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Old 11-23-2010, 09:34 PM   #1
specialkaye
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Default Ribcage IC with Ice Water Recirculation System - Cheap

All credit for the Ribcage Immersion Chiller comes from:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/diy-interwoven-rib-cage-immersion-chiller-106415/

Thanks, RedIrocZ-28

After my last batch of beer took hours in the sink with about 30lbs of ice, I knew I wanted an easier, faster way. The ribcage IC from RedIrocZ-28 looked like it would fit the bill exactly with one problem.

My tap water is usually in the 80f range because I'm so far south. So, I also knew I needed an ice water recirculation system. But, I also needed to do this as cheaply as possible because low work hours and SWMBOs full time college is stretching us pretty thin.

I bought a box of copper tube:







Straightened it out so I could bend it into coils.



Took three measurements

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Old 11-23-2010, 09:36 PM   #2
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Made one coil...



And a second one, on the other end.



Until it looked like this.



Cut the ends off some washing machine hoses and clamped them on the copper tubing.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:41 PM   #3
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And came up with this. There's a bit more construction detail with each picture in my photo album but not much. This is a pretty straight forward kind of project.



I tested my pump and the entire setup looking for leaks and to make sure this tiny little salvaged pump could combat the head lift needed for this project.



One angle on set up.



Another angle. The brew kettle is empty because this is a test of the system, not the brew kettle. I'll test it's actual cooling ability when I brew an AG recipe with it. That will be in another thread.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:43 PM   #4
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Another look at the test set up.



A look at the test bucket. The cold water is picked up by the tiny pump, through the vinyl tubing, you can see when it starts, through the 3 step adapter, into the cold (blue) side washing machine hose, into the RIC, out the warm (red) side hose, and back into the far side of the cooler from the pump. That way, the warm water can be cooled as it passes past the ice towards the pump to start the cycle again.



Kettle size test, with lid.



Had a couple copper pipe straps in my plumbing bag. I hammered one on the vise and....
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:48 PM   #5
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I wasn't really happy with the bit of floppiness I was getting out of the upright tubes with the weight of the hoses on there. I took the flattened copper pipe strap and used a couple zip ties to see how that worked.



Looks like a name plate. I always try to do a good enough job that I'd be proud to put my name on it and, I'd put my name on this. Now to trim.


The zip ties have been cut. Please notice I'm working on the cardboard box the tube came in. Quick easy way to protect the tubing and your work surface. In this case, that's a three way casino table SWMBO bought for our garage pub.



Here's the brand new RIC (Ribcage Immersion Chiller) in use for the first time in my first AG batch, with my new hop spider, on my new burner, trying a new brewing method with a new beer. The results will be posted in my AG brew thread.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:50 PM   #6
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Awesome job! I'm soon moving to Florida and I'll probably need to adapt a similar system. Luckily it isn't far south, so a few months out of the year I'll be able to throw a sub-pump into a pool for my IC.

Can't wait to see how it performs in the other thread!

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Old 11-23-2010, 09:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juslod View Post
Awesome job! I'm soon moving to Florida and I'll probably need to adapt a similar system. Luckily it isn't far south, so a few months out of the year I'll be able to throw a sub-pump into a pool for my IC.

Can't wait to see how it performs in the other thread!
Thanks. I'm having a devil of a time getting HBT to take the pictures. I had to load, and caption, these pictures three times. Man, that sucks. Alas, I no longer have a pool to use. But, I did use that super cheap red cooler and some ice. What happened will probably surprise you.
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:00 PM   #8
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Very nice. Immersion chiller is definitely high on my todo list, right next o mash-tun.

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Old 11-24-2010, 04:36 AM   #9
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Very nice. Immersion chiller is definitely high on my todo list, right next o mash-tun.
Thanks. Check out my 1st AG Brew here, no special mash tun required.
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HBT Projects:Cheap Hop Spider; Recirculating Ribcage IC; Easy All-Grain BIAB

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Old 11-25-2010, 04:41 AM   #10
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im happy to see someone made one with more space between the coils instead of neatly stacked coils. i took one and spread the coils out about 2.5 inches from the center making it like three coils shuffuled like cards so that there is two pipe diameter plus between the coils except where they cross. works much better.

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