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Old 02-01-2010, 07:03 PM   #1
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Default Wort Chiller Build

So I'm building a wort chiller and using some scrap I cant seem to get a nice tight bend to the 3/8" copper (for coming up from the bottom and also supply down from top). So I'm thinking about soldering on some 90 degree elbows to make it nice and clean. Is there any reason not to use elbows vs. bending one piece? Also for those in the know how do you get the nice tight radius on the bends, what tool are you using that give you such small radius?


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Old 02-01-2010, 07:04 PM   #2
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There's nothing wrong with soldering elbows. By far the easiest way to get a 90 bend that tight without kinking it.


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Old 02-01-2010, 07:06 PM   #3
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That’s what I was thinking and why I was using scrap first. A guy at the hardware store actually told me you can’t solder soft copper, which a torch quickly disproved.
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Old 02-01-2010, 07:06 PM   #4
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Some people will fill the coil/tubing with salt before they bend it to help reduce kinking of the tubing.

I vote for soldering 90's or using 90 deg. compressions.
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:07 PM   #5
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I can make a nice IC with 3/8" OD tubing and no tools or soldering. Once you get to 1/2", I saw screw it and solder the nineties.
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickeldeposit View Post
So I'm building a wort chiller and using some scrap I cant seem to get a nice tight bend to the 3/8" copper (for coming up from the bottom and also supply down from top). So I'm thinking about soldering on some 90 degree elbows to make it nice and clean. Is there any reason not to use elbows vs. bending one piece? Also for those in the know how do you get the nice tight radius on the bends, what tool are you using that give you such small radius?
I have had luck using a pipe bending tool, but to be honest, I used a 90's for my bends and a 3/8 to 1/2 coupling fitting to extend 1/2 copper to my ball valves. Sweated all of them and they have worked great for 40 plus beers.

I just brushed any remnant of flux off and washed the chiller very well in some cleaner and rinsed.
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Old 05-17-2010, 06:15 PM   #7
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Been looking at building one of these as well, went to home depot to find out they only come in 20 and 50' lengths, No 25" which is what I was hoping for. I bought the 20, 1/2 OD 3/8 ID. I have the bending tools and everything else, but I'm starting to question the 20" stuff. Should I go back and get the 50? and if so, is it really that tough to put a nice bend up on the lower end, and should I really be looking at soldering?

I don't have the soldering gear to start with, and I'm trying to keep this cost effective. (IE, 10-20 dollars less than purchasing online.))
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:11 PM   #8
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Don't use LEAD BASED SOLDER!!!!!

pouring salt in the tube prior to bending is, well, genius... wish I thought of that.
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Old 05-21-2010, 03:08 PM   #9
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Can you heat it with a torch to help get a tighter bend without kinking?

I'll be buying 50' of 3/8 OD to be split between a 12' beer line chilling pump and an IC. The beer line chilling will require some tight turns that I'd love to be able to bend because they'll be a pain in the ass to solder in place (tight fit in the cabinet).

What's the melting point of salt?
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Old 05-21-2010, 07:26 PM   #10
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I always use a spring tubing bender.

http://www.tpub.com/content/shopequi...-9-243_221.htm

I have made some very tight bends with these and it is easier and faster than soldering. HD has them. I think I paid $10 for four different sizes.


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