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Old 05-26-2009, 03:20 PM   #1
danielinva
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Default How much water for an immersion chiller?

I have a question for those of you out there using a standard 25 or 50 feet immersion chiller. How much tap water do you end up using before cooling the wort down to about 70 degrees. I know this depends on the temperature of the tap water and whether or not you use a pre-chiller, but I just want some general numbers if anyone keeps track of this sort of thing.

I've always used an ice bath to cool 5 to 6 gallons of hot wort and can accomplish this in under 30 minutes with about 20 pounds of ice. The SWMBO is concerned that a wort chiller would waste too much water.

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Old 05-26-2009, 03:36 PM   #2
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I probably used 30-50 gallons... I stopped chilling altogether, it makes for less hassle.

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Old 05-26-2009, 03:42 PM   #3
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I'd wager at least 30 gallons... I know I fill up a 7 gallon bucket with the hottest of it for cleanup, and then proceed to water the plants around the deck where I'm brewing with the lukewarm stuff... In the winter it goes down the sink drain so yeah, I feel like I'm wasting it.

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Old 05-26-2009, 03:52 PM   #4
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Wow 30 gallons!? I usually fill my HLT which is about 10 gallons. I then use the water for my plants/sanitizing/etc. Honestly I only get my wort down to about 85 degrees and let it sit until it hits about 75 before I pitch my yeast.

If I already had an icebath setup, I would pick up a pump and an IC and just pump the cool water in a loop. This would keep you from using more water and would also give the benefit of a more time efficient cooling method.

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Old 05-26-2009, 04:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pol View Post
I probably used 30-50 gallons... I stopped chilling altogether, it makes for less hassle.
That sounds potentially more expensive than my 4 dollars of ice and maybe 10 gallons of water.
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielinva View Post
That sounds potentially more expensive than my 4 dollars of ice and maybe 10 gallons of water.
More expensive? Water is cheap, but it is wasted. I presume that $4 of ice would buy A LOT of water for an IC.

My method isnt cheaper (water is cheap) but it doesnt waste water... or cost me $$ for ice.
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:29 PM   #7
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I make my own ice for doing an icebath. I use about 8 galons of water to cool my wert down, and it takes 20-25min.

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Old 05-26-2009, 04:47 PM   #8
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Perhaps I'll buy an IC whenever we get around to setting up a rain barrel and just send the outflow into that once it gets to a reasonable temp. Then I can just use the otherwise wasted water on the garden as needed.

Arkador, how long does it take you to make enough ice? Our current fridge has no ice maker, but we've bought one for when we move next month so I may go that route for a while.

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Old 05-26-2009, 05:06 PM   #9
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I watched my friend do something that I will do for myself when he was chilling wort. He used plastic milk containers! Filled them with water and froze them. It took 3 of them to chill to the desired temperature.

He took a hammer to the container and then cut away the plastic. Worked great. and recycled too!

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Old 05-26-2009, 05:12 PM   #10
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Sounds like that method would dilute the wort.

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