How do you save your cooling water?

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apache_brew

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Just curious of any interesting ways to save/minimize cooling water. I’ve settled on collecting mine in these (3) 32 gallon garbage cans. I could probably fill another half of one at the end of knockout, but I let that bit run off into the dirt for now. This is enough to cool 14 gallons of wort with my current configuration. I use a pail and water my garden throughout the week with it. I think someday I’d like to get one of those cube caged tanks as a single receiving tank and than have a discharge pump for easier irrigation.

please share your setups!
 

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Transamguy77

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I used to fill my washer, give my kids a bath and save the water and give it to the dogs and chickens.

In my new house my goal is to save it to water the garden and my new hop plants! I’d like to figure out a way to recycle it in 55 gallon drums to use as cooling water all year around.
 

scrap iron

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I use the whirlpool chill method and pump the water into my mash tun. I put some PBW in it before pumping and it mixes as it fills. This usually uses about 13-14 gals of water for a 5 gal batch and gets the wort down to around 110-120* F. Then I hook up the ice water and fountain pump to the chiller to cool the rest of the way.
 

balrog

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Hose-chiller-buckets; first bucket hot for wash, second bucket is rinse, third is for the chiller/strainer/biag-bag/messy, and that gets me to 80-90 in 5gal batch. Then I recirc w pond pump in a gallon in a cooler with 16# ice, gets me to 60 for WY1007 or 64-68 WY1450/OLY21. Takes about 15-20m total, but I stand there agitating the whole time. I move the chiller around also.

It's actually distressing when using Voss Kveik as I have less wash/rinse water since I stop cooling at 100.
 

CascadesBrewer

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I’ve settled on collecting mine in these (3) 32 gallon garbage cans.
I have been limiting myself to only using enough water to fill 3 buckets (usually a pair of 5 gallon buckets and a 6.5 gallon bucket...so 15 to 17 gallons of water total for a 5 gallon batch). In the winter months when my tap water is cold, that can likely get me down to ale pitching temps. Most of the year that only gets me down to maybe 80F to 85F. I then give the beer a few hours in my fermentation chamber to get to pitching temps. Kveik beers make this much easier! I use a simple immersion chiller and constantly stir the wort during chilling, which usually takes about 15 minutes.

I will try to use the water for something useful other than just dumping it down the drain. I use one bucket of hot water for cleaning equipment and another bucket for rinsing, and might soak my immersion chiller in the other one. During warm weather, it usually goes towards watering outdoor plants. Sometimes I have used the water to flush toilets or use clean warm water for a load of laundry.
 

grampamark

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When I’m brewing at the farm the water goes down the drain. We’re on a well and septic system. When you stop to think about it, that’s a closed loop system. The grade five earth science stuff about the little raindrop’s journey from the top of the mountain, into the river, through the pipes and back onto the river, then out to sea, doesn’t really apply.

When I brew at the city house I connect the output from the IC to a rain bird type sprinkler and water the side of the front yard next to the garage. Sometimes, even in December. With snow on the ground. Gives the neighbors something to talk about. :cool:
 

Golddiggie

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Also on a well and septic system. Last brew day I used a pump to move the SCL discharge out to the yard. The discharge from the plate chiller went to the same rough location. Coming up I'll be using [two] 7 gallon buckets to catch the SCL discharge since the pump isn't happy with the higher water temp running through it (not made for it). The plate chiller discharge will probably still go to the same location.

I just use a garden hose (either from the faucet on the back of the house or the one in the furnace room) to clean up after I scoop out the grain in the MT. For the BK, same thing basically. Rinse out and then bring the element up for a PBW soak to get it nice and purty again.

I had thought about using the chiller discharge (or the SCL discharge) water to make up some PBW to clean the system with. But I'd rather not use THAT much PBW to do the job. I typically mix up 3-4 gallons at a time and that's not really enough to get a good recirculation flow rate in the system I have.

