Originally Posted by cluckk
I may try that later when I can afford it.
You don't need a high end pump for this, like a march, etc. Use an aquarium or pond pump, I think I am using about a $30 pump to make this happen when I used this technique. I would have a 5 gallon bucket with ice and water. I'd pump it through the IC back into the bucket. The problem is when I am doing 10+ gallon brews, I went through more than a bag of ice. The cost of the ice will soon outweigh the cost of the pump.
Even with cold water the last 20-30 degrees will always take too long. I used to live in cold tap country and still felt the wait was too long. I would use tap water to bring the temp down to 125 then recirculate ice water to get it the rest of the way. I also did the freeze bottle thing to immerse in the chilled water bucket. The problem is like the one in an IC chiller: A boundary layer forms where the coldest water and hottest wort no longer come into contact. With an IC it is simply a matter of agitating the IC to keep wort moving around. Keeping the icy water effective in cooling when in a water bottle is not as easy.
My next scheme to make the cooling fast and cheap is to try and pre-chiller. In the bucket with the pre-chiller will be ice filled water bottles and a bag of ice. I will also place my pond pump in this bucket to keep water circulating and prevent boundary layers. I will also be agitating both the pre-ciller and IC to speed things up. My goal is 12 gallons of wort chilled in under 10 minutes.