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Old 06-30-2013, 03:58 PM   #1
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Default New twist immersion chiller

Have been researching ideas on making my own chiller. Cost being one of the major factors. The standard copper immersion chiller being about the cheapest still seems a bit expensive. Plate and CF are just out of reach for me right now.
In my research, it seems that speed is also a high point for consideration. It seems that anything under 20 minutes is respectable, I don't remember seeing anyone getting under 10 minutes for 5 plus gallons.

Here is my new twist on the idea. I happened to have a heater core from a car (new) that fit very nicely in my boil kettle. Setup is the same as the copper coil chiller so it is very easy to put together.

I haven't used it yet on an actual batch but I tested it on 6 gallons of boiling water. I forgot to measure my tap water but it is the first of July so I imagine the results could be better in the winter. I started a stop watch when I turned on the water and watched the thermometer for temp change. Time from 212 degrees to 73 degrees was 4' 43".

I am pretty pleased

image-2361845445.jpg  
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:20 PM   #2
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Nothing about a heater core is food grade, lead solder leaching, epoxy leaching, and or any other oils or crap used on it while being made will come out into your brew. Your just asking to get yourself or anybody else really sick using that.

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Old 06-30-2013, 07:30 PM   #3
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If it where me I would put it in a bucket of ice water before a copper immersion chiller and use it to get the water super cold.

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Old 06-30-2013, 07:37 PM   #4
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You gon' die.

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Old 06-30-2013, 08:33 PM   #5
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I appreciate the feedback. I am open to correction but I thought about this for a bit. Any oils from manufacturing were washed and boiled off in the test pot mentioned above. Of course it would be sanitized with starsan before actual use as well.
As far as the solder goes, it is now [supposed] to be lead free. But, for the sake of conversation and the benefit of the doubt, solder exposure should be minimal. No more than would be seen in standard household copper plumbing which is loaded with it. With only 5 minutes of contact time, there is probably more contaminates in my well water.

Not brewing until next weekend and still time to change my mind so please enlighten me if my logic is faulty.

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Serving: Red's Riding Ale
Hard Lemonade,
Hefeweizen

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Old 06-30-2013, 09:11 PM   #6
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Solder for domestic water is lead free, most others are not. I don't know if solder for aluminum contains lead, if so using starsan will only help to leach out the lead or whatever.

"With only 5 minutes of contact time, there is probably more contaminates in my well water."

Maybe so, maybe not. I would like to know more about this before I used it.

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Old 06-30-2013, 09:13 PM   #7
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Lead-free car heaters? Says who? Car heaters are not potable water systems and may not be covered by any ROHS regs...

Cheers!

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Old 06-30-2013, 09:25 PM   #8
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Lead free solder, lmao, sorry I do mechanic work and I bet the last 5 of those I've installed come from mexico. Their standards aren't the same as the US. I highly doubt they are using high priced food grade silver solder to make car parts cheap.

If you must take the chance at least limit it to your body and don't serve anybody else poison.

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Old 06-30-2013, 09:29 PM   #9
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Use it as a pre-chiller. Don't put that in your beer. There's a reason why nobody else is doing it.

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Old 06-30-2013, 09:38 PM   #10
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Check with the Chem Department if a local college. Tell them exactly what you're doing.

This might make a fun lab for a beginning chem class, or even an analytical chem class!

Take them a sample of your standard water and water in which your radiator has boiled for an hour.

Ask them to check for heavy metal levels and any other compounds they might think of.

Could be very enlightening and fun for all! Trade or beer!

The reason no one else is doing it might just be because no one though of it or mo one decided to check for real results...

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