I do like how I can chill my ~8 gallons going into fermenter (for my normal batch size) in less than 10 minutes with the plate chiller. Last time we timed it was for a 12 gallon batch (about 13-1/2 gallons into fermenter), using warmer water than I am now (ran through the hose outside the house) and we got that batch to pitching temperature in about 9 minutes. With the colder water I'm running through the plate chiller now, it takes less time to chill the batches. Lots of benefits to chilling the wort to pitch temperature fast and getting the yeast in right away.
 
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I run mine into my HLT until full, then run the hose out to the lawn. When the HLT is full, my temp dropped to about 170F. I'll let it whirlpool until I rearrange the hose to outside, then start the cooling water again. If I'm adding aroma hops, that's the perfect time to do it, I'll just let it whirlpool longer.

I'm on a well, so I pull the water out of the ground, then put it back in. It's a vicious cycle...
 

BrewAgain

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I use it to test out my sump pump. My counterflow chiller line runs discharges into my sump pit. When the water gets high enough, it waters my lawn. The temp of the pit water offsets any heat issues.
 
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I have 3-50 Gallon rain barrels (attached in series) receiving runoff from the roof. It rains so seldom in Los Angeles (and I have a substantial garden with fruit trees and grapes and HOPS!), I also run my cooling water into the barrels after filling up my MLT with hot water for cleaning. Water is expensive here, so I try to get as many uses out of it as possible.
 

stealthfixr

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I have awful warm ground water here in southern AZ, so I would love to see what others are doing to drop their cooling water temps. I've tried running the ground water through a 'pre-cooler' coil that's in an ice water bucket, but that doesn't seem to make a huge difference.
 

JJinMD

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have any pictures of what that looks like?
I store it away until brew days, but I will try to describe it in some detail. I have an old radiator (no leaks). I connect a garden hose from the output of my wort chiller to the bottom hose connection of my radiator. The water fills the bottom of the radiator and moves up until it reaches the opposite corner of the radiator where the output connection feeds a 5 gallon bucket. In the bucket is a pond pump that pumps the cooled water through another garden hose to the input side of the wort chiller. The radiator leans against a boxfan which cools the radiator fins. I can get down to ambient temperature pretty quickly and if need be, can add a frozen milk jug to the 5 gallon bucket to boost the cooling.

If I can get a chance to brew next week I will post a pic of the setup for you. In full disclosure, I got this idea from another website for a similar, but different hobby where a larger volume of cooling water is generally used...
 
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apache_brew

apache_brew

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I store it away until brew days, but I will try to describe it in some detail. I have an old radiator (no leaks). I connect a garden hose from the output of my wort chiller to the bottom hose connection of my radiator. The water fills the bottom of the radiator and moves up until it reaches the opposite corner of the radiator where the output connection feeds a 5 gallon bucket. In the bucket is a pond pump that pumps the cooled water through another garden hose to the input side of the wort chiller. The radiator leans against a boxfan which cools the radiator fins. I can get down to ambient temperature pretty quickly and if need be, can add a frozen milk jug to the 5 gallon bucket to boost the cooling.

If I can get a chance to brew next week I will post a pic of the setup for you. In full disclosure, I got this idea from another website for a similar, but different hobby where a larger volume of cooling water is generally used...
That sounds neat. Are you doing 5 gallon batches? I could see picking up multiple radiators with electric fans and mounting them in parallel to accommodate larger batch sizes and higher flow rates in a similar time frame. Add a wort side pump and a counter flow HEX and you wont have to agitate anything to keep the fluids turbulent during cooling. I remember making a copper shell and tube heat exchanger that worked really well at taking 195F vapor down to ambient temperature liquid in one pass....
 

dtashmore547

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I am lucky enough to have a 30 mtr borehole, nice and cool so only takes 15 mins to cool my brew but still use the water for the garden, 2 birds with 1 stone.
 

