I've had a small, wall hung, water cooler sitting around the garage thinking that it might prove useful as part of my homebrewery. It is rated at 115v/4.5a with a 1/5hp compressor.
The only use I can come up with, other than cooling drinking water, is to use it as a pre-chiller for my counter-flow chiller. But before I go through the motions of modifying it, I wanted to get any comments.
Given that I know little of thermodynamics, below are the rough calculations that I've attempted. I may be off by orders of magnitude.
115v x 4.5a x 3.4 = 1760 btu/hr.
Since 1 btu is equal to 1lbH2O/1deg
8.3lbH2O/1gal ==> 212galH2O/1deg/1hr
For a flow rate of say, 60gal/hr (1gal/minute) ===> 3.5deg cooling capacity
It seems that at that relatively low flow rate, I would gain very little in wort chilling capacity. I guess the bottom line is, any opinions on the value of the water cooler for this application, or should it just go to the garage sale?