Author Topic: DIY wort chiller with time/temp data  (Read 9367 times)

Offline CR

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DIY wort chiller with time/temp data
« on: January 07, 2010, 02:45:14 PM »
From a full boil at 212Deg F, my DIY wart chiller reduced the temperature down to 60 Deg F in 23 minutes.
At the 11 minute mark, Temp' was 158 Deg F (70 Deg C the Dimethyl Sulfide compound cut off temp)
At the 15 minute mark, temp’ was 90 Deg F
At the 17 minute mark, temp’ was 80 Deg F
At the 19 minute mark, temp’ was 70 Deg F
At the 23 minute mark, Temp' was 60 Deg F
I have all the minute/temp' data points if you are interested.

Water temperature used for the chiller was a 49 Deg F ( household)
 Flow 1 Gallon @ 40 seconds (approx')
Volume to be cooled 6 gallons
Temp of volume 212 Deg F at full boil

The chiller is a DIY unit that uses two,  20 foot coils of Ă‚ÂĽ" soft copper tubing.
The outer coil  is what you normally see for these chillers it sits about 2” inside my brew pot.
It is reinforced with 4 vertical  standpipes of 1” copper tubing
Silver Solder joints at each junction for rigidity.

The other coil runs horizontally inside the larger one
It is reinforced with one, length of  1” copper pipe that is soldered to two opposing stand pipes
Silver Solder holds all coils in place against the 1” copper pipes

The two coils are joined VIA a standard compression T at the inlet and outlet.
I’ve soldered both of the Ts to prevent bacterial hidey holes in the threads and compression cap.
There appears no differential of flow from one coil to the other.


I was not happy with my single coil chiller and felt the need to augment it with liter bottles of ice.
It worked, but was rather clumsy.  I had to sterilize the bottles and caps, fill them, bag them, freeze them, and then dip them in warm Star San solution  before dropping 'em into the wort.   It was a royal PITA.

I think this will be  a nice reliable chilling method for me, for the foreseeable future.  
I still need to stir the wort or there will develop temperature delta regimes with the warmer fluid at the top and the cold at the bottom.
I am contemplating making the chiller stand higher maybe an inch below the top of the 5 Gallon  mark to use thermal convection  as the stirring device letting  me avoid sticking anything into the wart at all  but the chiller which is of course already well boiled.
 

As a construction tip if you want to try this reinforced chiller structure I used large diameter copper pipe for the frame members  precisely  because I had to wrestle with the 1/4" tubing to get it to sit still while each solder joint solidified and I needed the   thermal sink or elbow room for heat to flow away from the joint quickly so that I was not de-soldering  the joints from the heat used to solder the next.    I still needed to take  occasional breaks to let the pipe cool between solder joints.  A mist sprayer with water would have been nice.
My method is pretty straightforward.
After forming the coil:
Apply flux to the two parts about to be joined, heat the 1" pipe locally with a MAPP torch till it just barely takes a blob of solder, grab the 1/4" tubing with a pair of pliers holding it an inch or so away from where the heat will be applied, press the 1/4 tubing against the blob of solder,  apply heat so the solder flows nicely, and remove flame holding dead still while solder solidifies.

This makes for a very sturdy construction.

Before soldering, I clamped my 4 stand pipes between two hunks of plywood with little flat bottomed  holes bored precisely where I wanted the pipes to be  on the diameter so that when I was done it would sit flat and be more truly round.  This last bit is purely cosmetic.   For chilling purposes it makes no difference whether it sits flat or rolls around.

As an interesting note:
I observed that a lot of condensation forms on the copper tubing above the hot fluid on the inlet side.  This will transport bacteria from there  down the tube to the beer.     Cleansing and sanitizing that section of the unit is mandatory. If I had thought abut it ahead of time I might have allowed a little extra copper tubing to be used to make a loop down ward outside the brew pot so that condensation would drip away not in.   I can always add  a few inches of copper tubing later.


 


  


« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 02:50:15 PM by CR »

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: DIY wort chiller with time/temp data
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2010, 02:49:21 PM »
NICE (:

Any pic's? I always like to see Beer Pron!

