $130

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Old 10-28-2008, 01:07 AM   #10
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Quick question, what type of tubing do you all use? I have ~50' 3/8 and 1/4 copper to made a dual coil chiller (I think that's what came in the rolls) Anyway, i have the copper, and fittings for the faucet. I need to figure out what hose to connect everythin with and what fittings to sue to divide the waterflow and then bring it back together.

I'm going to build this for a 60 quart pot that I will be getting.

-Mike

BTW, with the 1/2" copper many people "swage" copper to get it the right diameter. By flaring the end it enables the end to be able to either fit inside or slide outside an equal sized fitting. HVAC shops can normally do this.

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