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Old 04-08-2013, 03:38 PM   #1
davsow
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Jul 2012
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I know I know...another counterflow chiller. I'm hoping that mine shows a little more affordability than even some of the cheaper versions out there. There were few things that I wanted to do with this chiller

1. Not solder anything
2. Use as little expensive copper as possible
3. Use or re-use as many materials on hand as possible (cheap)

So that being said, here is my material list:
1. Used 5/8" garden hose with both ends in good condition $0.00
2. 20' 3/8" OD soft copper $25.86
3. A few inches of 1/2" CPVC $0.00 left over from mash manifold build
4. 2 CPVC 1/2" t's $.50
5. 2 CPVC 1/2" compression sleeves, not sure what these things are for but they have a hole in the center that is 3/8"...perfect $.50
6. 2 part Epoxy $3.50
7. CPVC glue $3.00
8. 4 stainless clamps $4.00

If I didn't have to by glue, this would have been dirt cheap.

The first thing I did was glue the compression sleeves into the cpvc t's.


Then added a couple short pieces of 1/2" cpvc stubs from the t's


I cut about 6" of hose off with the fittings and sleeved it right over the stub outs. It fit perfect.


Then I measured out about 19.5' of hose and cut that to sleeve the copper into.


Then started shoving the copper down the hose. This was way easier than I was anticipating.


Once that was done I secured one end of the copper to the fittings I built with the 2 part epoxy. Leaving about an inch and a half to slide hose over during transfers.


Slid the hose over the end of the fitting and clamped it down.


Now the fun part. I used a 2 or 2.5 gallon bucket to coil the hose around. I had my daughter stand on top of the bucket, shes roughly about 55 pounds, and I had my wife hold the beginning of the coil with her foot. I zip tied every 3 coils together on 3 sides all the way up. Overlapping ties.


Once it was all coiled up I measured how much hose I needed to cut off to get the correct amount of copper exposed before I installed the last fitting.

After I made the cut I slid the fitting over the copper and compressed the hose so that about 3" of copper was exposed. I coated the copper with epoxy and let the hose push it back into place, so that only an inch and a half was showing. And clamped it down.


Closer view, you can see the epoxy is pooled around the fitting well. Hopefully it won't leak.


And here it is completed. I left the plugs that the copper came with in place to protect it. Any reason I couldn't fill it with star san and store it that way with the caps on. How does copper react with that sanitizer?


I think the whole build would have cost about $30 if I didn't need to buy the glue and epoxy. I'll be brewing this week some time and I'll let you guys know if it leaks and how efficient it is.

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Old 04-08-2013, 03:48 PM   #2
NivekD
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Dec 2012
West Jordan, Utah
Posts: 664
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I only see one pic. Ah, that's better. Nice build.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:51 PM   #3
davsow
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Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NivekD View Post
I only see one pic.
Sorry about that...I fixed all the images. They should display now.

 
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:52 PM   #4
oldstyle69
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Mar 2011
chicago, il
Posts: 514
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i see them all...looks good.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:43 PM   #5
alien
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Apr 2012
Philadelphia, PA
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The problem is that when you pass hot wort through the copper it will expand and potentially crack the CPVC/epoxy.

 
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:00 PM   #6
Monster Mash
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Apr 2006
Castaic, CA
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When I read the title of the thread I was worried you were actually going to make a CPVC Counterflow chiller...

It looks like it will work fine but keep us updated if you do find any problems with it after a bunch of batches.
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:18 AM   #7
davsow
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Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alien View Post
The problem is that when you pass hot wort through the copper it will expand and potentially crack the CPVC/epoxy.
I wasn't aware that would happen...I hope it doesn't.

 
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:57 AM   #8
alien
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Apr 2012
Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 1,235
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Just see how it goes for a while. At the worst, it will leak coolant.

For the record, a better bet for joining PVC and copper to use a copper female threaded fitting and a PVC male threaded fitting, or a no hub coupling.

 
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:31 PM   #9
HDIr0n
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Oct 2010
Missouri City, Texas
Posts: 552
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You don't want to store star san in copper, anything that is a "soft" metal you don't want to store star san in it.
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:55 PM   #10
processhead
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Oct 2007
Nebraska
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I can appreciate and understand your desire to cut costs, but I question the long-term durability of the PVC.

For an extra $5-$10, you could have gone with copper 1/2" Tee's and reducers, sweated it all together and be done forever.
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