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Old 07-21-2013, 06:24 AM   #1
Cadrian
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Default Submersible pump question.

So I haven't even brewed my first brew yet.... if it doesn't rain tomorrow my plan is to do my first brew tomorrow.

Well today i was explaining to my girlfriend the brew process.... and she basically told me I cant waste 15 to 20 minutes of water from the garden hose ever time I want to brew. She is really hippie and recycle friendly, she takes 5 min max shower just not to waste water, so I sort of expected this.

So I told her I would get a pump to recycle most of the water with my 50' 3/8" immersion chiller that has water hose connections on my batch after this one.

Would these pumps work?
http://www.amazon.com/Superior-Pump-...=Superior+Pump
http://www.amazon.com/Superior-Pump-...=Superior+Pump
Are they over kill?

I figured id drop the temp at first let some water run off till temp drops. Then rerun hose with some ice or reusable ice packs through a big plastic storage tub to not waste anymore water. I think id make her happy with that plus drop temp quick since water out the tap here in South Carolina in july is rather hot anyway.

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Old 07-21-2013, 06:48 AM   #2
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Those will totally work. I used to use a fish tank powerhead to recirculate cold water. Are you doing partial boils? If so get your top up water as cold as you can and use that to get the temps down. Then your not wasting water at all. If you are doing a full boil then your on the right track. Saving water is easy to do as well if you use another kettle and capture all the waste water to be used as clean up water or for your next batch.

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Old 07-21-2013, 06:51 AM   #3
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The problem with recirculating the water is that the water coming out of the chiller has absorbed all the energy and is really hot. You will need A LOT of ice if you plan on recirculating this way. Since ice takes a lot of energy to make, you will not be doing Mother Earth any favors with this recirculating method. The best thing to do is run the garden hose like normal, and collect all the water to reuse as cleaning water or to water plants with. If you want to use some ice, look into a prechiller, especially since I imagine your groundwater temps are high anyway. Or if you have some money to spare, buy a counterflow chiller since they are more efficient with water.

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Old 07-21-2013, 07:58 AM   #4
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Jaybird- I am doing 5 gallon batches in a 10 gallon stainless steel pot with extracts outside on propane, I assumed id start with 6 gallons and hopefully if the stars line up right after an hour boil end up with 5 gallons.

Thats a good idea about using as clean up water, ill need some water to rinse pot and clean up everything with, guess ill have to get a couple more 5 gallon buckets to save some water with. Thanks for the idea.

2thguy - I looked into plate chillers and counter flows at first but decided since I am a newbie I need to stick to something like immersion chillers since I have some experience at a friends house already with it. So kinda stuck with that option since ive already forked out the money for one. I am somewhat of a mother nature person but not the point were I cry over a little spilled water or some melted ice. I just gotta sell the girlfriend on whatever I come up with. I already tried to sell her on water for the plants.... that failed she didn't buy it. I am not sure if she would think deeply into the ice being not ecofriendly as letting the water run off or not. It might be bridge ill have to cross though.

I just measured my ground water temps out of my kitchen sink, I should have done that before at 330am in the morning the temp is 81 degree so I know at 2pm tomorrow my water temp will be like 90 degrees at least. Ugh that kinda through a wrench into my plan. So I need a pump or a prechiller anyway. I might have to put off my first brew day for another week.

I think a pump is my best option by letting the really hot water run off as I use hose to refill tub with pump, when the temp gets down to 110 or so drop in some ice and cut off off fresh water from house and put run off hose into the tub with pump so I create a cycle. At that point cross my fingers I can drop temp below 80 before ice melts completely. At least I save some water, rather than with the prechiller I think most of everything is run off with that method isnt it?

Thanks so far for the input, I am ready to get my first brew underway, I just want to do it right the first time and still somehow please the girlfriend.

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Old 07-21-2013, 11:03 AM   #5
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This time of year in the south is difficult for chilling full-boil wort. I think your method will work well enough and should hopefully keep your girlfriend happy.

I use a similar technique but it does require a plate chiller. Given your gf's concerns, it might be worth the purchase! I whirlpool my wort for about 15 minutes post boil, then use the IC to get temps down to 120-150 or so. Capture that run-off water to use for cleaning. Then move the IC into a bucket of ice water w/your pump, and use that to run through the "Water In" side of the plate chiller. Move the IC around a bit as the water flows, so you get good circulation of the ice water around the copper. It takes me 1 10# bag of ice to get down to ale pitching temps. This should save you a lot of water.

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Old 07-21-2013, 12:18 PM   #6
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I use a similar pump that I got w/ a sale coupon from Harbor Freight w/ my CFC.
I recirculate the return water to the bottom of a bucket w/ the pump in the center. On a 90+ degree day using gravity feed I get to 60-64 in under ten minutes. I usually use two ten pound bags OG ice.

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Old 07-21-2013, 04:54 PM   #7
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Castlehollow - I really liked plate chillers, when i watched youtube video on them, but decided as a beginner the risk of infection wasnt worth it, nor did I understand how filtering out the hops and other gunk worked. I told myself once I get use to actual brewing id look more into plate chillers.

I like the idea of IC and pump in combo with a plate chiller.... if and when i do go that route that seems like the great idea to limit water wasted due to the speed you get your wort chilled.

Govner1 -Do you just start recirulating with ice? or do you let some of the really really hot water run off before recirulating? two 10 pounds bags of ice seems like a good bit, your just dropping pump and ice into a 5 gallon bucket? I am not use to terminology yet, whats OG ice?

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Old 07-21-2013, 05:08 PM   #8
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Run tap water through your immersion chiller slowly while stirring the hell out your wort the whole time and collect the output water in some buckets. When the wort hits about 120F, stop the flow and switch over to pumping icewater. Again, keep stirring the wort.

The best way to get around water waste concerns is to not waste it. Use the hottest water (the first collection bucket) to wash your kettle after the brew. Use other hot water for washing the dishes or other uses that require hot water. Any water that ends up being cooler, use it to water plants or you can even use it to flush toilets over the next few days if you really want to hippie out.

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Old 07-21-2013, 06:54 PM   #9
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I'd highly recommend getting a new girlfriend.

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Old 07-21-2013, 08:26 PM   #10
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I put in water at ground temp about half way up the pump then put in my first bag of ice and start the pump. Then I open the valve on my BK to allow the hot wort to start flowing. You can control the temp of your wort into your fermented by adjusting the flow rate
Sorry for the typo it should have read two bags of ice. Not OG.
Two bags costs me a little more than $3.

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