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Coiling stainless tubing
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Feurhund



Joined: 01 Feb 2011
Posts: 89



PostLink    Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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Rosenjm, any tips on using your mold. I build one last night and will attempt the coil tonight. Thanks.
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longarmbrewing



Joined: 16 Dec 2010
Posts: 74
Location: WA


PostLink    Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:33 pm    Post subject: .. Reply with quote

Rosenjm

Could you take a photo of how you put everything in. I would certainly like to see it. Before I plunk another $80ish down on parts.

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rosenjm



Joined: 21 Dec 2010
Posts: 249
Location: Ballston Spa, NY


PostLink    Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just started the first "row" very slowly and carefully. It helped to have a partner to hold the end while you work your way around so the coil doesn't slip out. You'll only need to hold it in place until you get the first 2 or 3 coils done. I basically gently coaxed the tubing over each arm of the form. Like Kal said, don't try and re-shape the tube, just get it into the arms of the form and let the form hold it in place. Once I made a complete rotation, I pushed it all the way down to the bottom, and the started around again.

I let it sit in the form a couple of days (I have no idea if that had any affect other than allowing my to settle down a bit) and the zip tied it like Kal did. Make sure all the "ends" of the ties point towards the center of the coil, it makes it much easier to get the coil in the kettle. I also used some duct tape to hold the zip ties in place. The first time I pulled the coil out of the form, it loosened up a bit and all the zip ties ended up on one side of the coil. Leave the bottom and top coil loose, you'll need to be able to manipulate them into the compression fittings.

I then measured the distance between the inlet and outlet like Kal did and punched the holes and installed the 90 deg elbows. I installed the bottom fitting first and then cut the top end so that it terminated above the bottom one and lined up with the top fitting. It took a little persuading to get the ends to line up with the fittings, but nothing like trying to get the straight in.

Good luck, I'll try and get some pictures up later.
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rosenjm



Joined: 21 Dec 2010
Posts: 249
Location: Ballston Spa, NY


PostLink    Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry they aren't the best pictures, it is hard to get them amid all that stainless!


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ajt012



Joined: 21 Dec 2010
Posts: 54
Location: Miami


PostLink    Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im trying to do this now, and i want to kill someone at this point, i cut off maybe like 4 feet of the coil already from kinking it...
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longarmbrewing



Joined: 16 Dec 2010
Posts: 74
Location: WA


PostLink    Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sold. Ordered a new coil and the fittings. Will probably make the jig for the coil this weekend.
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Feurhund



Joined: 01 Feb 2011
Posts: 89



PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am also having the worst time of this. I get the first coil almost in the mild and then I notice one spot is starting to bend in. Did you guys have any slight indents when you did this? It is driving me crazy, as I just gave up not wanting to ruin the coil.
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rosenjm



Joined: 21 Dec 2010
Posts: 249
Location: Ballston Spa, NY


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel your pain. This coil almost ended my marriage. I spent hours and hours online trying to find an alternative, or someone who could fabricate the coil. Try to keep in mind you aren't trying to re-shape the tubing, just persuade it into the form. In my pictures above, with the coil in the form, if I pulled the coil up and out of the form, it would have sprung back (close) to its original shape. Which it did, twice, resulting in much swearing and gnashing of teeth.

Try and use the entire length of the tube to move it. Don't apply pressure to a single spot. Don't put your hands 6 inches apart and apply force, instead anchor one end and and apply force from 3 or 4 feet down the length of the tubing. This will spread the force out along the length of the tube, minimizing the risk of a kink. Hold the end of the tubing in place (against one of the vertical arms of the form) and then apply pressure to it toward the center of the form until you can get it over the next vertical arm. Don't pull, just keep pressure on it, will will move, slowly. You can feel if the tubing starts to give. It will all of a sudden do exactly what you want it to do. In my experience with this, if the tubing is doing what you want, you are doing something wrong. Just back off, take a break and go back to it later. I found it was easier to have an assistant to hold things in place while I repositioned myself, or just to give me a break.

I don't know if this helps at all. It is very difficult to describe what I did. It took me a couple of attempts to learn the "feel" of the tubing.
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Feurhund



Joined: 01 Feb 2011
Posts: 89



PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I gave it another try. Had my wife sit on a keg while I wrapped it around. Very tough, but got a small ring to start the mold. We had it going in then developed a new kink at about half way along the tubing. Almost burst a blood vessel holding in the swears. Is there anyway to fix a slight kink? If perhaps I crimp it against the flat portion it opens a bit. Is that really a problem? It won't be moving once in the HLT and we restrict flow with the ball valves anyway. Just don't want to shell out another $67 and I am afraid what I might do if I kink a new one.
I have to be honest. This portion of e build is breaking my spirit and crushing the confidence I built up to this point. We need to find a fabricator that will make a 15" diameter coil with the straight bends for the fittings. It will reduce the risk of divorce among the community.
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milldoggy



Joined: 23 Dec 2010
Posts: 570
Location: Pottstown, PA


PostLink    Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone tried to fill the coil with sand? It works for copper tubing.
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9933
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Feurhund wrote:
We need to find a fabricator that will make a 15" diameter coil with the straight bends for the fittings. It will reduce the risk of divorce among the community.

It's on my list of things to do...

