Immersion Cooler Sizing - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Immersion Cooler Sizing
Cool Brewing Giveaway - Supporting Membership Drive & Discount

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-29-2013, 09:58 PM   #1
BarefootFriar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2013
Double Springs, AL
Posts: 199
Liked 25 Times on 16 Posts



I spent some time in my local "Big Blue" home improvement store looking at copper prices this morning. I can get a coil of 1/4"x50' or a coil of 1/2"x20' for approximately the same price. They also carry 3/8" in both lengths, and the price for 20' falls between the two I mentioned.

My question is one of economics. For a few dollars more I can get a larger diameter pipe, but it will be 30' shorter. On the one hand, I would think the shorter length would be better because there is more volume inside it (because it's larger diameter) and therefore more thermal inertia. On the other hand, the longer one might be better because more surface area is exposed to the wort, thereby transferring more heat.

I'm no physicist, so I pose the question to y'all. Which one is the better choice?

What if I were to spring for the 3/8"x50'? Would that be preferable to the 1/2"x20'?


__________________
Dancing Monk Brewery

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 10:12 PM   #2
mcwilcr
Recipes 
 
Oct 2010
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 888
Liked 80 Times on 63 Posts


The 1/4 diameter stuff is too small. The measurement is outside diameter so you are hardly moving any significant amount of water through it for efficient heat transfer. I have a 50' 3/8" one that I DIY'ed a few years ago and I have used it with no issues on batch sizes up to 11 gal. That being said, a 1/2" immersion chiller of the same length would be best but if your choice comes down to 1/2" x 25' or 3/8" x 50' I would go with the 50' option.


__________________
Mcwilcr Keezer build

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 10:35 PM   #3
Komocabo
Recipes 
 
Oct 2012
Posts: 1,084
Liked 157 Times on 132 Posts


I agree with the 2nd post. I.bought a 50' stainless steel one on eBay a while back (3/8" x 50'). Chills 5 gals in about 20 mins or less. More surface area is preferred amd most manufacturers use the 3/8 diameter.

Another thought, after pricing the DIY method vs just buying a premade one, it ended up costing about $10 more to.buloy one... To me, $75 vs $85 was worth the expense for a few reasons:

1) it looks awesome, unlike some diy chillers that look warped... functionality is the same, but I want my stuff to look good... afterall, this thing shouldast a decade or more.
2) The ease of clicking a button and its at my door in a week... the anticipation is fun, and I don't have to go all over the store to find what I want.
3) Location... it costs me about $10 to drive into town.

If ten bucks breaks the bank, then go for it. DIY projects always bring a sense of pride too. Ecomomically, it made sense for me to just eBay the sucker...
__________________
And on the eighth day he said "Make beer!"

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 10:44 PM   #4
SagamoreAle
Recipes 
 
Jan 2013
Posts: 162
Liked 11 Times on 10 Posts


It depends on your application.

I used a 3/8x20' for years back when I was doing extract brewing. It cooled a 10-quart pot in about 15 minutes.

If you're looking to cool larger volumes, get the 3/8x50'.

At some point, the larger diameter tubing will become less efficient and therefore less cost-effective due to a decreasing volume to surface ratio. Not sure if that applies to going to 1/2" from 3/8.
__________________
Ex fermentum, scientia.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 10:49 PM   #5
HopChef
Recipes 
 
Sep 2012
Woodbridge, VA
Posts: 46
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts


I'm going to second the 3/8" 50' stainless option. Just dropped 5 gallons from 210 to 80 in 10 minutes on Sunday. Easy to clean, and should last as long as I take care of it. Amazon, $70.
__________________
Primary: "Dubbel the Pleasure" Belgian Dubbel
Secondary: "The Beast" Barleywine
Aging: Highlander Single Malt Scottish Wee Heavy
On Tap: Blonde Ale #1

"You can't have a Real Country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer."
Frank Zappa

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2013, 12:56 AM   #6
BarefootFriar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2013
Double Springs, AL
Posts: 199
Liked 25 Times on 16 Posts


Alright, that makes sense. If I can't swing the 50' quite yet, I'll set aside what I have and then maybe get it later.

Thanks for the help!
__________________
Dancing Monk Brewery

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2013, 03:53 AM   #7
TrubDog
Recipes 
 
Oct 2011
Cle Elum, WA
Posts: 392
Liked 33 Times on 28 Posts


I have this.

http://www.amazon.com/50-Copper-Chil...ion+chiller+50

Done!



 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Debating an immersion cooler Rbeckett Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 17 02-22-2012 01:44 AM
WTB: Immersion Cooler brewmax25 For Sale 8 01-15-2012 01:47 PM
My new immersion cooler rhoop Home Brewing Photo Forum 3 04-02-2011 03:47 AM
Immersion cooler dantose Chillers & Stir Plates 0 02-19-2011 07:30 PM
Cooler mash tun sizing jjsscram Equipment/Sanitation 8 10-20-2005 11:11 AM


Forum Jump