Backyard brewing: how/where to drain all this water?

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dpaola2

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Just what the title says. I brew in my backyard and don't have much in the way of drainage anywhere. Wondering if anyone has any tips/tricks for how to effectively get rid of water - for example, using an immersion chiller uses a lot of water, not to mention the cleaning of everything as well (so it might have cleaning agents in it). Do you put it into a big vessel and drain it somewhere else? Direct it somehow to the corner of your yard?
 
It will help if you can cut down on the amount of water you use. I use a little water transfer pump to re-circulate my immersion chiller water. I first re-circulate from a 5gal bucket. This water gets hot enough to be saved as the wash water for cleanup. Then I move the hoses and re-circulate from a cooler that has 5gal of water plus a 20lb bag of ice. In the summer this insures I can always get down to pitching temps in a reasonable amount of time. The water in the cooler gets saved for rinsing during cleanup. It's a very water efficient system.

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If you're using an immersion chiller (depending on height of course) you could also drain it to a large bucket, trash can, rain barrel, etc. I drain mine to my rain barrel so as not to waste it. I then use the rain barrel to water our backyard plants, hops, etc. The first time I used the chiller and looked down the driveway to see the deluge of wasted water, I knew I had to find a better way.
 
Get a washtub and save your re-circulation water, use it to clean your brewing gear, wash the dog the car or clean your floors, water some plants, or take it in the house and dump it in the clothes washer and run a load of laundry.
 
Get a washtub and save your re-circulation water, use it to clean your brewing gear, wash the dog the car or clean your floors, water some plants, or take it in the house and dump it in the clothes washer and run a load of laundry.

All good ideas. But you forgot using it to fill the toilet tank for flushing...haha.
 
Haha, so, I think the answer is "find a way to save the water and use it for something else" and "reuse it". I guess I was hoping there was some clever way of draining it but I realize that was kind of foolish.

Thanks for your suggestions! Will go grab some huge water container somewhere.
 
Best way IMHO is to use ground water initially to drop temp from 212 down to roughly 130F. Then use a pump to recirculate from an ice bath. The enthalpy of melting is much more effective to remove the heat from your wort at this point and does not waste water.
 
there's no need to clean the water in the immersion chiller, so not sure why it'd have agents in it. Mine goes into a bucket, and into my tree.

I found I could cut down my water dramatically by slowing down the flow into the chiller. It only adds an extra minute or two, too.
 
Haha, so, I think the answer is "find a way to save the water and use it for something else" and "reuse it". I guess I was hoping there was some clever way of draining it but I realize that was kind of foolish.

Thanks for your suggestions! Will go grab some huge water container somewhere.

So your concern is just getting rid of the water? Is your yard really swampy before brewing?
Running the hose for 10-15 minutes plus rinsing the kettle a few times during washing doesn't seem like it should be causing problems with your lawn.
Are there any drains you can use? When I brewed in my garage I used the floor drain there for the chiller, that I think goes to the drain tiles and out from there. If the water isn't crazy hot and it's clean you could try running it into your gutter drains.
 
I make big blocks of ice with 5gal chlorine buckets in my fermentation chest freezer between batches. Put them in a large cooler and circulate with a fountain pump. The two ice blocks will take 10gal from boiling to 55f with very little waste.
 

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