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Massive DIY wort cooler 96ft long

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silverbrewer

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Here is a set of pictures detailing my build of this mammoth cooler. It fits in my 22 Imperial gallon brewpot. I have more pictures of the making of the former, but I am only able to post ten pictures. perhaps I can creep more in later.



Here is the assembled cooling coil array. It has six separate coils giving a total of 96 ft of 1/2" copper pipe. When connected to the mains water supply it flows 15 litres per minute which is about 4 US gallons. The water supply is provided via a six way manifold, so each coil get it's own supply, then the hot water exits via another manifold to be saved for washing duties later. Even when held at an angle like this, the coils do not touch each other! You can even shake it without any rattles!



This is just to give you an idea what 22 imperial gallons looks like!





The former with a finished coil The blue tape is the guide to get the spiral correctly spaced.




A 5 meter length of pipe is filled with dry sand, This is tamped down firmly and then the pipe is capped. I did this by standing on top of my garage so I could reach 5 meters high (over 16 ft) and I then filled the pipe with dry sand through a small funnel! The pipe is then laid out straight somewhere soft (the lawn) and is inserted down the formers central hole. It is then formed around the end of the former either left or right and then wound around the formers outer surface following the spiral guide tape (blue) The diameter of the former, the pitch of the spiral and the number of turns in each coil is up to you. My coils are 6" internal diameter, 2" pitch on the spiral and 8 turns on the coil
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Each cooler will need an even number of coils,(6 or 8, not 7 or 3) half of them need to be left hand wound and half right hand wound



This is where you find out if you chose the correct coil diameter for your pot! You can only have an even number of coils and half of them must be wound left handed and half right handed. They are positioned so the coils are alternately left hand and right hand types and they are interwoven so that the ends of alternate coils are above or below the coils each side. Try laying them out flat first and you will see what I mean! (left right left right types..and up down up down positioning) The two coils on the end of your line should fit together in sequence if you bend the set of coils round so they form the circular array!



Once you have decided on the best coil spacing, you can make up a lid. I have Perspex to hand, and it does let you see into the pot, but is hellishly expensive. This is my 8 coil lid, but at 5 mm (1/4") it proved to be too thin. I have now gone to 10 mm Perspex and just 6 coils. Thicker lid material requires that you drill and tap the lid to suit the gland thread, as you can no longer use the nuts as in this picture.



The coils do not touch each other or the brewpot. Each coil has a central pipe that goes straight down to about 2" from the bottom of the brewpot and then spirals back up to the gland nearest the edge. If I was doing this again I would position the downpipe nearer the outside edge of each coil, that way you could get more coils in the array at the expence of the rigidity of the mounting system. I may fit a central stirrer shaft with a full width paddle at the bottom of the pot, driven off an auto wiper motor.



These are made from copper tubes (1/2" and 1 1/2") and bits of copper sheet. They are soft soldered together using a small blowtorch. The secret to a successful job is getting the joints to fit well before soldering, so take note how the fully assembled manifold is just sitting there..it has not been soldered yet! That is the sort of fit you are after!You also must use flux everywhere to prevent oxidisation. The 1/2" pipes in the picture have flared ends. This made it hard to get the hose to fit so they were cut off. The end caps were formed by making a plastic former with a nice radius and squeezing a copper circle down a spare bit of copper tube using a vice.



I have kept the two manifolds separate so there is no heat transfer. This makes it look a bit crap, but hey! it flows great and there were no leaks. I may re do the manifolds so they are concentric and then the hoses can be two set lengths instead of everyone being different. This means the entry and exit pipes would have to be on the side
 

Parker36

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Now that is impressive. You Brits aren't allowed to make any more "everything is bigger in America" cracks
 

CDbrews

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Wouldn't the cover thing you have on there steam up preventing you to see though?
 

ChshreCat

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Nice job of trying to hide the true purpose of this contraption, but I see through your ruse!

