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Old 01-28-2008, 07:58 AM   #1
Grimsawyer
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Mar 2006
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Ok, so I had 46' of 3/8 copper tubing coiled up on a shelf in the garage I've had for about 7 months. I got it so I could build a still but it turned out to be more expensive a build than I want right now so I just figured I'd make a counter current wort chiller out of the copper instead. AND HERE IT IS!!!!!!




22oz of a pleasant, gentle and lighter beer beside it for scale. Anyhow, got the thing put together and it's kinda floppy... (not to mention the solder joints look like HELL!!! Cold weather + skills you aren't good at to begin with = near disaster. ) What should I use to keep it rigid? What kind of straps should I get? Can't wait to try it out!!! Hope I can chill at full pump speed!!!
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:24 PM   #2
mr x
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46 feet should work really well. I would think standard electrical tie wraps should keep it together nicely. As for your other idea, go with a fractionation tower type. Far superior results.
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:29 PM   #3
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Wow, with 46 feet you could easily have made two of them! at least you won't have to worry about how fast you pump your wort... if anything, I'd expect you might have trouble with OVER-chilling, rather than under-chilling...

Should be a fun toy!

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:08 PM   #4
Grimsawyer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Funkenjaeger
...at least you won't have to worry about how fast you pump your wort... if anything, I'd expect you might have trouble with OVER-chilling, rather than under-chilling...

Should be a fun toy!
Yeah, hehehehehhehehehe!! In the hot summer I've been at a buddie's house who had a Chillus Convolutus and he had to throttle down the wort quite a bit to get said wort coming out at even 80*F... I hope I have to throttle down the chiller water, hehehehe. (Insert EVIL grin here!) Besides, I got the copper at a scrap yard, it was as close to free as you can get. And the 50' hose wasn't much more than the 25' hose. Figured it wasn't much more to just simply go for broke! Of course now I don't have any copper laying around all coiled up so I must find something else to place there for SWMBO to be unhappy about!!! HAHAHAHA!!!
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...no sense hauling empty carboys around when full ones take up just as much space. :)

 
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Old 01-28-2008, 11:52 PM   #5
Bobby_M
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The only downside is leaving wort behind in the longer coil.
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Old 01-29-2008, 01:13 AM   #6
5 Is Not Enough
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I found that with 25' of 3/8" o.d. copper, the flow was slow and I couldn't run the cooling water through it slow enough for it come out hot. I've resorted to pumping it through the chiller quickly, and it's just about right. You should be able to pump the wort very quickly through it, though 50' may offer noticable resistance. You may consider investing in just a couple more fittings and splitting it in 2. You could even make a couple bucks

 
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Old 01-29-2008, 01:21 AM   #7
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It's all hinged on the coolant water temp. In the winter, you can pump the wort full speed through while running the coolant slowly. In the summer, when my tap hits 85F, there's no flow combination that will make the wort less than 85 obviously. That's when the icewater gets used.
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Old 01-29-2008, 03:22 AM   #8
Grimsawyer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
The only downside is leaving wort behind in the longer coil.
I've thought about that. That's why the wort in is higher than the wort out on the unit, plus I'll have it raised a bit so I have to use a tube to get from the CCWC to the fermenter. Gravity will pull out the remaining once I disconnect the line from the pump to the chiller(in theory). Cleaning it is going to be the pain. I figure I'll just run a buttload of water through it then run some sanitizer through. Before using it I'll just recirculate boiling wort through it for the last 10 min of the boil. Now what I need is a way to gauge what temp the wort is when coming out of the chiller. Thinking a sticker thermometer on a section of copper tubing will do the trick.
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...no sense hauling empty carboys around when full ones take up just as much space. :)

 
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Old 01-29-2008, 11:08 PM   #9
5 Is Not Enough
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimsawyer
Thinking a sticker thermometer on a section of copper tubing will do the trick.
Thats clever. I think I'll incorporate one into my chiller. Thanks for the idea!

 
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Old 01-29-2008, 11:32 PM   #10
brewnman
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Oct 2007
California
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Nice job! You will be happy the first time you use it. Make sure to clean and sanitize it when you are done!
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