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Old 11-19-2012, 03:06 PM   #21
austinb
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Dunno how warm your ground water is or how fast your flow is through your chiller but I generally chill 23L of wort to sub 20 degrees celsius with only about 30L of water. That's if I use a chiller. You could always embrace the Aussie way and no-chill into an HDPE water storage cube!
How much coil is in your chiller? Mine is only 25 ft (7.6m), if yours is a 50 ft (15.4m) then it will probably be more efficient and you don't have to run the water quite as fast. Also I would imagine your ground water is colder if you are only using a little more water than the volume of beer you are chilling. My ground water is about 53F (11.6C) so it is not significantly cooler than the temperature I am trying to cool my wort to...if my ground water was around 40F (4.4C) I would imagine it would be more efficient. I suppose next time I could try filling my big 12 gallon (45L) bucket with water and ice and use my pond pump to push the colder water through the chiller.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:17 PM   #22
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How much coil is in your chiller? Mine is only 25 ft (7.6m), if yours is a 50 ft (15.4m) then it will probably be more efficient and you don't have to run the water quite as fast. Also I would imagine your ground water is colder if you are only using a little more water than the volume of beer you are chilling. My ground water is about 53F (11.6C) so it is not significantly cooler than the temperature I am trying to cool my wort to...if my ground water was around 40F (4.4C) I would imagine it would be more efficient. I suppose next time I could try filling my big 12 gallon (45L) bucket with water and ice and use my pond pump to push the colder water through the chiller.

Ya I tried this ice approach with my 20 gallon kettle - you wouldn't believe how fast it goes! This is with a 50-plate chiller.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:11 PM   #23
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I use groundwater to chill to ~100 then use recirculated ice water to get it down to pitching temp

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Old 11-19-2012, 04:52 PM   #24
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Sounds like you're awfully lucky. Ground water here in the summer is 25-26 easily. I usually have to finish chilling with my IC.



