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Old 01-29-2012, 08:54 PM   #1
boozehoundbrew
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Default Wort Chillers - Can you Reshape Them to Fit New Kettle?

I made my own wort chiller a few years ago. It is a double-coil (one smaller cylinder within a larger one, with a few inches in between), made of 90 feet of 3/8" copper tubing. [Shown on its side in the picture below]
[IMG] Homemade by clitesbr, on Flickr[/IMG]

I designed it to fit my old 5 gallon kettle, which was tall and skinny, and it worked perfectly for that. But I just upgraded to two 15 gallon kettles, and they're about 8" WIDER in diameter, so there's lots of extra room on all sides of my wort. Even when the new kettles have 5 gallons inside, they're so big that about a third of my wort chiller is just sticking out above the top of the liquid. As a result, its taking me 15 minutes (instead of just 5, with former setup) to cool 5 gallons of wort from 212 to 65.

So, my question:
Is it possible to re-mold my copper tubing into a new wort chiller? And, if so, how do I go about that?
- Should I try to uncoil all the copper all the way, then start from scratch?
- Or, would it be better to slowly work each set of coils wider and wider until they reach the diameter that I want?

Also, I'd love suggestions about whether to keep the double-coil design, or if you think I should just switch to a standard shaped immersion chiller.

Thanks, in advance, for your help.


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Old 01-31-2012, 07:59 PM   #2
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Yes, you can re-shape them. Just work slowly. I've done it multiple times to the same chiller.


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Old 02-01-2012, 03:52 AM   #3
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I'd just widen the outer coil and leave the inner coil alone.
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:32 PM   #4
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As long as you take your time copper is pretty forgiving. Patience is the key--go too fast and a kink will result. Let us know how you come out when you are done. 90 feet is a lot of copper!!!
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottland View Post
Yes, you can re-shape them. Just work slowly. I've done it multiple times to the same chiller.
+1. I've reshaped my 50ft coil from a standard coil, to a rib-cage style, and finally to a clover-leaf style. Patience and a nice rubber mallet is handy
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:49 PM   #6
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Definitely don't straighten it out. You can work the coil over a larger diameter object no problem. You could also sell that one to someone with a tall skinny pot or sell it with the old pot as a package deal and rebuild.


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