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3 IC questions

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zacster

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3 quick questions:

If I'm building a chiller that will be used for partial boils, do I need 50' of copper, or will 25' do just fine? I saw some pictures of a 50' chiller and it seems excessive.

If I were to order tubing from coppertubingsales, since the 50' is the same price as 25' from Lowes, which fittings should I order to build a standard IC build as in the video? Or should I just go to Lowes for the fittings so I can see what I need?

Manliness comments aside, can I get away with using the joint epoxy and not soldering the joints? If I have to buy all the soldering equipment and supplies just to do this it will add to the cost, even if it is modest. I'm trying to keep the entire cost down to a minimum. I don't have any use for a soldering torch beyond this. At least I already have a pipe cutter.
 

bendavanza

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You can omit the fittings if you make nice sweeping curves, but the fittings would be nice.
I don't think I'd want the epoxy in my boil. You have got to know someone who would sweat that together for you for a bottle of homebrew.
 

camiller

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DeafSmith

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You can make one like this with no soldering - just a spring type tubing bender and compression fittings.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/simple-immersion-wort-chiller-33036/


Mine is similar to that one with 50 feet of 3/8 tubing - I tied mine together by making a couple of big clips out AWG 6 copper wire. Each clip slips over all the coils to hold them together so they don't act like a big "slinky" toy. I only do four gallon boils, but I get 95 percent of my chiller into the wort. With my 18 foot coil prechiller I get 4 gallons from boiling to 70 degrees in 10 minutes and don't even add the ice to the prechiller until five minutes after starting the chill.
 

sirsloop

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50' 1/2" would be the last chiller you would possibly ever need, even with 10g batches in a keggle. For partials, you can get away with 25 3/8'" no problem
 
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zacster

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Maybe I'll buy the 50' 3/8 and use that in a jointless build as in Deaf's build. That seems easy enough, and would still be big enough for a full boil if I ever get to that point. I'm actually pretty content with what I do now, using 2 pots to get almost 4 gallons. I stagger the times so that one is still boiling while the other chills. I split the malt and hops, and split the simmered grain wort between the pots. With the chiller I can cut the stagger time a bit.
 

Runyanka

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I got 50' of 3/8" outside diameter copper for $35 bucks at home depot about a week ago. Then I "rented" (purchased and returned after use) a tubing bender and cutter. After it was all said and done with 10' of clear tubing, garden hose connection, and hose clamps the total bill was $48 bucks. "Renting" the hose bender and cutter saved me about $21 dollars. Now my 50' chiller will take my wort from boiling to pitching temps in about 12 minutes. :mug:
 

DeafSmith

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A couple of things I forgot to mention - a lot of people like to bring the tube from the bottom up on the inside of the coils - I brought mine up on the outside, which seemed easier to do and it works fine. Also, after I bought the compression fittings, I discovered that I needed a flaring tool to use them. I believe that there are compression fittings that don't require flaring the tubing first, so try to find ones like that if you don't already have the tool.
 

sirsloop

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I got 50' of 3/8" outside diameter copper for $35 bucks at home depot about a week ago. Then I "rented" (purchased and returned after use) a tubing bender and cutter. After it was all said and done with 10' of clear tubing, garden hose connection, and hose clamps the total bill was $48 bucks. "Renting" the hose bender and cutter saved me about $21 dollars. Now my 50' chiller will take my wort from boiling to pitching temps in about 12 minutes. :mug:
Until the next time you need use a tube cutter or bender...lol. I always buy the tools I need for a given task. I figure I'll need one again in the next 40 years, so I might as well own it.
 

Bobby_M

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Not to mention how unethical it is to buy tools you know you're going to use and return.

The thing with 3/8" OD tubing is that 50' is going to be really springy. Even if I were going the no fitting route, I'd want to spot solder every 3rd coil to the upright to keep it a little rigid. If you don't do that, you can get some 16gauge solid copper wire to "tie" them instead. If you don't do some kind of securing, it's not going to look nice for long (if you care).

If you're using a fitting that requires you to flare the tubing first, it's called a flare fitting. A compression fitting uses a ferrule under the nut that mechanically seals to the tubing once the nut is tightened down.
 

bendavanza

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I did the tie with wire trick and it worked very well for me. I used stainless wire (picture frame area of hardware store), and it helps keep a little room between the coils without expanding the coil too much. My IC is stainless from a jockey box, it was very springy and difficult to clean between coils, now it's much better.
 
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zacster

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I went to HD yesterday and bought 50' 1/2 after all. It was $45, and if you take the shipping into account it is the same price at coppertubingsales. I used a paint can to coil it and made sweeping curves and connected to a hose using 2 clamps. No soldering, flaring or anything else that required plumbing skills. I kinked it at the end when I tried to bend it up, so I cut that piece off and tried again. When I tried it out on hot water, not boiling, it went cold in about 30 seconds. I'm pleased.

I did leave about 15 feet of the tube in its original shape in case I want to go further with it.

Thanks for the help to all.
 

Nightbiker

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I used an immersion chiller made with nothing more than copper tubing, with nylon hose pushed onto the ends of the copper line, the other ends of the nylon went into my chilling bucket (mop bucket with icewater) and on a small pond pump immersed in the water to feed the chiller (one line on the pump, the return line dropped in the bucket). No fittings, no troubles, and about as low cost as it gets.
 
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