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Old 09-13-2009, 02:40 PM   #1
JBZSTL's Avatar
Aug 2009
Saint Louis
Posts: 66

What is the best size immersion wort chiller should I use for a 5 gal brew pot?

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Old 09-13-2009, 05:12 PM   #2
Aug 2008
Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 18
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I don't think anyone would recommend under 25ft of 1/2" copper tubing for a 5g batch, though many/most homebrewers probably don't use a wort chiller at all (I'm talking about those not as "in the know" with internet forums and such).

I've been using my kitchen sink, and am thoroughly displeased with using it to chill 5g batches since it takes forever. My next brewing $100 is going towards a plate chiller off ebay from Dudadiesel. It should be the absolute most efficient way to chill my wort, and at that price, the most efficient means of chilling wort by price. I was going to get the smaller 30 plate chiller, which is around $85, then spend another $20 or so getting fittings to hook it into the sink.

My biggest reason for such a high-efficiency chiller is that in FL the ground water temps are usually in the mid 70s during the spring summer and fall, and over winter up in Tallahassee they'll go down to the 60s, but at my home in South FL, the groundwater will be in the mid 70s 24/7/365, even when it's 50 degrees out.
Bottled: Year old Hefewisse
In secondary or aging: LHBS DFH 90 minute on-the-fly-made clone recipe
Next up: Thinking either deepsouth's 60 minute IPA or a nice quick blueberry wheat (Blue Paw clone) to end the summer with

I envy those of you who don't have to make a concerted effort to keep your fermentation vessels under 75 degrees....

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Old 09-13-2009, 05:20 PM   #3
Palefire's Avatar
Jun 2009
Posts: 1,124
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As much as you can afford/are willing to build is generally the best answer. Lots of people seem to do fine with a 25' IC (at 3/8" diameter), especially if your water is cold enough. I used 50' of tubing to make a 35' IC (which was as much tubing as I could fit in the pot before the height of the chiller exceeded the height of the wort) and a 15' pre-chiller. I can get wort to pitching temps in about 15 minutes.

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Old 09-13-2009, 06:15 PM   #4
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Aug 2006
Whitehouse Station, NJ
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A 5 gallon brewpot will only be able to handle a small chiller before it displaces too much wort. I'm thinking something like 25' x 1/2" OD.
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Old 09-13-2009, 06:38 PM   #5
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Sep 2008
, Maryland, The Tax Me State
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For 5 gallons batch I like my 25' x 3/8" inch copper coil. Anything longer for 5 gallons...most of it will probably be out of the wort....

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Old 09-13-2009, 07:33 PM   #6
jasonsbeer's Avatar
Jul 2009
Central Iowa
Posts: 390
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+1 Hammy. I made a chiller with 25' of 3/8 copper. In my keggle, the top of the chiller is just below the 5 gallon mark. It would nice to have a bigger chiller for larger batches.

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Old 09-14-2009, 05:44 PM   #7
Arkador's Avatar
Apr 2009
Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 1,702
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icebath for 2-3gal partial boil
25foot 1/2 inch for 5gal
50foot 1/2inch or 25foot CFC for 10gal

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