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Old 05-10-2009, 03:37 PM   #1
Orangevango
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Default Making a Stainless coil?

Does anyone on this forum have any experiance making a coil of stainless tubing? Im hoping to get something similar to an immersion chiller, but none of the stainless immersion chillers on the market meet my specs. Im planning on having this welded to the inside of my kettle as a chiller/herms coil.

What type of tubing do i need to buy? I want 50 feet of coil.

Where can I get it?

How do I bend it into an even coil?

Thanks alot you guys.

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Old 05-11-2009, 07:10 PM   #2
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It depends on the wall thickness of the stainless, however you are better off buying a stainless coil. I'd be quite impressed if you could make a stainless coil 1/2 as pretty as the ones you can buy.

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Old 05-11-2009, 07:15 PM   #3
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Yes, you can do this.

Best source is McMaster-Carr, believe it or not, item #8989K98. It is $70.33 for a 1/2" 50' coil.

To recoil it to a dimension that will fit in your kettle you can do the same process as used for copper immersion coils... kind of.

I have a brew pot I used from my 5g extract days that is stainless and about 12" in diameter. I had a friend help me.

We both wore leather gloves, then used one handle of the pot to "clamp" the first end of the coil in place. One of us held the coil in place while the other drew the loose end of the coil around the pot to make the coils smaller.

It is a pain and difficult to do, but it does work. After about 2 to 3 iterations you should have a very usable coil.

Just be sure your forming pot or whatever is sturdy.

My coil looks nice and will look great inside my HLT and Boil kettle. I am using compression fittings so I can remove the coil for cleaning every once in a while.

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Old 05-13-2009, 09:07 AM   #4
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Hey mate,

this is a coil i made with 1/2" stainless tube, I rolled it around a 160mm roller, it took two of us and alot of pressure to keep it tight.


Cheers.

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Old 05-13-2009, 11:37 AM   #5
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Copper is a better heat transfer and is better suited for a chiller...

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Old 05-13-2009, 12:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poobah58 View Post
Copper is a better heat transfer and is better suited for a chiller...
False.

In our application, the heat conductivity of the metal is almost completely insignificant. The thickness of the metal pretty much negates this affect. The difficulty in creating a good turbulent flow around the heat exchanger and the temperature of the coolant are the biggest limiting factors for homebrewers.

Seriously people, do I need to have this response on a macro?

Stainless is a better material, it is easier to clean, takes more abuse, and does just as good a job.
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:09 PM   #7
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I don't want to get into a pissing contest but FYI:
Thermal Conductivity of some common Materials

Thermal conductivity is the quantity of heat transmitted through a unit thickness in a direction normal to a surface of unit area, due to a unit temperature gradient under steady state conditions.
Thermal conductivity, or heat transfer coefficients, of some common materials and products are indicated in the table below.

  • 1 W/(mK) = 1 W/(moC) = 0.85984 kcal/(hr moC) = 0.5779 Btu/(ft hr oF)
Aluminum = 255
Copper = 400
Carbon Steel = 51
Stainless Steel = 17
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boerderij_Kabouter View Post
Seriously people, do I need to have this response on a macro?

Stainless is a better material, it is easier to clean, takes more abuse, and does just as good a job.

Stainless is also... more expensive, more difficult to obtain (in terms of availability locally), and harder to bend.

I can't really comment on the thermal conductivity, but I can easily pickup a 50 foot coil of copper at Lowes or Homedepot for about 40-45 bux. There is no really no "cleaning" involved in a chiller, i just dunk it in bucket of hot waste water and it's clean. There's really no "abuse" that a chiller needs to take as far as I'm concerned, I set it in the kettle then it goes in the bucket, then it hangs up to dry. Plus, the copper is also good for the yeast!

I will go hide now.

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Old 05-13-2009, 08:35 PM   #9
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Yes, I know what thermal conductivity is. The reality is that in our situation it just isn't the limiting factor. The chilling time difference for a 10g batch between copper and SS is about 50 seconds give or take.

If our chillers were thick blocks it would make a difference, but the thermal resistance offered by the chiller is dependent on a factor of the thickness and the thermal conductivity. When the thickness is as thin as ours is, that factor becomes very small and insignificant when compared with other factors.

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Old 05-13-2009, 08:37 PM   #10
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I realize that many of you will never want a stainless chiller. That does not mean they are a bad idea or dumb. 50' of 1/2" stainless is $70 at McMaster and will be indestructible. Copper bends and punctures much more easily and it does happen to many people.

If copper works for you, great! Stainless also works very well.

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