Originally Posted by boondocksaint
TSCHMITT, have you built yours yet? I was cruising through this thread and today searched for copper tubing & found the 'Home Brew Immersion Chiller Kits' on their website. The prices seems very fair, 50ft of 3/8 tubing with fittings for $50...Not bad at all. It would seem with the garden hose fitting option all I would need to pick up are the washing machine hoses to go with it.
The only real conern I have about building it is making sure it fits properly (diamter and height wise) in my kettle (10Gal. Bayou Classic). Is there any issue with having a 50' chiller with coils sticking out of the wort as I'm only doing partial boils at this point? (I suppose I could just spray it with StarSan before using too, right?)
If you plan to do in your kettle try to open or close the coil to about 3/4's of the diameter of the kettle this way you can increase the linear feet that are submerged it wort. You can go larger in coil size but it might be harder to drop in if it flexes, and you might not be able to get the brew spoon between the coil and the side of the pot.
I do partials with my 50 foot chiller all the time. Still works good. There is just less heat to take out of the boil. Think a count of coils submerged per inch of wort depth. The ratio will be pretty consistent if the coil wrap is not too stretched-out like a slinky. This is whether you have 3" of wort or 18" of depth. Just as long as the wort is not much higher that the uppermost coil.
No sanitizing required. Just rinse before and after use. You drop the chiller in during the last 10-15 minutes of the boil. If using extract you can drop it in right after you add the extract if its mixed thoroughly. All grain, you can start right at the beginning, or just add it during the last 10 minutes. I usually raise the heat to the max before hand as just dropping it in the kettle removes heat itself, because the copper is at ambient and has a bunch of surface area. (assume its not connected to a water source.) BTW - very fricken hot water will come boiling out shortly after dropping it in to your kettle.
If you use a tape measure to measure volume in gallons you would need to recalculate the volume per inch of fluid level. Take a gallon or two of water and measure how many inches then divide by the gallons added to the pot etc. Example assume this is what you get with your chiller and kettle. 1.5"/2 (1.5" depth with 2 gallons water) = .75" per gallon or 2g/1.5" = 1.33 gallons per inch.