Amount of water to recirculate with CFC

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grotuk

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Hi crew,

A Californian here trying to save water.

After having wasted too much water this year with an IC, I'm setting up a more efficient process before my next brewing day. My idea is to have a tank/bucket with water that I can store in my garage so on brewing day it will be around 70 degrees that I can lower with some ice.

I'll then connect the output of the tank to a pump and to the CFC. From there it will go back to the tank.

I have a pump for the water and a pump for the wort.

My question is, how big does the tank need to be if my batches are of 5 gallons? I'm not sure if the math works that if the water is at 40 (with enough ice) and the wort starts at 200, if my buckets is of 5 gallons I'll reduce it to 120 ( (200+40)/2 = 120). Is this logic correct or the efficiency is higher than that?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks.
 
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I'm afraid the efficiency calculations are more than I'm willing to take on being that it's Sunday morning....lol

But, I think the common wisdom is that it's easier to use your water supply to knock the temp down to the low 100's then switch to this setup. If your formula is correct it may make sense to have two buckets. One to get it down to 120, then another to take it the rest of the way.
 

inhousebrew

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Are you really saving that much water if you're using a bunch of ice too? If you really want to look into saving water why not read up on no chill brewing? I don't know much about it but know that people do it successfully.

I don't know where you brew/cool at but I run my cooling lines directly into the washing machine which is another option. Cheers
 

vincentAlpha

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To do any calculations you'd need to know the heat capacity(or specific heat) of wort but generally I'd say you are along the right line (assuming 100% efficient heat transfer). Though I'm not sure how well your CFC chiller works as I don't need more than a single pass with mine to get to pitching temps with mine (25' for reference) and water temp is ~50ish. One thing you could do is use a single brew as a test and measure how much ground water you use and the initial temp of that water, then see about how low you can push that number to reduce the water usage by cooling it. Heck if you are clever enough about it you could just continue to use the same water and use water bottle ice cubes to cool it so the water is a one-time use all around.
 
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grotuk

grotuk

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To close the loop here, I tried this experiment yesterday and I managed to cool the beer down to mid 70s from boil with north of 20 gallons of tap water and about 2 pounds of ice (ice packs).

I went through the process with 4 buckets and some change and it cooled the 5 gallons of wort in about 15 minutes. Not very satisfied but it's great to know that it's doable.

My next step is to buy a 40 gallon container and try with it. I think that should work.
 

vincentAlpha

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Definitely doable I'd say. 20 gallons is a lot of water but with each batch you are cutting your water use footprint by quite a bit. Heck if you can keep the water clean enough to use it for 10 batches then you'll have effectively cooled your beer using only 2 gallons of water per batch, that is some efficiency (wrt to water usage) as far as I'm concerned :D . Depending on how often you brew it may be worth adding some k-meta or some something similar to prevent anything growing in the water, I imagine the cooling/heating will help keep the nasties from getting too far but it can't hurt.
 

TexasWine

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I know someone already mentioned it, but I'll bring it up again. Why not try no chill? The reason it was dreamed up was to save water.

All you need to do is adjust your hop schedule a tad to account for the fact that your wort stays hotter longer, and therefore is above the temp required for isomerization. I usually just shift my hop addition times by 30 minutes, or sometimes not at all if there aren't a lot of hops to begin with.
 

hottpeper13

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I put the first hottest water from my chiller in the mash tun to clean it. when done with that the kettle is ~180* so I can either whirlpool or continue to chill. I put the next 12 or so gal in the washing machine,then I fill one 5 gal pail for cleaning. That is all I use for a 5 gal batch,when doing 10 gal some goes down to the pond.
 
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