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Possible cheap solution for copper for wort chillers?

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wyzazz

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Too small, use 3/8 or 1/2. You won't get enough water in the tubes to efficiently chill your wort with 1/4" tubing.
 
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Dalarast

Dalarast

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That's what my thought was on this too; but just wanted to hear from you DIY experts! Already have an immersion chiller so I was thinking of making a counter-flow with one of these.
 

bohdan987

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it will work fine,you just have to be carefull not to clog it. just install a nice strainer or a fillter on the "in" side of the chiller. i have a 25' of 1/2" tubing and newer had a problem cloging it.
 

OMJ

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I think 1/4" tubing would work but not 20' of it. You are going to need at least 50'
 

Mista_Sparkle

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I think 1/4" tubing would work but not 20' of it. You are going to need at least 50'
the problem is that you only have a net amount of heat that can transfer from the water to the wort. When you increase the length of the tube, if the water was already near the temp of the wort on its way out of the chiller, it isn't going to do anything except add resistance to the flow and money and stuff to clean. This is why you move to a larger diameter longer coil instead of a long skinny one. On the larger coil, you have a higher mass flow rate and it allows you to cool more wort. when the same length of a small diameter coil has a larger surface area to volume ratio then the wider coil.

basically, going from 20ft to 50ft or whatever would hardly be worth it because of diminishing returns
 

McCuckerson

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the problem is that you only have a net amount of heat that can transfer from the water to the wort. When you increase the length of the tube, if the water was already near the temp of the wort on its way out of the chiller, it isn't going to do anything except add resistance to the flow and money and stuff to clean. This is why you move to a larger diameter longer coil instead of a long skinny one. On the larger coil, you have a higher mass flow rate and it allows you to cool more wort. when the same length of a small diameter coil has a larger surface area to volume ratio then the wider coil.

basically, going from 20ft to 50ft or whatever would hardly be worth it because of diminishing returns
I use 20' of the 1/4" refrigeration tube from HD with compression to garden hose fittings. It chills 5 gallons of wort from boil to 70 in about 30 minutes depending on ground water temp. I don't use it anymore though; my best beers by far have been no-chills. But to answer your question: YES IT WILL WORK. Try not to get caught up in all the urban legends of homebrewing. It should be about making good beer, but it sometimes ends up being who has the most bling. Go figure;)
 

NewBrewB

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McCuckerson,

What do you mean by "my best beers by far have been no-chills." Does speeding up the cooling process affect flavor? I haven't seen/read that anywhere.

Thanks,

Brett
 

McCuckerson

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McCuckerson,

What do you mean by "my best beers by far have been no-chills." Does speeding up the cooling process affect flavor? I haven't seen/read that anywhere.

Thanks,

Brett
I understand this is off topic, but the question was asked.... The last ten batches I have brewed have been "no-chills". They ranged from house ambers to IPA to kolsch to Belgium Goldens. All have been incredibly clear, and it makes for a very simple brew day. But the biggest benefit I have found is that no-chill beers are drinkable sooner. I think it has something to do with the wort being at elevated temps for longer periods of time. My IPA had an OG of 1.062 and was completely drinkable at 3 weeks and completely clear at 4 weeks; sounds crazy I know but true.
 

bf514921

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figured i would throw in my 2 cents. I made an immersion chiller out of 5/8 refrigeration coil. plus an additional 5ft section of copper water pipe for uprights. put garden hose conectors on it everything. Its big enough for 10 gallon batches and is overkill for my 5 gallon batches. anything will wrk from the 1/4 inch to the big stuff. it just depends on what you are chilling. if your doing small pots on the stove, 1/4 will work just fine. if you want to go bigger or think fo 5 gallon batches or even 10 down the road, build it with 1/2. it may be overkill now but perfect later. Any chiller is better than no chiller.
 

bendavanza

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My chiller is a ~50' Stainless coil at 5/16" OD. It has a ton of resistance but it does work pretty good. I took it out of a jockey box. I would prefer a larger diameter, though but "if it aint broke don't fix it" I'd rather work on other shortcomings of my brewery first.
 

coastwx

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50 ft of 1/4" is probably not optimal, but it was much cheaper (about $20) and cools 5 gal to room temp in about 20 min using well water. My turkey fryer brew pot has 2 indentions on opposite sides of the lid that were designed so the lid could sit on top of the turkey holders handles. The 1/4" copper intake and outlet fit nicely under these lid indentions, so the wort cools while being completely covered, which at least feels good as an outdoors brewer.
 

Mista_Sparkle

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i know it would be a little more work, but if you cut the 50' chunk in half, and ran it in parallel, it would work a bit better than the single 50' piece
 
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