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Homercidal

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I have about 16 feet of 12 copper tubing in the garage that has been sitting there for years. I want to use it to make a chiller for a friend, but I wonder how effective it will be. I can do either IC or CFC.

My concern is that the 1/2" diameter is too large as a CFC to provide effective contact between the hot wort and the cold copper. Seems like a lot of dead air space if siphoned with 3/8" hose.

As an IC, it might perform better, but is 16" enough length?
 

eweb44

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I think that the 16' should be enough, especially when its 1/2" tube. My immersion chiller is 20' of 1/4" and it operates at pretty close to max efficiency; that is the temperature of the water coming out of the chiller is within 4*F of the wort temperature. A bigger IC would certainly reduce chilling time, but I am pretty happy with mine.

Some thing to consider with your IC is that a good pump with a high flow rate will reduce the chill time as well.
 
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If you fill the CFC from the bottom, the air space will be pushed out. I would go that route.
What?


16' is not exactly ideal. 25' seems pretty standard for CFC.
You could of course use 16' but it would just take a bit longer to chill.

With the 1/2 inch you will have more wort having less contact with the temperature exchanging copper. Not to mention, Good luck pushing 1/2 copper through a garden hose. I would start with that little test before exploring it any further.
 
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Homercidal

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What?


16' is not exactly ideal. 25' seems pretty standard for CFC.
You could of course use 16' but it would just take a bit longer to chill.

With the 1/2 inch you will have more wort having less contact with the temperature exchanging copper. Not to mention, Good luck pushing 1/2 copper through a garden hose. I would start with that little test before exploring it any further.
Yeah, good point. I did not think of that. As an IC it might work better, since there is more surface area per foot. I could calculate that out and see what the difference net is.

Or, I thought maybe I could use it as the water jacket for a CFC if push came to shove, but since I got plenty of old garden hose, that seems like a good waste of copper. (but it would look nice!)
 
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Quick calculations shows that 16' of 1/2" tubing is 85% surface area of 25' of 3/8" tubing.

It is equal to about 21' of the 3/8".

And, it may cool better due to the fact that there is more water volume to absorb the heat.
 

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You can also add some rigid copper pipe as your downtube so you can keep all of the 16' you have under the wort level. Since the water won't have as much time in the coil, you'd want to run the coolant a slight bit slower so it can pull more heat before it dumps out.
 

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I bought 50', and used some I had to make the uprights, since I was aiming for 10gallon batches, it is roughly 53' O.A. Home Depot was cheap enough I sprung for it, avoiding shipping and the wait.

Building a less than ideal length IC for 5 gallon batches, I would not do. I would use that copper for dip tubes in vessels, or for the uprights of a proper length IC. Other uses may present themselves in time.

Copper has come way down-but may start to go up again. This means your window of opportunity for buying copper cheap may close soon.
 
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Well, I have not priced it locally lately, just trying to get rid of some copper that was just hanging on my garage wall for the past 15 years.

I may build it just to see how well it works. Good idea on using the rigid for the up/down parts, Bobby. I have a few bits of that floating around too. So, other than the fittings, I have all I need to try it.

If it works, I can give it to my friend. If not, all I've lost is a couple of hours of play time drinking beer and sweating some copper. I can always hang it back up!
 
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What?


16' is not exactly ideal. 25' seems pretty standard for CFC.
You could of course use 16' but it would just take a bit longer to chill.

With the 1/2 inch you will have more wort having less contact with the temperature exchanging copper. Not to mention, Good luck pushing 1/2 copper through a garden hose. I would start with that little test before exploring it any further.
I agree it's not ideal. I thought the OP was concerned that a 3/8" tube draining into 1/2" copper was going to leave air in the 1/2" copper, reducing efficiency. If you put the inlet in on the bottom of the coil so the wort side of the CFC fills from the bottom, it will push the air out and eliminate the sir space worry.

The Chillus Convolutus I had was only 12'.
 
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