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Is 20' enough for a wort chiller

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ziggityz

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I bought all my supplies to build my own immersion chiller and they only had 20 feet of 1/2" copper tubing not 25', will this be enough to chill 5 gallons of wort???
 

joelabe05

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It will depend on a few things, but the simple answer is yes. The cooling power of an immersion chiller (or counter-flow chiller for that matter) is the temperature differential between the wort and the cooling liquid (water usually). If you have nice cold tap water running through the chiller, and you agitate the wort during chilling, you should not have any trouble getting down to pitching temp. It will take longer than if you had more copper for a greater contact area, but it will no doubt beat using an ice bath ;).
 

knotquiteawake

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Ziggityz, I just bought 20ft of 1/2in lastnight to do the same thing. Its not ideal because its kind of short but I just want to beat the ice bath as well. The good news is that when you've got extra money you can then buy 50ft of coil and make another one and then use this shorter one as a pre-chiller (stick it in a bucket of ice to chill the water even more before it goes into the main one). So either way it won't be a waste.
 

Gixxer

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I kinda do half and half. I have 20ft of tubing, but I have a 10ft length of vinyl hose going from the garden hose to the chiller, and I have it looped up in a 5gal bucket with ice. The water going in is chilled, not the whole pot. Forgot to add, works pretty good. In time I wanna upgrade to a recirc pump so I am not using more water than whats in the bucket and the line to the chiller and back from the chiller to the bucket.
 

knotquiteawake

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I kinda do half and half. I have 20ft of tubing, but I have a 10ft length of vinyl hose going from the garden hose to the chiller, and I have it looped up in a 5gal bucket with ice. The water going in is chilled, not the whole pot. Forgot to add, works pretty good. In time I wanna upgrade to a recirc pump so I am not using more water than whats in the bucket and the line to the chiller and back from the chiller to the bucket.
Good idea! I might buy some more tubing and do that next time.

ziggityz here is the finished product. Took me about 30-45min to get it done.
 
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ziggityz

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yeah well mine is headed to a recycling center for some cash tomorrow, I was using a spring bender to bend the top tubing and kinked, I'm just going to buy a plate chiller, I'm done with copper tubing.
 

barrooze

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I used 20' of 1/4" tubing for the last 7 years. Worked good enough but replaced it with 50' of 1/2" tubing a couple weeks ago. You'll do fine with 20'.
 

kh54s10

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I made a 20' chiller. It works pretty good but I wanted more so I made another one and bent the coils a little tighter so it will fit inside the first one. I have tried both in the wort and also one in the wort and the other in a bucket of cold water with an ice bottle. This works a little faster.

I also bent them by hand without tools and had no problems.
 
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ziggityz

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thats all well and good I did not have good success and I am going to buy a plate chiller from rebelbrewer, spend the extra money and not worry about bending tubing anymore!
 

barrooze

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If you're concerned with bending tubing, just buy an IC. I made my 50' 1/2" IC using the spring coils to bend the tight spots. Worked really well.

I know done people use gravity to put their wort through a plate chiller or counterflow chiller, but I've heard they work best with a pump. I like my IC because I don't need a pump, but when I get one, I'll use it to whirlpool the wort in my kettle. Either way, most options are better than an ice bath. :) good luck!
 

knotquiteawake

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yeah well mine is headed to a recycling center for some cash tomorrow, I was using a spring bender to bend the top tubing and kinked, I'm just going to buy a plate chiller, I'm done with copper tubing.
Bummer dude. I had a spring bender too and was deathly afraid to kink it which is why the connections look like such crap there in the picture. I just wasn't willing to put the force into bending it to get right angles.

The good news is that you didn't buy a 50' coil though, that would be a much sadder kink.
 

RiffMagnum

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I kinda do half and half. I have 20ft of tubing, but I have a 10ft length of vinyl hose going from the garden hose to the chiller, and I have it looped up in a 5gal bucket with ice. The water going in is chilled, not the whole pot. Forgot to add, works pretty good. In time I wanna upgrade to a recirc pump so I am not using more water than whats in the bucket and the line to the chiller and back from the chiller to the bucket.

With summer temps coming on, i've been wanting to do the same thing you've done. I can't seem to find the right hose/tubing with the right adapters/connecters though. Where did you get your supplies?
 

GTaylor

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I made one using a 20' coil and it gets 5 gallons from boiling to pitching in about 15 minutes, good enough for now. As the summer arrives may have to get an water pump and use the ice water in a cooler to drop those last few degrees.
 

Gixxer

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With summer temps coming on, i've been wanting to do the same thing you've done. I can't seem to find the right hose/tubing with the right adapters/connecters though. Where did you get your supplies?
I got everything I needed from Home depot. You need the 3/4" threaded female to barb adapter, the vinyl tubing which should be in the same aisle as the plumbing adapters and valves, in my HD the hose was directly under the fittings, a 5 gallon bucket, a hose clamp to attach the vinyl hose to the chiller, and ice.
 

RiffMagnum

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I got everything I needed from Home depot. You need the 3/4" threaded female to barb adapter, the vinyl tubing which should be in the same aisle as the plumbing adapters and valves, in my HD the hose was directly under the fittings, a 5 gallon bucket, a hose clamp to attach the vinyl hose to the chiller, and ice.
I'm not familiar with a "female to barb" adapter, but i'm pretty retarded when it comes to Mr. Fixit type stuff. My garden hose attaches directly to the wort chiller, so i just assumed all i needed was some thin/clear vinyl tubing with a female garden hose connector on one end and a male connecter on the other. Suffice to say, i should be able to find what i need in the plumbing dept. Salud!!!
 
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