Recirculating Ice Water Chiller

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Alamo_Beer

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Last time I brewed I used 40lb of ice and maybe 2 gal of water.....I used ice the whole time and it took 15min to get from boiling to 60*. I did allow the water to run off into a bucket when it was super, super hot but after a bit I recirc'd.

It was awesome! I've never seen such cold break! Oh, and this was a 5gal batch and a 25ft IC.
 

redmike

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Are you guys using regular garden hoses on the ICs or the hoses that are rated for hot water? Is there any harm in running hot water through a regular garden hose? thanks
 

smizak

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Ugh, Harbor Freight.

I just bought a "190 GPH" fountain pump from there to try out the recirc. idea.
Actual measured flow rate: 26 GPH

POS.
 

944play

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I picked up the 190 GPH HF pump today.

Measured flow rate: 37 GPH through my 3/8"x25' chiller.

What do you expect for $15? Still way better than being stuck with 75F tap water and ice in the bathtub.
 

camiller

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Ugh, Harbor Freight.

I just bought a "190 GPH" fountain pump from there to try out the recirc. idea.
Actual measured flow rate: 26 GPH

POS.
I picked up the 190 GPH HF pump today.

Measured flow rate: 37 GPH through my 3/8"x25' chiller.

What do you expect for $15? Still way better than being stuck with 75F tap water and ice in the bathtub.
Typically a fountain pump pushes the water a couple feet up to an outlet/sprinkler. Your pushing through 25-30 feet of copper/hose(or more, in my case 50 ft of copper and 40 ft of garden hose) which is going to put a lot more resistance in the flow. If your using it for something other than it's intended purpose of course it's going to behave differently.
 

smizak

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No, mine was 26 GPH through two feet of 1/2" vinyl hose. I think it's effed up, it's way louder than it should be. It was worth a shot, but I'll pay a little more for better performance.
 

comp

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No, mine was 26 GPH through two feet of 1/2" vinyl hose. I think it's effed up, it's way louder than it should be. It was worth a shot, but I'll pay a little more for better performance.
has anybody used the 1/4" hose ?
 

camiller

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has anybody used the 1/4" hose ?
You mean 1/4" copper tubing for the chiller, or 1/4" hose to feed water to the chiller.

For the former Bobby_M did a lower cost immersion chiller with 1/4" copper but he had multiple courses splitting off from a larger diameter source. I haven't noticed anyone use 1/4" hose for their feed to a chiller.
 

okstatepike

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I'm really looking at doing this, but I have one question. What volume of ice water is sufficient to properly recirculate the water at a low enough temp. Assuming that the initial hot waste water is not used in the system, what kind of volume am I looking at planning for? I'm not real hot on buying 40 lbs. of ice every time I brew.

Thanks guys - this is a fascinating read.
 

Shay

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I'm really looking at doing this, but I have one question. What volume of ice water is sufficient to properly recirculate the water at a low enough temp. Assuming that the initial hot waste water is not used in the system, what kind of volume am I looking at planning for? I'm not real hot on buying 40 lbs. of ice every time I brew.

Thanks guys - this is a fascinating read.
I use probably 15 or so pounds of ice. I just take ice out of the ice maker each day the week before I brew.
 

BierMuncher

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Assuming that the initial hot waste water is not used in the system, what kind of volume am I looking at planning for? I'm not real hot on buying 40 lbs. of ice every time I brew.
I buy a 20 pound bag and that's plenty.

Two things to consider:
A) I don't introduce the ice until my tap water has done it's part to get the wort down to 100 or so.
2) Instead of actually recirculating the waste back into the ice bucket, I run it to waste (in this case my shop sink) and then run fresh hose water into the ice bucket just fast enough to keep the water levels constant.
 

shertz

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5 lbs of ice, 6 empty gallon jugs filled with water and thrown in the freezer the night before. That's all you need. Take the hot water and use it for cleanup. Within 15 minutes you'll cool 5 gallons of wort to 65. Little waste, little cost.
 

TimGrz

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If your dealing with the same volume of ice, then cubed would be more efficient than block because it is surface area that is doing the heat transfer and block ice only has the exterior surface area where cubes would have many times more surface area.(to much math for me to explain) Hence the cubes would melt faster and promote more cooling, but you might run out of cube before it was cooled enough. the heat transfer would also be going into the container, the atmosphere, the ground your tub was sitting on, etc. I should get a chance to test this in about a month. As germy suggested cube and block will probably be the most efficient. ground water temps in my area run 85-90 degrees.
What he said. Here's the math explained:

Assuming a two 10" cubes, both 1000 cubic inches of ice, would come out to:

10"x10"x10" = each surface is 100 sq.in. Multiply by six sides = 600 square inches of surface area.

