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losman26

DIY Wort chiller Finished product.

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Originally I was going to buy one online, but midwest seems to be out of the one I would buy, and Morebeer's shipping takes forever.

Has anyone built there own? After doing some reading, it really doesn't look difficult, and I can get a lot more bang for my buck.

This is what I was thinking- 1/2 OD copper tubing, I'm unsure about weather or not to do 50 feet or 25 FT. I found some really good prices here.


https://coppertubingsales.com/storefront/index.php?cPath=223_119

As you can you see 50 FT is $56 and 25 ft is only $28. This seems extremely cheap compared to spending over $100 on the same pre-built wort chiller with the same OD.

My other option would be just to go with 50 ft of 3/8 inch or 25 ft, but I've read that 1/2 OD is more efficient. My tap water gets in the 70's during the summer, so I'm guessing that have the extra OD will help.

I do have a faucet connector to connect to my bathroom sink, and other than that I would just need the barb connector, tubing and worm clamps? So, am I on the right track? Should I go with the 1/2 inch OD?

EDIT-Finished today, although not how I planned.

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You're on the right track...

Most use 3/8" tubing though, and I find for 5 gallon batches, 20' is fine.

Lots of pics on the web...

Basically, 20' copper tubing, coiled around a gallon paint can, a 3/4" female hose to 3/8" or 1/2" barb connection, three worm clamps, one for each Bevflex tubing, and one to keep the inlet and outlet copper strapped together, and two lengths of Bevflex tubing.

ld5006.jpg

:)

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I guess I'm gonna go with 25 ft of 1/2 OD copper, in case I end up doing larger batches in the future. From what I've read, is that 1/2 is slightly more efficient and will help a little in the hotter months in which I do most of my brewing. So I should get 3/4" tubing to a 1/2 barb connection? Can I get this tubing at home depot?

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Which ever route you go I would make sure I have hose fittings on the chiller. I have had hose clamps blow off while chilling. If you build you may want to add a recirculation tube to the design this will greatly improve your chilling speed and whirlpool your trub.

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You will have to match the I.D. Of the PVC tubing to the O.D. of the Copper tubing.

From there, you will need to choose the appropriate size clamps and barb end for the hose fitting.

NOTE: Even though the PVC generally never touches wort... Just in case it dos, I prefer Food-grade Bev-Flex tubing from my LHBS.

Haerbob3: How did you get a blowout? My goal is to flow the water with low pressure for greater heat transfer. Higher pressure maybe, or a pinched output hose?

:)

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I think the hi-temp silicone is probably overkill...

And just your basic coil of copper tubing from Home Depot or the like is fine.

:)

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"BigPapaG" post=318667 said:

I think the hi-temp silicone is probably overkill...

And just your basic coil of copper tubing from Home Depot or the like is fine.

:)


Home depot copper tubing is expensive, so I'm gonna buy online.

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Well, I finished the wort chiller very frustrated to the point where I wish I had just bought the damn thing instead. It was easy coiling around the outside of a keg. The problem arose when I had to bend it upward for the connections. I used 1/2 inch copper tubing, so it was a pain in the ass to bend (even with a tube bender). I also kinked it a little, and broke about 5 ft of tubing. I tried bending towards the inside and really don't want to bend anymore out of fear of kinking it worse, or breaking it. Honestly I'm not sure why I see all these tutorials bending the bottom part towards the inside. Why is that necessary?

Anyways, it's not the prettiest thing, but I did a test run with the sink, and the thing seems to work well. The extra diameter will help out too, but if I ever make one of these again it will be with 3/8 inch tubing instead. I'm brewing a batch tomorrow. If this thing isn't effective, I'm going to scare my neighbors by yelling out a bunch of profanities, and throw the thing in the trash.

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Be careful bending the thing. I didn't finish the bend, because I don't want to do any more damage. Also make sure you have the right size clamps. I had to make 2 different trips to Home Depot today to finish this. First, I had to buy a tubing cutter because I broke it. Then when I finished, the clamps I had were too small.

When all is said and done, the copper tubing I got was fairly cheap for 1/2 inch. The shipping killed me though. I ended up spending close to $70 and one at midwest using the same size copper tubing is $90+ shipping. If this thing acutally works, I'll say that it was worth saving $30. Otherwise, I say no.

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Lets see how mine comes out, wish me luck. I did my first 5 gallon batch and the whole ice bath thing was annoying. I need a chiller now!

