50 ft of copper, what to do?

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jjp36

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So i just won my ebay auction for a 50ft roll of 3/8 ID soft copper (winning bid: $18.25, SWEET!). I am planning on building an immersion chiller, and had a question.

Would it be more efficient if:
1. I used the full 50 feet for the chiller
2. I used say 25 feet for the chiller and made a prechiller with the other 25 feet?

I currently only do 5 gallon batches, and don't anticipate ever doing 10. I like to brew too often and too many different styles, so i like to keep the batch size down. I have a 34qt brewpot that is about 13 in. high x 16 in. deep. I'm curios to know what would be more efficient. I also brew indoors so my water is coming from the faucet, so the water isn't as cold as it would be if i could hook it up to an outdoor hose (i live in an apartment). What say ye wise DIY'ers?
 

JMSetzler

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I'm sure you might get answers both ways on this, but I think the single immersion chiller works very well. Build a single chiller and build a pre-chiller later if you think you need it...
 

caver95

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You could make a 25ft chiller and send the other 25ft to me for $15 then you would have an almost free chiller.
 

wildwest450

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I would use it all on a single chiller, then your good to go for 10 gallon batches. It's easy to do an ice bath and pond pump later if necessary.
 

Jewrican

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make two.. and sell one and net a profit... then laugh all the way to the bank....
 
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jjp36

jjp36

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I would use it all on a single chiller, then your good to go for 10 gallon batches. It's easy to do an ice bath and pond pump later if necessary.
If i choose to go this route later, what kind of flow rate would i need for the pump?

I'm assuming i'd be looking for something like these?
 

hammer one

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I was bidding on the same roll of copper but couldn't go over $20.00 with shipping it would be cheaper to get it at Lowes. I'm planning on building a 50ft CFC.
 

XXguy

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I built an IC out of 30 Ft. of a 50 foot roll........ I was doing strictly stovetop extracts & figured I would NEVER need to use all 50 foot.. My 30 ft. works well, but I'm now looking at doing 10 gallon batches & full boils in a Keggle.... so I wish I would have made mine 50 ft.

I seem to recall that some folks say a pre-chiller isn't all that effective for the amount of cooling you get vs. just using a recirculating ice bath with a pump.
 

wildwest450

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If i choose to go this route later, what kind of flow rate would i need for the pump?

I'm assuming i'd be looking for something like these?
Something that will do an honest 3 to 4 gallons per minute. I got mine at Lowes and it already has a garden hose adapter on the end, so nothing extra to buy except for some hose.
 

Jonnio

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If you have a march pump you could build a 40' or so recirculating IC and then add
http://www.brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue1.4/hayden.html said:
One of the more innovative and compact chiller designs, the B.I.T.O.A. wort-chiller (Brewers' Warehouse, Seattle, Washington), is an interesting counterflow chiller that, according to the manufacturer's specifications, can cool 5 gal of wort from 212 degrees F (100 degrees C) to 70 degrees F (21 degrees C) in 12-15 min, using 65 degrees F (18 degrees C) tap water. The wort siphons through a coiled copper tube housed inside a PVC canister mounted on a stand. The unit is 15 in. long and 4 in. wide. Space often being a dear commodity for brewers, this chiller offers an efficient, moderately priced alternative to immersion chillers.
Schematic diagram of wort chiller

Figure 3. Schematic diagram of an innovative compact wort chiller that siphons hot wort through copper tubing inside a PVC housing. (Illustration courtesy of Brewers' Warehouse)
at the output side, just before the wort goes back into the pot.
 

TommyBoy

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I was bidding on the same roll of copper but couldn't go over $20.00 with shipping it would be cheaper to get it at Lowes. I'm planning on building a 50ft CFC.
When I looked at copper at Lowes it was $55 for a 50' roll and it was close to $1.80/ft.

My 50' tubing just arrived from coppertubingsales.com on Friday for $45 delivered. It is not as great of a deal as the ebay find but still fair.
 

thePudwhack

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When I looked at copper at Lowes it was $55 for a 50' roll and it was close to $1.80/ft.

My 50' tubing just arrived from coppertubingsales.com on Friday for $45 delivered. It is not as great of a deal as the ebay find but still fair.
I bought 50' from coppertubingsales.com, and used all 50 to make something like this.

I was thinking about 10 gallon boils at the time, but my ground water never goes below like 72.

The welding was kind of a pain, as I suck at it, and I want to make a prechiller like this with no welds.

Do these things leak at the clamps under pressure? I guess you can just roll the pipe ends over your pot so they point down. Also, which vinyl tubing would you use with 3/8" ID refrigerator tubing? The OD didn't seem to be exactly 1/2", but I don't think it matters when you're using clamps, does it?