Instead create a 1" cube of ice using 1000 blocks. Multiply that by six sides each, you are talking 6000 square inches if surface area.

As the cooling comes fromm the surface area, the smaller blocks will work much better.


/tg
 

Warrior

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I used a submersable pump and a plate chiller:


I have a cooler and plate chiller and will have to try this on my next beer. That last 20 to 30 degrees with my imersion chiller is slow and uses a lot of water, thanks for the idea!
 

Warrior

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5 lbs of ice, 6 empty gallon jugs filled with water and thrown in the freezer the night before. That's all you need. Take the hot water and use it for cleanup. Within 15 minutes you'll cool 5 gallons of wort to 65. Little waste, little cost.
I have 6 flexible refrezeable cold paks that I use in my cooler for camping. I'll try using these with the plate cooler and see how they work.
 

Judochop

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Bump!

I’m lovin’ the idea, only…

I’m not finding these supposed pumps for $25 that also come with adapters for a garden hose. Are people manufacturing their own adapters here? Because all the pumps I’ve seen take regular tubing at the outflow and don't offer adapters. (And they all seem to be $40 and up, which I'd still be willing to do... but just sayin'.)
 

944play

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I’m not finding these supposed pumps for $25 that also come with adapters for a garden hose. Are people manufacturing their own adapters here?
The HF "190 GPH" pump has a smooth 1/2" outlet. I zip-tied a short length of 1/2" vinyl tubing to it and put a 1/2" male hose end repair kit on that.
 

ptra1004

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I agree with most of you - great thread! I am in need of a way to cool my wort, being here in Upstate NY in the Fall/Winter helps but it isn't always reliable (70 plus degrees for a week now!).

I have been knocking the idea around to coil up some 1/2" cooper tubing in a 5 gallon food bucket. I have easy and inexpensive access to both. My idea is to fill the bucket with an ice bath and using it as a "pass through" chiller. I figured that I could hook up a vinyl hose to the end for transfer the wort to my primary. An immersion chiller just won't work (1/2 a house) so I thought this would be worth a shot>

Any suggestions or thoughts?
 

fat x nub

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I just got done watching BAsic Brewings DVD with this in it...it was pretty much the exact same setup. I am going to start doing this for the summer when hose water is 75+
 

talleymonster

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Ed, I just found this thread and it's sweet. I had been thinking of something along these lines, I just saw it through to fruition. I'll definitely have to do this before summer comes back around (120* days)
 
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EdWort

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Ed, I just found this thread and it's sweet. I had been thinking of something along these lines, I just saw it through to fruition. I'll definitely have to do this before summer comes back around (120* days)
It works great. I use it with an Igloo Ice Cube cooler now. It really made a difference this summer.
 

flack

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Ed, if I understand right.. your recirculating your cooling water from a tub of ice bath through an immersion chiller and then back out into the ice bath? I've been wanting to do something like this so I wouldn't be wasting water, but have been trying to find an effective way to do so. Just curious, how long does it take to get to pitching temps using this method vs some other method? On a side note, anyone ever use a fresnel lens to during their brew day? ;)
 

G-E-R-M-A-N

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Ok I have a left over Maxi-jet pump from my aquarium that is rated at 106GPH. The pump is mag driven and I want to know if this will be enough, before I go and buy another pump rated higher GPH.

Here is the site that I got it from. There might be alternatives here that are within price range and better quality than harbor freight.

Powerheads, Aquarium Pumps


Also how do you know how fast to let your wort run? I screwed up last time and ran it too fast and clogged up my shirron. I have switched to a CFC now and will give that a shot.


EDIT: I rechecked checked the pump and it is the 259GPH model.
 

culaslucas

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So I bought this guy: SEACHOICE ECONOMY BILGE PUMPS - Electric Bilge Pumps by Discount Marine Supplies for $35 from my local hardware store. It's only $20 on the site above. Rated at 600GPH at 600mA.

YOU WILL NEED A 12V AC Adapter to hook this up as it's designed to be hooked up to a boat battery.

Ran it through my 25' chiller, came out at 45 GPH (not bad results for the $ considering other peoples' results above with more expensive pumps). I forgot about it and left it plugged in for 2 hours - burned up the power supply. So I got another 1000mA 12V supply and it's at about 60 GPH. This is a great idea - plan to test it out on its first wort challenge this weekend. I'll post the results after this weekend's brew...
 
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EdWort

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Ed, if I understand right.. your recirculating your cooling water from a tub of ice bath through an immersion chiller and then back out into the ice bath? I've been wanting to do something like this so I wouldn't be wasting water, but have been trying to find an effective way to do so. Just curious, how long does it take to get to pitching temps using this method vs some other method? On a side note, anyone ever use a fresnel lens to during their brew day? ;)
I get to pitching temps in about 20-30 minutes. I use tap water to get it below 100 degrees first, then switch to the recirculator with ice water.

