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Old 09-08-2007, 11:57 PM   #1
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Default Recirculating Ice Water Chiller

I've read a number of posts from folks in hot areas like Texaz & Arizona that are recirculating ice water for their chillers. I used to use a prechiller, but not any more. I stopped by Lowes yesterday and picked up a 200 GPH fountain pump, 15 ft. of garden hose, and some hose fittings. I made my own ice water recirculator for about $45.



You can use any cooler, but I had my party keg cooler handy.



I connected it to my mongo 50 ft. copper immersion chiller from B3 after I brought the temp down to 100 degrees with tap water.

I added water and 40# of ice and cranked her up. It was running great.



I had to move the chiller up and down a few times, but it brought my wort down to temp in no time. I ended up pitching my Wyeast 3068 starter at 68 degrees when I was done. I'm very happy with my purchase and when I start the Jamil Wort Recirulating System, I'll be able to chill to lager temps in a fraction of time. Great idea and saves water!

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Old 09-09-2007, 12:53 AM   #2
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I've been thinking about doing this for a while, and all of the recent posts gave me a lot more confidence. Now I need to find that old submersible aquarium pump...

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Old 09-09-2007, 01:03 AM   #3
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Not a bad idea, Ed! I could use that in wintertime if only to keep from turning my driveway into an ice skating rink. I'll definitely have to give this some thought!

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Old 09-09-2007, 01:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie Brewer
Not a bad idea, Ed! I could use that in wintertime if only to keep from turning my driveway into an ice skating rink. I'll definitely have to give this some thought!
Thanks, but I learned about it here on HBT. I think it was Bobby_M who came up with it.

It fricking rocks now! It will make AlGore proud!
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Old 09-09-2007, 01:16 AM   #5
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Sweet set up. I am tired of shaking my prechiller up and down to keep fresh-iced water up against the copper.

Oh...and uh...Ed?

I want my banjo burner back. You can keep the cinder block.

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Old 09-09-2007, 01:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMuncher
Sweet set up. I am tired of shaking my prechiller up and down to keep fresh-iced water up against the copper.

Oh...and uh...Ed?

I want my banjo burner back. You can keep the cinder block.
Yeah, I have a 25 ft. copper chiller for sale.

I guess the burnt paint on the Banjo is a dead giveway. Send the UPS guy.
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Old 09-09-2007, 03:02 PM   #7
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I used a submersable pump and a plate chiller:


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Old 09-10-2007, 01:12 PM   #8
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I've been doing the same thing for a couple of months now. I also set up the Jamil whirlpool reciculation pump and can pull my temps down to the mid 60's fairly easily. I think it will take a little more ice to get down to lager temps. I went through almost 60 pounds of ice a couple of weeks ago, of course it was 105 here that day and most of the ice melted before I got it into the bucket. I think it will rock in the cooler months coming up.

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Old 09-10-2007, 01:20 PM   #9
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On my last batch I tried something similar but since I hate the idea of paying for ice, I put two 6 gallon buckets of water into my fermentation freezer. I set the controller on 35F and then went on to start my brewday. Now, you could argue that I spent as much in electricity as I would going out and buy ice, but I also didn't have to leave the house. Time is money.

To put it into perspecitive, it would take about a 10lb bag of ice to get 6 gallons of 85F tap water down into the low 30's. It's nice to start with water that cold to begin with. Of course, if you don't use a freezer as your fermentation cabinet then you don't even have this option.

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Old 09-10-2007, 01:28 PM   #10
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This is one of the next things on my "To Buy" list, but I am working on setting up kegging so it might be a while.

What does everyone think about adding salt to the ice to get the temp down real low? I have 25' immersion chiller and am hoping to have it set-up like this to cool my first lager.

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