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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > wort chilling in warmer months
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:24 AM   #1
nolabrew85
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Default wort chilling in warmer months

I know there have been a lot of threads on wort chilling, but I have not seen this idea yet. I am in south Louisiana, so for many months out of the year, the water from the tap is pretty warm, so that an immersion chiller may not work well. Also, ice baths are a bit of a pain and take a while to cool a full boil. SO, I thought of buying a cheap submersible pond pump from home depot ($20 to $60) and placing it in a large bucket of ice water chilled to about 40 degrees (most pumps can deal temps between 40 and 80 F) and then pumping this water to the immersion chiller and having the other hose from the chiller back into the bucket and basically just keep recycling the water in the bucket until the wort is cool. Thoughts? Anyone tried this? Seems like it will work to me and would be easier than some contraptions I have seen that were meant to remedy the same problem.

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Old 02-20-2013, 06:32 AM   #2
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Yup! I do it. It's cheaper than a pre-chiller and saves water. I change the water a few times as the recirculated water warms (use it to water the garden, clean the mash tun, etc...), and then add ice or previously frozen water bottles to the mix when I get the wort below 90. Works great, I use most of the ice from the freezer, but that's about it and I am to pitching temps within about 30-45 mins- not bad for San Diego, where ground water doesn't get very cold, even in the winter. I like the lack of wasted water and the fact that as chilling is happening, I can walk away briefly putting things away from the brew day. I highly recommend it!

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Old 02-20-2013, 06:41 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aa760 View Post
Yup! I do it. It's cheaper than a pre-chiller and saves water. I change the water a few times as the recirculated water warms (use it to water the garden, clean the mash tun, etc...), and then add ice or previously frozen water bottles to the mix when I get the wort below 90. Works great, I use most of the ice from the freezer, but that's about it and I am to pitching temps within about 30-45 mins- not bad for San Diego, where ground water doesn't get very cold, even in the winter. I like the lack of wasted water and the fact that as chilling is happening, I can walk away briefly putting things away from the brew day. I highly recommend it!
Great news!! Any recommendations on brand or specs of the pump?
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:41 AM   #4
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I have found that the blichmann plate chiller has been the most effective way to drop the temp of your wort. But no matter how much piss warm water you run through a plate chiller, the wort will never get colder than, well... piss.

I recently built a jockey box inside of an Igloo "coach gets a gatorade bath" style cooler. It works really well. If I was in an area where the ground temps were really high, I'd run the water through the jockey box (disconnect the tap and connect the hose) and then through the plate chiller. Not only do you now have a pre-chiller that would work with an immersion chiller or a plate chiller, but you would also have a jockey box for those days when you have to bring beer onto location!

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Old 02-20-2013, 06:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nolabrew85

Great news!! Any recommendations on brand or specs of the pump?
I used this one on the rec of another HBT'er:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

So far, so good- 5 batches so far, pretty quiet, good flow rate.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:25 PM   #6
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Great news!! Any recommendations on brand or specs of the pump?
I use a 600 gph pump that is made by Beckett. Its a good quality pump however I wish I had invested in a much stronger pump. Pumping the water through the immersion chiller drops the 600 gph down to about 60 gph.... But it does the trick for those of us in the South with warm tap water
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:12 AM   #7
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Here is my setup.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/thou...-setup-350725/

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Old 02-21-2013, 12:44 AM   #8
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My buddy and I daisy-chain our chillers in a pre-chiller/chiller config during the summers here in Alabama. Can't hurt to see whether there's someone in your local homebrew club who can help out similarly.

-Rich

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Old 02-21-2013, 02:26 AM   #9
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I use the pool! I had to pick up a bilge pump due to a flood we had a couple of years back and decided to give it a whirl. Move my wort by the pool and drop the pump in. Connect it to my WC and plug her in. With the water being pulled from the bottom of the pool it is reasonably cooler than what's up top AND my house water(Phoenix,AZ). This with an ice bath and stirring frequenlty gets wort cooled pretty quick!

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Old 02-21-2013, 08:27 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the feedback! I'll probably put something together in a few weeks and update how it works for anyone who is interested.

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