Since recently doubling my batch size, I now have the need for a larger I.C. My plan is to add on about 30 feet of copper to my existing 25 foot copper I.C.
My questions are:
Should I use compression fittings to join the copper, or solder a coupler?
Any advantages, disadvantages, or concerns regarding one method or the other?
Thanks in advance,
I’m not qualified to say anything about soldering or…
But, how about using your current IC as a ‘prechiller’ that you use in an ice bath, connected to a new 50’ IC. Simple to just use the hose fittings to connect one to the other.
I have a 25’ Silver serpent IC that I’m thinking I might just do this with, if I ever get around to making a 50 footer copper IC.
I’ve read this suggestion several times, and I’m sure it would help, but using one IC and running ice water through it from a cooler works great, and saves the cost of buying or building a second IC.
Adding to your present IC could make it harder to stir the wort. I’m too lazy to do that, but it definitely speeds cooling.
If you decide to extend your present IC you can solder it using NO-LEAD solder. Did I mention you should use NO-LEAD solder?
If the joint will contact the wort I would probably solder it. Like @old_dawg mentioned so sparsely, stick to lead free.
I wrapped mine around a bigger pot than I used for my first one so they fit inside each other. I just hooked the two risers together with a piece of plastic tubing and a couple clamps. This way it’s easy to separate if you want to use one as a pre chiller or brew a small batch in a smaller pot.
Or, just spread the loops further apart… I used copper electric wire to stabilize my coils… Sneezles61
I too am upgrading to larger batches. I think I’ll just modify my current 50’ IC by adding another 25’ to the top. I think I’ll use Sneezles idea of spacing out the lower loop and then add an upper coil. I will feed the coils separately so the new coil receives fresh cold water instead of water prewarmed by the lower loops. I’ll use flare fittings, but compression fittings would work just fine. I’d rather not put solder in contact with wort. I have enough concerns about all that copper touching my wort, who knows what other metals are present in lead-free solder?
Don’t be concerned with copper coming into contact with wort. It in fact provides nutrients that are beneficial for yeast and fermentation.
If you use lead free solder you’ll be fine and there’s no need to worry about that. It’s on all your drinking lines.