Anybody have any complaints about this particular variety?
 
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LeeF

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If you use all 50ft now you can always cut in half later for two 25 footers.
 

TommyBoy

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I have all 50' coiled up to a 12' diameter in my 15gal B3 kettle but it is not useable right now. I have been trying to find a 2lb roll of stainless flux core .030" wire to weld on my couplers for this and I am having a hard time.
 

TwoHeadsBrewing

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My CFC has worked so well for me, I'd recommend building one. And if you have 50ft. of 3/8" you can build two 25' chillers and sell the other one for $40-60. More than enough to get your money back and then some. If you can use gravity or have a pump, IMHO the CFC is the way to go.
 
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Either build a 50'IC or build 2 CFCs at 25 ft. You will not be happy with 25ft IC.


I was bidding on the same roll of copper but couldn't go over $20.00 with shipping it would be cheaper to get it at Lowes. I'm planning on building a 50ft CFC.
This is way over kill. Loko around. There is a reason nobody has a CFC over 25 feet. It is not needed. Build two from your roll and sell one. I cooled 10G from boiling to mid 60 and drained into fermenters in 25 minutes gravity fed.
 
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jjp36

jjp36

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Looks like I'm gonna go with 2 25ft CFC's. Anybody want to buy the second one?
 
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jjp36

jjp36

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heh. I'm not sure yet. I'm still pricing some of the parts. Once i figure out a rough estimate I'll post what it would cost. I'm sure NNatic has a point though, the cost of shipping is probably gonna make it way more expensive then its build cost. Its probably gonna be heavy as hell.
 

TwoHeadsBrewing

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Just built two CFCs a couple months ago, one for me and one for a fellow brewer. Our cost was $48 each, but that was with pretty expensive tubing ordered online. We already had the solder, flux and gas for fitting everything together, so don't forget to add that into the total if you don't already have that stuff. FYI, I bought all of the stuff except the 3/8" copper coil from Lowes.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/some-ag-projects-keggle-cfc-93094/

Part list for 2 Chillers:
(1) 24" x 1/2" copper pipe ($6)
(4) 1/2" copper TEEs ($2.80)
(4) 1/2" x 1/4" copper reducers ($3.60)
(1) 50' x 3/8" OD soft copper tubing (ACQUIRED) ($44.90 delivered)
(1) 50' x 5/8" ID rubber garden hose ($26.58)
(8) SS hose clamps ($6)
(1) Female hose connector ($3.48)
(1) Male hose connector ($3.48)

Grand Total: $96.84 -> $48.42 per chiller
 

bendavanza

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dude save your cheap copper for a prechiller if your water temps are not cold, or use 35' for one and 15' for the prechiller. Use the tap water to break the boil and dump in the ice at the end to finish.
 

mrburnsbud

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I built two and sold one on homebrewtalk.

I have no problems reaching 70F temps in my 25' from Bobby_M's DIY. My exit temps are low as 58F. >25' seems overkill and probably won't provide much more cooling potential for the dollar. Unless your tap water is ungodly warm, then building a pre-chiller is a waste of effort, time and space, etc:drunk:
 

JMSetzler

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What I might end up needing is a post chiller rather than a pre-chiller. When I start brewing outside again, I'm going to have a problem of where to let my hot water run-off flow. I'm either going to have to run it into the grass or run about 75' of hose to the storm drain. I'm not sure what will happen if I run boiling hot water into the grass...
 

Jonnio

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What I might end up needing is a post chiller rather than a pre-chiller. When I start brewing outside again, I'm going to have a problem of where to let my hot water run-off flow. I'm either going to have to run it into the grass or run about 75' of hose to the storm drain. I'm not sure what will happen if I run boiling hot water into the grass...
You will kill the grass if it goes straight in...I dump my boiling hot water into a bucket to clean with and then when about 4-5 gallons have run off I put the rest out onto the driveway.
 

bendavanza

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Yes I live in Texas where the ground water can be over 80˚ in the summer. I let the super hot first water runoff go back into my MLT which I would have dumped by then, it helps to rinse it out, and then the rest into whatever other coolers or buckets I have handy. It's useful for topping off the pond or pool, and for watering. The first 5-8 gallons or so are super hot so I let that cool off before using it. I suppose you could use the rest hooked up directly to a lawn sprinkler but that would slow your flow down considerably, and add backpressure to your chiller.
 

keelanfish

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Do you brew lagers? If so, I'd use about 30-35 feet of it for the immersion chiller and the remaining for a prechiller so you can get closer to pitching temps. If all you brew is ales, I'd use it all for the immersion chiller.
 

caver95

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So after looking around I scored 30ft of copper from a buddy that does ac. its not real pretty but It will work.
 
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