Cheers
Preston
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Offline CR

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Re: DIY wort chiller with time/temp data
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2010, 04:29:30 PM »
Pix? Naah.  I haven't figured out how to send pix with my cell  ( tho I did take some) and I ain't got a digital camera.
I'll try tho'

The numbers up to the 11 minute mark are a  also misleading.  They reflect the top of the liquid volume  - - - -before I started stirring.

I boiled another load of water to clean out the  brew pot.  The drop to  150 was in the first 3 - 5 minutes when I was stirring. 
That first  boil was done using a couple cups of powdered citric acid to  clean  up the soldering.









Offline CR

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Re: DIY wort chiller with time/temp data
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2010, 05:13:57 PM »

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: DIY wort chiller with time/temp data
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2010, 09:50:06 AM »
The link did not work so I cut the end off and it seems to work.
http://s1002.photobucket.com/albums/af143/zydaco/

Great job on the chiller! I would worry that the compression fittings would leak. I bent all my connections over and down outside the pot, so there is no possibility of any water accidentally dropping into the sterile wort.

Cheers
Preston
The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!

Offline SOGOAK

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Re: DIY wort chiller with time/temp data
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2010, 02:18:16 PM »
That is a cool rig
Good Recipe, Good Ingredients, Good Procedure, Good Sanitation = Good Brew.

Offline CR

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Re: DIY wort chiller with time/temp data
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2010, 03:11:25 PM »
That is a cool rig

Thanks.
I was really impressed how fast it knocks the heat down. It is 40  linear feet of  1/4" cold copper.
Lets see:
Circumference  of 1/4" is 0.785 that times 12" = 9.42" Sq inches of surface are per linear foot. That times 40 is 31.4 so it's about 30 square feet of copper surface area chilled to 49 Degrees.   That's a lot of cold to bring to the party.
Well actually the whole 40 Feet canpt possibly be 49 Degrees.  The first bitsd maybe but  after that it is picking up energy so the water temp has to be  higher as the water makes it's way down the coil.  Which one fact alone argues for the higher water flow rate I can get.
Is that math right? 30 sq feet seems like an awful lot. That's a square  7.5 feet on each side.
I suck at math.

An old trick in thermoplastic injection molding to increase cooling of the mold cavities, is to turn the out-put coolant flow valve down a little bit thus raising the time the coolant water remains in contact with the hot mold interior.  It works because of the phase change  nature of water.  Water accepts  heat energy at dramatically different rates differently across the thermal band between liquid at 32.5  degrees and 213 where it's a vapor.    There are thermal bands where it's easy to get heat into it and then there are bands where it is  very much harder.   You can observe this by putting a thermometer in a pot and boiling it.  The temp rise will be fairly steady over time  up to a point and then those last few degrees will drag on for ever.


I'll be brewing another batch soon and  I think I am going to put it up on legs a little higher and see how it performs without me having to stir.

Offline sickbrew

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Re: DIY wort chiller with time/temp data
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2010, 09:07:57 PM »
I just made one also, but used 1/2 inch copper tubing.  11 gallons down to 75 F in 15 minutes!  I got my design from a link at Mr. Malty's  site.  I'm very happy with it. Check out pic.

http://www.wortomatic.com/php/articles.php?ID=11

cheers

Offline CR

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Re: DIY wort chiller with time/temp data
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2010, 12:04:43 PM »
I just made one also, but used 1/2 inch copper tubing.  11 gallons down to 75 F in 15 minutes!  I got my design from a link at Mr. Malty's  site.  I'm very happy with it. Check out pic.

A recirculating chiller~!!  Way cool~!!  The recirculator  is a grteat way to go  It gets you out of the business of  an stirring paddle into the woar.   Recirculators  have a certain level of class. They are slick and bold.

I was tempted to build a counterflow ( little tube in big tube)  but I already had a 1/4" coil immersion and augmenting that with yet another coil seemed the easiest path.

Offline CR

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Re: DIY wort chiller with time/temp data
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2010, 01:58:05 PM »
Quote
Great job on the chiller!
Mili Grazi.

[quoteI would worry that the compression fittings would leak.[/quote]

No leaking possible   I sweated the compression fittings.   Not because I didn't trust 'e, but because  threads and fittingsall have little hidey holes for bacteria and the solder gives it a clean void free surface.

Quote
I bent all my connections over and down outside the pot, so there is no possibility of any water accidentally dropping into the sterile wort.
I may end up adding a little tubing just to get that effect.