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Old 04-30-2007, 02:14 AM   #1
ChefyTim
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Default Wort Chiller Size?

I am looking into getting a wort chiller and am wondering what
size I should shoot for.

Midwest has 25' for $50 and a 50' for $80.

Right now I am doing extract brewing in 5 gallon batches and immersing
into an ice bath.

However, I do hope to begin doing All Grain brewing this year sometime
so I don't want to have to buy the same thing twice. I guess I could always us
the 25' as a secondard cooler though.

My budget is a bit slim right now but I guess I can wait and save if the 50'
is the recommended. Also, wondering if it is even cheaper to try and make my own by purchasing copper tubing and wrapping it about something to create a spring looking device.

Any suggestions?


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Old 04-30-2007, 02:21 AM   #2
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If you can get some 3/8 or 1/2 on ebay cheaply, you can make a nice 50 footer. If you're buying retail, a 25' of 3/8 will do fine for a 5 gallon batch.


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Old 04-30-2007, 02:21 AM   #3
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Howdy Tim!

Welcome to the board

I'd say in your situation to do partial boils right now with extract late additions and save your money for someother stuff....like carboys or burners

Wort chillers are deffinatly needed for AG but not necissarily for extract...if you've read many of homebrewer_99's posts he only does 1.5gal boils! then tops up to 5 gal

I'd say your money is better spent in other areas for now until you really do get dangerously close to AG

but you know what thats just 1 opinion

Happy brewing!
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Old 04-30-2007, 02:56 AM   #4
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I bought one yesterday. 1/2X25 for $60 (Hawaii). I really wanted to build one and priced copper at Lowes, but it was $100 for 20' of 1/2. The guy at the LHBS was going to sell me 50' of 1/2 copper for $75.

As much as I wanted to build my own, I wanted to brew today so I just paid the money for the pre-built one.
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Old 04-30-2007, 03:50 AM   #5
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ouch. hawaiian prices hurt. i just bought 20' of 3/8 copper at the depot for $27. just need a couple hose fittings and I'm good. I'm actually putting this one together for a prechiller. our water here isn't very cold through the summer months. the 25' is fine for a 5 gallon batch.
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Old 04-30-2007, 05:25 AM   #6
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Austin Homebrew has the Shirron Plate Chiller on sale for under $90.

I built my CFC for under $40.

I was thinking that the most economical CFC would be maybe a Ten footer with a variable output. Crank the water all the way and throttle back the wort to keep it properly chilled. I'd think a ten foot CFC should be adequate for all but the hottest environments, especially bearing in mind that you can do an initial cooling down to 150 or so without any fear of infection whatsoever....
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Old 04-30-2007, 12:12 PM   #7
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I'm so on the fence between the benefits vs. hassle of external heat exchange styles of chillers. After using my KIY CFC a few times, I'm going to try the IC one more time. For an extract or first time all grainer, ICs work plenty well.


I agree you can stick with low volume boils for a while similar to what homebrewer99 does, but if you're looking to graduate to AG, it's a lot easier to ramp up to full boils now.


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