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Old 12-01-2008, 05:47 AM   #1
Ek0nomik
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Default Environment Friendly Wort Chiller

So, here's the deal:

I've brewed one batch of beer, and I am working on my second. As of now I am doing what most of you would consider a no-no, and I am cooling my wort down with ice. I disinfect some tupperware, fill it with water, put a lid on the tupperware, and put it in the freezer so I have some ice. I obviously cook less wort, so that adding the ice brings up my total level to the correct gallon amount.

This method is somewhat effective, it still takes awhile to cool down the wort. So, I would really like a wort chiller, but they seem rather wasteful to me. You pump all that water through just to cool down the wort. Does anyone have any ideas for a nice way to be a bit more green while cooling the wort?

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Old 12-01-2008, 06:01 AM   #2
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Here's an idea... Use it or don't...

Since you're worried about wasting water - dont... Get a couple 55 gal drums and drain the hot water from the wort chiller into em. Use the collected water (cooled) to water your garden. Or wash your car with the hot water... or...

I dont worry about it, but thats just me (I drain it right into the ditch, which goes right into the stream... which goes back into the water supply...) With a properly set wort chiller (LOW flow - should be HOT when the water comes out) I dont think an excessive amount of water gets wasted (I'll have to measure at some point... not that I care...)

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Old 12-01-2008, 06:13 AM   #3
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I measured it once at about 20 gallons of water to chill wort from boiling to ~80 using a copper chiller. But, I also have pretty cold tap water...

The water was harvested and used to clean up afterwords

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Old 12-01-2008, 08:41 AM   #4
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25FT coil; as stated, on low flow for 20 minutes doesn't use that much water. The bucket idea for watering the garden is a great idea :-) If you use a pump and a basin to recirculate it, I don't see any reason (as long as your connections don't leak) that you cant add a little antifreeze or anti algae stuff and reuse the water (just add ice to cool and make up for evaporation). Of course dispose of properly if you use antifreeze.

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Old 12-01-2008, 08:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoRoToRiUm View Post
25FT coil; as stated, on low flow for 20 minutes doesn't use that much water. The bucket idea for watering the garden is a great idea :-) If you use a pump and a basin to recirculate it, I don't see any reason (as long as your connections don't leak) that you cant add a little antifreeze or anti algae stuff and reuse the water (just add ice to cool and make up for evaporation). Of course dispose of properly if you use antifreeze.
I understand your intentions here but, I still find it humorous that, in a thread named "Environment Friendly Wort Chiller", we are offering suggestions that involves the use of anti-freeze.

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Old 12-01-2008, 01:00 PM   #6
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Why not get a cheap submersible pump from the hardware store, and recirculated your water. Once you get the wort down to about 140, add some ice to the water collection tank where you are using the pump. Keep adding ice and you'll get your wort down in no time...

I have also seen people fill their washing machine with the run off water. If you are going to water your garden, make sure that you wait a few minutes til the water coming out of the chiller is cooled down a little. At first, that water is going to be screamin hot. Many people have pissed off the SWMBO by leaving burn marks in the grass or killing plants with their near boiling run off.

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Old 12-01-2008, 02:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ek0nomik View Post
So, here's the deal:

I've brewed one batch of beer, and I am working on my second.
Here is another idea. Since you were doing two brews, you can save the water in a couple of buckets and use it in the next brew and sparge. The water is already up in temp and will come to strike temp (or boil for extract) a lot faster. Then you save water and propane/electricity in the making of your next brew.

Every brewery I have ever worked at does this. All the water from the heat exchanger goes back into the HLT.

Hope this helps.

John
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Old 12-01-2008, 04:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoClueBrewMaster View Post
Why not get a cheap submersible pump from the hardware store, and recirculated your water. Once you get the wort down to about 140, add some ice to the water collection tank where you are using the pump. Keep adding ice and you'll get your wort down in no time...

I have also seen people fill their washing machine with the run off water. If you are going to water your garden, make sure that you wait a few minutes til the water coming out of the chiller is cooled down a little. At first, that water is going to be screamin hot. Many people have pissed off the SWMBO by leaving burn marks in the grass or killing plants with their near boiling run off.
I think that sounds like the easiest and cheapest solution. Are you suggesting adding ice into the actual container, or maybe keeping the ice in tupperware and dropping it into where the old water is coming out to avoid contamination?

AZ_IPA mentioned that he found out that about 20 gallons of water flowed out of his chiller. I imagine a 20-30 gallon container isn't cheap...
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Old 12-01-2008, 04:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nwcw2001 View Post
Here is another idea. Since you were doing two brews, you can save the water in a couple of buckets and use it in the next brew and sparge. The water is already up in temp and will come to strike temp (or boil for extract) a lot faster. Then you save water and propane/electricity in the making of your next brew.

Every brewery I have ever worked at does this. All the water from the heat exchanger goes back into the HLT.

Hope this helps.

John
The two brews were done months apart, otherwise that isn't a bad idea.
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Why not get a cheap submersible pump from the hardware store, and recirculated your water.
This is what I do and it's based on EdWort's thread. I use a keg tub, fill it with water and dump 10# of ice. Ice water from the keg tub goes into the chiller and hot/warm water comes back into the keg tub and recirculates. It takes about 15 minutes to reach pitching temps. I wait a couple hours and use the water for my lawn.
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