MyloFiore's Jamil-O-Chiller

This February I got a deal on 50 feet of 1/2" ID copper and saw my chance to build the wort chiller of my dreams; Jamil Zainasheff's whirlpool chiller.

This thing is a beast! Here's how I did it:

The Tools and Fittings

In addition to the copper I used some basic pipe cutting and soldering tools.

Any hardware store should be able to provide you with the means to clean and solder copper pipe.

In the picture above you see all the fittings I used. Ninety and 45 degree elbows, pipe-thread and hose threads.

All Wound Up


To form the coil I wrapped it around a 2.5 gal corny (because it was a little wider than a 5). But I'm sure a 5 gal would work fine. The trick is to only tighten the coil from its original, concentric circle, shape.

The coils come in either a 2 foot or a 3 foot diameter coil. Put a corny in the middle, and grab the innermost coil hold it tight to the corny. Then start tightening the coil by lifting and manipulating the original coil.

You will be turning the coil clockwise the whole time, as it winds from the inside of the original - and tightens on the corny. It helps to have a buddy hold the coil, as you make sure the newly tightened coil wraps neatly on the corny.

Cleaning & Cutting


Using a pipe brush I cleaned each area to be cut before using a copper tubing cutter. The insides of the elbows also got a good scrubbing to help insure the best possible joint.

Don't skip this part; in fact take a little time to dry-fit your pieces together. A bad joint will mean water leaking into your fresh wort while chilling.

Creating the Wort Return


The real chilling power of this setup is in the return that recirculates hot wort right against the inside coils of the chiller. I bent a short length of pipe and lightly crimped its end to make my angled return.



Even if you don't have a recirculating pump right now, put that return in anyway... you will have a pump someday - and it makes it so much more efficient when you do.

Putting it all together


A little paste flux before soldering...

and I was sweating the first fitting.

I gave up on trying to form the top bends out of flex. Fortunately, because it is not "refrigeration tubing" the outside diameter is 5/8" and fits normal sweat-in fittings.

I measured my kettle and determined an appropriate length for my top fittings. These are the ins and outs of the system and I wanted them comfortably angled away from the kettle, but without kinks.

I went with 45 degree elbows for all three fittings (water in, water out and wort return).


Wrapping the pipe threads with teflon tape

Assembled


Tacking the wort return in place.

I screwed the hose fittings to the water in & out and tied the coils to the long vertical water line.

This solidified everything nicely and the chiller has a good heft to it.

Final Touches and Practical Tests


A good cleaning and I was done.

There is enough space between the coils for liquid to pass through. I'm actually hoping to contain most of the hot and cold break and spent hops inside the coil, since I draw from the outside.

I tested it out today for the first time. From 212F down to 120F in 5 minutes. Another 5 minutes down to 75F, and five more minutes down to 60F. Fifteen minutes total.... frickin' sweet...

MyloFiore is an avid homebrewer and lives in Scottsdale, AZ with his ever-enduring wife, Nancy, pre-teen son & daughter and Yorkie, Winston. He can often be found raising hell on the Brewing Network's forum. If he were a beer he would be a Saison.

Whirlpool/Immersion Chiller, www.mrmalty.com
- Jamil Zainasheff

How to Solder Copper Pipe, www.youtube.com
- Askthebuilder.com

50' 1/2" Immersion Chiller, www.morebeer.com
- MoreBeer.com


Here are Push's results using the whirlpool chiller on 10 gallon batches in the high deserts of California where ground water is routinely above 70F.


Stefan on 03/23/08 02:50 am writes
Very nice explanation. Thank you!

Please more projects!
Kerry on 03/23/08 10:45 pm writes
Excellent construction. I made a coil recently using a new epoxy instead of solder. You have to work fast with epoxy, but I gotta tell you, it beats solder by a long ways.

Also, I would love to see the end product in action. I assume you have to have 2 pumps: One for the water and one for the wort recirc.

If you really want fast cooling, put salt into the ice bath. It DRAMATICALLY cools faster.

