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Help on copper tubing for chiller

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Beau815

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I got SOFT copper tubing, is this correct? Im afraid its too "bendy"
 

Mainebrew

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[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8EolKTDZUQ&feature=channel_page]YouTube - Immersion Chiller (IC) Build[/ame]

check out the video
 

TwoHeadsBrewing

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Soft copper is definitely what you want. Just be careful not to kink the copper by making too tight of a bend. I found that a 5 gallon bucket, or even a corny keg is a good diameter to go with.
 

Cpt_Kirks

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If you are worried about kinks, get a set of those spring tubing benders. You can make TIGHT bends with those, if you want.
 

jmp138

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Yeah be careful, I just built Bobby M's counterflow chiller and on brew day as I was winding it into a coil around a kettle, I broke the 3/8 tubing and lost about 4 feet off my chiller. Other than that the counter flow is the way to go, really not too expensive and I took boiling wort down to 60 degrees over the course of only 20 feet. And copper prices are going way down, I just bought a 50 ft coil of 3/8 for 30 bucks.
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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yup i RUINED it! I bent the hell out of it. after kissing my wifes @$$ for a week to let me spend money we didn't have and eventually she said ok if you REALLY NEED it, and off i was to get supplies. Now i feel like a complete moron. I should of bought it online like everyone else.
 

jmp138

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Did you actually break that tubing or did you just bend it up pretty good, copper is a fairly forgiving metal, albeit a biatch to work with sometimes. Even if you did break it there are still solutions, let us know whats up and maybe we can help you out.
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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its kinda folded in a few spots and ones kinda twisted so its kinda hard to let air through i blew into it. i tried water and one spot its squirting out so i almost just thru it out the door to get it out of my sight. I was super excited when i bought it now its just depressing.
 

Schnitzengiggle

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Yeah, if you kinked it, or actually broke it in two, cut the kink out or cut the ends off the two "broken pieces" and use a coupler. Take the coupler and solder those to pieces back together...bam! It wont be pretty but it will surely get the job done. There is always a solution - KISS and Okaham's Razor prevail!
 

jmp138

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If you have enough left on the ends of the kinks you can just cut it off and use that, so if you have a 50 foot coil, 25 foot should work, if less than optimal, for cooling down 5 gallon batches. I only use 20 foot on a counterflow chiller, so if you dont have alot to work with, you could just save up a little a go with a counterflow. You could do it for about $30 bucks more and its not hard.

How much usable tubing do you have left?
 

DarkSide

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I am getting supplies to make my CFC tomorrow or Friday. So, what size copper tubing do I get. 3/8 ID or is it 3/8 OD? I am planning on getting a 5/8 Garden Hose.
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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I have about 9 kinks in it... it bent pretty easy. I think it would be easier to buy a new coil and less expensive too. 9 kinks... its pretty bad, they arent fully closed but still kinks. Will some place buy the copper off me? dont people steal copper from buildings to sell? Maybe i can get some of the money back?
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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OD.... and also... garden hose is heavy and ugly... any hardware store has clear tubing... mine was 3/8 and 19 cents a foot!
 

ClutchDude

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I am getting supplies to make my CFC tomorrow or Friday. So, what size copper tubing do I get. 3/8 ID or is it 3/8 OD? I am planning on getting a 5/8 Garden Hose.

If you can wait, get your copper online! CopperTubingSales.com :: ICS Indsutries ::. You need 3/8" OD.

It's $26 for 50ft of the refrigeration coil copper you need

You can make two CFC's with that length and the 50ft of RUBBER garden hose.

Beau, any place you can recycle aluminum cans will pay you for it. Since it's pretty pure and obvious what happened, you shouldn't get any guff. Just don't expect as much as you may have paid.
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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i dont expect the 28 i paid if i can get 10 im a happy brewer
 

TwoHeadsBrewing

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If you can wait, get your copper online! CopperTubingSales.com :: ICS Indsutries ::. You need 3/8" OD.

It's $26 for 50ft of the refrigeration coil copper you need

You can make two CFC's with that length and the 50ft of RUBBER garden hose.