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"Header75" post=321272 said:

Lets see how mine comes out, wish me luck. I did my first 5 gallon batch and the whole ice bath thing was annoying. I need a chiller now!


I wish I had seen your link earlier. The tutorials on youtube are good, but all of them neglect how to tell you how to do the bend. This is how I screwed it up. Now I have 20ft. instead of 25. It's still better than doing the ice thing. I have spent a year and 1/2 using ice bags bought from the store. If my wort chiller totally sucks, I might use it as a pre-chiller during the summer.

Also, make sure to have a tube bender if you're using tubing under 1/2. I found it to be somewhat useless with thick copper tubing.

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"Header75" post=321272 said:

Lets see how mine comes out, wish me luck. I did my first 5 gallon batch and the whole ice bath thing was annoying. I need a chiller now!

How did your wort chiller turn out? Mine worked pretty well, chilling the wort down to 70 in 20 mins. It probably would have been quicker had I stirred while chilling.

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"losman26" post=322770 said:

"Header75" post=321272 said:

Lets see how mine comes out, wish me luck. I did my first 5 gallon batch and the whole ice bath thing was annoying. I need a chiller now!

How did your wort chiller turn out? Mine worked pretty well, chilling the wort down to 70 in 20 mins. It probably would have been quicker had I stirred while chilling.


Just finished yesterday. Not as pretty as the ones you buy but it will work. Had a leak on it that i couldn't stop but finally did with some plumbers putty. My lhbs sells them for 90......so i saved about 20 bucks. Not a big deal .....glad i did it.

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What size tubing did you use and how much? I had a crack in the bottom, so I broke off about 5 ft rather than try and fix it. One that surprised me was that the water coming out of the out tube wasn't very hot at all. The chiller cooled the sides of my pot really quick too. With an ice bath it took forever.In the end, I saved about $20, the shipping is what killed me. 1/2 inch tubing at home depot is way too expensive

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Looks pretty good, losman26! A good wort chiller is a necessity, especially when doing 5 gallon batches in the middle of the summer. I love my wort chiller. I was too nervous to try to make my own though. I figured it would only save me about $10 at the time (after factoring in copper, vinyl tubing, hose clamps, adapters, etc). I found a 25' one on ebay for about $50 and went with that. It hasn't disappointed, but there's nothing like saying you made it yourself! Good job!

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I made my DIY chiller a few years ago to fit a 20 quart pot and ice bath setup, since then have modified it to fit a 32 quart kettle using a pre-chiller to help lower the temperature of the water before it enters the chiller coils.


I did a simple calculation and found that cooling 5.5 gallons of 212° F wort down to 56° F requires removing around 6,800 BTUs of heat. My wort chiller with the pre-chiiler attached is capable of removing about 15,000 BTUs of heat and lowering the wort to 56° F in a little under 30 minutes.


We used this setup on Saturday to cool my Marzen wort down to 56° F before we pitched our WLP-820 yeast and it took a little less than 30 minutes. There's nothing better than being able to bring your wort up to a boil and then down to pitching temperature in as little time as possible. It's not only better for your finished beer it makes your brewday shorter too.

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"losman26" post=322947 said:

What size tubing did you use and how much? I had a crack in the bottom, so I broke off about 5 ft rather than try and fix it. One that surprised me was that the water coming out of the out tube wasn't very hot at all. The chiller cooled the sides of my pot really quick too. With an ice bath it took forever.In the end, I saved about $20, the shipping is what killed me. 1/2 inch tubing at home depot is way too expensive


I used 3/8 .....20ft...from lowes.......perfect for my 16 qt brew pot. It was $25.........not bad. What was expensive were all the connecters and adapters that i used. Tried to do exactly what directions stated. Bending 90* was apain......pinched the copper a bit......didnt try it again. We will see if it works.

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I don't know much about wort chiller's just yet, but I do know a lot about bending copper..

I recommend a coil bender for trying to get the copper around a paint can (if that's what your using) and tube bender like this one for bending angles:

17wcbm.jpg


Using tubing benders will prevent any breakage of the copper
~worm

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"electricworm" post=323069 said:

I don't know much about wort chiller's just yet, but I do know a lot about bending copper..

I recommend a coil bender for trying to get the copper around a paint can (if that's what your using) and tube bender like this one for bending angles:

17wcbm.jpg


Using tubing benders will prevent any breakage of the copper
~worm


Yes.......thought about buying one but it would defeit the purpose of not spending too much money. It would have helped my chiller 100percent though. Saw it for 25 bucks.