Anyway, great job on the website.
Mylo on 04/03/08 10:42 pm writes
Thanks, Kerry and Stefan. Actually, you only need one pump - just for the wort - if your hose water is cold enough. In the winter months I can get away with the hose water, if I am doing an ale. But in the summertime here in Scottsdale, the water gets 90 degrees. I then have to use an immersion pump either in the pool, or in a cooler full of icewater.

Yes, you are right. Salted icewater is even better! You should have no problem getting down to lager temps then. Even still, I would use the hosewater to get it down as far as I can before I switch to ice. Otherwise you'll burn through your too much ice, too quick. Brew strong!

Mylo
Kerry on 04/30/08 09:41 am writes
I have decided to use two pumps, one for the Wort and one for the cold water. I have designed a totally recirculating system on a modified closed-loop. The main reason is for saving water.

I start with 20 pounds of crushed ice in my Gott cooler and about 2 gallons of water on the ice. This amount of water will help push the water past the pump head. As the water comes back, I have the plastic high-temp tubing go directly into the Gott cooler. I also picked up some brass quick-connect garden fittings for rapid deployment.

The water comes back to the chiller initially at neat boiling temps but begins to cool rapidly. Meanwhile the other pump is hooked to the ball valve on the wort kettle. The hot wort will then go back to the inside of the chilling coil.

As the ice melts inside the Gott cooler, I drain some of the water into a regular plastic bucket. If you drain water off the Gott cooler slowly you can actually conserve more water. That's why those picnic coolers have a drain plug, so the ice doesn't melt as fast.

Here in southern Arizona I usually use 40 lbs of ice because the coldest my ambient water is 73 to 77 (about 20 C).

The excess water in the bucket goes into my rain barrel or sometimes into the garden. I have gone from using over 30 gallons of water to just over 3-4 gallons. I don't use salt because of my efforts to recycle water.

I have not finished the project, but when I do, I will place it on You-Tube.
Push Eject on 04/30/08 11:14 am writes
Kerry, I live in the high deserts of Southern California and I love the idea of saving water the way you are chilling!

I too chill with a recirculating immersion chiller and use two pumps, but I don't switch from ground water to the second pump until I get to around 90F.

Some of the initial chilling waste water, however, does get used (~50%) for cleaning.
Kerry on 05/04/08 06:10 pm writes
I wanted to clarify that at this moment I am NOT NOT NOT using two pumps. I was going to use two but the pump didn't arrive in time for this brew. I should get the other pump tomorrow. I did a batch today and just used one pump and gently stirred the beer around the center of the coil. I still use the recirculation and only went through less than 5 gallons of water. I used the water on my hop garden. Tomorrow the new pump for the wort should be here.

Still, even with one pump I was able to cool the entire batch in about 30 mins.
Mylo on 05/06/08 01:45 pm writes
Kerry, I agree with Push. I collect the first 3-5 gallons into a container and use it with PBW for cleaning. It saves me from having to fire up the burner again during the cleaning cycle.
Kerry on 05/18/08 10:20 pm writes
New cooling system notes:
Hey, I got the pump and actually used a dual pump system. If you came into the movie late, I am using one pump to pump ice water through a 25' coil (1/2 id) and back through to a Gott cooler.

I attached a 1/2" id piece of copper tubing (2ft long) to the chiller I already had. I then bent the tubing around the inside of the chiller in the same direction as the chiller (clockwise).

As I attached the input line from my wort kettle to the new pump, I routed the wort back into the kettle.

I had some issues that I was not expecting. The pump on the kettle actually pulled the hop bags into the valve. Of course I realized I had made a mistake and not taken out the bags, but hind-sight is 20.20

As soon as I cleared that mess up, I was back in business.

Holy smokes, this thing is chilling the beer at record pace. I burned through 20 lbs of ice and added 10 more pounds (4.5 kilos). I was amazed to watch the kettle thermo drop like a rock. I estimated that from 205 F (98C) to 150F (60C), the time was about 5 minutes. The next drop took much longer as I dropped from 150F (65C) to 90F (32C), it took about 10 more minutes. I attribute some of this to thermal laws and some to slight inefficiency on MY part to drain some water OUT of the cooling bucket.

