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Old 05-18-2010, 11:39 PM   #1
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Default Immersion Chiller Idea Using Kegerator

I’m planning on building an immersion chiller and had an idea to incorporate my kegerator into the design. I live in a part of Southern California which sees temps over 100 during the summer. With the hottest months coming up, I’m not sure if my tap water will be cold enough to cool the wort efficiently through an immersion chiller.

So here’s my idea…the night before brew-day, fill up an empty corny keg with tap water and leave it in my kegerator overnight at around 40 degrees F. After boiling the wort, I would connect tubing from the liquid-out end of the keg directly into the immersion chiller. Then, I would hook up my co2 to the keg of water with just enough pressure to get the water to flow through the chiller at a decent rate.

Has anybody tried something like this or does anybody see potential problems with this method? I’m thinking that although it might be a waste of CO2, it is a simple enough way to pump ice cold water through the chiller. Thoughts?

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Old 05-19-2010, 12:22 AM   #2
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I would buy a cheap submersible pond pump at Home Depot or where ever and start with tap water before switching to the chilled water. Won't waste CO2 and it's basically the same idea.

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Old 05-19-2010, 12:27 AM   #3
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If I'm just using tap water, why couldn't I just connect a hose instead of buying a pond pump? The whole idea of this was to chill the water temp before running it through the chiller.

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Old 05-19-2010, 12:28 AM   #4
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just make a pre-chiller...basically a small cooler with a 20' coil of copper in it filled w/ water and ice....water goes from tap through ice water coil and through immersion chiller...

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Old 05-19-2010, 01:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronllave View Post
If I'm just using tap water, why couldn't I just connect a hose instead of buying a pond pump? The whole idea of this was to chill the water temp before running it through the chiller.
You could use a hose. But when the wort is still near boiling, there is a large enough temperature differential where you can get effective cooling. When the temp. differential isn't as large (say when the wort is around 100F), you can switch over to chilled/ice water to continue cooling. Cooling initially with the chilled water would be a waste of your chilled water and you might run out of it in your keg before the wort is properly cooled.
By using a submersible pump you can start it in a bucket/keg of tap water, then when the wort is cooled to ~100F (or whenever the temp. differential isn't large enough to rapidly cool), you just pick up the pump and throw it in your bucket/keg of chilled/ice water. Efficient and easy.
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Old 05-19-2010, 02:53 AM   #6
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I am make going to be making a immersion chiller this weekend and i plain on make a immersion chiller and a pre-chiller. so i ca get my wort down faster. I dont think it will take much more money or time to do so.

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Old 05-19-2010, 05:33 PM   #7
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My idea of using the keg was avoid having to build a pre-chiller. I already have everything I need to use the kegerator and keg, so I would be saving money and time on building a pre-chiller. I guess it comes down to using my CO2 versus spending the money on either a prechiller or a pond pump. I"m just unsure how much CO2 it would actually take to pump through enough chilled water to cool a 5 gallon batch.

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Old 05-19-2010, 05:44 PM   #8
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I do a similar system where I freeze bottles of ice and then use those to chill a bucket of tap water to the 30-40F range.

I chill down to sub-100F range with tap water, then switch over to the bucket. I use a fountain pump that I bought off of amazon for like $15 to force the water through the chiller, and then recirculate back into the ice bucket.

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Old 05-19-2010, 06:55 PM   #9
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Wait Wait Wait Wait .... !


Quote:
Originally Posted by ronllave View Post
So here’s my idea…the night before brew-day, fill up an empty corny keg with tap water and leave it in my kegerator overnight at around 40 degrees F.

you have SPACE in your kegerator????

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Old 05-19-2010, 06:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hang Glider View Post
Wait Wait Wait Wait .... !





you have SPACE in your kegerator????

Must have a walk in cooler or something.....
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