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Old 07-08-2010, 11:14 PM   #1
Jul 2009
Posts: 312
Liked 7 Times on 6 Posts

Hi folks,
I've built a very simple Immersion Wort Chiller. I start a thread on it here because... well, it may help someone like me who's not close to be a good handyman. I tried following a lot of designs and instructions, but every one failed me at some point. Some lacked instructions, some used soldering which I don't know how to do properly, and well... for others, I just couldn't find the parts.

Every parts were bought at Home Depot. It doesn't require any soldering nor special equipments. The plumbing parts are all of the brand Watts, which I think is available in every Home Depot in Canada and US as a standard.

I only do small batches (2.5 gallons), that's why I didn't buy a bigger/longer copper tube!

- 20' of copper tubing 3/8"
- 20' of vinyl tubing 3/8" (could be shorter, depending of the need...) which I splited in two.
- Adapter to hose
- 1 Watts A-660 Swivel Hose Adapter (3/4" FH x 1/2" FIP)
- 1 Watts A-828 Pipe Hex Bushing (1/2" MIP x 3/8" FIP)
- 1 Watts A-294 Hose Barb Adapter (3/8" Barb x 3/8" MIP)
- Teflon tape
- 5 hose clamps
- (Optional) Tube Bender

First, I wrapped the copper tube around a smaller pot than the one I use to brew. I used only my hands for everything:

Then, I made the two ends of the copper tube come out of the top. I did it by hand, without tube bender. I just did it very slowly/carefully as to not put any undesirable kinks on my tube. Taking the lowest end of the tube and bringing it to the top with the other end is the trickiest part, but it's doable without soldering (to put an elbow). The one that begins the coil is the "WATER in" (highest one)and the one that ends the coil is the "WATER out" (lowest end). It's ugly as hell, it would probably have been better with the tube bender... but hey, it's simpler this way!

View of the interior :

The 4 plumbery parts go one in another (I put Teflon tape in every connection) (in order: Adapter to hose--Watts A-660--WattsA-828--Watts A-294) which fits into the first half of the vinyl tubing. Everything is held by hose clamps.

The first half of the vinyl tubing goes onto the "WATER in" part of the chiller while the other half of the vinyl tubing goes from the "WATER out" into the sink.

End product:

(Yeah, I really should've put a shirt... but it's too hot outside...)

P.S. My WATER in and WATER out are this high because I plan on using another kettle soon! So I took the measurements...

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Old 07-08-2010, 11:50 PM   #2
Dec 2009
North Pole, Alaska
Posts: 1,809
Liked 42 Times on 38 Posts

I way overcomplicated mine with flare fittings and hose barbs. Looking back, I should've just slipped the tube over the copper like you did.
10 gallon electric system
Stovetop 110v single vessel 5 gallon system

Primary: saison
Secondary: nada
Conditioning: macaroon stout
Drinking: store bought

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Old 07-08-2010, 11:50 PM   #3
ScubaSteve's Avatar
May 2007
, DC
Posts: 3,680
Liked 84 Times on 58 Posts

Perfect. Simplicity is a beautiful thing.

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Old 07-09-2010, 12:24 AM   #4
Mar 2010
Posts: 211
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Indeed! I like it and may use this in the near future... I like it.

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Old 07-09-2010, 01:59 AM   #5
Jul 2009
Posts: 312
Liked 7 Times on 6 Posts

Glad you guys like this, despite it being so ugly compared to those sold on ebay or on online homebrewing shops!

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Old 07-09-2010, 03:55 AM   #6
Nov 2009
Posts: 176
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

awesome!!! my tap water is getting pretty warm right now and i am brewing this weekend, so i am going to take your approach and make a pre-chiller for my IC. I have a feeling it will look something like your chiller, or at least i hope. It should get my water temp down enough, we will see. Thanks for posting. I too appreciate the simplicity.


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Old 07-09-2010, 11:25 AM   #7
Feb 2010
Gaithersburg, MD
Posts: 373
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts

Nice! Similar to what I did, however I used the old rubber supply hoses from my washing machine, cut one end off and clamped it to the copper tubing, and found an adapter that goes from kitchen sink thread, to garden hose/utility sink/washing machine thread, and wala! The old rubber hoses are nice with the utility sink downstairs when cleaning carboys, buckets, etc. Infact if the hoses on your washing machine are more than 5 years old, upgrade them to the braided stainless steel kind that won't burst, and utilize the old rubber ones for beermaking! Also I should mention I used a 1 gal paint can to bend my copper tube around.

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Old 07-09-2010, 04:59 PM   #8
Mar 2010
Posts: 65
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Ugly? If it's simple and it works then it's beautiful

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Old 07-09-2010, 05:21 PM   #9
Sep 2009
Cairo, WV
Posts: 317
Liked 13 Times on 9 Posts

Looks great! And what a difference a chiller makes.

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Old 08-12-2010, 12:56 AM   #10
Apr 2006
New York
Posts: 319
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

Dare I ask what something like this costs? Seems like a good project for me to get under my belt.

Tap #1: Copper C Amber Ale
Tap #2: Mad Fermentationist's Westvleteren Green clone
Primary #1: Bierhaus' Centennial Ale steam style
On Deck: Steam Ale

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