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Old 09-07-2009, 04:21 PM   #1
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Default My chiller station worked so-so

Ever since I saw how much water I wasted on cooling my first 10gal batch, I had to build something that used the same water. A small deep freeze, 8gal and 13gal trash cans, and a pond pump (100-130gpm) and a cheap thermometer with a probe. Had the water down to 46deg, circulated and the wort was comin out around 80deg. I turned the kettle valve down some and got it down to 64 deg, and the chiller water got up to 68deg after 5 gal. Thinkin colder chill water (obviously) and possibly some RV antifreeze, any thoughts?

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Old 09-07-2009, 04:26 PM   #2
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I wonder what the cost is of freezing water (electricity) vs. the actual use of water? Are you really saving anything? How about cutting shower times in half and you would save more water than you waste in brewing. Recycle the chilling water for laundry, plant watering, clean up of brew session, etc.

Just thinking out loud.

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Old 09-07-2009, 07:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by samc View Post
I wonder what the cost is of freezing water (electricity) vs. the actual use of water? Are you really saving anything? How about cutting shower times in half and you would save more water than you waste in brewing. Recycle the chilling water for laundry, plant watering, clean up of brew session, etc.

Just thinking out loud.
I am always amazed at the effort and expense people go to in order to conserve a small amount of water. Making ice is not cost free and the electricity cost probably far exceeds any savings to be had by reducing water usage. Unless you are in a drought stricken area, IMO it doesn't make sense. Water is generally very, very cheap in most locations and it is a renewable resource. I can understand using ice for the final chill to get below tap water temps and I do that myself, but I'm not convinced of it's conservation benefits.
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Old 09-07-2009, 08:10 PM   #4
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For some reason there is a misconception that being green also means it is cheap. It's more like, can you afford to be green.

Some pics of the system would help.

I would use a large heat exchanger in the freezer instead of circulating the water in and out of it. This way you can get the temps below freezing by adding salt to the water in the freezer. You could use glycol but should there be a leak I would rather have salt water in my beer versus methanol. If the goal is to be enviro friendly then glycol should probably be avoided. If you use Atlantic ocean water you can get down to about 28*F before freezing. :P

I would add one more element to your system. A radiator and fan. Before the cooling water you are recycling returns to the freezer, whether it be a HEX or straight up recirc, install a transmission or oil type cooler with an electric fan mounted on the front. If you can shed some or most of the heat to the atmosphere, it is less work your freezer has to do.

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Old 09-07-2009, 08:25 PM   #5
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I'd be interested in seeing the outcome of this. I am on a well, so I truely have to conserve water...Been doing the "laundry day" brewing, but honestly, the brewing shack is 100 yards plus away from my laundry room, and well....I'm over it. I do collect a bunch of water for cleaning, but I really need a closed loop cooling system.

Now, lets see some pics!!!!!

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Old 09-07-2009, 09:10 PM   #6
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You can catch all the water from one brew day in barrels and use a pump the next time to circulate the same water through the chiller. Use some ice after you get wort temps down near the water temp.

Catch to this is you 2x volume in containers. One to hold and one to receive.... Or you could water plants, catch and use the first few gallons to clean with, time a second brew so you can save propane by heating up your strike water.

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Old 09-08-2009, 12:00 AM   #7
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Will post some pics

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Old 09-08-2009, 12:16 AM   #8
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Not trying to save money just water
and make cool gadgets
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Old 09-08-2009, 12:33 AM   #9
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Not trying to save money just water
and make cool gadgets



For Sure!
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Old 09-08-2009, 02:52 AM   #10
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I would add one more element to your system. A radiator and fan. Before the cooling water you are recycling returns to the freezer, whether it be a HEX or straight up recirc, install a transmission or oil type cooler with an electric fan mounted on the front. If you can shed some or most of the heat to the atmosphere, it is less work your freezer has to do.
A properly sized and shrouded small automotive sized radiator mounted to a fan by sheet metal with 4 garden misters between the two. The plus sides, the fan that operates in a dry location, maximum cooling, minimum water usage plus the lower the humidity at locations like in hot dry deserts with minimum humidity and water availability the higher the cooling effect. This without going into a high volume in gallons of a chilled liquid or water stored in another refrigeration unit adding to a higher electric bill as posted above. Add to this the cost of the frig not counting the extra floor space footprint lost. A low cost and simple system needing only a circulation pump with a liquid expanison chamber like an automotive coolant recovery tank for a closed loop system. All items can be had on the cheap with great results. Remember the swamp coolers? Remember to not have the hot discharge air and evaporated air from the misters aimed at your boil keggle. JMO's here dealing with total cost to a given problem.
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