 
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silverbrewer

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So far I have only tested the water flow. I am assuming it is big enough to cool just about anything and it will stay that way untill I have built the rest of the brewery! The lid will probably steam up, but hey ho. I am now going to try to tack a few pictures on this answer to show how the former was made....Yep, that worked. So now you can all see why my peristaltic pump project is taking so long! I've been messing about building this baby instead! I will be back on the pump project over the next few weeks....as a taster, the Mk2 pump has been lightly bench tested at work using a cup full of water! It primes by hand!!!!!!! but that's another post...


Square blocks are drilled centraly to provide a hole with a good clearance around the pipe you will be bending. The blocks are then sanded to a circle. The end block is shaped to form the left and right bends to start the coils, then the blocks are all screwed together making sure the central hole is in line. I have used an industrial foam here that is quite hard but easy to sand. In wood terms it is harder than balsa wood and it is harder than the blue foam you get for underneath concrete floors.

This end block is shaped so it will form the 1/2" copper tube into both left hand and right hand start bends and position the pipe at the start of the spiral I.E. on the side of the circle.

The shape of the block allows the copper tube to come out of the central hole and bend out and around at the same time. It is bent either left or right depending on which hand of coil you need to make

Here is a coil coming off the former. Make the central hole a good clearance for the copper pipe you are using and once the coil starts to come off, pull by the central bend so the pitch of the coil is not bent out of shape. Remove the end caps and vibrate the sand out.
 

pilotdane

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That is so cool... with quality construction. It is obvious you thought carefully about its' construction.
 

Baja_Brewer

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How long did it take you to make that thing?!? Awesome job, it looks very well thought out. I'd be interested in hearing how quickly it manages to chill your brew.
 

trailblazer

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i bow to you un matchable wisdom. im not worthy!!!! hahhahaha

thats the coolest wort chiller ive ever seen, and that tube bending setup is pure genious
 
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silverbrewer

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Pics of mad things I have built...do you really want to go there?

Try this then. Watch out for the broadside skid, driving no hands and going backwards. the small model is showing what it would look like if I built a fairing

www.dailymotion.com/video/x1le5p_tilting-trike_blog

Ok hands up, it's off topic! On topic only brings up my Peristaltic pump so far! See the progress so far in the DIY section...The Mk2 version is a few weeks away from completion.
 
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silverbrewer

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It displaces about 1 Imperial gallon. I cannot remember if I calculated that for all 8 coils or just the 6 I am using at the moment. but what the heck....

I have two of these brewpots and my thinking at the moment is that if I put a suitable seal the lid, after the boil has cooled and the cold break material has settled, I can transfer the wort to the second brewpot and pop the coil on to that pot and use the coil to keep the fermentation temperature in check. I will just need a container of water with a thermosat and heater and pump that water through the coil as it will be months before I will be needing to cool a fermentation. It's either that, or faff about making a bloody great insulated container etc
 

MultumInParvo

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Umm, dude...

That is the most insane IC I have ever seen. I know people like their counter flow chillers and plate chillers but I think you just win. The idea is kick ass, and the execution looks flawless. If I were you I would hang that thing up as a piece of art in my house whenever I wasn't using it.

You just took the immersion chiller to a whole new level. Pat yourself on the back (I I can't reach). I am impressed.
 

Catt22

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Could be used as a parrot cage between brew sessions. How much does that sucker weigh?
 

Coastarine

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That is the sickest f(&$#ing chiller I have ever seen, and the attention to detail/craftsmanship looks superb. My inner engineer got a boner.
 

Rick500

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It'd make a beautiful chandelier when it's not being used for its intended purpose. I'd hang it up in my dining room without a second thought. ;)
 

CPTHOOK

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Wow thats huge. How long does it take to chill a batch with the new one vs the old one?:mug:
 

Elfmaze

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i was waiting for a cloverleaf ribcage to show up. This is a magnitude greater!
 
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