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1/2 in. immersion wort chiller ?

Polar Bear

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I was just over at my brothers helping him clean up his garage so he can move into his new house. I came across 21 feet of 1/2 in. copper tubing that he ended up giving me. I was going to make an immersion wort chiller out of it but I feel it may be to large of a diameter. I brew 3 gallon batches and was going to make a chiller out of 1/4 or 3/8 inch copper for effeciancy. Other than increased water usage does anybody have an opinion on this matter.  Build it 1/2 in. because its free ;D, make it a smaller diameter for more efficiancy  :-\  or it wont really matter due to the smaller batch size  ???
 

CR

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diameter of the pipe is less important than the surface area you total.

 

88Q

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diameter of the pipe is less important than the surface area you total.


So you may have more surface area with 1/2" (read: better heat transfer) than you might get with 50 feet of 1/4" or 3/8" copper. As long as your brew pot will take it without spilling over, you will probably be better off with the 1/2".
 

SleepySamSlim

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Yeah - I made a 3/8" copper immersion cooler works great. Bending it was a bit of a bi-atch (good workout) --- go to you local HW store and get some copper tubing bending springs and leather gloves.
 

MaltLicker

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I upgraded from a typical 3/8" 25ft store-bought chiller to a handmade 1/2" 50ft chiller when I moved outside. 

I now break down the mash tun during the boil and use the first (hottest) run-off to fill the MLT with oxyclean, and also fill a fresh bucket with rinse water, and then switch to the pump recycling ice water, so there is zero water wasted.  Works well, and speeds cleanup. 
 

CR

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88Q said:
So you may have more surface area with 1/2" (read: better heat transfer) than you might get with 50 feet of 1/4" or 3/8" copper. As long as your brew pot will take it without spilling over, you will probably be better off with the 1/2".

Isn't  it hilarious that when you are googling around for this sort of information you almost always end up finding sites that use 1/4" tube  for the HEX and  5 gallon Gott type mash tuns that are under size?
I wonder if it isn't simply because they are older and thus got the larger number of hits.  So they pop up first.

 

Chas at Tahoe

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I used a 1/2" chiller for the first time on my last batch, 6 gal boil. I was stunned at how fast it cooled my wort.  I didn't make it so don't know the length but I'm sure it's less than 20 feet.  I put enough water in an iglo cooler and imersed a wal-mart fish tank pump and covered with 7lbs of ice and it was cool in 15 minutes.

Oh, topic.  I like my 1/2".  :-X
 

Dean

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1/2 inch will increase the flow of the cooling medium mass as well as the contact surface area.  It will definitely make a difference.  Wider is better, at least in this case.  ;)
 
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