In the summer time, my tap water won't chill below 75 degrees.
 

Warrior

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I get to pitching temps in about 20-30 minutes. I use tap water to get it below 100 degrees first, then switch to the recirculator with ice water.

In the summer time, my tap water won't chill below 75 degrees.
Tried this method last Fri with 11 gal of Cr Ale. Dug out my old pump that I used to use to pump the sparge water up to a 12 gal cooler. I then used the pump to transfer from the mash to the boil kettle. It's a 110 volt pump that I got out of grainger about 15 years ago. It's magnetic driven and can handle hot liquids. I put a variable speed control on it so I can adjust the flow just right. I then used this pump to recirculte the chiller water in to a cooler that I had 6 reusable ice paks in. I chilled the wort down to 120 deg before switching over the the chilled water. Didn't have enough ice, will freeze two 1 gal jugs next time to add to the cooler, also might try to get temp to 100 as you do before using the chilled water.
 

Stark

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Sweet! I just picked up this pump this morning Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices

It was on sale and I got it for $32 out the door. Not bad for a 1/2hp 1855GPH pump. I'll use it tomorrow with my kolsch. Can't wait!! (oh and bump)
Without even knowing of this Thread's existence, I ended up with the Same Pump, trying to accomplish the same thing. Were you able to get a garden hose connected from the pump to your chiller? This is what I am trying to re-work now. I used 1" (ID) tubing with a Brass reducer to 3/8". Leaks galore but got them shored up for the most part, but wondering if there is better wants to connect to a Wort Chiller (25' from B3).

Also, I blew through 5x7lbs of Ice, although being new to the process, I crammed 2 bags in initially, then the last 3 over remaining 40 minutes. Granted, I saved the Gallons of water that I would normally waste/try to dump out on the trees, lawn, cars, dogs, SWMBO, but with so much Ice, it's not really savings.
 

TeufelBrew

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Wish I had seen this earlier. I was watching wort boil one day and happened to look at unused aquarium stuff beside me. McGuyver pops up and takes the submersible pump from under gravel filter, hose clamps it to outlet from IC and starts recirc in Ale Pale with ice after running enough tap water through IC to fill up 5 gallon bucket with hot wash water. About 20 lbs of ice and I go from flame out to pitch temp (~65-70) in 30 - 40 min.
 

Warrior

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Without even knowing of this Thread's existence, I ended up with the Same Pump, trying to accomplish the same thing. Were you able to get a garden hose connected from the pump to your chiller? This is what I am trying to re-work now. I used 1" (ID) tubing with a Brass reducer to 3/8". Leaks galore but got them shored up for the most part, but wondering if there is better wants to connect to a Wort Chiller (25' from B3).

Also, I blew through 5x7lbs of Ice, although being new to the process, I crammed 2 bags in initially, then the last 3 over remaining 40 minutes. Granted, I saved the Gallons of water that I would normally waste/try to dump out on the trees, lawn, cars, dogs, SWMBO, but with so much Ice, it's not really savings.
Freeze empty gallon jugs and add them to the water. I chilled 11 gals on Sunday using this method. Got the temp down to about 100 deg with tap water first and then used the ice water.
 

McPintley

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Surface area is the second greatest factor in the cooling equation. If we are going for the quickest cooling method one will want to use cubed or bagged ice. However; this can add another $10 to brewing cost and bagged ice is not that green (special trip to the store, shipping of , and such...).

On the other hand, many of us have kegerators with empty freezers. Load that thing up with whatever plastic containers that would normally go to the recycle. Smaller is better- see surface area. You will also find that this will help your kegerator maintain constant temperatures and run more efficiently!

If you decide you still want to go the ice route, make friends with a chef. They have unrestricted access to ice machines:cool:
 

nathan

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or you could keep all the smallest bottles you use for things (plastic) for a while, or get a case of those tiny water bottles, and use them as cold packs. Not as good as cubes, but re-usable and better than large bottles of water.
 

Warrior

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or you could keep all the smallest bottles you use for things (plastic) for a while, or get a case of those tiny water bottles, and use them as cold packs. Not as good as cubes, but re-usable and better than large bottles of water.
Actually a good idea use multiple 16 oz water bottles. Would definately allow a lot more surface contact area with the ice to cool faster.
 

Warrior

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And soon enough we'll be able to just throw some snow in the water instead of water bottles and bags of ice, huh Mike? Let it snow!
Had a good amount of snow up above State College the past two weeks. We are do for a good snow here soon.
 

nathan

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I was in State College for that snow. My wife and son live there. Drove up to visit my family in northeastern PA and no snow. Usually it's the reverse.
 
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