Beau, any place you can recycle aluminum cans will pay you for it. Since it's pretty pure and obvious what happened, you shouldn't get any guff. Just don't expect as much as you may have paid.
+100 on this. Make two, and sell the other for about $50. If you can sell it, you can build your chiller for about $25-35 bucks. That's less than most 25' immersion chillers...and it will chill faster! Can't say enough good stuff about the CFC. Add a pump and it's pure brewing heaven. :rockin:
 

NJTomatoguy

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i dont expect the 28 i paid if i can get 10 im a happy brewer
copper at the scrapyard is bought by the pound and grade. This is new light tubing, so my suggestion would be to try to accomplish what you started and build your IC. Do you know how to solder? Friend that is handy? That would probably be your best bet, rather than taking a loss on the copper..
 

GranillaNutz

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coppers less than a dollar a lb at the scrap yard now... so u won't get much at all there... just try to salvage as much as u can for things like a pickup tube, or make yard art with it.. u don't really need that much for a counterflow... i think mine is less than 15 ft 3/8 and it drops it down to perfect pitching temp. i actually bought mine from the scrap yard so u may even be able to work out a trade. they sold it to me for 2 bux a pound. they normally don't sell to individuals but i think they're having trouble getting rid of it right now and for lil pieces like that and if u bring them a beer, they'll hook u up.
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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ill have to throw another one on the credit card and try again
 

jspence1

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The 3/8 must be harder to work with than the 1/2 I had no issues with kinking.

I'd call the scrap dealers around you they get copper coils all the time.
 

springer

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The 3/8 must be harder to work with than the 1/2 I had no issues with kinking.

I'd call the scrap dealers around you they get copper coils all the time.
I really don't think it is. Just have to go slow and with steady pressure to bend it. Also never straighten the coil it comes in. The copper is annealed and once you start bending or straightening the copper it will get stiff.
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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yeah i found that out the hard way, i straightened parts and that was dumb. i ordered the 50 ft im gonna keep it in a coil and go SLOW and make the coil smaller i also got a 3/8 spring tubing bender but i tried it on my old one and once i made a bend it was like impossible to pull the dumb coil off it got stuck... idk how thats gonna work out. thanks for the offer springer, if we were closer id def would of trusted it to someone else!
 

springer

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yeah i found that out the hard way, i straightened parts and that was dumb. i ordered the 50 ft im gonna keep it in a coil and go SLOW and make the coil smaller i also got a 3/8 spring tubing bender but i tried it on my old one and once i made a bend it was like impossible to pull the dumb coil off it got stuck... idk how thats gonna work out. thanks for the offer springer, if we were closer id def would of trusted it to someone else!
how tight are you trying to get the coil? the spring should slide off even at a 90° bend. Also dont pull on the spring think of it like those little toy Chinese handcuffs , you need to push it off or the spring shrinks and grabs the tubing.

all i did with one was wrap it around a corny keg

 
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Beau815

Beau815

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that looks awesome... thats about how tight i want it... i dont have a cornie tho. I will have to find something similar. You do it like that video? have someone hold it up and start winding from the bottom? Thanks for the chinese finger trap thing i see what you mean... the guy at the store was showing me how and he tried to yank it off too and it took him a few min. lol so thats how i figured it was done... so ill try to push it off from the back... i got 50 feet and even tho i only do 5 gallon batches that cant hurt and it was cheaper on that site. It arrives tuesday according to UPS tracking. Im gonna take it SLOW
 

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When I made I did not want to go through the trouble and additional expense of welding copper (That and I don't know how). I modded it on what the LHBS was selling. I got 20 ft of copper and coiled it around a lg coffee can (I lack a corny). I just went really slow and bent it all by hand. 10 ft of plastic tubing (cut in half), 3 hose clamps and a hose fitting. $35 from Home Depot. It works Great.
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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that tubing and clamps looks identical to what i have, i am waiting for my 50 feet to show up... then ill do it slow by hand and use maybe a coffee can too because i also have no cornie. Looks really good. if mine looks like that ill be VERY happy. So it comes in a disc shape... you hold it above the can like in that video and lower it down while pressing in towards the can? and on bending the long part upwards... i bent mine bad... you just went really slow? im practicing on my ruined one and its still kinking pretty easily, maybe because i straightened it to try to make that "ribcage" one that coils from both sides.
 

Nitsua

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I basically did the something as in the video, since I was only working w/ 20 it was a bit easier and I coiled it my self. To get the pipe through the center, I slowly shrunk the diameter of one loop at a time and fed it through the center. Then slowly in small increments I straitened it out and pulled it through. You can see in the pic how the base of the center pipe is coiling back through the middle.

