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Old 03-06-2013, 12:27 PM   #21
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Instead of putting the jug of ice in the pre-chiller bucket of water, why not put ice and salt directly into the pre-chiller bucket, maybe top off with water if necessary. Ya know, like old time ice cream making using the bucket of rock salt and ice. That gets cold...

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Old 03-06-2013, 12:56 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by cluckk View Post
I may try that later when I can afford it.
The pump is not very expensive. Something like this should work fine.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:11 PM   #23
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So, do you recirculate the water back into the same container or start with a very large container of ice water?

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Old 03-06-2013, 02:19 PM   #24
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So, do you recirculate the water back into the same container or start with a very large container of ice water?
Recirculate back to the same container with the ice water.

I'd recommend using tap water for the first 100F then switch to the pump and ice water.

And don't forget to stir. Stiring (aka whirlpool) is very important.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:30 PM   #25
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Much better is using a cheap garden pump to recirulate ice water through the immersion chiller in the brew pot. Use tap water to get the initial cooling. Then change over to the pump and ice water. With ice water you can go to whatever temp you want in no time.

In any case, stiring the wort (whirlpool) raises the effectiveness of an immersion chiller. So always stir.
This was going to be my exact post. I tried putting salt in my ice-water bucket once, but I don't think it's worth it. Stirring makes a huge difference; my effort is better spent stirring.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:31 PM   #26
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If you can recirculate the pre-chiller (or just have someone move it around) it will help also. The water around the pre-chiller heats, and then doesn't cool as well. moving the water in the pre-chiller bucket will help as much as stiring/moving the wort.

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Old 03-06-2013, 03:05 PM   #27
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Sorry cluckk, I totally misinterpreted your first post. As long as the brine is freezing you’re fine. It will absorb slightly more heat than the plain water, but be a lot harder to freeze.

Heat transfer is proportional to the difference in temperature. So if the brine freezes at 12F and your freezer is at 10F it’s going to take a while.

I agree with maida7. A closed system would be way more efficient. That’s how I do it, with an Eco396 pump.

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Old 03-07-2013, 03:49 AM   #28
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So, do you recirculate the water back into the same container or start with a very large container of ice water?
I live in Tucson Arizona, so I understand what you are going through.

So here is my recommendation.
  1. Place a 50' immersion chiller in the wort.
  2. Get/buy/steal a pump, and place it in a large tub or a large cooler.
  3. Fill the tub with tap water and add some ice, 15 minutes before flame out.
  4. At flame out, turn on the pump, and start chilling.
  5. Absolutely stir, I made an automatic stirrer out of an electric screw driver.
  6. DO NOT RECIRCULATE, water a tree. Recirculating just heats up your cold water. Not good.
  7. After about 6 minutes my 10 gallons is below 140 degrees.
  8. Now add more ice to the tub. And if necessary more water. I use a lot of water, not very green of me, put my trees like it, and they are green.
  9. I have a kegerator, the freezer part is dedicated to making ice.
  10. 10 gallons chilled to 60 degrees in 20 minutes.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:23 PM   #29
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This is my Texas Recommendation

Place a 50' immersion chiller in the wort. I wait till flame out...some people put it in earlier to sanitize it 'more' or something

Get/buy/steal a pump, and place it in a large tub or a large cooler.

Put some tap water in the tub but no ice yet.

At flame out, run tap water through the chiller. Stir continuously, but don't splash. If you run the water full-blast, it will cool the best. If you want to save water, you can slow the flow down, but I just capture the water in buckets and 'spill' it on my parched lawn after it cools down. My city's water restrictions may not allow watering the lawn in the summer, but say nothing about brewing and clumsiness.

Monitor the output temperature. When the output temperature drops from "OMG burning" to "I can hold my finger in it now" but still hotter than "piss warm", dump ice into tub, turn on the pump, and start pumping ice water.

Do not recirculate YET. Monitor the output temperature of the chiller. If the water is coming out of the chiller warmer than your tap water, discard the water from the chiller, and keep topping off your ice bucket with cooler tap water.

As soon as the output temperature of the chiller is comparable to the output temperature of your tap water (i.e. 'piss warm' here in TX), then start recirculating the water instead of discarding it. There's no point using warmer tap water if the chiller water is coming out cooler than the tap water.

Result: 5 gallons chilled to pitch temps in like 10 minutes, with optimal ice and water usage. It takes me about 2 Target bags of ice...maybe 15lb? But it's free from the fridge.

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Old 03-07-2013, 05:27 PM   #30
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These machines are your friend...
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