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Old 03-02-2011, 02:13 PM   #1
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Default Aquarium chiller cool beer?

I was in the attic the other day and i noticed my old aquarium chiller sitting in the corner. Can I use this to chill hot wort? it seems it would work as i used to use it to chill my aquarium. as long as it its cleaned and sanitized ??

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Old 03-02-2011, 02:16 PM   #2
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by the way im heappy to have found this site. I am new to brewing and am going top purchase the Speidels Braumeister (brewmaster). I dont have much time and want to do all grain. i had already bought some misc rubbermaid coolers to make MLT but these are going back to home depot after seeing this cool machine.

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Old 03-02-2011, 02:17 PM   #3
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Don't know how long it would stand up to 210 degree heat.... I guess it depends on the construction of it. If its not something you need, give it a try and report back.

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Old 03-02-2011, 02:24 PM   #4
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yea i dont really need it. I mean at the time about 5 years ago it was an expensive piece of equipment and i could probrably sell it for about 400 dollars but what the heck ill try to cool down some boiling water with it and see what happens. i have to clean it any way. ill give some info on the results

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Old 03-02-2011, 02:45 PM   #5
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I did a quick google search for aquarium chillers, and found a pretty wide variety of results.

So, what is it that you have? Is this a unit that is supposed to draw water out of your aquarium, cool it down with refrigeration/peltier/radiator, and dump it back into the aquarium? How cold is it supposed to keep the aquarium?

Pics would rock. Also, how were you intending to use it?

Just as an example, if I had a device that was designed to cool down a bunch of water rapidly, and a pump going in and out, rather that worry about cleaning the thing, and worry about it not being able to handle 212 F intake water, I'd hook it up to my immersion chiller (probably need to use a bucket as an overflow tank).

This way, the water going into the aquarium chiller should start off being warm, not 200 F. It should come out of the chiller cold, go through my IC, and
be dumped into the overflow tank hot. Since this hot water is going to mix with the water in the overflow tank, controlling the volume of the overflow tank should allow you to keep the intake water to the chiller in a 'reasonable' range. And as the wort is cooled down, the water coming out of the IC is going to be cooler, and assuming the chiller is designed to get the aquarium to well below room temp, the water coming out of it should be really cold (I'm hoping 40 F) so the IC will keep working well (as they start to become less effective as the temperature difference goes down).

Or, if the thing is really worth a few hundred dollars, maybe you should sell it. You may find you can build a really good chiller that meets your brewing needs for less than the aquarium chiller is worth.

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Old 03-02-2011, 03:30 PM   #6
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thats true i could probrably do with a copper tubing chiller and call it a day and put the money towards the braumeister i want. as i recall the chiller is digital and can get aquariums down to pretty cold temps well below the ambient temp.

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Old 03-02-2011, 03:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by multipletazas View Post
thats true i could probrably do with a copper tubing chiller and call it a day and put the money towards the braumeister i want. as i recall the chiller is digital and can get aquariums down to pretty cold temps well below the ambient temp.
The big issue I can see is that the chiller would only have needed to handle intake water at slightly above room temperature, so they may well have used plastics in the construction that simply won't handle ~ 200 F temps. Also, although one would assume that everything that the water inside touches is 'safe' (so it doesn't poison the fish), it would have only been designed to work with cool water, not with hot wort. For example, I know I've heard of people's racking canes and tubing getting soft and failing when they tried to siphon hot wort out of their brew kettle.

Using it as a "pre-chiller' in conjunction with a copper IC would probably work great though. I build my copper IC for like 20 or 25 bucks.

What are the inlets and outlets on the aquarium chiller?
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:14 PM   #8
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I just going off memory. i have to bring it down fron the attic and check it out in detail.

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