FYI A paint can was also about the same size.
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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Thanks a lot for that info. It will def help come Tuesday. I just hope that I can do it as well as you and not make any kinks... maybe mine was SO hard because like an idiot i straightened it all out.
 

DeafSmith

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You can bring the outlet tube up from the bottom on the outside of the coils if you want. It doesn't look as fancy as on the inside, but is easier to do. I built mine that way with 50 feet of 3/8 tubing. I like to very slowly stir the wort with my paddle in the center of the coils in order to keep it moving past the coils for better heat transfer - keeping the outlet tube outside the coil means it doesn't get in the way of the stirring. Keeping a slight down angle on the ends of the tubes, as in Nitsua's photo is a good idea - if the connection leaks, the tap water will flow away from the brewpot. Just be sure to make all the bends very gradual - my coil is about 8 1/2 inches diameter and the inlet and outlet bends are approximately as shown in Nitsua's photo, or maybe even less sharp than that. Be sure to use the spring tubing bender for the inlet/outlet bends (it's not needed for the coil if you wrap the tubing around a form and don't try to make too tight a coil). I found that my coil was hard to handle because it acted like big "slinky" toy, so I made a couple of big clips from some 6 gauge copper wire that I had on hand to hold the coil compressed to just the height of my brewpot, which left just a little space between the coils for wort to flow during stirring. I made the clips by bending the wire 180 degrees in the middle and slipping that over the bottom of the coil - the two pieces of wire run back up the sides of the coil, one inside, one outside. At the top, I bent them so that they hook together, but can be unhooked, kind of like a safety pin. Someday, if I get a bigger brewpot, I can make some larger clips, or maybe go ahead and solder some wire supports to the coils. I used compression fittings for my inlet and outlet connections - somewhere there is a thread with a parts list for this. It makes better connections, but is a bit pricey.

If you can salvage enough of the kinked tubing, you might want to make a pre-chiller coil. I have a 20 foot long prechiller made up from two 10 foot sections of scrap which I joined together with a 1 inch piece of vinyl tubing and hose clamps. I put the prechiller next to, but not in a bucket of ice water when I start the cooling. The tap water goes into the bottom of the prechiller, then from the top of the prechiller to the top of the wort chiller and from the bottom of the wort chiller back to the sink drain. After about 5 minutes of cooling, I set the prechiller into the bucket of ice water, then keep moving it up and down gently to get water moving across the coils. So I'm stirring the wort with my right hand and moving the prechiller up and down with my left - kind of like rubbing your stomach and patting the top of your head at the same time. :) The prechiller doesn't actually speed up cooling all that much, but it lets me get the wort down to pitching temperature even when the tap water is warm in the summer. So far I've only used it in the winter with relatively cool tap water, but it gets four gallons from boiling to 70 degrees in ten minutes flat!
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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Appreciate the info... thanks deafsmith... im going to try to bring it up the middle... not quite sure exactly how yet without kinking... slowly i guess
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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okay it arrived a day early... its on my floor coiled up like a snake and i'm scared to touch the damn thing.
 

zippyslug31

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Just built mine the other week using 50' of 1/2". No fancy joints, just carefully bent the hard angles. To firm the whole thing up (did not use any solder) I used stripped heavy gauge copper electic wire and "wire tied" in a few key places just to stabalize the springy action of the coil.
This thing takes 5.5 gallons of boiling wort to 75 in under 5 mins using nothing but a garden hose attached.
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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I DID IT!!!! I am convinced the stupidity of trying to straighten out the first one was what made it collapse and kink SOOOO easy. I didn't have anything to use like a keg or paint can so i used a decent sized boiling pot maybe 2 gallons? and tipped it upside down and did it like the video... i didn't have a partner to hold it up but i went SO slow and it was actually very easy... I then took the advice to make smaller circles at the bottom then I pulled the bottom circle up through the top, made it straight... and the spring tubing bender worked great on this too... the other tubing i got it was VERY tight on. all sizes were 3/8 and hosing was for 3/8, maybe just had gargage copper tubing before. Anyways now i have a beautiful 50 foot chiller for 5 gallon batches.... should be FAST cooling... thanks a lot everyone! Can I even post a pic? I saved it on desktop but its asking to insert an http:// link for link or image.
 

springer

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I glad you were able to get this one done . I wound the coil around the Corny by myself , found it was easier to start the coil on the top and let the rest lay on the ground around the Corny and just kept working my way down the keg instead of up like the video .
 
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