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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > What's the best, cheapest way of doing this? (sump pump - immersion chiller)
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:12 AM   #1
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Default What's the best, cheapest way of doing this? (sump pump - immersion chiller)

My immersion chiller and tap water can bring my wort from boiling to 82 degrees in about 7-8 minutes. After those 8 minutes, it has a really hard time getting the temperature any lower. I've decided to buy a bucket and a sump pump setup so I can pump ice water through my immersion chiller, which will get the temperature down to 70 or so.

I've been looking at sump pumps at home depot, lowes, and a few other places and the cheapest ones I can find there are around $80. Online I can find them for $40 or so. I have a few questions though: How will I attach the pump to my immersion chiller? Are some of these pumps fitted for regular garden hose adapters? If not, how will I connect it?
Also, I found a few aquarium pumps on Ebay that are submersible and are quite a bit cheaper. Will these work? If so, how will I fit these to the immersion chiller?

Thanks.

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Old 08-25-2008, 07:22 AM   #2
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just get a prechiller...

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Old 08-25-2008, 07:36 AM   #3
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I use one of the drill pumps from Lowes. It's right next to the other pumps, but it's only like $8. As long as you have a good power drill, it will work fine, and it's a lot more efficient than a pre-chiller. I can get down into the 50s in minutes with mine.

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Old 08-25-2008, 10:51 AM   #4
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Get a small submersible pond pump from Lowes. They are in the garden section here. Mine cost me 19.95 and has the same size outlet as my tubing. I connected it together with some tubing and hose clamps, Works great!

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Old 08-25-2008, 03:02 PM   #5
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I have a small ~500gph pump from Home Depot that I picked up for around $30. Submerge it in an ice-bath in a cooler and you can recirculate just fine. The bonus here is you don't waste near as much water by recirculating.

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Old 08-25-2008, 05:14 PM   #6
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Just don't put the first couple gallons of hot output water back into the icebath as it's counterproductive. Collect that for cleanup later. Once the output cools down, go ahead and recirc it back onto the ice. It's more efficient to top off the ice with tap water.

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Old 08-25-2008, 05:47 PM   #7
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I'm using a 1/4 HP pump from Harbor Freight ($50). It comes with a 3/4" adapter so it hooks directly up to the chiller.

I have problems with my high water pressure blowing the tube loose on my chiller every few batches, spraying water everywhere. With the pump it isn't a problem. I fill the cooler to the top from the garden hose, pump-n-dump water until the cooler is nearly empty, refill the cooler until it is half full, then recirculate and add the ice.

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Old 08-25-2008, 05:52 PM   #8
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It's a good idea to sweat (solder) a hose barb to chiller for that reason. If not that, at least use compression fittings so that you don't rely on a a hose clamp to keep tubing on such a smooth surface.

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Old 08-25-2008, 05:59 PM   #9
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It's a good idea to sweat (solder) a hose barb to chiller for that reason. If not that, at least use compression fittings so that you don't rely on a a hose clamp to keep tubing on such a smooth surface.
Hmm, I think I'll give the compression fittings a try. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 08-25-2008, 06:47 PM   #10
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If you have more hose clamps then use 2 or 3. It will not come off as each one has resistance to overcome.

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