The next drop from 90F (32C) to 68F (20C) was very rapid. About 4 minutes. The times listed here are certainly not scientific, and I will be more precise next time. It is really difficult to conduct an experiment and actually make beer at the same time.

My first impressions are very favorable. I cooled the entire 5.5 gallons (22 liters) in about 20 minutes. The actual cooling time was longer due to my not taking the hop bags out, but still this is impressive.

I also noted that I used about 10 lbs LESS ice than I normally do in this climate. We had a hot day and the water temperature out of the faucet was about 78F (25.5 C) .

The total amount of "waste" water was by far a new low record for me. Much less than 5 gallons (20L). I was simply shocked to see this improvement.

Other notes: I was making Steam beer and noticed a light, creamy foam forming on the top of the wort. It was certainly not bubbly, but I was not expecting this nor have I read much about it. I deduced that maybe I was passing the wort back into the kettle too fast. I really don't expect much effect from this, but I am going to write to Jamil Z and see if he has had this occur. It may well have been the style of beer I was making and the latent protein content.

So, the beer is now fermenting and doing very well at that stage. I should have a taste test in about 15 days. That, for sure, will be the tell tale for us all.

In conclusion, I intend to list all parts I bought and detailed build plans to include a video on You-Tube.

Regards,
Kerry
Push Eject on 05/18/08 10:47 pm writes
Kerry, beautiful write-up!

I see the same kind of temp drops with this chiller. You can really watch the needle plummet.

Congrats on your build.
Fehron on 07/08/08 12:08 am writes
I may have missed something and this may be a silly question, but which of the connections are in/out? Where is the third one come into play?
thanks
Fehron
Push Eject on 07/08/08 12:17 am writes
Fehron, your cooling water goes in and out through the coil. It doesn't matter whether it goes through the coils top-down or bottom-up.

The little whirlpool return is for your HOT WORT. Pump out of your boil kettle and up to the return. This forces the hot wort to spin in between the coils of your chiller facilitating a very rapid chilling.

Push E.
Mybagipe on 07/31/08 08:25 pm writes
hi nice site thx
peppermintj on 08/04/08 09:32 am writes
hey mylo, either i am just a newb or i am just a newb. but what i was wondering is if you can explain your process of how to hook up all the hoses and what does what kinda thing. i would love to build this like this weekend if i can. any help would be greatly appreciated
MyloFiore on 08/04/08 01:24 pm writes
Sure, the last picture on the lower right shows all three inputs. The leftmost is for your hose water. The rightmost is for your "exhaust" water. The middle input is the return from your pump. You will have one other hose (not pictured) that goes from your ball valve on your kettle to your pump. You need a food grade March pump to recirculate wort. I put the chiller in the wort for the last 15 min of the boil (and immediatly hook up the hoses). Copper conducts heat very well so you only have a few minutes to do your connections. THen I start recirculating the boiling wort through the coil to sanitize all the hoses and pump. I do not turn on the cooling water until I am ready. On flameout, I cover the kettle, and turn on the hosewater. I collect the first 5 gallons of water in my (now cleaned) mashtun - that I use for cleaning the whole system later. After the temp drops to 90 or so - I switch from hosewater to an ice water bath that I have going in my HLT. I use a cheap immersible sump pump for that operation, and recirc the cooling water back into the HLT.
Cory Pettiford on 09/02/08 11:01 am writes
What are you using for a brew kettle? I'm thinking about making one of these for a Sanke keg kettle...
MyloFiore on 09/02/08 10:15 pm writes
I have a converted sanke myself. The only "enhancement" I plan on making is to add a circle of copper to the bottom to better mate with the sanke bottom (a la a diverter plate). That way all my break material will not leak out where the coil does not touch the sanke bottom.
Jake on 09/05/08 12:08 am writes
I picked up a coil of 50' x 1/2 OD (not ID) and wrapped it around my 2.5gal corny. It's wrapped as nice as I can get it and waiting for me to find fittings to solder on.

