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raiderrob67

Wort chiller build

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Hey all, I was just doing some pricing of copper tubing to build either a counter flow chiller or immersion chiller and the price is outrageous. over $40 00 for 20 ft, then I would have to buy all the fitting's I would be looking at at least $60.00. would I be able to build one from aluminum? I know there are issues with not being able to use cleaners on aluminum but I don't see any way to build one for any cheaper than I can buy one from the LHBS.

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I would think that since many use aluminum pots, why not?  It wont be quite as efficient as copper, and as you mentioned you may need to find something else to do a good job of cleaning and sanitizing, not that sanitizing is a huge biggie as you are dumping it in to 200 degree water.  I would think you would want to build up an oxide coating by boiling for awhile in water before using.  Disclaimer:  I have a copper chiller, have never had an aluminum, so am just taking a stab at this one.

I also remember reading that there is a difference between pure aluminum and refridgeration grade aluminum.  You would not want to use anything that is HVAC grade I would *guess*.

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I almost bit the bullet and bought this today http://morebeer.com/products/wort-chiller-immersion-25-38-brass-fittings.html luckily it's on the deal of the day a few days out of every month. The only way I could think of upgrading it would be to turn it into a whirlpool/immersion chiller like this http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php I don't boil 5 gallons so I don't need all that equipment. I use a big block of sanitized ice and dump it into my wort while it sits in an ice bath in my sink. http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter7-4.html 

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I actually don't have it myself. I just figured the if he could by one for less than he could build it why make the effort?

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I am and have used an aluminum chiller for awhile now.. no problems as of yet, probably have 6 batches on it by now.. works great, approx 15 minutes to chill 5 gallons to 70. Cost me $30 and took about 20 minutes to "build".. 

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Good question Raider and wish I saw your thread before I made my own cooper wort chiller. After I went to the hardware store and bought everything; pinched the cooper tubing twice while  forming the coils; went back to the store and bought a cooper tubing bender tool, finished the cooler at a cost of $20 more than the cost of one at our local brew store. :)

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