Submersible's are pretty cheap. I'm not sure I'd use water that's been sitting stagnant too long though for chilling if that's what you're implying. That kind of water can get a lot of nasties in it I wouldn't want coming near my equipment.
Probably 4" of rain in the last 24 hours here. November can see 3 feet or more of rain. Sometimes December is worse.
Water in a barrel collected from roof drains wouldn't get too old at least six months of the year around here.
Besides, if it's inside the copper coils, it doesn't matter what it is. I've read about people getting fancy refrigerant coils in their conical. I would much rather have rain water make it into my beer than refrigerant! Not that either of them touches the beer.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:01 AM   #25
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How much coil is in your chiller? Mine is only 25 ft (7.6m), if yours is a 50 ft (15.4m) then it will probably be more efficient and you don't have to run the water quite as fast. Also I would imagine your ground water is colder if you are only using a little more water than the volume of beer you are chilling. My ground water is about 53F (11.6C) so it is not significantly cooler than the temperature I am trying to cool my wort to...if my ground water was around 40F (4.4C) I would imagine it would be more efficient. I suppose next time I could try filling my big 12 gallon (45L) bucket with water and ice and use my pond pump to push the colder water through the chiller.
I use a 30 plate chiller, I set my water in flow reasonably slow and the wort out flow about 2/3 of the water speed so I use 30L of chilling water once there's 20-23L of wort in the fermenter. I think people crank their flow speed WAY up on the chiller. I recall seeing a Brewing TV episode where Keeler had strong enough flow through the chiller to water the garden as a spray. What you want is for the water out to be running slow enough that it's practically boiling so it's taking as much heat out in one pass as it can. I usually start my water going at a slow speed and then crack the ball valve on my kettle slowly until the wort out is at the temp I need it, then slowly bump both up together to get a decent flow rate. My wort can go into the fermenter at 20C and the chilling water can be going into my storage vessel at 70-80C. As far as I'm concerned if you aren't sucking out as much heat per molecule of chilling water you're wasting water.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:18 PM   #26
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I use a 30 plate chiller, I set my water in flow reasonably slow and the wort out flow about 2/3 of the water speed so I use 30L of chilling water once there's 20-23L of wort in the fermenter. I think people crank their flow speed WAY up on the chiller. I recall seeing a Brewing TV episode where Keeler had strong enough flow through the chiller to water the garden as a spray. What you want is for the water out to be running slow enough that it's practically boiling so it's taking as much heat out in one pass as it can. I usually start my water going at a slow speed and then crack the ball valve on my kettle slowly until the wort out is at the temp I need it, then slowly bump both up together to get a decent flow rate. My wort can go into the fermenter at 20C and the chilling water can be going into my storage vessel at 70-80C. As far as I'm concerned if you aren't sucking out as much heat per molecule of chilling water you're wasting water.
Your plate chiller must be more efficient than my counterflow chiller because I am pretty careful to set the water only as high as it needs to be to get the beer coming out of the chiller into the carboy to a good fermentation temperature (probably around 19-21C). If I turned it down any lower it would be coming out too hot. I do have to turn the water up pretty high to get it to temperature, maybe not high enough to make a spray but just under that.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:23 PM   #27
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Probably 4" of rain in the last 24 hours here. November can see 3 feet or more of rain. Sometimes December is worse.
Water in a barrel collected from roof drains wouldn't get too old at least six months of the year around here.
Besides, if it's inside the copper coils, it doesn't matter what it is. I've read about people getting fancy refrigerant coils in their conical. I would much rather have rain water make it into my beer than refrigerant! Not that either of them touches the beer.
Gotta love the weather here in the PNW. At one point yesterday afternoon it was raining so hard that my patio which the rain normally has no problem running of quickly was maintaining about 1/4 inch of water. This is the reason it would be silly for me to water the plants with my chiller. Maybe I just gotta fill the washing machine and use the rest for cleaning my equipment.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:48 PM   #28
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Gotta love the weather here in the PNW. At one point yesterday afternoon it was raining so hard that my patio which the rain normally has no problem running of quickly was maintaining about 1/4 inch of water. This is the reason it would be silly for me to water the plants with my chiller. Maybe I just gotta fill the washing machine and use the rest for cleaning my equipment.
Yep. One of the ridges in the Southern part of the county ( about 20 miles from my house ) registered 120 MPH winds yesterday.
Semi blew over on one of the bridges in Aberdeen, one on the Astoria bridge, and somewhere else local.
Rained so bad, wind so strong that there were white caps coming across a parking lot across the street from my office. White caps with less than an inch of rain water sheeting across the parking lot!
No shortage of fresh rain water to recycle for cooling around here. An outdoor barrel will vary from 35° to probably 50° for months on end also.
You just need to filter the debris from the trees before it gets to the pump.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:21 PM   #29
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Yep. One of the ridges in the Southern part of the county ( about 20 miles from my house ) registered 120 MPH winds yesterday.
Semi blew over on one of the bridges in Aberdeen, one on the Astoria bridge, and somewhere else local.
Rained so bad, wind so strong that there were white caps coming across a parking lot across the street from my office. White caps with less than an inch of rain water sheeting across the parking lot!
No shortage of fresh rain water to recycle for cooling around here. An outdoor barrel will vary from 35° to probably 50° for months on end also.
You just need to filter the debris from the trees before it gets to the pump.
Maybe looking into a rainwater recirculation system is a good idea to chill my wort. I've wanted to install a rain barrel system for gardening anyway.

If I was using a cheap plate chiller I might worry about using rainwater. However, since I am using a counterflow chiller where the beer goes through solid copper tubing the entire length of the water hose which surrounds it plus sticks out 6 inches on each side before it attaches to tubing (silicone on hot side and vinyl on cold side) there is really no possible way to accidentally contaminate the beer with rainwater. Would I need more than a 55 gallon rain barrel?
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:00 PM   #30
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I would think that 55 gallons would be good. That's a lot of water.
Maybe put some sort of screen over the top to keep from having storm debris end up in there.
Part of the year you will use more. Water temp right now would probably be what? 55° if it were outside for daytime highs and night time lows? Part of the year there you will be pulling from under ice and you would be chilling much faster.
Use will depend on water temp.
Maybe keep it in the shade if that's practical to help keep the temperature of the water down. Less sun effect.

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