I picked the wrong diamater, OD instead of ID, and thus am having problems at Home Depot finding fittings. I have to make a trip to some other places and see if I can find solder 90's and 45's to make the other parts.

I bought one 3 days ago, a small chiller.. and saw this and thought I'd love to have one. Almost as expensive as buying a giant chiller but definately more fun to make.

Awesome job brother...
MyloFiore on 09/06/08 11:27 pm writes
Jake. I'm afraid your are out of luck for the sweat fittings. You bought the refrigeration tubing. I doubt you will find fittings to sweat on there. You are going to have to use the compression fittings, and you are going to have to form the uprights from the continous coil. This is hard work. The only suggestions I can make are to get the finest play sand and fill the coil with it. This will support the inside of the tubing and prevent kinks. You might also want to make a small version of the pipe benders that they use for conduit out of some plywood to give you some leverage. Good luck!
Paul Muth (P-J) on 09/15/08 09:08 pm writes
The 1/2" OD refrigeration copper tubing uses standard 3/8" plumbing fittings. Lowe's and HD carry them as well as any local hardware store.

Refer tubing is measured as OD and plumbing copper is measured as ID. i.e. 3/8 id = 1/2" od.

HTH
Guy on 09/18/08 08:44 am writes
Great article! I just made one of these myself and tested it, but have yet to use it. It definitely cools quickly - I got from boiling to 130F in 5 minutes, but my main reason for building it is to, hopefully, leave the cold break and trub in the kettle. I also just added a pick-up tube (ala the lastest BYO issue) to help me achieve this.

The only thing I haven't figure out yet is how best to get the cooled wort into the fermenter? Also, in my test runs, I tried different procedures for disconnecting the pump from the kettle and kept losing wort and making a mess. Does anyone have a procedure they could share with me? I use plastic buckets to ferment in. Has anyone tried pumping into a plastic bucket through the plastic spigot?

Thanks,

Guy
MyloFiore on 10/08/08 12:11 pm writes
Guy, I have polysulphone (CPC) disconnects on my chiller and hoses. After the chilling is complete, I shut off the valve on the pump and remove the hose from the center (return) tube. I then just pump the cooled wort into my fermenters. Yes, I do loose an ounce or two when I disconnect the hose. A removable whirlpool return would solve the issue - but would be less convienent to store.
Thiago on 10/23/08 04:53 pm writes
Excelent article.
But one big concern of my.
What you use to solder to copper? I think what we use here in Brazil is tin.
But I'm not sure if is bad for my health.
What you used to solder the copper pieces togheter?
Thanks for sharing your project.
WoodysBrew on 11/04/08 02:39 pm writes
Mylo,
WAY COOL (no pun intended)!!!!!! I have a couple questions.
1) What kind of solder? I was under the impression that certain types of solder were not cool with the hot wort.
2)What brands or model pump(s) do you use?
3)What size batches are you making. For a 32 quart 5 gallon batch would I need all 50 feet?
4) I need a homebrew, I can't remember my last question.
Andrew on 11/19/08 03:32 pm writes
Sooo...

How long until morebeer starts selling these :)
Etledfmp on 12/17/08 05:41 am writes
MyloFiore on 12/22/08 02:56 pm writes
WoodysBrew - I used regular lead-free plumbing solder that I bought at Home Depot. I have a March pump (like the one available at B3). I make mostly 10 gallon batches, but I placed the return tube below the 5 gallon mark. Yes, half of the coils are therefore not used - but I like the flexibility.

Mylo
Egil on 12/30/08 05:30 pm writes
Mylo,
This is an excellent how-to! Thank you for taking the time to post your construction steps. I want to build one of these super chillers, but I have one question though; do you feel your set up creates a sufficient whirlpool action. I noticed that your wort return tube has a single outlet and Jamil's has two, no real biggie here, except perhaps a difference in the whirlpool created.
Again, thank you for your time and effort,

Egil
Egil on 12/30/08 09:57 pm writes
Egil - Does the wort spin - yes. Does it dimple the surface - like on my stirplate? - No. I believe that Jamil did away with the "T" on his and didn't notice any difference. I have noticed that if I drain very slowly, I will have a pile of hops left in the middle. But as I have mentioned before, the only "improvement" I would make would be a copper ring that mated better with the bottom of the keg.