Kal

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longarmbrewing



Joined: 16 Dec 2010
Posts: 74
Location: WA


PostLink    Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:22 am    Post subject: .. Reply with quote

I personally asked about places and was told to "go fish" by all of them.
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longarmbrewing



Joined: 16 Dec 2010
Posts: 74
Location: WA


PostLink    Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:25 am    Post subject: .. Reply with quote

Is there any reason other than the cost of the fittings that the 90's wouldn't be a better solution anyway since it goes with the natural bend of the pipe rather then the extra bending involved at both ends?

I know you engineered this thing to death so I'm sure you considered the 90's at some point.

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MillWerks



Joined: 16 Dec 2010
Posts: 35
Location: Seattle


PostLink    Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm about to order my tubing from McMaster and I'm wondering if there is any flexibility/malleability differences between the two types of stainless tubing (304 and 316) specified for the HLT build. I know the 316 has better corrosion resistance because it has a lower carbon content, so maybe it's not as strong.

-What type of tubing are you all using?
-Of those of you who have had problems with kinks, are you using 316?

There may be no difference since the specifications listed on the McMaster website are the same for the two types of metal. Just curious, however I'm inclined to go with the 304.
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rosenjm



Joined: 21 Dec 2010
Posts: 249
Location: Ballston Spa, NY


PostLink    Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used the 316. The property we are worried about is ductility, which is the amount of deformation a material can withstand before it fractures. Both 304 and 316 SS are classified as "high" ductility metals. Looking at all the specifications of 304 and 316 (hardness, yield strength, tensile strength, etc.) they seem to be pretty similar. I can't imagine that at the temperatures and forces we are talking about there would be a noticeable difference between 304 and 316.
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Enggboy



Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 7
Location: Edmonton, AB


PostLink    Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

304 actually has less strength than 316, but both are available in low carbon formulations (304L/316L) to aid in weldability. I don't know about the flexibility though. My guess is that it would have more to do with the wall thickness for these two metals.

Best of luck!
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9933
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:20 am    Post subject: Re: .. Reply with quote

longarmbrewing wrote:
Is there any reason other than the cost of the fittings that the 90's wouldn't be a better solution anyway since it goes with the natural bend of the pipe rather then the extra bending involved at both ends?

I know you engineered this thing to death so I'm sure you considered the 90's at some point.

You know what? I never thought of using 90 degree elbows right inside the kettle since I didn't have any problems at all coiling. Either way will work. I doubt there's any performance difference at all.

Kal

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hennesse



Joined: 04 Feb 2011
Posts: 38
Location: United States: Virginia

Drinking: On Tap: Quickie ESB

Working on: Primary: Body, Body, Body IPA, 2ary: Paducah Pale Ale


PostLink    Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:18 pm    Post subject: Bending SS tubing: Ronnie and Rotundo Reply with quote

I asked my buddy who works in a union sheetmetal shop in New Jersey. They do a lot of SS work for pharmaceutical companies. He asked the guy who actually does the bending of SS tubing. Here's the reply...

Ronnie said to just roll it using the 'Rotundo'....of course that's a machine we have at work. I explained and he said to tell 'Mr. Home workshop' to cap one end with a compression cap, fill it with water and cap it at the other end. Find a 12" round tree (you can sacrifice) or a stump sticking up and wind it around that. Drill a hole large enough to put one end into to begin the coil and don't worry if that crimps. You can cut it off later. His most important piece of advice is to be prepared to wind it all at the same time. NO STOPPING. He claimed that to be a Mr. Wizard thing. He also used to brew beer...a LOT of beer and asked me the same question I asked you "What's he need a coil for? Coils are for distilling". I told him it was a Mr. Wizard thing.

...Hopefully, I can wrangle a favor out of Ronnie and "Rotundo". If not, you'll soon find me hugging a tree...

-------------------------

Question: What is the proper diameter of the coil for a Blichmann BoilerMaker ???

Due to budget constraints, I'm gonna purchase a B.B. for my MLT, but use keggles for my HLT and BK until I get the whole thing built and then save up the additional $800 for the other two. All this SS stuff has given me sticker-shock. But I believe that SS is the correct way to go.

The false bottom and pickup tube in the MLT make it a no-brainer to purchase that on day 1. The HLT and BK don't seem so critical. I will have to buy two extra ball valves and a couple extra fittings, but it seems that for $50 I can defer the $800 purchase. And it will [smile] reduce the cost per hole of those panel punches.

Thanks,
Dave
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9933
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Bending SS tubing: Ronnie and Rotundo Reply with quote

hennesse wrote:
Question: What is the proper diameter of the coil for a Blichmann BoilerMaker ???

Depends on what size Blichmann Boilermaker. They all have different diameters.
This is why I only mentioned in the instructions that the coil should be done to place it "near the wall". This is not critical. Mine's around an 0.5 - 1" inch or so from the wall.

Kal

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crush



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 709
Location: Telemark, Norway


PostLink    Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Filling with water, great idea - water is virtually incompressible, preventing kinks since these reduce the volume a lot. I don't have any 1/2" caps to seal the ends, but I'm hope a locked ball valve would do just as good. Close one valve, fill to the outlet of the other valve (held vertically, with outlet at the top) and close. The tubing will then be full of water with little if no air, and totally incompressible. But with it being incompressible, can it be recoiled?
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