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Old 07-30-2012, 02:25 AM   #1
ahave
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Default Need Help With 1/2" SS Counter Flow Chiller Build

I have a spare roll of 50ft of thin-wall SS tubing, my thought was to upgrade my setup to use a counter flow chiller. I understand how to put together a copper based CF chiller, but I am having a hard time piecing the parts for a SS version. I mostly blame this on the fact that I can't go to Home Depot and look at what is on the shelf.

I would like to put the chiller together just as I would a copper one, soldering/brazing each joint. I can either make one like this, with a reducer or I could just drill out an end cap and solder the inner coil to it. The problem is I am finding it hard to search for these items when I do not know the proper terminology.

My thought was to use a 3/4" SS TEE for tubing, which should provide a tight connection to a 3/4" rubber garden hose (5/8" is too tight IMO). From there I need to find a way to step it down to 1/2" tubing and camlock style connectors.

What is the connection called that will allow me to solder/braze SS tubing?
Using Google, I didn't see any build threads. Has anyone else put together a 1/2" SS chiller?
Am I overlooking any other build options? Compression fittings seem overly expensive compared to solder/braze joints.

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Old 07-30-2012, 02:41 AM   #2
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This might help: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/chey...ensive-344466/

I understand that's a 3/8" tube he's using, but you should be able to scale up and use similar parts, no?

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Old 07-30-2012, 12:50 PM   #3
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Copper fittings will sweat to stainlesss steel just fine if you use the correct flux.
Otherwise you will need to use stainless steel compression fittings and drill them out the stops in the comprssion adapters so the tube will pass through.

Another choice is to drill out a bushing or threaded plug to pass the tubing through, thread it in the tee, and then solder that to the tube to form the seal.

Buy a cobalt drill bit if you are drilling a 1/2" compression adapter. There is a quite a bit of metal to remove.

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Old 07-31-2012, 01:50 AM   #4
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Thanks for the tips/links! I did not know that copper and SS could share a sweat joint without issue. Given that I am using a $70 SS inner tube, I think it is worth the effort/ca$h to make all the fittings SS.

I will look into using a 3/4" TEE with NPT fittings and drilling out an end cap as suggested.

Thanks!

BargainFittings.com shows out of stock on all 3/4" fittings, is this true?
I would like to keep my business within the homebrew community in lieu of Ebay (aka China).

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Old 07-31-2012, 02:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahave View Post
Thanks for the tips/links! I did not know that copper and SS could share a sweat joint without issue. Given that I am using a $70 SS inner tube, I think it is worth the effort/ca$h to make all the fittings SS.

I will look into using a 3/4" TEE with NPT fittings and drilling out an end cap as suggested.

Thanks!

BargainFittings.com shows out of stock on all 3/4" fittings, is this true?
I would like to keep my business within the homebrew community in lieu of Ebay (aka China).
I have some 3/4" fittings in stock. I need to update the site. I'll check tomorrow if I have the 3/4" tees.

Wayne.
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:55 AM   #6
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Sounds like a cool project. So are you planning on straightening the roll and inserting it into the outer tubing/hose, then coiling it back up? If so, can you do that without kinking it? My understanding was compared to soft copper tubing, stainless tubing was a complete bitch to bend without kinking.

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Old 07-31-2012, 04:21 AM   #7
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Thanks! Ill update the thread as my project continues. Straightening my tubing would certainly destroy what tubing I have. I feel confident that I will be able to pull/push the outer hose over my hose - as long as it is 3/4", no way 5/8" would work. Vaseline will of course be my friend. The reason why it is 'bonus' in the first place is b/c I tried to hand bend it and ended up kinking it. The kinks are not bad enough to limit flow, but they were bad enough to limit my ability to continue to reduce the diameter size.

So far my mental list is this below. As you can see by the lack of links, I am still sourcing the SS components.
Hx Tubing
50ft SS thin wall coil
50ft 3/4" all rubber/hot water garden hose

Terminal Ends [All SS] (x2)
3/4" SS NPT TEE
3/4" NPT Male to 3/4" Barb Fitting (to connect to garden hose)
3/4" NPT Male to 1/2" Female Fitting (to output to camlock/whatever)
3/4" NPT Male Plug (to dirll/bore out and solder to allow 0.5" SS tubing to pass through)
1/2" NPT Male to 1/2" compression OR 1/2" NPT Male to solder-able fitting for SS

Just found this site, has anyone used it before?
http://www.zorotools.com

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Old 07-31-2012, 01:14 PM   #8
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That makes sense. Lube the hell out of it and I hope it works out without causing too much frustration.