Mylo
Fred L Johnson on 01/17/09 06:54 am writes
It would be helpful to display the plot of temperature of the wort vs. time with time as a continuous variable on the x-axis.
Tonymaud on 02/12/09 09:57 am writes
This looks great. What I don't understand though is what happens to the break material and hops that is on the ouside of the coils. How does that material get into the center? Wouldn't the material on the inside form a nice pile, but the material on the outside just stay on the outside?
Can you please clarify?

Tony
HansHaas on 05/02/09 07:36 pm writes
Mylo,
Thanks you for the great article, it is enduring to see homebrewers going the extra mile to share knowledge and practice. I am building an enlarged version of your 50' 1/2" model, for immersion in a 55 gal Blichmann Boilermaker Kettle... i will report success (or failure) with due diligence... cheers!

Hans
Push Eject on 05/28/09 08:16 am writes
@Tonymaud One is pumping out of the kettle from the side and back into the middle. Everything is packed in there. Some break material will still make it through depending on how fast you run off, but the vast majority is left behind.
DBear on 07/01/09 04:49 pm writes

Great specs! Thanks.

I currently have a 25' 3/8" chiller with 3/8" hard copper wired gaps between the coils. Will a wort return set-up even work?

Cheers
Dave S on 07/24/09 11:42 pm writes
Great plans Mylo! I just finished mine. I'll try it this weekend.

Couple of words of advice to newb solderers out there...

1. Drop the five bucks and get a proper brush for cleaning the inside of the pipe connectors and plumber's 'cloth' (i.e., sanding fabric). Having the right tools makes a huge difference in getting the solder to stick.

2. Do not get smart (i.e., dumb) and sand, flux, fit all the joints then solder them all in a row. Do them one at a time. Preferably, work on one joint on one segment and then allow it to cool while working with another joint on the next segment. I thought I would save time by sanding, fluxing, fitting and soldering all the joints in one segment at a time, and many of the joints didn't work.

Next project: the stir plate...

Thanks again!
Grant on 07/25/09 10:23 am writes
What should the diameter of the chiller be relative to the boil pot, does it matter
Mylo on 07/27/09 08:22 am writes
I don't think it matters, Grant. I used a 2.5G corney as a form and in retrospect - I wish I used a 5G - which is slightly smaller. I can just barely fit it in a 5G bucket to santize.
Mylo on 07/27/09 08:27 am writes
UPDATE - added a ring of copper to the bottom - that was made by pounding a red (not blue) copper rigid pipe flat, then bending and soldering it.
This makes a better interface against a flat, or concave surface. As I mentioned before, some hops still hangs on on the outside (probably doesn't get sucked up by the dip tube - or falls through the coils - but most of it does now stay put very nicely.

To Dave S's comment - I sanded, fluxed and fit most, if not all the joints together first. You just have to work linearly and quickly from one end of the project to the other - or from low to high.
Matt Yohe on 08/18/09 06:00 am writes
Mylo, great walk thru. I'm making one of these as soon as I get the copper.

I have a few questions/comments. First off, could you post some pictures of the "copper ring" you added to the bottom? I'm not quite understanding what you've done.

Second, could this be used for a hybrid HERMS? For example, you are mashing in a keggle with this chiller in the mash tun. Boiling water is pumped through the chiller to heat the mash tun and the wort is recirculated using the whirlpool.

Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated. When I get my chiller built, I'll give it a go and let everyone know the results.
Automaton on 08/30/09 09:09 pm writes
Would drilling holes down one side of the wort return pipe help circulate wort against more of the chiller's surface area?

kinda like this:
____
I ___ <--hot wort in
I I
I I
I I
I -->
I I
I I
I I
I -->
I I
I I
I I
I -->
I I
I I
I I________
I__________ --> Chilled wort out
Automaton on 08/30/09 09:12 pm writes
Or even using T fittings along the length of the return pipe
StolenRicecakes on 10/08/09 04:53 am writes
Hi! - When you say you tied the long water line to the coils, what was it you used to tie it with? is that just some bare copper wire?
Push Eject on 10/08/09 08:00 am writes
Automaton, seems possible, but I would think it would be hard to align all those returns to create the whirlpool. I doubt it would be worth the effort.

