So if you caught my introduction to cooling your wort during the brewing process, you saw that one of the techniques available to you is the use of an immersion chiller. Now of course you can do a quick internet search and find an immersion chiller for sale, but where is your sense of adventure. Tap into that homebrewing spirit and just build your own. Immersion chillers are pretty easy to make and don’t require a lot of materials or tools.
50 ft of 3/8″ OD soft-copper tubing
2×10 ft of 3/8″ ID plastic tubing (Make sure tubing is rated for food/bev needs and is resistant to high temperatures)
1x female hose adapter
3 x compression fittings/clamps to attach plastic tubing to copper tubing and female hose adapter to rubber tubing (depending on fittings you may need a screwdriver to tighten)
1. Coil the copper tubing around a cylindrical object to create a coil. Make sure the coil is smaller in diameter than your boil pot.
2. Bend the two ends of the copper tubing up, so that when placed in your boil pot they will extend out of the top of the pot. Bend the very ends of the copper tubing about 90 degrees so they extend horizontally beyond the edge of your boil pot.
3. Attach your rubber tubing to the ends of the copper tubing and secure to the copper tubing with the compression fittings.
4. Attach female hose adapter to the end of one of the rubber tubes and secure with a compression fitting.
5. Attach a garden hose and pump some water through the chiller to check for any leaks. If no leaks, congratulations, you just made yourself an immersion chiller.
Tips For Use:
Place the chiller in your boil pot with about 10 to 15 minutes left in the boil. This will ensure your chiller is sanitized. Don’t worry, it will not impart any off flavors into your beer.
I know those long rubber tubes can get tangled and in the way some, but by having the ends a little distance away from your boil pot, helps assure none of the tap water makes it way into your beer, which could infect it with bacteria.
A 50 ft copper coil should provide enough surface area to efficiently cool your beer, but if things are going quite fast enough for you, try slowly stirring your wort to get more of the wort in contact with the coil.
If things still aren’t going fast enough for you, you can make an additional immersion chiller, this one can be smaller, that you place in a cold/ice water bath that the hose tap water passes through before going through the chiller in the boil pot. This will obviously make your chilling water even colder prior to going through the main immersion chiller.
I hope you have found this to be informative and are inspired to partake in one of the many additional paths that homebrew leads your down. Of course, that path being the world of DIY. Over the years you’ll find yourself making, rigging, and adjusting all kinds of things to assist you in your brew day. Sure buying is always easier, but there is just some kind of satisfaction out of making something yourself…just like your homebrew.