How to make a wort chiller for homebrewing


Step 4: Bending the copper tubing

Picture of Bending the copper tubing
The goal is to coil the copper into a tube that will pass through the cold water and allow the heat from the wort to dissipate rapidly. Using many coils creates more surface area for the hot wort to touch on its path through the chiller.

I used a tubing bender to safely bend my copper without any kinks. Don't be like me and underestimate how much copper tubing you will need. I ran out and had to get more and use a coupling to continue. I wound up needing almost 18 feet. Buy the right amount the first time and you won't need to worry about it.

To keep my coils relatively equal, I used a 3 liter plastic soda bottle to check my progress.

The coil itself begins straight so it can go to the ball valve. I turned it about 90 degrees to begin the coils. I made about 9 coils and then did another 90 degree bend straight up.

It's difficult to describe just how I shaped the pipe. If this step's description doesn't make sense, continue anyway and see how it will function.
JamesGannon5 months ago

I was looking to buy a wort chiller when I came acroos your instructable, I am the type of person where if I can make something myself I will. I do not know very much about brewing but the wort chillers I have seen all have tighter coils (vertically), is there any drawback or improvement having your coils spaced so far apart?

moritzr3 years ago
If you don't have a tubing bender, try filling the copper tube with sand before bending. This will help to keep the tube from kinking.
jsgraham4 years ago
You say that you used a 3-liter bottle as a pattern to check your progress. Why not just use the 3-liter bottle as a mandrel from the very beginning? Fill the bottle with water to make it rigid. Then while the coil is still on the bottle, you can adjust your spacing between coils to your liking.