Immersion chiller and cold water temp

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brew_mama

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I bought an immersion chiller and used it for the first time this week. It works great. I do 2.5 gallon batches and it cools the 2.5 gallons very quickly but only down to about 80 degrees. I live in central Texas and our cold water is 77 degrees. I did the chilling outside on the patio so I could hook up to the garden hose and even with the somewhat "cooler" fall temps the water is still not "cold". In the future I'm going to have to do an ice bath afterwards to get it down to 70. I was hoping to avoid the ice as it's a pain, but I pitched the yeast this time around at 76 as that's our indoor room temp. Put it in my temp controlled fridge and it got down to 68 by the next day and fermentation finally started. I guess this a southern state problem due to the heat. I had assumed my cold water would've been a little colder, though.
 

Jag75

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I used to be in the same boat. I started using a cooler full of ice water with a submersible pump. I would run just water from sink until it got down to 80 then switch over to the ice water and pump that through. You just redirect the output back to the cooler to save water.
 

davidabcd

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During the Michigan summer, the effectiveness of my chiller really drops. Lucky for me, I do extract and can add a couple of near-freezing gallons of water to compensate.
Some of the users here put the whole batch in the fridge to get it down to temp. It's not something I would do, personally, but it's done.
 
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brew_mama

brew_mama

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I used to be in the same boat. I started using a cooler full of ice water with a submersible pump. I would run just water from sink until it got down to 80 then switch over to the ice water and pump that through. You just redirect the output back to the cooler to save water.
That's a thought...
 

PCABrewing

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I used to be in the same boat. I started using a cooler full of ice water with a submersible pump. I would run just water from sink until it got down to 80 then switch over to the ice water and pump that through. You just redirect the output back to the cooler to save water.
I made a second coil that goes into an ice-water bath upstream of the coil in the kettle.
So the flow is from the hose into the primary coil in the ice-bath through that coil and into the coil in the kettle then out onto the lawn.
So essentially I lower the temp of the water to ~45 degrees before the immersion coil.
I then throttle the water flow rate so that the output of the immersion coil is just below warm. That way I am not wasting more water than necessary.
While I chill I get the whirlpool going. That usually results in an observable temp drop while it is spinning.
 

davidabcd

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Yeah I think that would take way too long
That's my thought too. From the restaurant business, I've had it hammered in that you get product out of the danger zone ASAP. Some here claim they've never had a bad batch though. I'm not willing to test it.
 

davidabcd

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I made a second coil that goes into an ice-water bath upstream of the coil in the kettle.
Great idea. I forgot about that one. Do you see any negatives to using tap water, get the temp to where it's capable of and then switching to the ice bath, using a single coil?
 

PCABrewing

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Great idea. I forgot about that one. Do you see any negatives to using tap water, get the temp to where it's capable of and then switching to the ice bath, using a single coil?
That seems plausible. I don't just because it drops fast enough the way I do it but It would reduce the water consumption.
 

davidabcd

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That seems plausible. I don't just because it drops fast enough the way I do it but It would reduce the water consumption.
Thanks.
Yeah, water waste did come to mind. I'm already supposed to be collecting it for outdoor use. I will get that part down sooner rather than later.
 

PCABrewing

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Thanks.
Yeah, water waste did come to mind. I'm already supposed to be collecting it for outdoor use. I will get that part down sooner rather than later.
I try to direct the outflow to a garden bed, not the actual lawn as I wrote in the previous post.
I have Bushes on one side and Clematis on the other side of the garage door so i put it to good use.
I don't actually believe in watering grass just so I can mow it, still seems to come back strong every year!
 

davidabcd

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garden bed
Directing the flow to something would be less work than lugging it around. My wife is anti-lawn, period. We've been all about the clover for a long time now. We've got an average amount of garden and I can picture her directing the water for the amount of time it takes to get beer to pitching temp.
 
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