EDF713

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I have awful warm ground water here in southern AZ, so I would love to see what others are doing to drop their cooling water temps. I've tried running the ground water through a 'pre-cooler' coil that's in an ice water bucket, but that doesn't seem to make a huge difference.
I'm in Houston so I have the same problem. I tried a pre-chiller coil and it was a waste. What I do is run the first 10 gallons or so from the tap through my immersion chiller, while stirring the wort and moving the chiller around some. I save that water in buckets for cleaning, putting some PBW in the first bucket and saving the second for rinsing. Once I'm down to about 110 or so, I switch to running icewater through the chiller using a harbor freight submersible pump from a cooler. I will harvest ice for a few days leading up to brew day, enough to fill a cooler, along with a few gallons of water I've prechilled in my fermentation fridge. Running ice water through the chiller while stirring gets me down to the 60s pretty quick, I've even gotten down to the low 50s for lagers. This whole process is usually about 15 minutes.
 

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5 gals batch; I use a 32 gal brute trashbin with 15-20 gals H2O and 6-7 gals of ice in 1/2 gal milk containers. Harbor freight sump pump to recirculate chilled H2O through wort chiller. When wort is down to 70's I shut off the process. Milk containers go in freezer and after draining the kettle into carboy... carboy into the chest freezer to get to high 60's. I keep the trashbin on a mover dolly so it can be pushed around shop.
 

MaxStout

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In summer I dump buckets on the trees and shrubs. Except for the first bucket, which is too hot for the plants and that makes good cleanup water anyway.

In winter whatever I don't use for cleanup goes down the drain.
 

Knightshade

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I have been limiting myself to only using enough water to fill 3 buckets (usually a pair of 5 gallon buckets and a 6.5 gallon bucket...so 15 to 17 gallons of water total for a 5 gallon batch). In the winter months when my tap water is cold, that can likely get me down to ale pitching temps. Most of the year that only gets me down to maybe 80F to 85F. I then give the beer a few hours in my fermentation chamber to get to pitching temps. Kveik beers make this much easier! I use a simple immersion chiller and constantly stir the wort during chilling, which usually takes about 15 minutes.

I will try to use the water for something useful other than just dumping it down the drain. I use one bucket of hot water for cleaning equipment and another bucket for rinsing, and might soak my immersion chiller in the other one. During warm weather, it usually goes towards watering outdoor plants. Sometimes I have used the water to flush toilets or use clean warm water for a load of laundry.
Sounds spot on w/what I do. After those 3 buckets, I'll recirculate into a big cooler filled with ice and enough water to keep it going. This water gets used to clean out the foundry.
 

NitrogenWidget

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there are critters digging 2 1/2" holes in my lawn.
I put the hose from the chiller down those.
however even with chilling 12 gallons of wort they never seem to over flow.
 

Lalo_uy

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Everyone talks about re proposing the water, but not the energy. At exit the water is hot, ans heating it cost more than water, except near deserted areas.
 

chertling

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I have my Wort Chiller hooked to my homebuilt Glycol Chiller, so the system is a closed loop. It takes a little while for the chiller reservoir to recover, but so far no issues cooling 5 gallon batches of Wort to pitching temperature fairly rapidly. (Scaling up to 10 gallon batches soon now that I've upgraded fermenters, so we will see if the glycol chiller can perform as well with twice the wort... or if I need to source a higher BTU window AC unit to keep up with the added demand)
 

Lalo_uy

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I have my Wort Chiller hooked to my homebuilt Glycol Chiller, so the system is a closed loop. It takes a little while for the chiller reservoir to recover, but so far no issues cooling 5 gallon batches of Wort to pitching temperature fairly rapidly. (Scaling up to 10 gallon batches soon now that I've upgraded fermenters, so we will see if the glycol chiller can perform as well with twice the wort... or if I need to source a higher BTU window AC unit to keep up with the added demand)
I will advice of a second plate heat exchanger in series with the existing one.
Run the first with tap water and the second with glycol from the chiller.
 

Jim R

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I recirculate ice water in my simple cooler / pond pump / immersion chiller set up. The week before brew day I start making ice in my small chest freezer. I make 2 batches of ice cubes and 2-3 milk jug ice blocks. On brew day at the start of the 60 min boil I fill my cooler with 3-4 gallons of water and put the first 2 ice blocks in to start chilling the water. At 30 min I add the last ice block. At 15 min I add the ice cubes.