Re zorotools.com, I've used them once. I bought the 12" sheave for my grain mill from them. If I recall correctly, the shipping was very fast and I think I had my order within two or three days.

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Last edited by microbusbrewery; 07-31-2012 at 01:17 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahave View Post
Thanks! Ill update the thread as my project continues. Straightening my tubing would certainly destroy what tubing I have. I feel confident that I will be able to pull/push the outer hose over my hose - as long as it is 3/4", no way 5/8" would work. Vaseline will of course be my friend. The reason why it is 'bonus' in the first place is b/c I tried to hand bend it and ended up kinking it. The kinks are not bad enough to limit flow, but they were bad enough to limit my ability to continue to reduce the diameter size.

So far my mental list is this below. As you can see by the lack of links, I am still sourcing the SS components.
Hx Tubing
50ft SS thin wall coil
50ft 3/4" all rubber/hot water garden hose

Terminal Ends [All SS] (x2)
3/4" SS NPT TEE
3/4" NPT Male to 3/4" Barb Fitting (to connect to garden hose)
3/4" NPT Male to 1/2" Female Fitting (to output to camlock/whatever)
3/4" NPT Male Plug (to dirll/bore out and solder to allow 0.5" SS tubing to pass through)
1/2" NPT Male to 1/2" compression OR 1/2" NPT Male to solder-able fitting for SS

Just found this site, has anyone used it before?
http://www.zorotools.com
resurrecting an old thread - did you ever build this, and if so, how did it work? Are you able to cool to water-in temps at maximum wort flow-rate through the SS coil? Any idea what the max flow-rate is (how long does it take you to run a 5 gallon or a 10 gallon batch through the coil)??

I'm thinking of doing the same thing but I'm worried that with 1/2" coil in 3/4" hose there may not be enough water flowing around the SS to make full use of the cooling capacity of the coil, so I'm thinking of using 1" hose instead.

I've made a 25' copper+garden hose CFC before and managed to get the hose wound around the coil without too much difficulty (and no Vaseline :-) - how easy/hard was it for you to get you 3/4" hose wound around your 1/2" coil and do you think it would be easier or harder with 1" hose?

thanks,

-fafrd
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahave View Post
Thanks! Ill update the thread as my project continues. Straightening my tubing would certainly destroy what tubing I have. I feel confident that I will be able to pull/push the outer hose over my hose - as long as it is 3/4", no way 5/8" would work. Vaseline will of course be my friend. The reason why it is 'bonus' in the first place is b/c I tried to hand bend it and ended up kinking it. The kinks are not bad enough to limit flow, but they were bad enough to limit my ability to continue to reduce the diameter size.

So far my mental list is this below. As you can see by the lack of links, I am still sourcing the SS components.
Hx Tubing
50ft SS thin wall coil
50ft 3/4" all rubber/hot water garden hose

Terminal Ends [All SS] (x2)
3/4" SS NPT TEE
3/4" NPT Male to 3/4" Barb Fitting (to connect to garden hose)
3/4" NPT Male to 1/2" Female Fitting (to output to camlock/whatever)
3/4" NPT Male Plug (to dirll/bore out and solder to allow 0.5" SS tubing to pass through)
1/2" NPT Male to 1/2" compression OR 1/2" NPT Male to solder-able fitting for SS

Just found this site, has anyone used it before?
http://www.zorotools.com
resurrecting an old thread - did you ever build this, and if so, how did it work? Are you able to cool to water-in temps at maximum wort flow-rate through the SS coil? Any idea what the max flow-rate is (how long does it take you to run a 5 gallon or a 10 gallon batch through the coil)??

I'm thinking of doing the same thing but I'm worried that with 1/2" coil in 3/4" hose there may not be enough water flowing around the SS to make full use of the cooling capacity of the coil, so I'm thinking of using 1" hose instead.

I've made a 25' copper+garden hose CFC before and managed to get the hose wound around the coil without too much difficulty (and no Vaseline :-) - how easy/hard was it for you to get you 3/4" hose wound around your 1/2" coil and do you think it would be easier or harder with 1" hose?

thanks,

-fafrd
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