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Old 03-07-2013, 07:39 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by cluckk View Post
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.
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Old 03-08-2013, 03:41 AM   #32
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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.
I really like this idea:
"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."

This just became part of my SOP.

Thanks.
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