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Old 08-23-2013, 06:57 AM   #1
Aug 2013
Posts: 7

Hey guys. I've decided to make my own counterflow chiller, and am looking for what fittings I could find at the big box stores (home depot, lowes, menards, etc.) I'm using 20' of 3/8" copper tubing, inside 20' of 5/8" rubber hose.

One design I read on here called for a 1/2" copper tee, with a 1/2" to 1/4" copper reducer fitting. Problem is none of those stores carry a sweat fitted copper reducer of that size, they all only go down to 3/8th's.
Other problem I'm running into is the 3/8" copper tube is O.D., and the copper pipe fittings are I.D.

Could you guys tell me what fittings I could find at one of these stores, to help me get on track with this project?

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Old 08-23-2013, 08:53 AM   #2
estricklin's Avatar
Apr 2012
Oppelo, Arkansas
Posts: 2,052
Liked 305 Times on 236 Posts

How about going from 1/2 to 3/8, and then to 1/4? They may have a bushing that reduces like that. Did you check Amazon?

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Old 08-23-2013, 02:26 PM   #3
tnlandsailor's Avatar
Apr 2005
Knoxville, TN
Posts: 522
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Tok - I did a write up of my chiller build here. You don't want to use the sweat fittings to adapt down to your coil diameter. You want to use a modified compression fitting. Check out the write up, there are quite a few photos describing the detail.

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Dennis Collins
Knoxville, TN
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:27 AM   #4
cracked1's Avatar
Aug 2010
Nampa, Idaho
Posts: 330
Liked 23 Times on 17 Posts

Originally Posted by tnlandsailor
You don't want to use the sweat fittings to adapt down to your coil diameter. You want to use a modified compression fitting.
I wouldn't really put it that way. I used the 1/2" x 1/4" sweat fitting on mine and it works great. Many people have done it that way... But, if you really can't find them, then yes, use compression fittings. Here's another write-up for a solderless version that was done here on HBT:
I was going to change my signature but I ran out of clever.

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Old 08-26-2013, 07:17 AM   #5
Aug 2013
Posts: 7

Thanks guys.

I ended up going with a 1/2" copper tee, 1/2" sweated thread adapter, then a 1/2" to 3/8" compression fitting.

It was the least amount of parts I could come up with for what I could find locally, maybe 6 bucks for each end.

The hose is about 19 feet, but I've got really cold water and good pressure.

Now my question is using it with my 8 gal aluminum pot.

Can I just attach a rubber hose to go down the side of the pot? I'm worried about the heat just after boiling. I suppose I could buy some more copper and make a coupler attachment, but I'm trying to keep the costs down.

What do ya think?
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:48 PM   #6
Nov 2012
Posts: 355
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As convenient as garden hose quick disconnects are, I've yet to find one that didn't substantially restrict the flow of water. Same goes for in-line shut-off valves.

So, if you find you have to run your wort through your CFC slowly in order to hit your desired pitching temp, try ditching the quick disconnects.
Primary 1: Maibock
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Bottled/Kegged: Grateful Dead Guy, Bourbon Barrel Porter, Oktoberfest, Maibock, Barnyard Brown Ale, EdWort's Robust Porter, BierMuncher's Centennial Blonde, Mosaic APA, Moose Drool clone plus, Raging Red Irish Ale, Galaxy APA, Dead Guy clone

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Old 08-26-2013, 09:54 PM   #7
Aug 2013
Posts: 7

Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. I did notice the shutoff valves have a much smaller opening, which is why I didn't add one. How about the hose, I was thinking trying to add a spigot. but not sure a good way to go about it. Is there a hose that'll handle the heat?

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Old 08-27-2013, 07:11 PM   #8
Aug 2013
Posts: 7

Heading to the store now..

Hoping somebody can let me know what kinda hose will handle the heat right after boiling.

Will probably just pick up some vinyl hose unless I hear otherwise, but I'd sure like to know it'll be safe to use.


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Old 08-27-2013, 07:55 PM   #9
Jun 2013
Maynard, MA
Posts: 1,198
Liked 231 Times on 182 Posts

Don't use vinyl, it'll discolor in wort at temperature. You want silicone for flexible hose (good to 400F), or CPVC (hot water pipe) or PP for less flexible hoses. Or use a copper dipstick with the hose pushed over the end of it.

But you might find it better to fit a weldless spigot to your brew pot ASAP. The online kits are a lot cheaper for stainless than going to a local hardware store for hard to find parts.

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Old 08-27-2013, 09:05 PM   #10
raouliii's Avatar
Aug 2011
Ponchatoula, LA
Posts: 1,015
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Sweat fittings worked fine on mine. Water flows very well.

Wort In/Out

H2O In/Out

On Tap:
LeftOvers Amber
Rearranger IPA - Chinook, Simcoe, Cascade
Ponchy Pale Ale - Millennium and Willamette
NippleRub Ultra (Light Lager w/Mexican Lager yeast)

In the Chamber:

Next Up:
A Light Lager

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