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Old 08-27-2006, 02:38 PM   #1
May 2006
Dallas, Texas
Posts: 345

I was reading this guide on building an immersion chiller when I saw this passage.

Your tubing should be 3/8 inch diameter. If you use a thinner tube, you will achieve potentially greater efficiency because the thinner tube gives you more surface area per volume. However, chillers made from 1/4 inch diameter tubing tend to take much longer to cool wort and are prone to clogging. Using 3/8 inch diameter tubing gives you good efficiency and acceptable cooling times, and it avoids clogging.
HUH? How does plain water potentially clog copper tubing? I'm wondering if they cut and pasted from a counterflow chiller guide where it makes sense that a smaller tube may clog.

Am I missing something?

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Old 08-27-2006, 03:02 PM   #2
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ajf's Avatar
Oct 2005
Long Island
Posts: 4,646
Liked 106 Times on 100 Posts

Probably a translation problem.

For a given water pressure, there will be less water flow through 1/4 inch tubing, because of resistance, not clogging. I would guess that the description was translated by somebody who knew nothing about immersion chillers.

But if you use 3/8" tubing, you'll be fine.


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Old 08-28-2006, 11:10 AM   #3
jma99's Avatar
Jul 2006
Duluth, MN, You Betcha!
Posts: 378
Liked 15 Times on 13 Posts

I made a 50 foot 1/4inch chiller,and it's killer!

I can cool 5 gal from boiling to under 90 degrees in about 20 min.

Cheaper than 3/8, so I was able to use 50 feet instead of just 25.

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Old 08-28-2006, 06:24 PM   #4
Exo's Avatar
Jul 2006
Posts: 768
Liked 8 Times on 7 Posts

50ft 1/4 inch...thats a big one...

I have a 30ft 3/8ths and it cools with 60deg. tap water to around 75deg. in 25min or so. Add a pre-chiller (bucket of ice) and that time drops to 15min.
Wasp Bitten IPA (a Walker-San clone);Cheesefood's Caramel Creme; Wee Heavy Scottish Ale;
Flyin' Hornet Pale Ale(Mirror Pond clone);Oktoberfest Ale
Boom-Boom Apricot Hefeweisen; Forbidden Ale;Pale-Ass Ale (SNPA Clone); Ol' Man Winter Ale
Dead Guy clone
Walker's Espresso Stout; BrewPastor's Bastard Lager
But honey, how else am I going to get enough bottles for my next batch? *burp*...*fart*

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Old 08-28-2006, 07:14 PM   #5
Sep 2005
Wixom, MI
Posts: 552
Liked 6 Times on 4 Posts

I just made my oln 3/8x25ft chiller last night. Ugly as sin, but it should work. I got the tubing free form a buddy, and the other fittings cost me $2.00....not bad. I am trying it out Thursday night.

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