I'm building an immersion chiller this Friday from 50' of 1/2 copper tubing. My goal is to purchase a pump that goes into a cooler filled with ice water to pump the chilled water through the coil and back into the cooler (keeps the waste to a minimum). Can anyone recommend a pump or any specs to look at?
I have a small fountain pump from Harbor Freight and it works okay. Chills my wort down to 75 F in about 20-30 minutes. I really need to upgrade and was going to buy the one in the link. Finances too tight right now.
I recently went this route(I live in Texas). I bought the 1 HP Submersible off Ebay for $22(shipping included). It was missing parts but I didn't care. I went to Lowes and found what I need. A mock up and then glued together and it was a go.
I use my Mashtun to hold the ice water. I use my garden hose to take the initial temperature down, then I switch to the chiller. Works like a champ.
I use a 1/6HP utility pump I found used on Craigslist for $10.
You definitely don't want to cycle the icewater until you've hit a your temperature has stalled with tap water. For me (Northern California) I chill with tap water through my IC until I reach 80F. This takes about 10-15 minutes. Then I switch over to the utility pump in a cooler with ice. One bag of ice will take me from 85f to 68F in another 10-15 minutes. So for total cooling time, half of which I'm not wasting any water I can get right to pitch pitch temp for ales. For lagers, I add another bag of ice at 68F and can get down to 50F or lower in another 15 minutes. It's a great set up.
One thing that really helps the cooling is to rig a whirlpool around the IC. It's amazing how much the increased surface area will cut chill time.
I use a 3W fountain pump and it works fine. Just make sure it can pump at least 350L / hr and has a fountain height of 1.5m. My first pump was a 1W / 200L / hr / 0.6m height and it wasn't strong enough.
I am working on a similar setup. My plan is to use the hose for the first 10-15 mins and keep the water for cleaning and watering the plants (now that it is nice and warm) then using the ice bath for the remaining 20-30 degrees
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