Jump to content
Mr.Beer Community
Sign in to follow this  
LouieMacGoo

Hip to be square wort chiller

Recommended Posts

This is the wort chiller that I recently built. I started out with 30 feet of straight line 1/2" copper which I started out trying to bend as you can see from the bottom. After running into several problems with kinks and braking the copper with my attempts to bend it I gave up and decided to go a different route! I went back to the hardware store and bought 28 90* elbow and 2 45* elbows and used them with my existing copper to make my "Hip to be Square" wort chiller! Not quite what I had started out to do but it works really well. In fact I got a chance to use it yesterday on National Home Brew Day to cool down my first 5 gallon AG BIAB (more on that later) and it tool about 20 minutes to bring it down from 212* to 65* Not to shabby! :)

[img size=300x500]http://www.beerborg.com/social/ow_userfiles/plugins/photo/photo_original_144.jpg

I'm using a quick disconnect of the input. I makes it a lot easier to connect a hose and not have to worry about leaks contaminating your wort.
[img size=300x500]http://www.beerborg.com/social/ow_userfiles/plugins/photo/photo_original_143.jpg

Just wanted to show how it fits in my 10 gallon pot.
[img size=500X300]http://www.beerborg.com/social/ow_userfiles/plugins/photo/photo_original_142.jpg

Another view inside the pot showing how the intake and output look.
[img size=500X300]http://www.beerborg.com/social/ow_userfiles/plugins/photo/photo_original_141.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, if it works, it works! I don't seem to have the patience for some things so I have to shuck out money instead.
And, a great name to boot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Cool louie! Love the inovative design u have going.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hey, long as it works, that's what counts! and beats having to buy a bag of ice every brew day to make an ice bath!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not the traditional design, but hey.

As far as buying a bag of ice every brew day, I still do that, although I only use half of it. I guess my water is only about 70 degrees, so in order to get it to pitching temp, I do need to supplement the immersion chiller with an ice bath. I use the chiller alone to get the wort down to 120 degrees, and then I put it in the ice bath, still running the wort chiller. Total time to 65 degrees is about 15 or 20 minutes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love using my wort prechiiler because it really does work to get the wort cooled off quickly. I built it really more for use in the summer where the city water here can be almost 70F coming out of the faucet. Hooking it up inline between the faucet and the wort chiller inlet then filling the ice cooler up with cold water, ice and/or frozen water bottles lowers the water temperature enough to lager yeast temperatures in the winter too.


I did some research to see if using an electric powered glycol cooler would be helpful to use as a prechiller only to find out that they do not develop enough BTUs to cool down the wort quickly and they're expensive too.

1 BTU equals the amount of energy required to move 1 pound of water through 1 degree Fahrenheit

5.50 gallons * 8.00 lbs/gallon = 44 lbs
212 degrees - 65° F degrees = 147° F degrees
44 lbs * 147° F = 6468 BTUs
Cooling 5.50 gallons of wort from boiling to 65° F a total of 6,468 BTUs need to be removed
With a chiller rated @ 15,000 BTU/hr it would take 6468/15,000 hrs or 0.43 hours to cool the wort to 65° F

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

gotta love the well water 60* year round. It helps if you have a deep well!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our water temp (city water) right now is about 45*. Not sure what it is in the summer but it will be interesting to see. The water pressure wasn't great on saturday since we had several people brewing/cooling/cleaning up at the same time so it might have been a little faster cool down if I had used it at home with better pressure.

Screwy, I like the idea of the pre-chiller. I might just have to build one now!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yesterday my water temps were 69. The best they've been is 63. I'm not envious of the cold weather but I'm use to taking 30-40 minutes and using a pre-chiller in the summer. It does help but what normally takes 12-15 minutes is more than doubled even with the pre-chiller. Last summer the water temps got to 81!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks great! I take it that, with all the elbow joints, it passed its leak test with a 100%. Whatever works! Materials in my area are pretty expensive so I shelled out $50 and bought my immersion chiller online. They really make a difference!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"LouieMacGoo" post=369458 said:

This is the wort chiller that I recently built. I started out with 30 feet of straight line 1/2" copper which I started out trying to bend as you can see from the bottom. After running into several problems with kinks and braking the copper with my attempts to bend it I gave up and decided to go a different route! I went back to the hardware store and bought 28 90* elbow and 2 45* elbows and used them with my existing copper to make my "Hip to be Square" wort chiller! Not quite what I had started out to do but it works really well. In fact I got a chance to use it yesterday on National Home Brew Day to cool down my first 5 gallon AG BIAB (more on that later) and it tool about 20 minutes to bring it down from 212* to 65* Not to shabby! :)