Ricecakes, I just zip tied it. I've never replaced them. LOL
Damon on 10/15/09 10:26 am writes
Has anyone ever tried putting there brew pot in a ice bath? I was thinking of setting it in a large wash tub then filling it with water and ice. Then start the chiller. seems like if you can lower the temp on the brew pot quickly you make take the cooling time down to 10-15 minutes?
AFFENDENCUPLE on 10/25/09 12:37 am writes
Hei See sorrowful klooper representing my english jer, buti vertical hairy re say .
Mylo on 10/28/09 01:32 pm writes
@MattYohe - I have recently built a single tier sculpture and I repurpose this chiller as my HERMS coil. I don't put it in my mash with hot water recirc. Instead, I put it in my HLT and recirc my mash liquor through the sealed portion while I recirc the hot water though the return (which helps to even out HLT by whirlpooling the water around the coils).

@Automaton - Like Push said, it's probably more trouble than it's worth. Even with only 2.5' of vertical pumping and full 1/2" ID tubing throughout - it's not spinning this wort super fast. I doubt that more outputs would make it any more efficient.

@Ricecakes - Yes, bare copper wire to tie it together.

@Damon - Once the flame is off, it's just the hot wort that is keeping the kettle hot. The metal of the kettle is radiating heat into the air (not efficient) but it is also being cooled by the cool wort. I suppose that if you could also put the kettle in a tub of icewater (and created an outside whirlpool) that you could shave off some time - but it's really not worth the effort and additional cost of ice. I have no problem getting down to ale temps (in the AZ summer) or lager temps (in the AZ winter) in 20-30 min. That's fast enough for me and I don't have to lift anything.
darrenc on 12/04/09 10:38 am writes
love the design! Though, spec'ing out the materials, it seems that a morebeer chill-zilla is ruffly the same price as just the raw copper (60' of 1/2" ID soft L type copper ~ $98 @ lowes) Anyone have a lead on cheep copper? Bay Area CA?
gava on 01/14/10 02:59 pm writes
Awsome chiller!! Brought the parts for it lastnight and going to give it a go soon.. sure beats the a hell out of my current chiller..

cheers! I'll tell you how it goes.
gava on 01/20/10 05:03 pm writes
Hi,, I've made the chiller its awesome..

Question: whats the thinking behind the "lightly crimped its end"?? whats it do? i've left mine stock and it creates a whirlpool..
Kenny (Beer Punk) on 02/13/10 04:06 pm writes
if you happen to accidentally get 1/2 in OD instead of ID you could probably find someone with a small enough tube expander, or anything with a slight enough graduation from 3/8 to 1/2 and ream it to the right size. Anyone try this?
Tim The Tax Man on 04/13/10 04:55 am writes
I am strongly considering this as my first post tax season project but I am wondering what the displacement is on that beast?
MyloFiore on 06/08/10 03:30 pm writes
@gava - The thinking was that it would spray the wort out more against the inside of the coils.... Instead it just slowed the flow, so I "reverse crimped it".... ;)

@Tim - It holds about a gallon of liquid, however, I do all my volume calculations post chill. When I use it as my HERMS coil, I make sure that I purge all the wort out of if at the start of the sparge. Otherwise my net efficiency would be crap!


