I made a bigger wort chiller about 2 years ago with 50 feet of 3/8" OD copper. While it looks like a job well done, I've had some minor issues. First, 50 feet is a long distance and you need to have decent pressure to push water through that much restriction (maybe 50 feet of 1/2" OD would have made this better?). I've attempted to use a pump to recirculate ice water through the chiller with limited success (works for several minutes at a time but stalls often). The pump simply experienced too much back pressure. Second, while I attempted to make good bends in the copper using a spring bender, I ended up making a few kinks which drastically increased restriction on an already overly distant length of 3/8" copper. Here's a couple of pictures when I had just finished building a larger chiller. Notice the kinks from too sharp of bends on the upper image.
|Immersion Chiller built 2 years ago.|
|The new chiller keeps hop trub in the center while cooling much of the column of wort.|
|Several of my previous bends caused kinks in the copper pipe that limited the flow of water.|
|After a couple of chops, all kinks were eliminated.|
|Spring pipe benders are really useful for creating the curves on your wort chiller.|
|Refurbished and kink-free immersion wort chiller.|
|This length was cut from my wort chiller and reshaped to direct circulating wort flow.|
|Immersion wort chiller with recirculation arm to move hot wort circular around the immersion chiller.|
|Here, you can see the pump setup. The bucket collects heated water from the immersion chiller.|
Jamil's setup has two exit points for the wort though I'm not sure its necessary for a 5 gallon setup. Click Here to see Jamil's Whirlpool/Immersion Chiller for some more info.
Only one potential issue to address. I did notice that some hop fragments managed to collect at the incoming pump connection. I have a QD here (quick disconnect) that has a plastic + going through the center of where the wort flows. This cross hair of plastic picked up some hop matter and likely slowed the flow at some point. I might need to add a filter element in the kettle or along the line to deal with this.
The pump was very easy to clean. While the pump was running, I slowly closed the kettle valve and slid off the tubing. The pump returned the remains to the kettle and then the pump was shut off. I removed the recirculator arm. I put the incoming tubing in the water bucket and pumped fresh water through the system. I took off the QDs and dipped them in water to remove the hop matter that collected. Last, I put the incoming tubing in a bucket of sanitizer (StarSan) and pumped that through for just a bit. Finally, I removed the tubing for air drying. Very minimal effort for a huge increase in chillindamos!