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Good to see a DIY project that didn't turn out perfectly (sorry about your hassles and stuff) coz it is more realistic for people like me with hardly any tools and even less manual dexterity. This is one of the projects I am looking at once I get moved to the coast, so far I have successfully created a hop spider (if that tells you my level of DIYness). Will try the stir plate next coz I have almost all parts once I can get into a hard drive to get the magnets, and get a fan harvested from an old computer.

I may be better served to go ahead and spend money on a plate chiller (less space take up etc) and try to save money on some DIY stuff elsewhere. Especially as I will be moving down to sea level and probably warmer ground temps.

Good luck with this, glad it seems to be working at least, and nice to see that not everyone's DIY project ends up perfect. I have been downloading the hell out of any beer related DIY projects off of youtube for when I get moved. The thought of me making a keezer or kegorator or some of these other things are almsot comical but I am hoping to run into some peeps in Maryland area with some experience and learn as I go along :)

Cheers
jeff

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I checked at one of my favorite hardware store that we don't have up here, Harbor Freight, 6.99 Not bad for a little project.. Just incase you ever plan on making another one..


~worm

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"electricworm" post=323222 said:

I checked at one of my favorite hardware store that we don't have up here, Harbor Freight, 6.99 Not bad for a little project.. Just incase you ever plan on making another one..
~worm

Just so you know - this tubing bender only works up to 3/8" OD... Which bends just fine with a "spring" bender. That 1/2" OD tubing is sure a pain in the butt to work with.

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"russki" post=323234 said:

"electricworm" post=323222 said:

I checked at one of my favorite hardware store that we don't have up here, Harbor Freight, 6.99 Not bad for a little project.. Just incase you ever plan on making another one..
~worm

Just so you know - this tubing bender only works up to 3/8" OD... Which bends just fine with a "spring" bender. That 1/2" OD tubing is sure a pain in the butt to work with.

Yes, I thought a read he used 3/8..
I might of mixed it up although

~worm

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"electricworm" post=323244 said:

"russki" post=323234 said:

"electricworm" post=323222 said:

I checked at one of my favorite hardware store that we don't have up here, Harbor Freight, 6.99 Not bad for a little project.. Just incase you ever plan on making another one..
~worm

Just so you know - this tubing bender only works up to 3/8" OD... Which bends just fine with a "spring" bender. That 1/2" OD tubing is sure a pain in the butt to work with.

Yes, I thought a read he used 3/8..
I might of mixed it up although

~worm


Yeah because of this, I had to use a spring bender which was pretty much useless. The good benders that work with 1/2 inch are way too expensive. If I had to do it over, I probably would have gone with 50 ft of 3/8 inch tubing, and maybe had done one of those with the "inside cage" type of design.

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"relim82" post=323250 said:

I'm just going to buy this.. Wort Chiller for $59.99

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/review/product/list/id/3848/category/106/


Looks great..........my diy was more expensive due to all the adapters and hose compressions and etc etc......dont even know what the parts are. Glad I did it because it raised my confidence level and now want to do more projects.

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"relim82" post=323250 said:

I'm just going to buy this.. Wort Chiller for $59.99

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/review/product/list/id/3848/category/106/


That looks good. I've heard that copper is just a little more efficient. I probably would have gone with the 1/2 copper one, but Midwest was out of them and I needed a chiller right away for my next batch. In the end, mine works, but the 20-30 bucks saved wasn't worth the hassle and frustration (2 trips to home depot, being unable to bend the tubing correctly, etc.) Eventually, I move up to a plate chiller or maybe use this as a ore-chiller.

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"Header75" post=323258 said:

"relim82" post=323250 said:

I'm just going to buy this.. Wort Chiller for $59.99

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/review/product/list/id/3848/category/106/


looks great..........my diy was more expensive due to all the adapters and hose compressions and etc etc......dont even know what the parts are. Glad I did it because it raised my confidence level and now want to do more projects.


I hear you there. Just the barb adaptor to go to the tubing was $10 at home depot when it should have been $2-3 which is what it was online where I bought the copper. Add another $6 for the hose adaptor, clamps and it's almost better to buy one that's already built. I guess I did this DIY project just to see if I could actually pull this off. Originally I wanted to go with 5/8 copper tubing, imagine trying to bend that, lol!

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