[img size=300x500]http://www.beerborg.com/social/ow_userfiles/plugins/photo/photo_original_144.jpg

I'm using a quick disconnect of the input. I makes it a lot easier to connect a hose and not have to worry about leaks contaminating your wort.
[img size=300x500]http://www.beerborg.com/social/ow_userfiles/plugins/photo/photo_original_143.jpg

Just wanted to show how it fits in my 10 gallon pot.
[img size=500X300]http://www.beerborg.com/social/ow_userfiles/plugins/photo/photo_original_142.jpg

Another view inside the pot showing how the intake and output look.
[img size=500X300]http://www.beerborg.com/social/ow_userfiles/plugins/photo/photo_original_141.jpg

If you could find a square brew-pot no one would even notice. :P:P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Neat! A ton of work right there. Was this K copper or regular. I believe you could have done it with K because it is designed to bend, regular to not bend.

Monty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My chiller (using 1/2" tubing) has a few soldered slip joints but nothing like yours.

If you haven't already done so, I'd suggest pressure testing the joints 20-30 minutes to make sure there are absolutely no leaks.

kettleandchiller_zpsa390aece.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Monsteroyd" post=369586 said:

Neat! A ton of work right there. Was this K copper or regular. I believe you could have done it with K because it is designed to bend, regular to not bend.

Monty

I think was either "R" or "Red" I'm not sure what they marked it as at Home Depot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"OikoEco" post=369570 said:

Looks great! I take it that, with all the elbow joints, it passed its leak test with a 100%. Whatever works! Materials in my area are pretty expensive so I shelled out $50 and bought my immersion chiller online. They really make a difference!

I think I ended up spending about $50 on the whole thing. $30 for the 30' of copper and another $20 for all the hardware to put it together. I thought about just going to buy a chiller but once I had the copper I couldn't afford to abandon the project and soldered on! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"BigFloyd" post=369641 said:

My chiller (using 1/2" tubing) has a few soldered slip joints but nothing like yours.

If you haven't already done so, I'd suggest pressure testing the joints 20-30 minutes to make sure there are absolutely no leaks.

kettleandchiller_zpsa390aece.jpg

I did pressure test it and I did have one joint that kept leaking that I had to re-solder twice. The other problem I had was with the hose connectors. Once I got those figured out it worked like a charm!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like you're good to go, Louie.

I bought mine, but I'm not much of a DIYer, and since I knew I'd want/need one, I considered it money well spent. Obviously, I don't regret the purchase for a single minute. It's earned the price back tenfold, AFAIC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"FedoraDave" post=369500 said:

I do need to supplement the immersion chiller with an ice bath. I use the chiller alone to get the wort down to 120 degrees, and then I put it in the ice bath, still running the wort chiller. Total time to 65 degrees is about 15 or 20 minutes.


Were do you live, Dave? Hell?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks good to me! It is actually a great design IMO! As long as it fits your kettle and works good, you're golden. If it doesn't leak and chills the wort, it's a success! Nice job!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"alb" post=369777 said:

"FedoraDave" post=369500 said:

I do need to supplement the immersion chiller with an ice bath. I use the chiller alone to get the wort down to 120 degrees, and then I put it in the ice bath, still running the wort chiller. Total time to 65 degrees is about 15 or 20 minutes.


Were do you live, Dave? Hell?

No Alb, I live in Hell...we don't even have to use our hot water heater 8-9 months a year...the other 3-4 months is like luke-cool if that. LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"alb" post=369777 said:

"FedoraDave" post=369500 said:

I do need to supplement the immersion chiller with an ice bath. I use the chiller alone to get the wort down to 120 degrees, and then I put it in the ice bath, still running the wort chiller. Total time to 65 degrees is about 15 or 20 minutes.


Were do you live, Dave? Hell?
No, if I lived in Dayton, OH, we'd probably have come across each other by now. :P

My home's cold water supply typically runs around 70 degrees; maybe a little warmer in the summer. Also, it runs the length of my basement before I tap into it, so I imagine it has a chance to warm up a little on the trip.

But as far as chilling wort goes, I could get it down to 70 degrees or so eventually, but using the ice bath to supplement the immersion chiller makes it chill faster, which is to the beer's benefit. And I'm all about happy beer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

My well water is always mid 50s, winter/summer. My wort chiller works pretty darn fast, usually well below 65 in 15 minutes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...