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Old 02-18-2012, 06:49 PM   #1
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Default Variation on classic immersion chiller?

Hello, I am new to brewing and have found a wealth of info here. Thanks!

I am still gearing up and educating myself and have yet to brew, and am building an IC right now with about 40 ft of 3/8 copper refrigeration tubing I just got on craigslist. My kettle is 50 qt aluminum, and with 6 gallons of water it has a depth of about 6.75" and is about 15.75" wide.

So I was thinking of adapting the coil pattern on the chiller so that it alternates between a wider diameter and a smaller interior diameter to cover more of the wort's surface area. I looked at some of the other posts re: double coil chillers, but I don't have the ability to weld, and need to keep things relatively simple. However, I am trying to get the most out of this piece of metal.

This is just a rough sketch, but can anyone tell me if there is any reason why building my IC in this way would not be helpful, or would be counter-productive?

Thanks so much!

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Old 02-18-2012, 08:28 PM   #2
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I'm building one using 50ft of 3/8s copper too. The reason I'm not going for a design like that is because I'll have my IC in for the boil so it will be sanitized. You will have less room for muslin bags and stiring with a design like that.

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Old 02-18-2012, 08:50 PM   #3
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I think if you can effectively execute it then go for it, however without a lot of patience and good planning it could turn out looking misshapen. I'd plan on getting some thick gauge copper wire and latching it all together so you can maintain the shape if you manage to form it properly. You'll probably want a pipe bending tool as well.

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Old 02-18-2012, 09:32 PM   #4
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Thanks, these are great points to consider. I'll post some shots of the finished thing.

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Old 02-18-2012, 09:35 PM   #5
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I did something similar.... Mine has 3 coils but the inlet splits into two lines. I think you will hit a point on your 40ft where the cooling water is the same temp as the wort and the extra isnt adding any cooling. If its split into two separate coils 1) its easier to build and 2) the cooling should be more effective.

here's the one i did http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/anot...hiller-263921/... FWIW i am thinking about switching it up and building a counterflow chiller.

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Old 02-18-2012, 10:00 PM   #6
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I really think it has less to do with fancy designs and more to do with keeping the wort moving.

Having said that, I have no proof since I'm still 350 dollars into getting my pump set up with fittings and I'm still 2 shy cause they're on back order... /cry. I have noticed my output water rise when stirring, but I'm pretty flipping lazy so after 10 minutes I give up.

Hopefully have the type Fs in my hand by the end of the week for a brew day next weekend!

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Old 02-18-2012, 10:04 PM   #7
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Here is my similar design.





That's with 50ft of 1/2". It was a pain, but worth it. I have a wider than tall pot, so with a regular coil i'd end up with half the chiller sticking out of the wort.

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Old 02-18-2012, 10:14 PM   #8
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I would say use that 40' and make a good Counterflow chiller, they are much more efficient and heat transfer then immersion chillers. There are several threads on here with parts lists. If you don't already have a drain valve on your pot, you can install a weldless kit so that you can easily adapt to a Counterflow chiller.

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Old 02-19-2012, 12:08 AM   #9
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these are all great ideas. for some reason i am hesitant to go the counterflow route. it's not that i'm not confident in building it ... i can solder (though i don't have a blowtorch) – i can't put my finger on why i don't feel like going that route at the moment.

i think i may just hack the coil in two and build two separate chillers (an inny and an outy) that somehow connect to the water intake.

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Old 02-19-2012, 02:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtrevino View Post
I would say use that 40' and make a good Counterflow chiller, they are much more efficient and heat transfer then immersion chillers. There are several threads on here with parts lists. If you don't already have a drain valve on your pot, you can install a weldless kit so that you can easily adapt to a Counterflow chiller.
That is great and all, but adds a lot of expense with more fittings and a pump.
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