From the HBD Archive
From: (volkerding patrick)
Subject: Wort Chiller Design
Date: 1992-03-26 20:08:30 GMT

There's been some discussion of wort chillers again, so I thought I'd toss in
my $.02 since I recently built an immersion chiller that works _really_ good.
I got it to chill 5 gallons to 60F in about 10 minutes. Of course, the tap
water here in Minnesota is super cold, so your mileage may vary.

I used about 25' of 3/8 od copper. On each end of this I put a 3/8 brass
compression fitting with a 3/4" threaded socket. I put adaptors on these to
convert the 3/4" inch socket to garden hose fittings, one male and one female.
The total cost for all the fittings was about $5. Worth it, IMHO, because I
have no leaks (so far), and I don't have to worry about a hose falling off,
even with the water at full blast. (The thing almost _jumps_ when you crank it
on :^) I used Teflon tape on all the threaded connectors, BTW.

I coiled the copper so that the input leads into an inner coil about 5 inches
in diameter. At the bottom, I curved the coil out to about a 10 inch diameter
and worked my way back up to the top, forming a dual-coil design. I bent the
two loose ends so that they lead up and out of the kettle, and then head back
down toward the floor again, just enough so that if there are any leaks on the
fittings or connectors the water will drip on to the floor instead of into the

Handy tip #1: Get some snap-connect type hose adaptors. They make it real easy
to connect and disconnect your hoses from the chiller. I used Nelson Snap
Connect #2970 (two of them) which I got for about $1.50 each at a hardware

Handy tip #2: Get one of those little plastic ball-valve things and stick it
on the end of the source hose, right before the snap connect. Then you can
leave the hose on all the time. This works great for me, because I brew in my
basement and I can use the hose to wash out carboys or whatever and the water
goes down the floor drain. Obviously this may not work as well in your
kitchen :^)

Handy tip #3: If possible, put a big hook on the ceiling near your kettle so
your can just reach up and hang your chiller up on the ceiling. Then when you
sanitize your chiller, you won't need a sanitized surface to set it down on.

Hope this helps your brewing :^)

Patrick Volkerding

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