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home-built immersion wort chiller

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JLem

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I know this has been done a billion times before, but I just wanted to share the newest addition to my brew set-up. I got all the parts at Lowe's for a grand total of $27.09 (excluding tax).

20' of 1/4" (ID) x 3/8" (OD) flexible copper tubing - $15.01
10' of vinyl tubing - $3.68
2 hose clamps - $0.97
faucet adapter - $7.43

I used an asparagus steamer to help coil the copper.







 

Hugh_Jass

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Looks great.:mug:

Maybe consider bending the ends of the IC toward the outside. When the flexible tubing gets hot, it may kink and restrict water flow. Overall, nice clean job.:mug:
 

jldc

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Looks great.:mug:

Maybe consider bending the ends of the IC toward the outside. When the flexible tubing gets hot, it may kink and restrict water flow. Overall, nice clean job.:mug:
Or melt. Don't ask me how I know this. I also think it's worthwhile to put two tubing clamps on each end of the IC.
 

Kuglehaus

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+1 on melt... get that tubing 1 ft away from the pot and you can forget worrying about drip or melting...
 
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JLem

JLem

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hmmm....never considered melting...I'll see what I can do about that - thanks for the head's up. I'll go splurge for another set of clamps too. Can't wait to try this baby out!
 

Kuglehaus

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by the way, you have one hell of a camera, those might be the nicest pics I've seen on the site.
 
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JLem

JLem

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by the way, you have one hell of a camera, those might be the nicest pics I've seen on the site.
Thanks. Before I began brewing beer, photography was my favorite hobby :)
 

MikeG

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Very nice, thank for posting. Definitely let us know how it turns out. :mug:
 

dontman

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To reinforce what everyone else has been saying. You NEED to get the copper out of the pot. You need about 8 more inches of copper on each end to reach the top of the pot plus 4 inches to turn at a right angle out of it. Do this before you try it out for real.

The very hot wort will soften that tubing to the point where you can get drips around the edges and the last thing you want is for any hosewater at all dripping into your wort.

Also as it cools you will need to move the coil around inside the pot to circulate the wort. The bent copper at the top will serve as handles for this purpose. The last reason is that if you have a total mishap where the tubing falls off while hosewater is running through it your batch can survive.
 

Jkane101

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Looks great! I'm about to make one myself which leads me to a question. What did everyone do to make thier new copper IC ready for the first use. How did you clean\prep it?
 

kirscp

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From the pic, it looks like it is a mini IC, looks to be 4" tall.

Like others have said, bend then end of the tubes or the HOT water will cause the hoses to get very pliable and kink off.

I just washed mine, no other prepping.
 

SeeGeeBee

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noticed you went with the 1/4" instead of the usual 3/8". Is there a reason why? Which is more efficient in cooling? I plan on doing full 5gal boils. I just got back from Lowe's with 20' of 3/8".
 

Tech211

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To reinforce the other comments, good pictures. I would go one step beyond just getting the vinyl outside of the pot. I went with silicone tubing eventually. The vinyl will get nasty around boiling liquid. There are no two ways about it.
 

pen25

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solder some hose fittings on the ends and do away with the tubing and clamps..
 

wilserbrewer

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I would add to keep tightening your hose clamps after the first few uses as they will tend to leak from the softening of the hot water. In the future, i would try using undersize hose and warming it to get on the chiller.
 
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JLem

JLem

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From the pic, it looks like it is a mini IC, looks to be 4" tall.

Like others have said, bend then end of the tubes or the HOT water will cause the hoses to get very pliable and kink off.

I just washed mine, no other prepping.
Don't let the wide-angle lens fool you - this is closer to 10" tall. I only do partial mashes with partial boils, so it is big enough for my set-up.
 
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JLem

JLem

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Just wanted to update everyone. I used the chiller for the first time today and it worked like a charm - took 2.5 gallons of wort down to 90 degrees in about 10 minutes (maybe 15 - I forgot to time it). The size was perfect for my pot too - the vinyl tubing was out of the wort (the lower side, just barely, but it was out). Nothing leaked either!

:ban:
 

BrewBeemer

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Or melt. Don't ask me how I know this. I also think it's worthwhile to put two tubing clamps on each end of the IC.

Just use a metal tubing set for double flares and use only the first step in making a double flare to make the bulb in the copper tubing preventing your flexible hose from coming off.
The bulb at the copper IC ends will then look and operate like your radiator stub ends on your cars radiator. It's there for a reason, a simple fix. Other issues about longer copper away from the heat should also be applied for a hot kink free hose system.
 

ArizonaDB

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Great tutorial JLem! I might just have to make one of these now! Great photos too, the DoF you used really makes the chiller pop out of the photo.

Dustin
Flagstaff Daily Photo
Flagstaff Daily Photo
 

dpeanut7

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Bought the supplies for this build last night. Going to put it together tomorrow, I'll try to incorporate everyone's comments.

pics on Saturday
 

dpeanut7

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What do you guys think, do you think it would be better to run the exit tube through the inside of the chiller instead of on the outside like in this build? I'm sure it doesn't matter, just seeing what the general consensus is. I feel like going through the internal the chiller could be closer to the perimiter, heating the outside wort, allowing you to whirlpool on the inside.
 

dpeanut7

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OK. So I got antsy and did the build tonight. How can I say this, I'm not satisfied. Its just not as pretty as yours? How did you get the copper to be so tight around the pan, its like perfect. I'm going to keep working with it, but do you have any tips for getting the coil tighter? and is your coil really springy? Or does it hold its shape?
 
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JLem

JLem

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OK. So I got antsy and did the build tonight. How can I say this, I'm not satisfied. Its just not as pretty as yours? How did you get the copper to be so tight around the pan, its like perfect. I'm going to keep working with it, but do you have any tips for getting the coil tighter? and is your coil really springy? Or does it hold its shape?
Honestly, I don't remember it being difficult to do. Just worked slowly and methodically coiling it around the pot. It does have some spring to it, but overall holds it shape. I wonder if you are using a different gauge copper? I think I probably used something like this - http://www.lowes.com/pd_23051-76063...935907__s?Ntt=copper+tubing&page=2&facetInfo=
 

dpeanut7

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Hmm, I'm going to try again with a bigger pot, and inquire some help from my dad. If its a work of art I'll post pictures, if it cools my wort I'll be satisfied. I believe I used the same wire, but I chose 3/8 inch for my surface area. That should've made mine even more sturdy though...
 

tre9er

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Pull each end of the tubing in opposite directions, then squish the coil together at the same time. You can also start on one end and push the coils away from your body and together, then work towards the other end. Then I take it off of the item I used to wrap it and twist it some, squishing it down. Mine isn't perfect but as long as it's not kinked, the coils all go down into the wort, and the ends hang over the edge of the pot...it'll do it's job.

Also, I used a ratchet to tighten the hose clamps after the first use or two. Screwdriver didn't have the torque to get it tight enough. Fittings would be nice but it doesn't leak since I cranked it down tight (do this while running water thru it so you only tighten as much as you need. The copper isn't indestructible and you CAN overtighten).
 
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