Mylo
Newbrewer on 06/21/10 09:25 am writes
Another method to use when bending your copper is to fill the tubing with water and pop it in the freezer. When you pull it out frozen the ice helps prevent it from crimping when you're having to make tighter bends, so could eliminate some of the fittings...
Stile2 on 01/06/11 01:31 am writes
Nicely Done, plan on trying this on our next batch! Thanks
Elmira on 05/03/11 06:18 am writes
I feel so much happier now I understand all this. Tahnks!
El_Cabrito on 05/06/11 06:31 am writes
Serious question and a comment:
1. Do you have any off flavors from the solder? Basically a friend of mine made a still last yr and he soldered the whole thing using copper tubing, etc. anyway, he had to ditch it after a few batches cause he said every batch had an extremely off taste. due to this, i was thinking no soldered joint should be in the wort, thus the whole thing had to be copper coil. But if you haven't had any off flavors, then maybe my buddies problem was something else. having soldered connections in the wort sure does make the fabrication costs cheaper (less coil length).

2. I noticed you used refrigeration tubing (copper coil). Unfortunately that stuff is not intended for potable water applications. basically it's got fractions of percentage values of some nasty stuff in it; lead, arsenic, cadmium, etc. These items may present a health risk as there is the possibility that they can leach into the wort. The Type L plumbing grade coil is almost pure copper and doesn't have all these nasties and is approved for potable water usage. basically, it may not be a good idea to submerge refrigeration tubing in boiling liquid for an extended period of time when you plan on consuming said liquid after immersion. i realize every IWC on the market is probably made from refrigeration coil, but that doesn't necessarily make it safe. just a thought.
NickW on 09/21/11 03:02 am writes
Hey Guys, great website and article. I've built my own JamilOChiller, but am having big problems with Hop and Cold Break blocking the Pump strainer during the recirc, especially at the flows needed to get the whirlpool running. From the forums I see that this is a common problem, with many people going to Hop bags, with varying success. Jamil is famous for going "Commando" with his boil hops, presumably without such issues, but how do you guys overcome the problem ?
Cheers Nick - UK
MyloFiore on 09/21/11 10:26 am writes
@El_Cabrito I do not have any off flavors from the solder. I suspect that your buddy's off flavors in his "extra curricular" project was a result of somthing else. I used regular, lead free, plumbing solder sold at Home Depot - used for potable water. Also, if you notice, above, I made reference to the fact that my particular coil was NOT refrigeration tubing - and therefore was the proper size for use with sweated fittings.

@NickW I go "commando" as well with my hops. My recirculation circuit does not have any strainer in it. I have since sweated a 2" copper "ring" to the bottom of this chiller, to make a better (gapless) interface with the bottom of the kettle. Much of the pellet residue and break material collects inside this ring. My dip tube stays outside the coil and immediately bends 90* and draws from the kettles outside edge. Some material does collect outside of the coil and ring, and does get transferred to my fermenter - but I don't loose any sleep over it - and the beer is no worse off.
Scubakevdm on 02/03/12 08:03 pm writes
Would capping the bottom of the coil with ss screen or a strainer work?
Janek on 06/06/12 01:42 pm writes
Hi there, 1/2 ID copper is difficult to find, I saw 1/2 OD or 5/8 OD, which is about 0.55 internally. I was wondering if this setup used the half an inch or 5/8 copper?
Great article, btw! :) thx!
Push Eject on 06/06/12 01:57 pm writes
Either would work well. All that is changed is your surface contact area with the wort. I'd go with the smaller half inch OD. The real cooling power comes from the recirculation, not the copper diameter.
Cheers, Push E.
Jared on 08/11/12 07:53 am writes
@Janek This setup uses 1/2" ID specifically. If you use the 1/2" OD you will have a very difficult time finding elbows that fit. That is the problem I've currently run into. After reading most of the comments on this it seems like 3/8" elbows may work, but it sounds like you have to manipulate them a little bit.
Jared on 08/14/12 09:26 am writes
So I just found the solution to mine and every other 1/2" OD buyers problem. As previously stated 3/8" plumbing copper will actually work fine with the 1/2" OD refrigeration tubing.

What I did was I went out and bought a 3/8" x 1/2" copper coupling. This essentially converted my 1/2" OD tubing into 1/2" ID tubing. I attached a 1/2" Street Elbow to the coupling then ran my straight 1/2" ID copper tubing as if nothing ever went wrong. Problem solved and with only one small extra piece.

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