Summertime Brewing... and the Water Bill! - Home Brew Forums

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Old 09-04-2013, 05:46 PM   #1
alliloop
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Dec 2009
Charleston, South Carolina
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So, we haven't had much time to brew the past couple of months, but managed to brew twice last month. Just got the water bill. Ouch! We only brewed two 5-gallon batches, and put the chill water to good use on the vegetable and flower gardens, but still... the bill was double what we're use to seeing!

So, even tho we're past the worst of it (we are... right?), for future reference, and because we do intend to brew at least two (maybe three) times in September, I was wondering if any long term locals or natives had any water saving tips without breaking the other bank by spending big bucks on a big plate chiller.

This guy has an interesting recycling concept:

http://homebrewacademy.com/build-a-r...g-wort-chiller

Anyone try it or something similar they wanna share?

Cheers!

 
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:01 PM   #2
progmac
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Mar 2012
Cincy, OH
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Australians are masters of water conservation in the brewery. they tend to congregate at http://aussiehomebrewer.com/
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:25 PM   #3
jmp781
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Mar 2011
Summerville, SC
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My bill does not change regardless of season or brew quantity. The most i've brewed was 3 five gallon batches in a month but as mentioned no change in the monthly bill. I'm sure different municipalities have different pricing agreements, I have Summerville Public Works.

 
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:43 PM   #4
Beernik
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Jun 2009
Lopez Island, WA
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My water bill is metered in 1000 gallon increments. If between sanitizer, mash water, and my IC, I assume it takes 5 gallons of water to make 1 gallon of beer, I'd have to produce 7 gallons of beer a day for a month for it to tick my meter over 1 unit.

Are you sure you don't have a leaky sprinkler pipe, sprinkler valve, or leaking service lateral? I fixed a broken sprinkler valve and leaky shower tap last month and knocked 3000 gallons off my water bill.
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:35 PM   #5
sivispacemparabe11um
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May 2009
houston,texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beernik View Post
My water bill is metered in 1000 gallon increments. If between sanitizer, mash water, and my IC, I assume it takes 5 gallons of water to make 1 gallon of beer, I'd have to produce 7 gallons of beer a day for a month for it to tick my meter over 1 unit.

Are you sure you don't have a leaky sprinkler pipe, sprinkler valve, or leaking service lateral? I fixed a broken sprinkler valve and leaky shower tap last month and knocked 3000 gallons off my water bill.
I was thinking the same thing. It seems like a long shower would use up more than what I use during brewing...

 
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:35 PM   #6
alliloop
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Dec 2009
Charleston, South Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beernik View Post
My water bill is metered in 1000 gallon increments. If between sanitizer, mash water, and my IC, I assume it takes 5 gallons of water to make 1 gallon of beer, I'd have to produce 7 gallons of beer a day for a month for it to tick my meter over 1 unit.

Are you sure you don't have a leaky sprinkler pipe, sprinkler valve, or leaking service lateral? I fixed a broken sprinkler valve and leaky shower tap last month and knocked 3000 gallons off my water bill.
I checked everything, and no leaks. We have the same 1000 gallon increments, as well. I'm assuming the hope water temp was just high and we had to use double or triple. At least we still captured a lot of it and used it on the garden.

This is just a good excuse for another DIY. We're gunna build a recirculating wort chiller this weekend.

Thanks!

 
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:57 PM   #7
roastquake
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Aug 2012
Aiken, SC
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I know it's risky, but after wasting so much water, I decided I'm gonna try this with my next brew:

http://www.brewersfriend.com/2009/06...hnique-tested/

I think it will be fine if I put the lid on my kettle a few minutes at the end of the brew and wrap it up tight with tin foil and wait till the next day to transfer to the fermenter.

 
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:13 PM   #8
Beernik
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Jun 2009
Lopez Island, WA
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I haven't tried no-chill but I know there are people on here that do it. The closest I came was on my 1st beer. I thought if I put it in my cheat freezer that the temp would drop fast. Boy was I wrong.

I at 2:30am, when I got tired of waiting, I pitched the yeast at 100F and went to bed. It had some serious green apple flavor.

The main thing you'll want to worry about is contamination from when it drops from 120F until you pitch. That's when you'll be at most risk for an infection.
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:43 PM   #9
roastquake
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Aug 2012
Aiken, SC
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yea, I'm normally pretty anal about sanitation and fast cooling/pitching (It's always paid off, no infections) but after dumping so many trashcan sized loads of water. I've talked myself up to doing this. I think If I let the lid sanitize with the end of the boil and seal it tight afterwards, the wort should have a pretty sanitary environment. And I wouldn't wait longer than 24 hours to pitch

 
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:59 PM   #10
Misplaced_Canuck
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NE Columbia SC - Formerly, Montreal Canada
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IF you went to a counterflow water chiller, and used a pre-chiller for the water, I'm sure you'd use much less water than you are using now.

I'm fortunate that I have a well, and I use a plate chiller. I do not even bother to look at the water consumption - I run at full blast. The water comes from 160-ft at around 68-72F and returns to the aquifer probably within a matter of hours (I live in a sandy area). My only cost is running the 1/3-HP pump for may be 20-25 minutes per 10-gallon batch.

MC
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