Wort chiller too big- Advice?

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Nunzio, Aug 24, 2020.

  1. Nunzio

    Nunzio New Member

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    I bought a wort chiller from off of craiglist. Its a really nice immersion chiller, problem is its too wide. Anyone make the same mistake? What was you solution? I'm thinking I can try to reshape it to be smaller rather than buying a wider brew kettle (which I can't even find). How hard do you think that would be?
     
  2. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    I would bet you could "pull it off" but I recommend having something to size it with... ie. a 2L bottle or something that you can attempt to resize it around. It's worth a shot. -
     
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  3. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Definitely don't try it with your hands alone; too much risk of kinking it. As BlackMuse says find something round to wrap it around.
     
  4. philjohnwilliams

    philjohnwilliams Well-Known Member

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    As the others have said, you will need something to wrap it around as you reshape it. I did this to my IC and it worked fine, you just need to take your time.
     
  5. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    You could put say a keg in the middle of the coil, start at the bottom and work it around.
     
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  6. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Honestly might be better to look around and see if you can trade someone for a smaller one.
     
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  7. Nunzio

    Nunzio New Member

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    That's a great idea thanks!
     
  8. Semper Sitientem

    Semper Sitientem Well-Known Member

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    I made a prechiller By wrapping copper coil around a piece of pvc pipe. If you do choose this route, make sure whatever you use is very sturdy. You’d be surprised how much effort you have to exert to bend copper by hand.
     
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  9. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Good point, especially as it has already been bent once. Copper tubing is "work hardened", meaning that each time you bend it, it hardens and becomes harder to bend.
     
  10. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    You can soften it up with a torch if you're careful. If the tubing is pretty much pure copper, annealing can be done at lower temperatures. This will help if you need to make the coil tighter.
     
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  11. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    There's always the turn it on it's head approach. I've not tried it, but seen a few on these forums discussing it. The chiller is put in a cooler filled with iced water. Then the beer is pumped through the chiller and back into the kettle. You then change the water in the cooler as it warms up.
     
  12. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    I make all the chillers that we sell in the shop and I can tell you it's very difficult to un-bend the copper to then re-bend into the proper size.
    Not impossible, but very hard not to get kinks.
    I'd say to try to sell it and get something the right size or save it for when you upgrade to a bigger pot.
    Or, if you don't mind the possibility of damaging it, give it a try.
    Good luck either way.
    Cheers!
     
  13. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    I say either buy a bigger kettle or a smaller chiller. If you are new to brewing, you will be buying more equipment if you stick with it. My 2 cents......
     
  14. Nunzio

    Nunzio New Member

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    Thanks for all this input everyone! Cool to see everyone is willing to help. I'd be up for getting a bigger kettle, maybe an 8 gallon but can't find a basic one that is wide enough. The chiller is 14" wide. Anyone have one they'd recommend?
     
  15. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    Don't know where you're located but try looking for a Bayou Classic pot. Mine is a 10 gallon but around $100USD on Amazon. You can get the dimensions there as well.
     
  16. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Super easy to make one, did you watch the video I posted?
     
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  17. RalphK

    RalphK Member

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    I bought "flexible" copper piping meant for gas installations and made my own immersion chiller at about a quarter of the cost of a new one. If you go to a gas supply store or even some hardware stores you should be able to get the proper piping/tubing. It will be a whole lot cheaper than buying a new pot. Also...It must be the soft cast copper tubing, which is flexible, for gas/air conditioning installations. I initially bought a 3m copper pipe for plumbing which was a hard cast/extrusion and you can't bend that without kinking, unless you apply heat.
     
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  18. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I did the same thing, except I sell the tubing, so I got a real good deal on it. What you want to ask for is 3/8" OD copper ACR tubing (Air Conditioning Refrigeration). They use the same for natural gas too. You should be able to by a 25', or a 50' coil at Home Depot or the like. Then watch Larry's video...
     
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  19. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    https://www.ebay.com/itm/50-52-qt-Q...rsOtherItemsV2&_trksid=p2047675.c100008.m2219

    Love the Ballington Pots and their steamer tray for the bottom! They have 8 gallon (32 QT) ones on Ebay too for about 80 bucks... the 8 Gal is 14" inside - so the chiller would "just" fit. The monster listed above will handle anything!
     
  20. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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