Beer home brewing : Making a Immersion cooler with Copper

jxharding

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I want to make one of these immersion coolers:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/diy-cost-effective-immersion-wort-chiller.html

immersion cooler.jpg

Builders Warehouse has:
15mm Class 1 Copper Tubes (hard as heck - example uses bendable copper) (Lengths of 1.5m + 2m which is perfect)

But the guys at Builders said no - dont use Class 1 if you want to bend - class 2 will be better (thicker) and less prone to kinks. The Class 2 length is 5.5m and the thing is dirty as heck - no way I'm putting that in my boil.

My questions:

1. Would i be able to find "annealed" (soft) copper tubes somewhere in Cape Town (the example uses ~10mm)
2. Would clear tubing of 10mm be good for this to fit over at the ends?
3. If I cant find annealed copper tubes, is there someone who can (at a cost) bend the cold copper (anneal it first)
into a immersion cooler?

http://distillique.co.za/distilling_shop/blog/55-how-to-bend-copper-in-tight-coils
 

etwylite

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<10mm copper is generally gas and refrigeration use. try Metraclark in Cape town.
 

agentrfr

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There are different methods to copper bending. As a trick you can use Class 1 copper but first fill it with water and freeze it, then quickly bend it into shape and allow the ice to thaw out (I normally do so around another steel pipe of the correct outer diameter to suit the inner diameter of the coil you are trying to make). The expansion of the ice keeps pressure even against the walls of the tube as it bends and prevents blistering.

Rather oversize the inner diameter of your copper pipe as opposed to under-sizing, as all you are doing is increasing contact surface area and the residence time of the fluid within.
 

agentrfr

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Oh and give the copper tubing a good acid bath (inner and outer tube) and thorough wash before you use it. Should get rid of most of the nasties.
 

Beachless

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The one used for gas is already in a coil and much softer(I got mine from a place called the gas company).

I just coiled mine around a corny keg and cable tied each coil to the tube running up then drilled the plastic gardena hose fittings so the copper would fit and epoxied them to the tubing so I can clip in a hose pipe. Was a pretty easy job.
 

jxharding

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@Agentrfr, ok looks like you know your stuff,
OK so to freeze it one would need a big freezer that can take a 2 Liter length?

Thanks for tip on the acid bath - that one pipe at Builders was really nasty and one would def need to clean it.

@etwylite - I phoned Metraclark - visiting them tomorrow 8am at Paarden Island - if what the guy on the phone said is legit - they
may be the answer, thanks!!
 

Beachless

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Oh and give the copper tubing a good acid bath (inner and outer tube) and thorough wash before you use it. Should get rid of most of the nasties.

Only the outside comes into contact with the beer so you just need to scrub that.
 

ponder

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You could always fill the tubing with fine sand, solder the ends and then bend it. Afterwards clean it up.
 

jxharding

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So its exactly the copper that this guy has

[video=youtube;S94Lhp-bv8M]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S94Lhp-bv8M[/video]

Now I need to find a bending spring.

Also now using the nice connectors he has - just PVC clear tubing + clamps
 

jxharding

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Man this was easier said than done.

That towel idea is tricky - if the cylindrical form isn't 100% round - e.g. the towel overlaps a bit more one once side - then
things get messy. A coffee tin didn't work well either - the tin is so thin it bends like crap and the copper kinks.

Ended up with a 10cm jar that I used to wrap the 15m copper on - and it kinked when I attempted to make the second coil - so I cut it in 2 and will run the one coil immersed in ice water in one pot, linked to the second coil in actual boiling pot - not as sexy as I hoped, but it will do the job. If it can get the boil down to 22C in 20 minutes then I'm happy.

Just make sure you get the Copper cutter when you buy this. Kinks are almost a given unless you know your stuff. The kinks are easy to get just when you start the first bend, after that its easy to go kink- free. A bending spring is also a great idea.


Anyone else make one?
 

Beachless

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Its most likely because you were making such tight coils if you went a bit bigger it would have been easier.

Mine is 10m as far as I remember and it cools pretty quickly running water from a hose pipe through it much less than 20 minutes so you should be good.
 

jxharding

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Its most likely because you were making such tight coils if you went a bit bigger it would have been easier.

Mine is 10m as far as I remember and it cools pretty quickly running water from a hose pipe through it much less than 20 minutes so you should be good.

That gives me hope thanks, the main coil should be 10m, so hoping for the best.

How do you connect to the hose?

I got

Hose-pipe to 10 mm PVC Clear Tubing: 13mm fitting (R5 at Builders)

10mm PVC Tubing goes over the 9.53mm copper with 4-12mm clamps
 
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Beachless

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I bought these(the grey fitting) then drilled through them so the tube fits on the inside and then epoxied them.

I also have another bit of hose that clips on the other end and I then water the gaden while cooling the beer.
GardenaTapConnectorStandardConnector-super.jpg
 
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