I initially pump water from my garden hose first for about 5 min through the immersion chiller to get the wort temperature down to about 160 degrees or so and just dump this water on the lawn after I have filled my cleaning buckets with hot water. Then I switch over to the ice cooler recirculation system and finish cooling to my pitching temperature which usually takes about 20 min with no further water waste.
 

Mr. Vern

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homebuilt Glycol Chiller
Frozen jugs will help overcome the high temp rise on your glycol storage. Add as needed. I would estimate 800 BTU from 1/2 gallon of frozen water, probably close to what the refrigeration circuit is good for (2/3 ton or so)
 

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I use an immersion chiller and in an effort to reduce water usage, or at least have multiple uses, I utilize my lager fridge for the heavy lifting. The run down to 90F for ales is with hose water that gets put into my HLT for PBW cleaning and rinsing. I then pull out three, 3 gallon plastic buckets full of chilled water that I store in the lager fridge. This yields about 8.5 gallons of 32F water which is good for about 30 degrees of chilling. I run the water right back into the buckets and put them back into the fridge. For lagers I use the hose water with some added ice to get down to 75F then switch to the chilled stuff. I also slow the flow down when I start with the chilled water to give more contact time.

Not saving the planet but it is efficient and a little less wasteful.
 

yorkeken

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I purchased this holding tank to capture the RO waste water. The waste water is then used for the initial cooling of the wort by pumping it through a pre-chiller (old IC set in cooler w/ice water) ahead of the PC, then into the emptied MT for system cleanup when finished. Once I fill the MT with the hot water, the waste water goes back into the holding tank along with any additional cooling water and used for watering plants… no waste.
D975A82F-14D4-4547-936D-3721AD38584A.jpeg
 

JJinMD

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I store it away until brew days, but I will try to describe it in some detail. I have an old radiator (no leaks). I connect a garden hose from the output of my wort chiller to the bottom hose connection of my radiator. The water fills the bottom of the radiator and moves up until it reaches the opposite corner of the radiator where the output connection feeds a 5 gallon bucket. In the bucket is a pond pump that pumps the cooled water through another garden hose to the input side of the wort chiller. The radiator leans against a boxfan which cools the radiator fins. I can get down to ambient temperature pretty quickly and if need be, can add a frozen milk jug to the 5 gallon bucket to boost the cooling.

If I can get a chance to brew next week I will post a pic of the setup for you. In full disclosure, I got this idea from another website for a similar, but different hobby where a larger volume of cooling water is generally used...
Here are some pics from a brew day yesterday of the radiator cooling setup I use. Yesterday was a 5 gallon day. Probably could have used a jug of ice in the bucket since the ambient temperature was 85F, but I wasn't in a hurry, so 45 min later I went from 212F to 90F and pitched my Voss!

20210710_120928.jpg







20210710_120919.jpg
 

porterguy

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Saving water seems like a bigger pain than cooling the wort, No-Chill my friends.
+1000
BIAB, no sparge, no chill is 50L of water for 23L of wort. I still have to wash the BK, but no-chill saves a TON (i.e. many, many gallons) of water.
 

Knightshade

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Sounds spot on w/what I do. After those 3 buckets, I'll recirculate into a big cooler filled with ice and enough water to keep it going. This water gets used to clean out the foundry.
Tweaked this process yesterday and ended up capturing one less 5G bucket of water

Instead of starting with room temp, then recirculating into ice water…started with ice water and started recirculating after capturing 2 HD buckets of hot water.

Flameout to 73 took about 10 minutes. 1st bucket was used to clean Foundry, 2nd to soak IC and other stuff. Icewater in cooler was used to rinse Foundry and water some of the plants.
 

Bassman2003

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Sounds cool. One question: by starting with the ice water, didn't your ice get blown away by the time you really needed it? I guess you had to add more ice along the way?
 

IslandLizard

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One question: by starting with the ice water, didn't your ice get blown away by the time you really needed it?
Yeah, using ice to chill from 210F to 150F is basically a waste of ice. Even 80F tap water will do that and about just as fast.

I save all the ice for where it counts most, to get it from 100-120F to pitching temps (~64-66F), and it's still fairly slow going to get those last 20 degrees off. :(
 
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