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Old 12-03-2012, 04:10 AM   #1
MrSpiffy
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I'm working on an immersion chiller. I picked up some 1/2" copper tubing, along with some rigid 1/2" pipe and elbows. The fittings and 1/2" rigid pipe is larger than the 1/2" tubing. For those of you who have constructed chillers that use some rigid pipe in the design, how have you successfully soldered these items together?

 
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:13 AM   #2
Hex23
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You need to pickup a reducer.

 
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:16 AM   #3
Hex23
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Like this one

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Old 12-03-2012, 04:44 AM   #4
MrSpiffy
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Hmm... I wonder if the straight reducers have a different size than the elbows do. I have a couple of elbows that slip inside the 1/2" pipe, but are too large for tubing. I'll have to inspect the fittings I have. I may have a reducer like that. If I do, I'll need more of them! Thanks!

EDIT: I only have one reducer, but it fits exactly how I want it to. Thanks! I'll need to head to the store for a couple more of those.

One more question: Where's a good place for brass hose fittings? I want to solder on garden hose fittings, but the ones I found at HD were NOT brass, only brass-colored. (They were really aluminum...)

Okay, so two questions... what's the blue stuff on your fittings? Is it corrosion on the lead-free solder? Or is that something else?

 
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:41 PM   #5
Hex23
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I think the photo is making it look blue. It's just ordinary lead-free solder. My hose fittings either came from Ace or HD, pretty much the only places I shop for that kind of stuff. If there's something I can't find at HD, I go to Ace. HD is generally cheapter, but Ace tends to carry some of the less common parts. My hose fitting is brass, but it's not one-piece. The first piece is a copper 1/2" to NPT fitting the next is an NPT to garden hose.

 
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:47 PM   #6
Hex23
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Here's a pic of my hose connectors

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Old 12-03-2012, 01:50 PM   #7
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I got the brass hose fittings at HD or Menards. Here's something else I found real handy when the chiller is all done: quick release hose fittings.. These were only $5.99/pair on amazon, cheaper than you'd find at Mcmaster or other places. Makes setting up and tearing down quick and painless.

[EDIT] they make the copper fitting 1/2" MPT, and I got the brass garden hose to 1/2" FPT to make it work.

 
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:46 AM   #8
MrSpiffy
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Thanks for the suggestions! I went to the store and picked up a few items to finish this chiller off. Once I had the right parts, I was able to get it all put together without any issues. It's not the prettiest chiller out there, but it should be quite functional, once I wash it and get the excess flux off of the copper. The 1/2" copper tubing fit perfectly inside of a 5/8" flare-to-male-hose fitting. Awesome! I can even save a few bucks and return some fittings I didn't use.




 
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:59 AM   #9
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Very cool. Looks like it's the perfect size for your BK. I'm not sure why most IC's are so tall. I actually like how yours sits right over the edge of the BK. Seems like it would be easier to handle and not so top heavy. I take it you didn't have any problems getting the solder to wick to the brass (i.e. you tested it). One problem I've found with IC's is that it's pretty hard to make one-size-fits all. I designed mine around my 8 gallon pot and it was perfectly sized for that. Then when I changed to a 62 qt pot, the top 1/4 to 1/3 of the coils sit outside the wort while chilling .I might get around to re-bending it some day, or maybe I'll just build another for the 62 qt pot.

 
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:15 PM   #10
MrSpiffy
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I actually didn't test getting solder to stick to the brass. But it definitely worked. It was a pretty tight fit, so hopefully it wicked in well enough to get a good seal. I think it should be fine, but I haven't run water through it, yet. That'll be the real test.

I know solder should stick to brass just fine, which is why I wasn't worried. It's part copper, anyway. My first attempt used a fitting that looked like brass, but it was actually gold-colored aluminum, and that didn't stick worth a darn. This one worked really well on the first try.

I actually set the coil down into my pot to get the height right, opening it up a bit larger than originally coiled to account for the diameter of my pot. The first coil on top should sit right at or just below the water line in the pot. The hand-bending to open up the coil is why it's not a perfect coil. But it should get the job done just fine. Then I dry-fit the fittings together to see where I wanted to cut my copper pipe for the inlet/outlet locations. I didn't want them so high that a connected hose would tip the chiller over. The one angled down should rest against the lip of the pot, when the hose is connected. That'll support it so it doesn't tip. The other connection, well... I would have wanted to do that same thing there, but I didn't have extra elbows to angle the output down. But it should be just fine.

You mentioned the chiller you built is too tall for a 62-quart pot..? If it was originally made for an 8-gallon pot, like mine is, that's 32 quarts. Yours is a 15.5-gallon pot. How is it too tall..? If anything, I would think it would be too short.

 
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