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-   -   Collecting chiller water for brewing? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/collecting-chiller-water-brewing-368523/)

austinb 11-18-2012 06:53 AM

Collecting chiller water for brewing?
I brewed a batch on Friday and decided to measure the amount of water it took to chill a 10 gallon batch with my homemade counter flow chiller with 25ft of coiled tubing. It ended up at about 60 gallons of water!

I hate to be wasteful so during the summer I normally water my garden with the chiller but here in Oregon it rains for about 8 months of the year so my plants definitely have no need for extra water now. Therefore I am trying to brainstorm other ways to recycle the water. I've seen lots of 55 gallon food grade barrels on Craigslist for relatively cheap. I could definitely reuse some of the water for cleaning and sanitizing but I don't think I would use a full 55 gallon barrel between batches just for cleaning. Is there any reason I couldn't use this water for brewing too? I would imagine if people ferment in plastic buckets then there shouldn't be an issue with weird flavors from water that has been stored in a food grade barrel for a month or so. Am I correct or is there something I'm not taking into account?

mattd2 11-18-2012 07:22 AM

Build a cooling tower, it will be awesome :D If I had more time I would.

NervousDad 11-18-2012 07:41 AM

I just did a test last week to see how much water I used to make a batch of beer. I read my meter before and after it was around 300 gallons.

mattd2 11-18-2012 07:54 AM


Originally Posted by NervousDad (Post 4600237)
I just did a test last week to see how much water I used to make a batch of beer. I read my meter before and after it was around 300 gallons.

Damn, how much beer are you brewing? Wife didn't do a load of washing at the same time?
The cooling tower was an actual real comment, I have an idea for building one. Got the sub pump, bucket, some stuff to make the tower. All I really am waiting on is setting up my plate chiller so I can actaully test out whether the idea works :D
Can see why not, wet bulb round here is usually 18 degrees C max and I generally brew at night so that helps even more.

GilSwillBasementBrews 11-18-2012 11:14 AM

Could use it for doing laundry perhaps?

wiggybrewer 11-18-2012 11:14 PM

I fill the washing machine full, then a couple of five gallon buckets, and then my ten gallon mashtun. Then. do a loads laundry. Yea I know I'm wiped!!

mattd2 11-19-2012 12:50 AM


Originally Posted by wiggybrewer (Post 4601727)
...Then. do a loads laundry. Yea I know I'm wiped!!

But are there ever any questions when you want to upgrade the brewery? :D

Stauffbier 11-19-2012 01:10 AM

I fill a 10gal tub with the hot water for clean-up and then dump it in the garden when I'm done with it. When the water coming out of the IC cools off I throw the hose in the flowerbed and do my regular watering. No waste at all if you figure I'd water the plants either way.

beaksnbeer 11-19-2012 01:23 AM

I hook up my small fountain pump and from my rain barrel and recirculate it thru no waste so to speak of, I have 2 175 gallon rain barrels + 3 55gallon ones, water is only free when it rains

jcaudill 11-19-2012 01:31 AM

Commercial breweries often recapture chiller water for brewing - BUT you need to make sure to filter it to remove chlorine.

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